Oil (Pop-Soda Can) Lantern





Introduction: Oil (Pop-Soda Can) Lantern

This is an instructable of how to make a oil lantern out of a couple soda cans.

Step 1: Tools and MaterialsW

This is a list of recommended tools and materials. Two soda cans, scissors, pliers, pocket knife, glue, and wick material.

Step 2: Step 1 - First Cuts

First step is to cut the cans, you will be using the bottoms of the cans mated together to form a fuel reservoir and burner. The first image is for reference. You can make the reservoir larger but the larger it is the harder it is to get the fuel to wick unless it is a thin fuel. Using the pocket knife puncture the cans about an inch from the bottom and use scissors to finish cut and to clean up the edges.

Step 3: Step 2 - Building Burner

Punch a slit into the center of one can bottom using a pocket knife. Then using the thumbtack punch holes around the slit to serve as fill holes. Be sure to punch at least one hole on the upper rim to work as a vent when filling. For the wick I used an old sock that I cut into a strip and folded over.

Step 4: Step 3 - Mating Cans

Now force the two cans together my inserting one into the other. Working with this short of cans with usually cause some crinkling but that is okay. Beware that when the bottom can rim meets the top of the other can it will usually cause the bottom can to rip. Next add glue to the mating rim to seal be sure to get glue into the crinkled spots. I use gorilla glue because it is strong and expands in the cracks. I have also used JB weld on similar projects. Now the burner/reservoir is complete.

Step 5: Step 4 - Building Reflector/Hanger

Using the pliers bend the pop tab lower edge up so that you can keep the pushed down tab in a more neutral position. Then cut the window out to make the reflector. Add glue to the lower edge and a piece of clear tape(used to hold the reflector in place while glue dries). Now let the lantern dry overnight, remove tape, add fuel, and you are ready to go. Beware that the reflector/hanger gets really hot!

Step 6: Final Product

Here is the finished product.



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33 Discussions

I wonder, couldn't you just cut a window out of one can, leaving room at the bottom for the fuel reservoir, and cut the bottom only off of the second can to make the top of the reservoir? Then you wouldn't have to attach the top to it, it will be all one piece of the same can....

1 reply

Possibly. Put your idea into action and prove to us its possible. Thanks for the comment! Go make something.

Iv messed around with a ton of oil lamp designs but you are a genius! id love to expand on this design and send my updates your way, this is a step in the direction I want to go with my designs but I would also include some way of giving the flame a little bit of shaping and draft like a kerosene lamp! on the other hand this "dead flame" design is great as a camp light or home light and seems nearly leak proof!

1 reply

this was done with a sock but just braiding beef twine (find it at a grocery store) works the best as a simple no fuss home made wick and it will absorb vegetable oil sufficiently and gives enough wick size for decent light without a smoky flame.

great work bro...mind if I alter it and post as one of my own.....ill give you credit for the idea

Could you put the reflector between the two halves of the reservoir?
Or (harder) could it be a one piece with the bottom of the reservoir? like: you cut a square window in a whole popcan, cut and prepare the top part of the reservoir, place the top part of the reservoir inside the window cut into the other tin and slide it to the bottom? saves one can

wow! good job my friend! very well made instructable. very detailed

I use WVO(Waste vegetable oil) or SVO(Straight vegetable oil). However, It is a pretty standard wick lantern so I suppose you could use parafin, kerosene, or any type of lamp fuel. Thanks for the great question!

Choice of fuel depends on smoke pruduction, avoid gasoline of course. Keep the wick well trimmed or the tank will get too hot and fuel will boil I wold fill the tank with steel wool to reduce fuel accidental pouring as i did in alcohol hobos stoves. Inserting the wick in one or two inches of any suitable metallic pipe or winding the wick with some copper wire or wrapping aluminium foil could help to control the flame. The whole thing once lighted gets very hot as you can easily find out.

keep the wick trimmed or the screen will dark, melt and burn quite easily , plastic fumes are a health hazard. As in middle age metal wind proof blind lanterns it coul be possible to cut small triangular holes, one cut on two sides, the free vertex of the lap downward and lifted a bit so that little light comes out but little wind gets inside

Could possibly melt in the one demonstrated here, it gets very hot. If you were to lower the wick enough I think a plastic screen would work.

there is always that possibility but i have used one with a tea candle lantern made out of pepsi can and it has worked perfectly for a year now

Worked quite well. I think I made a to large container, since my lantern stop burning after a while, even though it's still quite a lot of oil in it.