Hangable Jam Jar Oil Lamp

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This is a really easy-to-make oil lamp which produces almost no smoke and can be hung from a tent pole or tree branch. It is also very portable and you can carry the oil and source of ignition with you. This is an incredibly fuel efficient lamp because it provides light and a surprising amount of heat but can last around 150 hours on 1 litre of fuel. So you could run it 24/7 for a week and it would only cost less than a pound!!! Or it's completely free if you recycle oil that you have already used to cook with.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To make the Jam Jar Vegetable Oil Lamp you will need:
A Jam Jar
A Jam Jar Lid (can be used to smother the flame out)
A Tea light
String (Natural fibres like cotton or it will produce poisonous fumes)
Vegetable Oil (or any kind of oil like sunflower oil)
Skewer (or other sharp pointy thing)

Step 2: Making the Floating Platform

To make the floating platform in the oil lamp:
1. Empty out the tea light so you are just left with the aluminium "cup"
2. Poke a small hole in the bottom
3. Tie a knot in the string, bigger than the hole you have just made, near the top of your string
4. Put the long end of the string (it should be about 3-5 cm long) through the tea light cup

Step 3: Making the Handle

On most jam jars there is a lip just underneath the bit where the lid screws on. This is where you have to tie on a handle, this stops it slipping out when it is hanging from something or you are holding something. To do this you will need a piece of string about 30-40 cm long. Tie one end in a loop around the jam jar underneath the lip then tie the other end back onto the loop.

Step 4: Source of Ignition

If you want to you can now stick (with sellotape) a waterproof match and a striker to the inside of the lid. It has to be a water proof match otherwise the oil may make the head not ignite. In the picture at the beggining there isn't a match or striker in the lid because I always have a lighter with me.

Step 5: Safety Feature

If you are having a party or something where there will be alcohol then you can put in some safety features to stop it getting knocked over and setting things alight. First of all you can pour water into the bottom of the jar and then pour oil on top so that if it is knocked over then the water will put out the flame. You can also use the fact that about 10ml fuel = 1 hrs 30 mins burn time so if the party is expected to last 3 hrs then you should put some water in the bottom of the jar and then pour in 20 ml of fuel. But if the party goes on longer than expected then you can just pour in another 10 ml of oil. These numbers may not be correct for your oil lamp as fuel consumption depends on the height of the flame and the type of oil you are using.

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    19 Discussions

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    Valster

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable!!  I'll be making about 20 of these by summer!

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    SIRJAMES09

    6 years ago on Step 2

    funny names for stuff? in my honest opinion, you're being too nice...

    Here in America, we have some really weird names for stuff....or pronounce things in a weird & off the wall way...Example: laboratory.
    I have always pronounced it the way the British do...why? cuz I have friends from GB. same with glacier.

    I think the British people make more sense than the American people do...maybe it's because they have had a harder life than us Americans, I do not know.

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    SIRJAMES09

    7 years ago on Step 2

    I don't know about England, or Europe, but here in America, you can buy end caps that can be soldered onto copper plumbing pipe....these end caps make awesome holders for tea candles & other types of candles as well.

    we also have drill bits that will drill into & through glass...

    maybe you could drill 2 holes in the jar & then use a small amount of wire to make rings from which cordage could be tied,,,,OR just use wire to hang the jar with....

    These are just ideas, this Yank isn't trying to tell you what to do...

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    I am in the shed!SIRJAMES09

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

    No offence meant, or taken but It funny how some americans seem to see England as almost a third world country! we were here first too!
    we can buy the same stuff here and usually manufacture it here - you just have funny names for the same things ;-)
    Now where's my club... I'll go catch us a hedgehog for tea!... tata!

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    SIRJAMES09

    7 years ago on Step 4

    does England carry them long reach butane lighters that we Americans use for candles & fire places at Christmas time??
    If so, that might be better for lighting this candle/oil burner....

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    SIRJAMES09

    7 years ago on Introduction

    SHALSTON!!! I'm mad at you!! you stole my idea!! LOL

    I was gonna mention that Olive oil burns clean & smells good, BUT SOMEBODY BEAT ME TO IT. LOL

    TY Sharlston, you are so correct about that. :)

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    Stanislaw

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like a solid design... the only concern I have is that the flame looks like it would probably black out the jar with the smoke... is this the case?

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    knektek

    8 years ago on Introduction

    that tealight candle runs for about 5-6 hours! (i tested it out)

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    djr6789

    9 years ago on Introduction

    i just made one like 3 hours ago and its so awesome and its been burning for like 2 hours now!

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    Seth Black

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Greetings. I really like this design. It's simple, straightforward, and is very functionally sound. I am curious as to how tricky it is to: 1. Get the floating platform out the jar, if they oil has only been partially used. 2. Light the wick of the floating platform, and carefully replace it, while still lit, without burning yourself or inadvertently snuffing the flame out. It seems to me that the addition of some sort of floating placement / removal tool would really finish this off, and take it to the next level. Great idea. Great Instructable. Greatly appreciated. :)

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    Scytheon3hitman_kiwi

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Exactly thats the idea the oil gets wicked up the wick (sorry there isn't any other way of explaining it) first and the when the water gets wicked up the wick it puts out the flame

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    hitman_kiwiScytheon3

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Really? I did not know that. Good to know. Sorry for the huge hoopla i made :P Great tutorial anyways.

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    sharlston

    9 years ago on Introduction

    nice idea may i suggest olive oil is better than veggie oil

    =)