Wednesday 22 December 2010

MYOG: Stove pad


I've not really dived into the whole Make Your Own Gear ethic. When we were younger it was my brother who was always the one taking things apart and tinkering. He's got a real talent for it. I had a go at some insulated pants last winter when I couldn't resist some XXL Mountain Hardware Compressor pants really cheap in a sale. I took out the side zips and shortened them. The results weren't pretty but they kept me warm.

I was given a Primus ExpressSpider remote canister stove to try out this winter and realised I would need a stove pad to keep the unit from sinking in the snow while I'm melting snow or cooking food. A quick flick to page 44 in the bible of backcountry winter camping, Allen & Mikes's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book, showed me that such a device didn't need to be expertly crafted. Perfect for my kind of ham fisted attempt at MYOG!

So what do you need? A bit of plywood or masonite for a stable base. Some CCF foam to insulate the stove from the freezing snow and some duct tape to keep the whole thing together. Check.


I measured out roughly how big I wanted the stove pad to be by drawing round a couple of plates with a Sharpie onto the piece of scrap masonite I found in the basement.

Out came the jigsaw and I followed my pattern as best I could.

Then I had the idea of adding three 'studs' to keep the feet of the Express Spider central so I marked out their position and broke out the drill. A rummage in the 'bits' drawer resulted in three short, countersink bolts that fitted perfectly.


Using the finished masonite plinth as a pattern I used the pen to draw out the shape on the scrap of CCF foam I had lying around.


A quick squitz of hot glue and I was ready to trim the whole thing in duct tape. This required a bit of snipping and folding around the curved sections of my pad. An additional wrap of tape around the middle ensures the foam won't be going anywhere and voila! I do however question my judgement on putting the 'rough' side up (for 'grip') rather than the more weather resistant smooth side...

It's all a bit ad hoc, by eye and bodged together but it should do the job of keeping my stove and pan from sinking in the snow. At a little over 300g it's not the lightest but in winter we sometimes have to make sacrifices in weight for practicalities. I'll make another stove pad for my Optimus Crux stove that will be smaller, lighter and square. I'm getting the feel of this MYOG malarkey. I'll be knocking up an Incredible Rulk next...


BG! said...


I've a notion that if you slit the thing across the middle so that it folds onto itself to make a "D"-shape, and use tape to make a crude hinge, and then make recesses in the face of the bit that doesn't have the studs so that the stud-ends locate into said recesses when the contraption is folded closed, it'll stop the studs from ripping apart whatever they grate against when it's in yer pack.

Just my two-penn'orth.

I've a lightweight solution to the canister-inversion thing too, I'll let you know later when I can set it up and take a pic.

Unknown said...

It's really satisfying to use something you built yourself. Nice job. Any chance of mass production ;-)

Thomas W. Gauperaa said...

Cool stuff, good work :)

Philip Werner said...

Looks nice. I've been using a small piece of reflectix this winter as a stove pad. Seems to work just fine, but I'm also using liquid fuel and don't have to keep the isobutane warm.

Anonymous said...

Very neat. Also like your canister inversion method.

Joe Newton said...

BG! - yes, the exposed studs have caused me a bit of consternation. I have thought about using the wonder that is duct tape as the hinge. I could always carry it the side pocket of my Pinnacle to keep it from harming delicate quilts and clothing inside.

Maz - no chance! I wouldn't inflict my half-arsed manufacturing skills on anyone but me!

Thomas - cheers!

Phil - I have ideas for a Mark II already and some reflectix and aluminium tape are included!

AlanR said...

Just an idea which may save you and others some time and effort.
Clas Ohlson are selling a collapsable, very lightweight sit mat which folds down to around 100mmm square.
It only costs £1.99
You can find it here.

Hope this might be useful in the future...Alan

Joe Newton said...

Alan - I had the same idea whilst sitting back looking at my Mk I stove pad. I had a similar foldable foam sit mat to the one from Clas Ohlsen in my cupboard so I've cut out a couple of different models (one square, one round) that will fold up and sit in my pot. I'm not sure that the wooden component of the Mk I pad is strictly necessary so I'll try one of the foam ones. I do intend, however, to reinforce it with some aluminium tape on the side that will face the stove.