Picture of Pocket-Size Oil Lamp
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Yes! Score! Free mini-shampoo bottles from that cheap hotel! Err, now what do I do with them?
Why, make lamps of course!

This is a lamp which will burn many oils (Canola Oil - A couple dollars at the grocery store for more than you'll ever need, and free in the kitchen - is my personal favorite). It packs down tiny to slip into your pocket yet will give you SIX hours of a bright flame which is, according to my highly scientific method (holding my hand and friend's hands over different flames), much hotter than a wax candle.

No parts that can break if used properly.... I hear of people trying to pry things with their knife, but "Gee, I bet this lamp will be a great expedient anvil!" isn't likely to be heard, so theory makes this design unbreakable....

Neat things:
-If a small candle can warm up a snowcave as much as 20 degrees this should be able to do better :)
-Oil of this sort will either not evaporate or do so at an extremely slow rate... No, "Whoops, should have screwed that cap on tighter"
-Flame Size is adjustable from a monster you could probably cook with too a tiny even flame which will last a loongg while.
-The viscosity of the oil is such that if you knock this over, you have a generous gracer period before oil starts getting everywhere.
-Oil burns, NOT the wick (obvious, but perhaps some weren't sure)

~This involves fire, don't burn yourself, others, or things which may harm others if burned.
~Don't eat the small parts, you could choke on them.
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mdblocher2 months ago

Other possible bottles - Tabasco Sauce, or nail polish bottles.

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce bottle for a larger one.

Emmit_Nelson2 months ago

Would old spent Co2 cartridges be a suitable replacement for a shampoo bottle? They're metal so it wouldn't melt from the heat generated.

Just to warn anyone that I used soybean oil (Wesson "vegetable" oil), and a film canister for this. I made two, and left them burning outside (testing, and soybean oil reeks!!!) The wrench bit heated up and ten minutes later, I go outside and they both have sunken into the melted plastic mess along with oil. Don't use plastic! It heats up and melts, a super great fire hazard! Good thing I tested outside, I would have not had a computer to write this on, as my house would be rubble.

Applying fire to plastic causes it to melt.

Imagine that.

Just curious, who would make a homemade oil burning lamp light it inside their home and walk away leaving it unattended? Nobody that's who. I just don't understand where the hazard was and how you saved your house from becoming rubble???

dwalker361 year ago

One better, you could use a small metal container... such as a the new coke bottle that is aluminum.. or an small flask....


Thanks, great idea

MrE1 year ago

So all these questions and the fact that this is made from plastic is answered in my ible.


I made a lamp that will do all the things you want and does not melt, it uses a fiberglass wick so the sick does not burn and has it's own lighter. I hope you check it out and please leave a comment. Not to steal anyone else's thunder, just thought I would throw a little LIGHT on the subject.

SnipeMeNot1 year ago
Is there away to adjust flame on the go?
Interesting idea, but beware, a famous radio personality was once arrested for suspicion of having a "molotav" for making an oil lamp from a small glass jar. If you need sockets (for projects or for actually using wrenches) try old hardware stores and pawn shops. Sometimes they'll have "bargain bins" full of mismatched sockets where you can buy them individually.
Fabulous. Thank you.
Boogy man3 years ago
Neat cool ;) see yall later
lusbyjeff5 years ago

been looking for paraffin oil alternatives and it seems that canola and olive are the way to go.

can these be used in a regular "store bought" oil lamp without much hassle? just fill er up and go? or more to consider than that?

can it be used in the oil burning candles or would that be a no go. have read somewhere that the smaller wicks won't work with veggie oils.

sharlston5 years ago
i made one like this and based on this so faved and 5 stars

the bottle i used was 30ml and it lasted eight years ago before i knocked it over and even then it wasnt even nearly empty so this is great
i mean 8 hours
or add copper sulfate for a colored flame!!!! cool! FIRE!!!
hehehe i like the little shampoos too! my mom was at a fancy hotel and she got me pretty much half a backpack full of soaps, conditioners , lotions, body washes and a few the hotel trinkets! but the point is they have little aluminum caps and they would probably work great for this project!
can you rig it up w/ the ignition of the old lighters, by old lighters I mean the thing that turn and then it will spark, like the flint or something
yes you should like a zippo?
This is a really awesome 'ible i gonna make one out of a pill bottle.
Thrixx428 years ago
I made an oil lamp that's a little different from this design. I took a wierd single- serving maple syrup bottle from a hotel breakfast. (its like a 1-10th scale real syrup bottle made of clear glass). I just used a piece of tin foil instead of a socket and some doubled up twine. My problem is, it always dies down after about 5 minutes, even when its completely full of canola oil, and I think it's the wick. What do you recommend for a good, small wick?
CanDo (author)  Thrixx428 years ago
You can try: border of towels, paper towels, toiletpaper/tissue, old t-shirts, jeans, etc. Just experiment, good luck :)
which you canalso get ftom hotels...hehehe
CanDo (author)  Thrixx428 years ago
Also meant to mention - have you ensured that the wick is completely saturated with oil? Wait an hour or so and try again, if not the material simply isn't suitable.
pyro13 CanDo8 years ago
i use rolled up cotton ball for a wick, because it burns better, and it can double as a firestarter in the wild, also i add salt 2 my oil to make the flame brighter and hotter
there's nothing quite like srealing everything not nailed down from hotels, eh?
blodefood7 years ago
The canola oil is good as it is a lot safer than kerosene or alcohol. Non-toxic too!. I think that a vegetable oil lamp should be a shorter wider container. Depending up on wick thickness and depth of container it gets harder for it to pull up cooking oil from the bottom of the container as it is heavier than kerosene or lamp oil.
With this you could probly power a dry cleaner bag hot air ballon bettter than candels.
Charles IV7 years ago
That's awesome man I gotta make we a bunch of these.
JoeyJaroz7 years ago
i made like 3 but instead of the socket bits i used tin foil they are SOOOO useful
Most dollar stores carry a set of sockets. 10 for a buck where I live. GOD I LOVE DOLLAR STORES!
or even use the metal bit of a smaller light bulb. just and idea
mkamchin7 years ago
sweet... i want to make one of these!
you could roll the soda can metal around the bottle and duct tape it in a tube that will slide up/down the bottle. LONG LIVE DUCT TAPE!
unidyne8 years ago
Prisoners have been known to make items like this out of small shampoo bottles, pudding cups and yogurt containers, and using aluminum foil as the lid, a shoelace or woven string as the wick and baby oil as the fuel.
i made one of these not to long ago but when ever i put the cap one the socket goes in and i cant get if out.
CanDo (author)  FireKicksAss8 years ago
Did you make the part shown here made with copper wire? This prevents the socket from falling in...
you can do this with film canisters too
Vendigroth8 years ago
oh i like this. I'll have to make a few, they look lke a great light
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