How to Make an Oil Lamp From a Can of Tuna

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Introduction: How to Make an Oil Lamp From a Can of Tuna

Here's how to make an oil lamp out of a can of tuna. It will burn brightly for at least a couple of hours and the tuna isn't wasted either!

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    23 Discussions

    Awesome emergency light, i've used it myself when we lost power here two winters ago (thank god we had gas heating, I may live in west tennessee but it still gets cold here. That year it wasn't unusual to get a negative 5 degree wind chill at night)

    This is one of the best Instructables I have ever seen. Can't wait to try it! And you can even eat the tuna.

    We do a similar thing to make a large quantity of table-top citronella "tiki" torches, using regular soup/veg cans. Whenever you open an old-style can, leave an inch or so attatched, then rinse the can and stack it in your workspace until you've got enough. Pierce the lid with an icepick; I think doing it from underneath improves the wicking, a bit, but makes it slightly more "dangerous" (and of course, keep kids and idiots away from the sharp can edges, too). push a bit of cotton clothesline (enough to reach the bottom of the can and leave a couple inches out. When you fill the can with tiki juice on-site, poke the wick in until there's only about a half-inch out to light.) To improve the safety, add a couple chunks of rock in the bottom so it's harder to blow over. Back when cat-food cans used to need can-openers, we used those; we'd tack 'em to the picnic table with J-B weld and a really short roofing nail on the bottom (or duck tape). We even considered making a chandelier for the picnic shelter, but never got around to it; maybe this year...

    Awesome video once again! I like how you made the items just fade into the video, it looks really cool, I will have to try that when I'm making a video. Thanks for an awesome video, and an awesome video tip!

    1 reply

    Thanks. I actually stumbled on the fading effect by accident - I was just trying to trim the running time down by removing as much redundant footage as possible, but it turned out to work quite well - I might make a feature of it in future videos.

    you should make a remark concening the fact that it has to be tuna packed in oil not water or you will have som idiot struggling for hours tring to light a wet peice of rope while his dinner spoils. but hey it is a neat idea for cooking fish and lighting your way at the same time.

    1 reply

    That's correct - to make an Emergency Light, you need tuna in oil. If you use tuna in brine, it still works, but you end up with an Emergency Dark instead