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How To Make An Eagle Solar Cooker

Posted by Jonathan

The Eagle Solar Cooker
The eagle solar cooker has been my favorite solar cooker to make so far.

Even though there was a little measuring involved, and I messed up when making some of the bottom panels for the cooker, there was no protractor needed, and putting the panels together was very easily done with the duct tape.

I also like how the eagle collapses easily (though the Solar Cookit is supposed to be able to collapse easily too, I didn't figure out how to get it to collapse.

Here are the pieces you will need:
pieces you will need for an eagle solar cooker

Here's the instruction sheet for building your own Eagle Solar Cooker
How to build an eagle solar cooker

Materials List

  • Cardboard (or another material with a reflective surface)

  • Aluminum foil (if you're using cardboard)

  • Glue (if you're using aluminum foil)

  • Razor blade knife

  • Measuring tape

  • Duct tape

  • Cutting surface (optional)

  • Board (for folding against (optional))

  • Scoring tool (if you decide to use printing sheets or sheet metal for your cooker).

Background on The Eagle Solar Cooker:
Manda designed "The Eagle", based on the delightful CooKit, with Americans in mind.

Manda is the creator and sponsor of the 2007 Solar Cooker Web Site Contest.

She's also sponsoring the 2008 solar cooker web site contest HERE, which we have entered, and you can too! (When you do, let them know you heard about the contest from GreenJoyment - a little good word never hurts.)

The eagle solar cooker's initial pattern is made out of American standard 8 1/2" X 11" pieces of paper. This method lends versatility: the Eagle can either be made out of one large cardboard sheet or pieced together out of smaller sections. (It gets its name from the vaguely Thunderbird shape when flat.) http://www.thegenieslamp.com/solarcooking/talzcook.bmp http://www.thegenieslamp.com/solarcooking/talzclam1.pdf

Transcription of this video:
Welcome back to Solar Cooker Week! We are here actually in my backyard, Carrie's and my backyard, and we're going to be talking today about a solar collector, a solar cooker called the Eagle. The whole idea around the Eagle is that it's supposed to be very simple for people in America because what it does is....... our sheets of paper the US is 8.5 x 11 where in Europe they're a different measurement. So it's supposed to be very simple to make this just using an outline of a piece of paper.

What I have for this, obviously you see me holding something here, this is a little flat screwdriver and I'm going to use this for scoring the material. This is a razorblade knife and a roll of duct tape; yes, maybe not a hundred percent environmentally-friendly, but very, very useful. And a tape measure, there will be a couple places in this project that we'll need to use a tape measure. And then we have this material, this is a throw-away from a printing company. Now you can probably go to any printing company in a city with more than 50,000 people and they will probably have a sheet like this; they're probably have one that they misprinted or that they just weren't able to use and you'll probably be able to get it for free. It's going to take two sheets of this size to make what we need because we need basically 10 pieces that are 8.5x11 and then we'll cut those down. Then the other thing we have is a cutting surface and that's it! That's basically everything we need for this project.

This is 35 inches by something, but it will make 8 sheets that are 8.5x11; and you'll see me doing that and then I'll be back in just a second.

Ok, so you can probably tell now that I'm in different clothes and that's because we had to run actually when I was doing this the day before so now I'm back and ready to wrap this up!

It took me about 20 minutes to cut all of these out and I now have ten of these sheets that are 8.5 inches by 11 inches which works really well for us because we're used to measuring things in inches. Now what I'm going to do is just follow my instructions; very, very simple as far as getting these things put down.

It's a little cooler today and I'm absolutely getting chewed by mosquitoes. I just got bit about 8 times in 4 minutes. So we're going to do the rest of this project inside.

One thing you might also find helpful is a board, something with a straight edge on it so that you can actually cut against it. The board also works really well for folding against.
And once again, be very careful while you're doing this because you can get little slivers of the metal in you.

5 minutes later .... (I messed up)

Ok, we're going to start again. On the counter you can see that I've got this panel that I cut for this side and I cut the other side the same way - while I should have cut it the other direction so that it would have been correct if I have flipped it this way and then cut it the other way. I really could save myself a whole lot of time if I measured twice and cut once as my Dad used to teach me ... thanks Dad! Yeah....

So we also have the same challenge on cutting one piece for this side. Now it ends up .... I mean both sides end up being the right size here - this is kind of a challenge over here. So what I'm going to instead of remaking those pieces is I'm actually going to cover them in foil just like you would do if you were using just regular cardboard - I don't have to remake them that way. This little crack right here? That's going to be fixed with duct tape!

So it's wearing over and over and over, back and forth with the razor blade, back and forth. I am through them now so you're getting blinded by this panel and how much light it gives off, which is awesome! It shows that it will actually put off a great reflection when the sun shines on it.

Now we have all of the pieces we need for making our Eagle Solar Cooker. I'm going to have to cover this one in aluminum foil and I'm going to have to cover this one in aluminum foil. Alright, so this is just some old aluminum foil that we have from something we cooked - I don't even know what it's from. But I'm just going to lay it out here over the top of this and there, now the piece is all covered. Now it's going to be better if you can smooth it out a little bit so the reflective surface will be a little better but on the other hand, I'm putting fingerprints all over it which is making the reflective surface not as good. So there we have a perfectly reflective piece and now, for the 8th wonder of the universe, the magic of duct tape!

Made all of these seams so once again it will hold together. I think I did it! That's what it's supposed to look like; so I'm going to tip this forward here so you can actually see it - our solar cooker. Our Eagle Solar Cooker - and thanks to the man for inventing this Eagle Solar Cooker. It was relatively simple and I'm going to go grab a pot and we can see what that looks like.

In all of the instructions I've read about solar cookers, they tell you to find a "cooking vessel" - "make sure you've got a good cooking vessel"....like a pot?! Ok, I'll find a good pot. Well, as you saw in another video, we went to Goodwill and found some old stuff and some old pots. This is actually an old peanut butter jar that we painted black and then we scraped the side of it so that we can actually see inside -- hopefully that's the idea - see inside when it's boiling so that we can tell if the water's actually boiling or not. Just our little "litmus test" to see if the thing actually works. So that's what we use.

So as I understand it, here's how this works. You take the jar -- or the "cooking vessel" and you take some sort of wire frame and you put it inside of a cooking bag. Now this is just a standard oven cooking bag. Apparently there's other kinds of bags you can use, but these were cheap and easy to find and that's what they said would work so that's what we're using. So you take the wire frame, I showed you how I make these in another video -this just an old tomato cage wire. As I understand it, you don't really want this, the cooking part, to touch the bag. You want as much air space around whatever you're using for cooking as possible. And then hopefully your jar stays up, or your cooking vessel, or your pot, or whatever it is and you want to make sure that you've got a good solid base for it. Then fill the space around the jar with air ... and there it is and it's set to cook!

You can basically put whatever you want in that jar, but you going to put something like you'd put in a crock pot. But we're going to find out if these things actually work in a later video. So make sure you visit the link at the end of this video if you're not already there and see what happens when we compared, side- by-side, multiple solar cookers on the same day to see what happens and which one's best.

Hope you've enjoyed this video; it might take you an hour, an hour and a half the first time you do it. But, if you get free cooking out of it, it's probably worth the hour, the hour and a half to invest in to trying it out. So thanks for watching the video and make sure you check out the next one because we're going to show you how this thing actually works and if it actually cooks something.

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