Reservoir dog

Posted by @ 1:06 pm on Tuesday 8th July, 2008.

The first prototype fuel tank is now undergoing leak-testing.

Like most DIY gadgets, it's a doddle to make if you've access to all the bits and the kit to put them together. I'll take this opportunity to thank my good friend Nick, who lets me use his business premises and kit whenever I ask, in return for beer. Cheers, Nick!

The ingredients are as follows:

  • 1-off 185g tin of tuna flakes (this size will hold 200ml of fuel)
  • 1-off M8 rivnut and installing-tool
  • 1-off 11mm steel washer
  • 1-off M8 bolt (this prototype uses a steel bolt, I'm trying to scrounge a suitable plastic one)
  • Some solvent-resistant plastic film to make 2-off 11mm and 1-off 8mm sealing-rings (I used the flexible pouring-spout from a drum of thinners)

The method is as follows:

  • Remove the label from the tin
  • Use a trepanning drill-bit to make an 11mm diameter hole in the side of the tin. Standard-tipped HSS drill-bits mangle the tin
  • Remove the tuna, a straw's good for this. This is the most time-consuming part of the job.
  • If you don't mind the taste of swarf, eat the tuna
  • Wash out the tin
  • Put an 11mm sealing-ring, then the washer, then another 11mm sealing-ring onto the shank of the rivnut
  • Push this lot into the hole then use the installing-tool to fix the rivnut and bits into the hole
  • Fit the 8mm sealing-ring to the bolt to make a plug
  • Fill, seal and test

The good news is that you can't just pour out the contents - you have to gently squeeze together the top and bottom of the tin to pump out the fluid. Short controlled bursts, as the saying goes.

The bad news is that you can't get the last few dregs (approx 10ml) out of the tin, due to the depth to which the rivnut is inserted.


Right, now you've stopped laughing, here's what it looks like:

I'll let you know the test-results as and when. So far, it's looking OK.

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18 Responses to “Reservoir dog”

  1. Not a titter from me. I am titterless. Stunning, dude, absolutely stunning.

    200ml, that's about 7 hot meals. A long weekend.

  2. BG! says:



    I can do without any liability issues.

    Prototypes will be given away if they pass the testing programme.

    I'll assume that you're at the top of the list. 🙂

  3. BG! says:

    No probs, Duncan, you can have MkII, with upgraded seals and plug (MkI will be tested to destruction). I'm not sure when I'll get around to the next build, hopefully it'll be next week.

  4. BG! says:

    Meths/Duncan 😀

    What's up, Mike? Spotted a problem?

    Or do you want me to put your name on the list of folk who want one?

  5. Mike Bell says:

    Very kind offer! I have been using one of those little kids lunch pack bottles, Panda Pops or something like that. Very tough , and have the little pull up/push down closure to seal the bottle.
    If you walk around Liverpool [European City of Culture 2008] you can normally find several thousand of them rolling around the streets on a good day. ❗

  6. Kevin says:

    Really neat idea, I'd never come across these fittings before but why have you placed the fitting on the side instead of the top. If it is going to sit in a cooking pot then you could have the hole at the top and less prone to leak and, as it is a flat surface rather than curved, it should be easier to make a good seal. Just interested in case I should try and make my own. Cheers

  7. BG! says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I just adapted the old water-canteen design.

    As for having the fitting at the top, does that really matter? I mean, if it doesn't leak, any way up will do.

  8. Shuttleworth says:

    I was thinking about this one the other day. In theory it'd be possible to get an empty 100g (or 250g) gas canister and drill out the valve, then make a liquid tight cap to screw on the existing thread. We know these fit in most pots, so it'd be just the right size.

  9. alan.sloman says:

    Or you could take a peek at Fenlander's post to see his sexy meths bottle (if that is what turns you on!) I seem to remember buying weedkiller in bottels like this too a few years ago, so it should be a pretty robust bottle. the neat thing is that it measures out the deliveru of the meths nto your stove: Take a look!

  10. Alan Sloman has suggested that you may like to have a look at a fuel bottle photo on my Blog (
    Hope it may be useful

  11. no banjo says:

    I'd love one of the salmon tin meth carriers. Please contact me if it looks like you may have one that is looking for a good home.
    Kind regards and thanks in anticipation
    No Banjo

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