So as usual I had way too many projects this year and finally got back to this following a mini-main trip a few weeks ago where my blaster totally screwed up my rigging. I decided enough was enough and sat down on Saturday and modified an old Coleman gas stove by removing the guts, adding a cross support bar, cutting slot for the hose to exit and mounting the burner.
Here is a pic of it finished for now:
and another sitting next it it's former self:
Now which would you rather pack?
I tested it a bit at home and used it as our only stove on an overnighter this weekend and it worked well. It was WAY easier to pack and actually performed better, especially at low heat than the old stand did. It was pretty windy and it didn't blow out once, where the old one would have been relit numerous times.
I have a few modifications I'll make in the near future:
1. make circular shroud that surrounds burner (couple inches larger diameter). This will help focus heat around the pot, containing it near the center a bit better.
2. replace the grate with a circular grate so my disco can be tipped easier.
3. make a diffuser to spread the heat more evenly around the base of the flame (this was a problem with the factory stand as well).
4. Paint it some other color, likely bright so I don't leave it on the bank somewhere.
The only issue I found with it running for about 4 hours this weekend was that on high (boil water now, high), the area around the hose got warmer than I'd like. It wasn't hot, but I could see that getting missed by someone else and maybe melting the hose. That would of course be very bad, hence the shroud in mod#3. That will separate the hose connection from the "burn chamber" more. If it still is warm a second shroud our I'll hard plumb the supply line outside.
I had planned, even while building this version, to continue along the foldable lines of the power stove. But having used it and found the space inside the case very usefull for cooking related storage that I think I like this better and I doubt I'll go down any other paths. I'll just work to clean this one up a little and maybe work on a double burner version - out of a coleman triple.
Oh, by the way, the new version weighs about 4lbs vs almost 18 for the original. I'm sure my shroud and grate will add several pounds but I'd guess in the end it will weigh half as much as original and fit in 1/4 the space. Win - win.
Thanks for all the ideas, cautionary statements and support! I love my new ColeMANblaster or the Red Neck Power Stove (RNPS) for short.