Vegi oil lamp UPDATE!

Discussion in 'General Survival Discussion' started by OldCootHillbilly, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    I've tried lots a different things fer wicks, stuff that would be easy ta come by in a emergency.

    I think I found a good en this time. Cotton rounds what the woman folk use fer there makeup! I use em fer char cloth to. I get 100 of em fer a buck!

    I just rolled it up tight an clamped it in my wick holder, workin like a charm!
  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Alright ... for us woman folk that don't bother with the makeup ... What the heck is "Cotton rounds"

    Got a picture???

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    cotton rounds ... :google:

    well ... alright then ... thanks for the update!:D
  4. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Here is something I read about and tried and it works really well-cotton crochet string(like for doilys and lace making) if you macrame it into wide flat "friendship" bracelets like the kids make in the rainbow colors,(I use white) and then soak in salt water and dry- burn in the oil lamps. If you made the wick not as thick/wide as one for a lamp it should work fine in your home made oil lamps.
    Here is the type of bracelet that I mean-I would use the candystripe pattern as it is the easiest and make your knots tight!. Just use the crochet cotton instead of embroidery floss. The soaking in very salted water will help them not to not smoke when burning...
    I think I read about making homemade lamp wicks thru Sufficient Self forums. And as I have four or five of the huge big spools of the cotton I decided to try it and they work well and don't smoke at all, but they do need to be trimmed a bit each time you go to relight them. But a huge spool of the cotton should make many, many wicks.
  5. Ponce

    Ponce Well-Known Member

    You guys are still thinking like rich oil in Cuba is worth its weight in gold and most would rather live in the dark than to waste any of it..............the thing to do NOW is to get ready today for the way that you want to live I have.
  6. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

    When we were kids we used the old white cotton shoe laces when nothing else was to be found. They are not very wide but they did work.

    Ponce, If you needed an outside light, say in a work shed or the like, think used motor oil would work as a instead of kerosene or cooking oil? I have dripped it into a wood stove to heat a shop shed before and it works pretty well, smokes quite a bit but it did keep the shed warm when wood was hard to come by.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Hangin' n learnin'

    Don't forget this trick: anything you can use to catch or absorb meat drippings while cooking (if you happen to catch fish or a fatty species of meat in the wild) can be used for a torch or lamp oil. Animal fats produce a lot more btu's than one might think, so if you can't eat the fat for the much needed calories you would need while roughing it by keeping the drippings clean when caught during cooking, you can try to catch the fat drippings on a stick wrapped with rubbed tree bark (sage-brush or whatever wood is available). Note: rubbed meaning broken down by hand (with stones, sticks or whatever other primitive tools you can utilize) into fibrous strands.

    Wrap/roll the material onto a small diameter stick, position under the meat you're spit-roast cooking. Beware of flame distance so your device doesn't catch fire and burn up your drippings and ruin your meal.

    Don't forget to take the time to make a friction fire set as soon as time allows so you can build a fire when you're comfortable with the site you've chosen. And, be patient with the amber when it starts to needs a bit of time to build some thermal mass before you move it and start to put air to it to add to a tinder bundle, and then, kindling. Practice, pratice, practice. As Cody Lundin said on the TV series "Dual Survival": fire starting with sticks is not easy, and it never will be.

    Above all else, keep a cool head...continuing something with frustration on the brain is usually a futile effort and could cause you to hurt yourself or damage/destroy that which you have already accomplished.
  8. Blackthorn-USA

    Blackthorn-USA New Member

    Fire starting with sticks is easy although you have to learn how it’s done. And that’s not hard either. As far as natural torches go, check out the Mullein plants, also known as Torchweed. Once dead you can drip animal fat or whatever on the seed pods of these plants and have a ready made torch that will burn for quite a while. Many times the stalk and seed pod will be dry as a bone standing in snow. As an added bonus, the stalk can be used for friction fire (bow drill etc) also.
  9. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

    OK guys, now I got to go dig up the article Im workin' on regarding fat lamps....I use old tee shirt strips for wicks, which works fine. Just cut some long ones when you cut up the old shirts for gun cleaning patches, or to crochet into potholders or rugs. No photos yet, working on those. BTW, used motor oil does light things up too, just gets smoky, so best used outside. Chases skeeters, though!
  10. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    Lots of used cookin oil ta be had round here, generally free. In a emergency many gallons a it would be available to use, but I'd get to it fast cause it can be made inta many things.
  11. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

    fat lamps - using oil or solid fats (even motor oil)

    Before the use of kerosene for lamps, fats were the common lamp fuels.

    Fat lamps’ advantages: they are cheap, use an easily obtained and recycled fuel, are fast and easy, and do not burn if tipped over during use. Drawbacks: they’re dim (about as much light as a candle), they can smell like food, they can sputter if you do not adjust the wick, and if you use crankcase oil or axle grease for fuel it will smoke – great for chasing mosquitoes, but you might want to burn those versions outdoors. Two-wick fat lamps are easily fashioned which put out twice the illumination, and tin-can lamps can be cut to make a reflector to maximize the ‘candle-power’ of the lamp.

    Here are several types of ‘fat lamps’ that I have made, utilizing both oils and solid fats. The principles are the same in all fat lamps: a wick draws up melted fat which is then burned to create light. They all work.

    A type of wick holder for an oil lamp described as a Hobo Lamp, by B. K. Webb 2 used baling wire to hold the wick; mine used a metal coat hanger (easier to obtain for me).
    Step 1 – Coil the wick holder. Bend the wire so the holder will
    stand up in the middle of the jar.
    Step 2 – Make a tall handle so you can raise the wick in the holder
    up to adjust it.
    Step 3 – Thread the wick through the holder (which should be
    snug). It should stick up 1/4 inch above the oil.
    Step 4 – Lower wick into the oil in the jar. It should not submerge
    the burning end, but the rest should be submerged.
    Step 5 – Fire in the hole! As the oil burns down, use a pin to lower
    the wick to keep it 1/4 inch above the oil.

    A Solid-Fat Jar Lamp
    This one was found on the internet, on a site marked “Homemade Lamps from Everyday Objects” 1 . You will need a glass jar containing solid grease (bacon fat, Crisco, etc), a cotton swab (Q-Tip), and an absorbent rag, sock, or piece of old T-shirt.
    Step 1 – Cut a 2 inch by 6 inch strip of cotton cloth.
    Step 2 – Wrap the strip around the swab, totally covering it.
    Step 3 – Stick the wrapped swab in the grease until only 1/2 inch
    sticks up.
    Step 4 – Smear a little grease on the exposed wrapping, and light it
    The same technique works using tin cans. If you cut them right, you can fashion a sconce shape from the can, which acts as a wind break and crude reflector. Webb 2 made a grease lamp from a tin can and some wire using cotton twine for a wick.
    Step 1 – Cut the can to make a sconce, and file or rub with a stone
    to dull any sharp edges. Be sure to leave a 1 inch rim
    uncut to hold the grease.
    Step 2 – Make a coil to hold the wick (an 8-penny nail to wind it
    keeps the coil even). Coil 1 end of a long wire.
    Step 3 – Make the other end of the wire into a ring to hold the wick
    upright in the middle of the can.
    Step 4 – Make a wick to fit the coil. Braid several cotton strings
    together if needed, or use a cloth strip.
    Step 5 – Pack the fat into the base, keeping it 1/4 inch below the
    upper lip of the fat area. Smear some on the wick and
    light it.

    ‘Tactical Intelligence’ (from the internet) makes a compact oil lamp from a tuna can. It works very nicely, but does burn with an open flame, much like a candle would. But it is beautiful in its simplicity. You will need a tuna can with the lid partially attached, some oil, some old cotton cloth (rag, sock or T-shirt), and a nail or something sharp to make a hole with.
    Step 1 – Poke a hold through the top of a full tuna can, using a
    clean nail.
    Open the can almost all the way, leaving a hinge uncut to
    get the can contents out for use. (It’s easier to punch
    when full.)
    Step 2 – Cut a 2 inch by 8 inch piece of cloth. Twist or roll into a
    long strip. Feed 1/2 inch of it through the tuna can hole
    so it sticks out the top.
    Step 3 – Fill the can 2/3 of the way with oil. Shut the lid, let the
    wick soak up the oil. Dab some oil on the top of the wick.
    Light the wick.

    And finally, for the fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ma’s button lamp.
    Equipment: One metal button (Make sure it is metal; try it with a magnet to be sure. A plastic one could melt.) A small square of cotton fabric big enough to fit around the button and gather at the top with a small tail, thread to tie it off, a small heat-proof plate, a match, some shortening (Ma used axle grease, but that is not easily found anymore!), and a box of baking soda (emergency fire extinguisher). (You might keep a pad under the plate in case it gets really hot.)
    Step 1 – Cut a small rectangle of fabric large enough to wrap the
    button in and gather over the top with a ‘tail’ of gathered
    Step 2 – Twist the tail and tie it off with thread. Twist the tail to
    make a tapering wick, tying with more thread if needed.
    Step 3 – Smear shortening on the fabric. Rub it in well to saturate
    the cloth, but don’t leave gobs.
    Step 4 – Put a liberal blob of shortening on the center of the plate.
    Step 5 – Settle the button atop the grease, and light up the ‘wick’.

    I was delighted with the wide variety of ways to burn fats or oils, all of which were impressively inexpensive. Although I purchased a metal “betty lamp” for burning grease from the Smoke and Fire Trading Company some years ago, it did not come with directions! I might just fire it up, now that I know the principles of burning fats for light, and how to make a wick. I am glad I’ve learned how to make light so many ways. I never need sit in the dark, come what may.

    1. “Homemade Lamps from Everyday Objects” from the internet; Tactical Intelligence: Intelligent Know-How for the Concerned Citizen, dated January 4th, 2010
    2. “A Couple of Hobo Lamps” by B. K. Webb, The Backwoodsman, Vol 32, No 2, pp 20-21
    3. Laura Ingalls Wilder Button Lamp: Little House on the Prairie Crafts and Projects, Laura Ingalls Wilder Button Lamp: Little House on the Prairie Crafts and Projects |
  12. turkeydog

    turkeydog Member

    Beef Fat (tallow) is great for candles. don't use hog fat as it won't set at room tempature. sAve the fat from cooking burgers in a pan. strain it to get meat bits out of it. bee's wax is great for candles also. use 100% cotton cord for wick material. $3 worth of cord from lowes or walmart will be enouch wich to makes dozens and dozens of 6 to 8 inch candles.