Here is one of the coolest, cheapest and most useful DIY projects you will find.
It's a survivalist's dream.
You can create a totally practical, portable firebox stove for a fraction of what you'd pay for a commercial unit. It is also sturdy and durable enough to hold and heat nearly any individual backpacking pot or pan.
Whether cooking a meal or boiling water for drinking, this unit will do the job. All you will need to fashion it yourself is a few tools, a few dollars and a bit of elbow grease.
There are three videos included in this post. The first is a general overview of the firebox stove from Wayne Russell, survivalist and participant in the first season of the History Channel survival series, "Alone." Russell also has a successful YouTube channel called Kullcraven Bushcraft, where he shares his knowledge of survival and shelter building techniques.
His review of the firebox stove provides a good overview of the unit and how it's put together. The second and third videos are the how-to videos that Russell followed in making his own version of the stove. The first presents a detailed step-by-step construction process. The third presents improvements and modifications in the initial design.
I'd suggest watching each of these in order before beginning your own project. I found the three videos to be extremely valuable in the making of my own portable firebox stove.
Now you've got a good idea of what the unit looks like and how the pieces fit together. The following video outlines exactly what parts you'll need, what cuts and measurements you'll need to make, and again how the unit functions.
Finally, the following, third video illustrates some highly recommended modifications the builder made after giving his first firebox stove a test run.
I can't say enough about this little unit. The materials used are as cheap as can be (you will need only six 3-1/8 inch x 5 inch tie plates, costing under $6 from most any home supply store). The labor is also light, requiring relatively few cuts and holes.
The finished and disassembled unit takes up very little space in a backpack, weighs only around one pound, and is easy to put together once you've done it a few times.
Best of all it really works! The fire it holds and produces is more than sufficient to boil water or cook a small pot meal.
On top of that you have something that you've built yourself, which certainly increases the attraction and coolness factor.