Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DIY Windscreen for your Camp Stove or Dutch Oven

Assembled Windscreen - Usable on your Camp Stove or Dutch Oven

This DIY project shows the basics of building a Windshield for your Camp Stove or Dutch Oven.  Numerous modifications could be made to suit your personal needs.  For example, should your primary use be for Dutch Oven cooking on a cooking table, one cookie sheet could be cut in half vertically and used for two shorter sides to lower your cost.  The cookie sheets could be split lengthwise to create a lower windscreen and produce 2 units from the same amount of trays.  I prefer the higher shield as shown.  Both for use and for ease of construction.

The long side of mine are made from 18X25 inch cookie sheets.  I later found 13X18's for the smaller ends to avoid needing to make cuts.   These are clamped together with  easy to construct clamps.  While an electric hacksaw, drill press, and drill press vise, makes for an easy job of it.  A simple hacksaw and drill will do just fine.

My initial build was for a Windscreen for my Partner 4 burner stove.  But ! later bought the 13X18's use when Dutch Oven cooking on a metal Cooking table.  

Two sets of a short attached to a long can be set up with the long side if each set places behind one another.  They can slide out to adjust for wider width tables.   Those two rear cookie sheets can be clamped together with a C-Clamp or Spring clamp.

(1)18X25 Back - (2) 13X18 Sides

My objectives were these:
*Something simple with minimum amount of complex fabrication.
*Free standing without the use of supports.
*Large enough to surround my Partner stove on 3 sides.
*Minimal cost.
*When not in use, something that stores flat for storage and transport.
*Easy to setup without the use of any tools.

All objectives were met.  I am sure a good scrounger or person that has usable used material can beat what they cost me.  For this article, all parts were purchased new at full retail prices.

Additional benefits are this Windscreen is also easy to clean, and if not being used as a shield, the trays can be used for other purposes such as food prep, as serving trays, or perhaps other functions I am not even thinking of.

Material List

(3)  18X25 Cookie Sheets  ($6.75 each)   (For a 25X25X25 setup)                                         
(1) 18X25 Cookie Sheet ($6.75) + (2) 13X25 Cookie Sheets (2 Pack $10.25) (For 13X25X13 Setup)                                          
(2)  Aluminum Angle 1/16 inch 1x36
      (Both cut in half to make (4) 18 long pieces of angle) ($5.37 each)              
(4) Thumb Bolts 1/4inch, 20 thread, 1 ½ inches long ($1.18 each)            
(4) Wing Nuts ¼ inch, 20 thread ($0.55 each)                                               

These are local all new material prices.  Cookie Sheets from Costco or Sams Club.  Hardware from Home Depot.  A good scrounger might be able to find this material at a thrift store or garage sale for much less.

Thumb Bolt with Wing Nut
Cut the two 36 inch Aluminum angles both in half to create (4) 18 inch angles.  Mark about 2 inches from one of the ends.  Stack 4 together (Clamp in a vise if available to avoid have the stack twirling around and hitting you during drilling) and drill down through all 4 (at the bottom of the V the angle forms) with a 17/64 or 5/16 bit.  Flip one of the drilled pieces end for end.  Line up the holes and ends, and re-drill thru the 3 that already have holes, thru the one that isn’t drilled on this end (The idea is to create 4 identical parts that can be interchanged even if flipped around)  Still holding the stack together drill the other end that has the one of four drilled, drilling thru the 3 layers remaining.  Clean up any drill burrs and sharp edges with a wire bush, wire wheel, file, sandpaper, etc.

Corner Clamp - 2 pieces of Angle Aluminum and 2 Thumb Bolts
Plus Wing Nuts

To set up
Insert your Thumb bolt through two angles as shown.  Loosely thread the wing nut on.  Hold 2 of the cookie sheets up in a vertical position to form a corner as shown and slip the clamp down.  Tighten when correctly positioned.  Repeat for the other corner.

Cookie Sheet sides with Corner Clamps in place and tightened down

Knocked apart for storage - Three 18X25 inch Cookie Sheets stacked together & Two Corner Clamps


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