Dust free incense burner for stick incense. . Frugal tips techniques and help. Money saving ideas.

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Frugal Dust Free Stick Incense Burner

Seems to make more smoke per stick


Take two bean cans with the lids removed and punch or drill 15 air holes all around each can (see picture below). Drill the holes up about 1 inch from the bottom.

In the top lid (used to be the bottom when it had beans in it) of one of the cans drill a hole exactly in the middle large enough for a stick of incense to go through. Next, drill about 15 evenly space holes all around the the edges and about 1/4 inch in from the edge (see picture below)

Measuring my holes they are about 3/8 inch or .5 cm in diameter. I was using a ruler, not a precision caliper, so they may be slightly smaller---it probably doesn't matter.

Using any tape, cellophane, masking, Magic Mender--it doesn't matter. Tape the open ends of the cans together (being an electronic techy I soldered mine together, but this is not necessary as the cans never get hot and tape works just fine). Now you have a closed ended cylinder with holes in it. Your ready to burn incense.

Put the lit incense stick down through the center hole in the top of the can--incense burner. Lower it just past the incense part and then clip an alligator clip (like the one in the first picture) onto the stick part to hold it in place. Lay the clip sideways as it is shown in the picture. Any clip will work, again being electronics inclined I use what I have available. A metal clip is best because the gets gummed up with smoke residue and is easier to clean than a wooden clothes pin.

Lost your clip? Want to burn some incense anyway? Just bend the incense stick (part with no incense on it) into an L shape and use the leg of the L to support the incense hanging down in the can.

If you burn a lot of incense and the cat knocks over the can, it is not dustless. After burning a lot of incense, the lid becomes tar coated as well as the clip. Take the can outside and rinse out all the dust--don't do it in the sink. The dust is sort of gravely also and may add to an already sluggish drain. Then bring it in the house and soak it in hot soapy water for an hour or so to help clean the inside. This helps keep down the smell of old smoke that sometime develops.

Since I'm not artsy at all, I didn't paint or decorate my incense burner. You could really get creative once you get yours together. If you use contact paper, it will get wet and messy when cleaning, but taped on paper will be easily replaced if wet or damaged. If you use a decorative paper wrap and punch the paper through the holes, trim the paper OUT of the holes so the burning ember inside will never touch a little spec of paper sticking inside the can and start a fire.

[Assembled incense cans]

[Drilled incense can top]

We received a letter from an enthusiastic reader who has taken this idea and made it even better and easier.  It  is fun to hear  from our readers.
Dear Bob and Sharon;
Your dustless incense burner ROCKS!  I just love this idea!  I loved it so much that I made several and decorated them. I am hooked. I have friends saving cans for me now.
I find that my incense seems to make more smoke (like was mentioned) *and* the incense burns right down to the nubbins. Nothing is left.
After some experimentation, I found a simpler way to make them (my husband's drill weighs a ton and I'm a weakling) and they work fantastically. I thought I would share what I came up with in case you would like to use my method.
Rather than drill quite so many holes, I drill only 2. One in the center of the lid on the top for the stick to go into and one in the mid point on the side of the bottom can. I noticed that glass incense burners, which work on the same principal, have only one air hole near the bottom, so I applied the same with the cans. It works well.
Then I take a can opener, (the type that makes triangular shaped holes) and punch in 4 smoke holes, all opposite each other in the lid (top). The smoke holes look decorative this way. :o) I don't poke any holes in the side of the can at all (except for the one air hole near the bottom), only on the lid.
In smaller cans or cans that don't have a lip that the triangular-cut can opener needs in order to work (Campbell soup cans are like that), I hammer in a large nail to make the smoke holes. Nails go into can lids like a hot knife in butter. That's way easier for me than drilling.
I also found that if I take off the "rings"  where the two cans come together,  I get a seamless cylinder. I do this by using my can opener on the side of the can instead of on the top like usual. The edges are extremely sharp, so I use great care when doing this. Then I tape the cans together.
I  poke the holes in the top that need poking and drill the center hole, spray paint the lid, cover the can with brown paper (to get rid of the ridges) and then decoupage tissue paper onto that, then I draw designs with paint pens on the tissue. Then I put a coat of clear enamel to seal the whole thing up and make it look "finished". Taking off the rings was the trick to getting them looking really snazzy. When it's all dry, I drill in the air hole, trim it out and I'm done.
There is a battery or electric can opener somewhere out there, that will cut off the lids, ring included, and leave no sharp edges. I saw it on TV once, I just have to hunt it down.
I also found that a holder for the incense is absolutely not necessary if you bend the stick of the incense, and after inserting the incense into the hole, put the free end of the incense into one of the smoke holes. It's secure. I've walked from room to room with my incense in the can this way and it absolutely didn't move.

I saw your picture and you look like a really nice couple. Thanks for all those wonderful ideas!!!

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