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DIY oil lamps


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#1 Hippie3

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:41 PM

Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp

By Deanna Duke
If you live in an area that frequently experiences power outages due to hurricanes, high winds and other storms, one of the things you want to have on hand during storm season is backup lighting. Candles are a sure bet, but they don’t put out much light and — if you want to choose options made from renewable, organic materials — beeswax and soy candles can get mighty expensive.
There are hand-crank and battery-powered lanterns, but what if you don’t already have one on hand when a power outage strikes? The same problem exists if you’re looking for a kerosene or other oil-style lamp. So, what do you do during an emergency for light? How about something that is easy to acquire, inexpensive and gentle on the environment?
The answer is you can make your own olive oil lamp. You don’t need much in the way of equipment and if you don’t have olive oil, you can replace it with other types of cooking oil — or any kind of liquid fat or grease in a pinch. However, I must warn you that while olive is a 99 percent pure renewable fuel that won’t produce smoke or odor, I can’t vouch for canola or corn oil as being smoke-free or that it won’t make the house smell like burnt popcorn.
Making your lamp is relatively easy, and most likely you will have many of the materials on hand already. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A wide-mouthed glass jar (a quart-size wide-mouthed canning jar works really well)
  • A short length of flexible steel wire (1 1/2 or 2 times the height of the jar)
  • A wick
  • Olive oil
Putting Together the Lamp


  • Form one end of the steel wire into a long hook, about the same height as the jar. This hook holds the wire on the jar and doubles as a handle to pull the wick up for lighting. (See photos in the Image Gallery.)
  • Take the other end of the wire and wrap it into a coil, creating a wick stand about an inch or two tall that sits on the bottom of the jar.
  • Pinch the top of the metal coil onto about 2 inches in length of wick so that about a quarter inch or less of the wick is sticking up above the wire coil. Any longer and the wick will smoke. The other end of the wick will be soaking in the olive oil.
  • Add enough olive oil to your jar so that the level is just under where the wick is pinched by the wire. Any higher and you risk putting out the lamp with the oil.
How the Lamp Works

The olive oil is drawn up the wick where it vaporizes and gets burned by the flame. A few ounces of oil will burn for several hours, so if you are concerned about the cost, it is much cheaper than most candles. If you can find lampante oil (olive oil not suitable for eating, but for burning), you can save money by buying that instead of culinary olive oil.
Want to get fancy with your olive oil lamp? You can infuse your olive oil with herbs, spices or essential oils for a more scented experience.
Olive oil lamps have been used for thousands of years and people have relied on oil lamps in general up until the last few generations. They are reliable, plus they burn bright and long. The benefit of olive oil is that if the lamp gets knocked over, it stops burning because it has a high flash point, meaning that it’s not a very flammable material. As a result, an olive oil lamp is far safer than a candle or kerosene lantern. If you are having problems with it smoking when you blow it out, use wet fingers to put out the flame, or just douse it with the oil in the jar.
Notes on Materials

One of the benefits of using a canning jar is that, when the oil lamp is not in use, you can put a canning lid on top for storage. A wide-mouthed pint jar will also work well, you just need to adjust the size of the wick holder.
For your wick, you can use 100 percent cotton string or twine and salt it to ensure that it burns long. To salt your wick, take your cotton twine, put it in a bowl with a little water and then cover with table salt. Squeeze it dry and let it dry overnight, or until it is no longer damp.
If you need or want your lamp to emit more light, try using a braided, flat wick (a half inch or narrower), adjusting the way the wire supports this kind of wick by crimping it to accommodate the extra girth. You can buy flat wicks from stores that carry supplies for oil lamps (such as Lehman’s). Or, you can cut up an old 100 percent cotton tea towel into strips and use that instead.



#2 seedlessstinky1

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:44 PM

:bow:

Thank you sir. Me old house would love some.....:rasta:

#3 firerat

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:44 PM

Hip, great idea man! :eusa_clap

Considering the direction things are heading for the country, we should have a survival skill forum.

Just a thought.

#4 rocketman

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:50 PM

definite archive material.

it would be nice to seperate this useful information of how to live off the land or independantly from modern conveniencies.

a new forum of home made or how to tips and tricks on living independantly would be awesome imho. Your recipes and ideas are jumbled in lifestyles currently, and are things one wouldnt normally search for on a site like this one, but if we had a forum to peruse we would get more input and ideas.

#5 firerat

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:53 PM

definite archive material.

it would be nice to seperate this useful information of how to live off the land or independantly from modern conveniencies.

a new forum of home made or how to tips and tricks on living independantly would be awesome imho. Your recipes and ideas are jumbled in lifestyles currently, and are things one wouldnt normally search for on a site like this one, but if we had a forum to peruse we would get more input and ideas.



Yes Yes Yes!!

Oh man I would be sooooo into that!!

#6 Ras Asad

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 04:21 PM

sweet thread Hipp!!! :bow:
I was jus thinking about these last night,
and here's this thread.
thanks man, :love:

#7 johnnydigital

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 04:23 PM

Very nice indeed!! Olive oil burns pretty bright too!!

#8 mister

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:38 AM

definite archive material.
it would be nice to seperate this useful information of how to live off the land or independantly from modern conveniencies.
a new forum of home made or how to tips and tricks on living independantly would be awesome imho. Your recipes and ideas are jumbled in lifestyles currently, and are things one wouldnt normally search for on a site like this one, but if we had a forum to peruse we would get more input and ideas.



i have to third this. ive learned so much recently from you hip, and many others on leading a self sustaining life. please, keep the knowledge flowing!

please consider opening a sub-forum dedicated to this, many here will appreciate greatly from it. never know what you might learn!

#9 thatgreenthumb

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

thanks hip for the new self-sufficiency section. Its been on my mind for weeks now. Im glad to find a consolidated source of good information from all you lovely peeps. Ill probably be stuck this section reading for awhile.

Edited by thatgreenthumb, 02 July 2009 - 11:56 AM.
spelling


#10 zodd

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:19 AM

love this self sufficiency concept. its what ive always been about, so to my question will olive oil work in my already home made oil lamp thats currently used for mycology. my set up is a basic cotton wool wick inside a small tester pot jam jar filled with methylated spirits.

#11 Hippie3

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:49 AM

should work,
might need to change wicks to feed the oil,
watch for residues.

#12 rocketman

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:41 PM

:bow::bow::bow:

:heart:

#13 Guest_lost_onabbey_rd_*

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:48 AM

pretty cool..
personally i have found that hemp string makes a damn good wick. it burns cooler then cotton so that you don't end with that chard tip on the wick that always breaks off and shortens the wick to an almost unusable size

i do have a question though, how would one go about making usable lamp oil from lard?

#14 Frequency

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:07 AM

Thanks hip! Very valuable information and easy to remember!

#15 toadshroom

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:07 AM

pretty cool..
personally i have found that hemp string makes a damn good wick. it burns cooler then cotton so that you don't end with that chard tip on the wick that always breaks off and shortens the wick to an almost unusable size

i do have a question though, how would one go about making usable lamp oil from lard?



I did a quick (absolutely NOT exhaustive) search on google and all I came up with was the Ukrainians turning lard into diesel...However.... and I could be wrong, so try it out before your power goes out, but is seems like if you have your vessel for the lamp ( mason jar, what the F ever) fill it with lard, put a wick in it and set it on fire. It appears you should get the lard in liquid state to begin with, letting the wick soak up the fuel. It will turn back to a solid form, but from the heat of the flame on the wick, I would assume it would melt the lard back down to liquid state, at least enough to keep the wick supplied with a fuel source. So, get your container, fill it with liquid (heated) lard, insert your wick and light the baby. The lard will convert back to a solid or semi-solid state when the wick is not lit, but once the wick has burnt for a little while the top layer of lard will liquify and re"liquidate" the wick, giving it more fuel to burn.....I'm no expert and I'm sure there are many many people on this site that could give better techs on this, but think about it....cavemen made animal fat lamps and torches...did they have better technology than you or I? No, they did not. Whether my idea would work or not, i don't know, but honestly, it has to be a simple procedure, it's been used forever

#16 Hippie3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:24 PM

There were many types of lamps burning lard oil, incorporating different devices for overcoming the chief fault of this illumination: its tendency not to flow freely. One of the most interesting lard-oil lamps was the canting font or English student lamp, which had a font that tilted so that the wick might be kept immersed in the oil. The pair of lamps used by Noah Webster while compiling his dictionary were of this type. They were of tin with corrugated metal reflectors.


Posted ImageA Lard-Oil Lamp: One of a pair used by Noah Webster while he was compiling his dictionary. Made of tin, they have tilting fonts to keep the wick thoroughly immersed in the lard oil which did not flow too freely.

#17 Hippie3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:42 PM

btw you'll likely need to build your own if you don't want to spend hundred$ on an antique from Civil War era-
use tin as conducts heat to melt lard,
wide wick and shallow oil tray.
btw
if you do opt to buy one,
the whale oil lamps will also burn lard oil.

The heavy oils, including olive, other vegetable type oils, and whale oil, will not travel up wicks very far, and even then, the wicks must be looser woven than kerosene wicks. The way this problem was solved before kerosene was available was using either a gravity or pump system to feed the oil to the burners, or burners were designed that had tubes, rods, or other methods, of heating the fuel so once it was heated it would burn well. These lamps need small fonts to help with this (whale oil lamp fonts are tiny!) and the top of the wick was not very far up from the top of the font. Old whale oil lamps or lard oil burning "Solar" lamps are of this type. These lamps have a tendancy to not burn terribly well until the oil does get heated up.


cf.
http://thelampworks.com/lw_hugh.htm
for cheaper replicas

#18 Hippie3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:24 PM

You enclose the lard in a natural canvas bag tightly, and put it into a press and collect the liquid from it. The liquid, of course, is the lard oil.

btw
believe the lard must first be heated to like 45*F to granulate it
before pressing out the lard oil.

#19 Hippie3

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:26 PM

Ukrainians turning lard into diesel


how'd they manage THAT ?
it'd be useful info to know.

#20 Irishlion

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:38 PM

how'd they manage THAT ?
it'd be useful info to know.



http://www.russiatod...into_fuel_.html


and heres a decent article on biodiesel

http://www.russiatod...into_fuel_.html



http://business.time...icle1662851.ece


From The Times

April 17, 2007


America tries to beef up fuel production with left-over lard




James Doran in New York


div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c;} Americans are often criticised for guzzling too much gas and eating too much fat, but one of the biggest meat producers in the United States is turning the tables, with plans to make fuel for lorries out of left-over lard.
Tyson foods, one of the biggest producers of pork, beef and chicken in America, has teamed up with ConocoPhillips, the oil company, to make diesel fuel out of rendered animal fats.
The plan is the latest move by big business in America to find an alternative to Middle Eastern oil to fuel the country’s massive appetite for petrol and diesel.
Tyson said yesterday that it would send rendered chicken, pork and beef fat from one of its Texas meat-processing plants to be turned into fuel at a ConocoPhillips refinery near by. “This fuel will contribute to America’s energy security and help to address climate change concerns,” the companies said in a joint statement last night.
The lard-based diesel will be made in only one refinery for the time being, but with improvements to other facilities Conoco and Tyson hope to be able to produce about 175 million gallons a year.
However, even this seemingly large volume of diesel derived from animal fat will make only a tiny dent in America’s annual petrol requirements. The nation’s drivers consume more than 873 million gallons of fuel a day.
In all, Americans consume more than 20 million barrels of oil per day, with almost half of that accounted for by petrol and diesel used in cars and lorries.
The United States, the biggest consumer of oil in the world, produces only slightly more than five million barrels of oil per day and imports a net total of more than 12.5 million barrels per day of petroleum products, mostly from Saudi Arabia, according to the latest data from the US Department of the Environment.
Tyson produces about 300 million gallons of beef, pork and chicken fat each year and the company hopes that a little more than half of it will be made into diesel. The meat company sells its fat to cosmetics, soap and pet food manufacturers.
Producing one 42-gallon barrel of renewable diesel requires about one barrel of animal fat, which is derived, on average from two cows, sixteen pigs or 1,300 chickens. Until now alternative fuel production has focused on ethanol derived from plants.




Heres a really good link for making bio diesel.

http://www.journeyto...iesel_make.html




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