Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lixada Wood Gas Stove

The other day I ordered a Lixada wood gas stove using an Amazon gift card. This stove is sold under a number of different brand names on Amazon and eBay, generally for a bit under $20. The stove is made from stainless steel and has the following components, which nest together:

  • Base with air holes.
  • Double-walled combustion chamber with holes on the inside near the top.
  • A bottom part to hold the fuel off the ground. It also has air holes in it.
  • A pot stand with folding arms.
  • A bowl which can be placed in the combustion chamber to burn liquid or gelled alcohol fuel. If inverted it can be a platform for hexamine or trioxane tablets.
Along with the stove itself a nylon mesh bag was included for storage and transport.

Since I had some time this afternoon I decided to give it a try, using some sticks from my yard. The stove did not come with any instructions but I'd read up on them online. Supposedly, they work best with the combustion chamber filled with sticks oriented vertically, burning top-down.

I used a piece of dryer lint/paraffin wax fire starter to get it going.

After a few minutes the wood gas that's released by the burning wood gets flowing through the sidewall, comes out the interior holes and ignites.

Shortly after it got going I put my Olicamp Space Saver Cup with home made lid on top. I had 12 oz. of water in the cup to make some tea.

A couple things caused my boil time to be overly long (i.e., damn near a half hour):

  • It was windy, which caused a lot of heat loss via convection. The next time I use the stove I'll use a wind screen.
  • Some of my wood was damp. Also, I waited too long to refill the stove when the fuel burned down, which made it take longer to ignite. I should have fed it small pieces of wood before the flames died out.
As long as I kept it fed so that the wood gas was being burned it was pretty much smoke free. If I let it die down and then added fuel, it was smokey.

The idea of a stove for which you can forage fuel is very attractive for camping, hiking, and bugouts. I need to play around with it a bit more to get the knack of minimizing cook times. In particular, one fuel I want to try is charcoal briquettes, which we keep up at my friend's place where we camp a few times each year. Another fuel which other owners have reported works well are wood pellets, as used in pellet stoves.

I'm planning to follow this up with a video, once I get the raw footage edited.

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