Making a Cone using Captain Paranoias Cone Potstand Tool on Zenstoves.net - busting the myth?

Discussion in 'DIY & MYOG' started by Mole, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    There seems to be misconceptions about the difficulty of using this tool, So I thought I'd write this thread as a help for the less confident. It's a little different (easier?) than the instructions on the site. Any glaring omissions/errors spotted by you folk who know, I'd appreciate input and will edit accordingly.

    Kudos to Kevin (Captain P) for writing this tool, and gifting it to the world. Thanks are due. Also, to Trail Designs for popularising the idea of using a frustrum (truncated cone) for a pot support.

    A friend (and recent TL member - Padowan) showed me last week how even easier it has become, and demonstrated the method. So credit due there. Despite what the tool suggests, there is no need to download any new software using the following method.

    It's no more 'computery' than any general internet use - if you know how to cut/paste, save a document to somewhere on your pc, go to a website, browse your pc to upload the file, print a .pdf, then you can use this tool.

    The last cone I made, I did the 'old' way as described on the Outdoors Magic Thread. Then, software needed to be downloaded. Since it's been on Zenstoves, it's become even easier, and if you use a file converter website, as about to be described, this method is even easier.


    1. Find the measurements you need from your pan/stove setup. i.e. Pan diameter, Pan height (or height of pot covered by cone), stove height, stove gap, handle height/position and handle gap width(s). These are your Primary Pot Variables and Stove Variables
    2. Open a new file in a plain text editing program (such as Notepad on a Windows PC - Found in ' Windows Accessories' or TextEdit on an Apple machine)
    3. Go to the Zen Stoves Page : http://zenstoves.net/PotStands-Conical.htm#MakingYourOwnCone and scroll down to the Captain Paranoias Potstand Tool.
    4. Enter the necessary numbers into the boxes. There are other variables - ignore or adjust as applicable. Don't panic, The pattern can be tweaked later before printing.Things will become apparent once you go through this process once, then after a while, it will become quick and easy.*
    5. Press the 'Create Code' Button
    6. From the text box below the 'Create Code Button', copy the code generated, and paste it into the plain text editing program, and then - this is important - save with .ps at the end of whatever you name it - e.g. cone.ps - save that file somewhere.
    7. Go to a .ps to .pdf converter site such as here: https://www.ps2pdf.com/convert.htm
    8. Choose the .ps file you just saved in Notepad (or TextEdit etc. ) from wherever it was saved to, and press convert.
    9. A .pdf file with all the cone features is generated, showing both the draughtsmans method overview and the pattern to make the cone. This can be checked over for accuracy of your intention, then you can redo the process if necessary, print straightaway, or save for later.
    10. I suggest printing the cone pattern, stick together as necessary, cut out, then assemble and offered to the pan. Any adjustments necessary or errors, will become apparent and the pattern tweaked back on Zen Stoves.
    11. I cut out my template slightly larger than the outline, then sellotape tape my patterns to the foil/flashing over the whole edge, and then cut out precisely. as Stormin suggests below, you could use glue instead - it stays stuck on then once cut out, for easier finishing.
    12. If you go for a Flissure design, you will need 2 printouts, and to cut top and bottom castellated joints accordingly. You'll work it out.
    13. When folding tabs, best to use a shim of spare foil to bend the tab fold around. If you have gone for a Flissure, use the appropriate thickness of shim for the number of layers that the tab needs to accomodate. Upper tab should fold to the outside to keep it further from the flame.
    14. For air holes I use a single hole paper punch.
    *
    NB: It's worth noting, that the figures already shown on the cone generator are those needed for a cone for an MSR Titan Kettle. The stove height is set at 32mm (maybe a soda can stove or Red Bull chimney?), so will need modifying - e.g. 20mm for a screwtop Speedster or 24mm for the current Starlyte.
    If flissure is enabled a split cone pattern is produced. Recommended - as can store cone neatly nested in the pan.


    Anyone who tries this, please don't be shy - let us know in this thread how you get on and if my instructions make sense!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
    Padstowe, edh, DodgyKnee and 9 others like this.
  2. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    "I'd write this thread as a help for the less confident." :oops::oops::oops::oops::oops::oops::oops:

    :D:D:D:laugh::laugh::laugh::D:D:D

    ;)
    widu13 likes this.
  3. stormin'

    stormin' Ultralighter

    Use a pritstick on your foil/ Alu. then stick pattern on, just a rough paper cut out,stick it on,then cut precisely to the printed paper lines.
    Mole likes this.
  4. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    Love the zen stoves link that is a brilliant web page well put together. :)
    Mole likes this.
  5. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Good stuff thanks Mole

    Time to put that roll of stainless shim to use


    Stickied :)
    Mole likes this.
  6. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Edited for acknowledgement, clarification and additions.
  7. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    Question when you convert from postscript to pdf do you get any scaling issues for sizes :)
  8. stormin'

    stormin' Ultralighter

    Hey Shewie where did you source the stainless?
  9. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    No scaling issues so far.And shouldn't with a pdf? They've come out exactly as intended.

    I've 'printed' maps to pdf many times before and they have always come out at the correct scale.

    If anyone tries this and has a scaling issue, let me know here and I'll rewrite the walk-through to incorporate the 'original' instructions.

    edit. I don't think there ever will be an issue.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    EM - Tacblades likes this.
  10. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Just been trawling my emails, it was from ebay a couple of years ago so the link won't work sorry ...

    Stainless Steel Sheet Foil Roll Shim 316 S31 0.1mm Thick 302mm X 5000mm (5M) - £25 delivered

    I originally bought it to use as a roll up stove pipe for a tent stove, but it doesn't like being rolled at the 5m length, it wants to buckle and crease, fine for smaller stuff like cones though.
  11. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Ive used hollinbrow in the past. They carry stainless but you will likely only get 30cm width.
    stormin' likes this.
  12. Padowan

    Padowan Summit Camper

    So as my second post here's the paper template generated using the method outlined by Mole above and the final cone including flissure.

    IMG-20160125-WA0006.jpeg IMG-20160126-WA0000.jpeg

    For my first attempt at a cone I'm very happy with it.

    Edit: sorry for the sideways images, not sure how to rotate then when posting through my phone.
    FOX160, edh, captain paranoia and 8 others like this.
  13. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    That looks great :)
  14. Padowan

    Padowan Summit Camper

    What about my attempt at a v2.0 of your Catboil that i made... IMG-20160126-WA0004.jpeg
    The little yellow bits are fins made from a drinks can. They reduce the evaporative area and slow the burn slightly. Using this, and the cone above i boil 500ml 17deg water in around 6m20s. I've been using 20ml fuel for that to ensure a boil, but i could use less as the stove doesn't burn out until around 7m30s. Maybe 17ml would do it, just...
    Mole likes this.
  15. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    The cat boil 2 is the new ceramic wick which is awesome.
    Its more like a cat boil 1

    Please make sure you put a pressure release hole in the top or you could have a fire on you hands!!!!


    I only really boil water so want a fast burn, but its a great idea for reducing the burn, i like it. There is also a simmer ring for this stove with an modified cat can on the top that works great :)
  16. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    Does it give a cool multi jet like flame?
  17. Padowan

    Padowan Summit Camper

    Not that you can see, the flames lap around the fins and rejoin, so it looks more or less like an unfinned version.

    I didn't get round to putting a pressure relief hole in the top as the pot sits a couple of mm above the stove in the cone, but i could put one in, just to be safe, in case i ever do sit the pot straight on the stove.
  18. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    Ah cool so the race is on then to make an uber cool fancee feast stove with a tornado style flame pattern :)
  19. Meadows

    Meadows Section Hiker

    What an amazing coincidence.

    I'd just logged on to post a message about where the latest version of the CP fissure clone script is and get a fantastic walk through as well, thanks @Mole
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
    Mole likes this.
  20. Meadows

    Meadows Section Hiker

    it looks great. What is the material used?
  21. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    It's Amerimax flashing - from my dwindling stock.
  22. Padowan

    Padowan Summit Camper

    I'm quite tempted to gauge interest in enough volume to buy in a few metres of Titanium...
    Meadows likes this.
  23. EM - Tacblades

    EM - Tacblades Ultralighter

    You can buy it in small quantities from dutchwear in the states and aluminium.
  24. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    The only real advantage of titanium over flashing is the fact you can have a fire inside. No weight advantage. Obviously it's stronger, but you'd have to be a real dingus to break a Flashing cone.
  25. stormin'

    stormin' Ultralighter

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