A guide to self reliant living







1. Food

2. Manna

3. Water

4. Sanitation

5. Medical,

6. Kerosene heaters and cookers

7. Lighting

8. Wood
cooking and heating

9. Communi-cations

10. Essential

11. Home
built items

12. Electrical; generators
and power

13. War preparedness

14. Gardening


Miles Stair's SURVIVAL










Miles Stair's SURVIVAL



The Butterfly #2487, 16 wick stove is the first Butterfly stove I have used which is large enough - and strong enough - to hold a large stock pot or water bath canner.  I decided to put the #2487 to a tough test, boiling 4 gallons of water in a tall stock pot while breaking in the stove.   During break-in, the wick tops are hardening and thus are not properly trimmed until after the first good burn, so the maximum heat potential is not reached.  Nevertheless, the Butterfly #2487 shown below brought 4 gallons of water to a boil inside of 25 minutes.  This stove is capable of canning or large pot simmering, like reducing/condensing tomato sauce or maple syrup.  The maximum heat output is also easily sufficient for baking bread using the Butterfly #2421 oven.  Yet by lowering the wicks, a low heat can be maintained for frying eggs or whatever without burning.  This stove is the best one for use with the Butterfly #2421 oven.

[This stove is available from St. Paul Mercantile.]

Shown at left is the Butterfly #2487.  At a little over 12 inches wide and 9 inches high, the #2487 is small enough to be portable.  The 11 1/2" wide pot/pan support bracket is easily wide enough to support large pots, while the folded corners lend sufficient strength to hold the weight easily.

The #2487 shown here with the wick mechanism and burner removed.  The fuel tank is seamless and therefore does not spill easily when moved - a huge improvement over earlier Butterfly stove designs.  To light the wicks, the handle on the "burner" is raised, exposing the wicks.  A long bamboo skewer is easier to use than a match.

The Butterfly #2487 comes completely assembled except for installation of the supplied wicks.  I use a foot long piece of soft wire with a fold for a hook at one end, fold the wick in half, and pull the wick up through the wick tube from the bottom.  The height of the wick above the top plate is irrelevant at this point.  It is important to note on the photo at left the raised outer ring around the wicks and the raised inner section - those raised sections are the guides for proper, level wick trimming.

View of the wicks pulled through the wick tubes. Note the wicks protruding above the top - above the trim guides as shown in the photo above.  At this point the wicks can be manually pulled down from underneath until the tops are all level with the trim guides.  After the initial wick installation, when the top of the wicks become ragged or coated with tar, the wicks are pulled up one at a time.  Then sturdy shears or scissors are laid flat across the wick guides and the top of the wicks snipped off.  It actually takes very little time to trim the wicks.

At left is a view of the wick raising mechanism upside down, wicks installed.  The beauty of a multi wick stove is in those wicks.  All wicks become ragged with use.  Expensive wicks must then be thrown out.  But the long wicks used in this stove need only have 1/4" snipped off the top of a wick after extensive use - and there are a lot of quarter inches in those long wicks!  When new wicks are eventually needed, they can be purchased OEM wicks...or strands from a cotton mop.  With a multi-wick stove you need never be out of wicks!

As with all kerosene powered equipment, the Butterfly #2487 should be broken in for a couple of hours by burning it in a location with draft but plenty of ventilation.  The catalytic converter ("burner") unit must get hot for awhile to anneal the steel properly and burn off any protective oil.  It is best to do this work at night so you can see the flame height.

All kerosene stoves depend upon an even flame height for maximum efficiency.  If there is a "flame spike" caused by a wick which is too high, the maximum heat output of the stoves is limited because that one flame spike soot up any cooking utensil if it impacts the base.  If you have problems evening the height of the individual wicks, see Stove Maintenance.

It is common sense to use a kerosene stove near some ventilation, and not move the stove while lighted and hot.