Instructables

Easy emergency lamp

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Howdy,

Lets make an emergency candle in case the lights go out for a bit.

You will need a Ball jar plus an extra used lid, short half pint.  a Coleman lamp wick, liquid paraffin or mineral oil, a 1/2 wood chisel, and a lamp cover.
 
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Step 1:

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I'm using the ball short half pint jars.  As of yet Congress hasn't repealed the law of gravity.  If you get the regular half pint jars the oil will not be drawn up all the way to the top of the wick as the fuel is used up.  Your flame will get smaller until it goes out with about half the fuel left.  I bought everything but the fuel from Walmart.  Walmart doesn't have paraffin oil.  They have mineral oil which is really pure kerosene.  The paraffin oil produces very little, if any smoke, the mineral oil much more.  The glass covers are lamp shades for a ceiling fan and are used to defuse the light some and protect the flame from drafts and inadvertent touching.  WARNING all part may get hot, the lamp cover very hot!

Step 2:

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First, cut the wick in half as there is enough for two lamps.  Then get out a 1/2 to 3/4 inch wood chisel.  You will need a small block of wood too.

Using the chisel knock a slit into the jar top to make a slit just big enough to pass the wick in.  Make it a little tight.  Too loose and the wick might fall in and oil will leak out if the jar is tipped.

Pass the wick in until only about 1/8 of an inch shows through, that's all the hard part!

Step 3:

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Now fill your jar with oil, screw on the top, let it sit for a few minuets to let the oil rise up and light!

When you want to extinguish the flame use a top from an old jar to cover the flame.

When it's cool place the second top lid over the lid with the wick cut into it and you seal the jar for further use!
BTW : you do not have to cover the wick : paraffin or oil will not evaporate through the wick (unless you let it sit there for a year maybe).
Then again you have to care for the wick by clipping off the charcoaled part as it makes an uneven flame and leads to a disgusting dark smoky flame. However do NOT cut the wick all fresh : you have to leave the small burnt part of the wick on. It got hardened by the heat thus helping to give a non smoky even flame and saving on the wick. So the shape of the wick should be somewhat oval at its tip with a 2 - 3 mm black color. This is not so important with this lamp, with old paraffin lamps that our great-grandparents used it is almost a must. I love paraffin lamps : they leave such a nice warm feeling. I keep one on my boat an in the small space of the cabin it heats it up too !…
Klowder (author)  vincent75201 year ago
I have a cover mostly to keep oil from leaking out if tipped over, and I haven't used my lamps for a while. Hence the 'energency' part so they do need covered. I do have some outside with cintranella oil in them. If not sealed they would slowly evaporate in our SE Texas heat. I also keep one in my bug out bag. I'm working on a way to make a stove attachment for heating water too.
Nice ! …
My goodness the glass shade is upside down !!!…
Paraffin is great too, olive (or any other) oil also !…
Butter works well (but the the smell …)
Klowder (author)  vincent75201 year ago
The shade is more stable this way. If used the other way it falls off at te slightest bump. Trust me, either way it's going to get very hot. I use paraffin oil in mine, except for two outside that I have cintranella oil in.
blodefood1 year ago
You can use unscented baby oil as it is mostly the same type of oil. If you buy the house brand of a drug store, (Shopper's Drug Mart, for example) it should cost less than popular name brands. If you are buying it at the drug store you can compare the price to mineral oil as well.
Klowder (author)  blodefood1 year ago
I'll have to check that out. It depends on what the base oil is. Those are usually some type of vegetable oil. I used the paraffin oil instead of mineral oil( kerosene) because the mineral oil puts out a lot of smoke.
streetrod51 year ago
So easy, you could make one in the dark! Great job - I will be trying this out. I'd suggest using a cold chisel instead of a wood chisel - they're made for cutting metals, and the jar lid won't ruin your chisel.
Klowder (author)  streetrod51 year ago
Thanks, I don't have a cold chisel so I used what I had. Then lid is so thin and I backed it with a block of wood so no worries there.
these look great, thanks for the post.
Klowder (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago
Thanks for your comment. They are very easy to make too.