Frugal Living Oil Lamp

Oil Lamp

Frugal Living Oil Lamp

We have talked about Tea Light Candles conveyance of having them as a backup light source. Cheap Small and easy to stash in ever drawer they are at hand all the time. But what if you need more light or just want to find a way to use other things to make Light. Or Gasp you didn’t buy any and now you’re scrounging around trying to find a way to make some form of Illumination.

Let’s take a Page from History. Oil or Fat Lamps have existed you might as well say forever.  In their simplest forms they are a container with fat and a wick of some kind to draw the fat to the end of the wick where the flame Burns and produces light.

For the Bacon Lovers out there you can use Bacon Fat and your Lamp Will smell like Cooking Bacon. This might not be a good thing if you are trying to stay out of the food storage. Plus Fat fueled lamps tend to smoke more than oil fueled lamps. And unless it is and emergency and you have no choice don’t use Baby Oil it is Very Smokey. I tried hard to make the Baby Oil work without smoking but I was not able to get it to stop.

Baby Oil Round Wick Holder

Ok Let’s Make a Wick. I use 100% Cotton String. Butchers Twine out of my Cooking Supply’s Dose this job Very Well. Take a length about 4 feet and double it. Now watch the string will twist together by its self.

Wick Make 1

Twist it the same direction until you start to twist knots into it.

Wick Make 2

Holding it from tangling double the twisted string and let it twist back on its self.

Wick Make 3

It will now want to twist the other way. Keep twisting it until it starts to twist Knots into the string again and double it and let it twist itself together again.

Wick Make 4

You now have a nice size wick. Put this off to the side you will need it soon.

Ok let’s build a Wick Holder. This is the most important part of the lamp a good wick Holder will provide support for the Wick as well as shape the Wick. The shape of the Wick and provide more or less light

Flat Wick Holder 2Round Wick Holder3

First the Round Wick Holder. Find a Good solid piece of wire I used a wire coat Hanger.

Round Wick Holder 1

Wrap it around a something to create a loop slightly smaller than your Wick you want it to fit tight. I used a #2 Philips Screw Driver.

Round Wick Holder 2

Use pliers to shape your wire so that it kind of looks like a Cobra ready to strike. Just a little taker than the container you’re going to use to hold your oil.

Round Wick Holder3

Fit your Wick and put your Wire Snake in the container and fill with oil.

Round Wick Holder  4

Trim your Wick just above your Snake Head about 1/8in or so. to long and it will smoke.

Olive Oil Round wick Holder

Flat Wick Holder Is Much easyer Find a Can and cut a rectangle out of it. I am using a aluminum Beer Bottle it is made with heavyer aluminum and works very well.

Flat Wick Holder 1

Fold your Rectangle like this and Cut a Slot for your wick.

Flat Wick Holder 2

Insert your wick shaping it flat and close the slit to hold the wick flat.

Flat Wick Holder 3

Trim your Side Tabs so that it will fit in the container holding yor oil.

Oil Lamp 7

Put in your Container and Fill with oil Light Enjoy.

Now you can use About anything as Fuel in your Lamps. I have tried Olive Oil and it seams to Burn the Best and longest of my tested Fuels. The Cups that hold the Wick Holders are Tea Light Cups. they only hold about 2 table spoons of oil or Fat. I am getting One Hour Of Burn Time from Halve of a Tea Light Cup of Olive Oil Probably a Table Spoon of Oil.

Oil Lamp 7

Olive Oil Flat Wick

You can also Use Fat Here is a picture of a Bacon Grease Lamp. This also Shows the importance of a Good Wick. Both Pictures are of the Same Lamp. One was made with a strip of aluminum from a Tea Light Cup it was to weak to hold the wick properly. The other is made with the Beer Bottle aluminum it is much stronger and holds the wick well. THe Only Down Side to Using Bacon Fat as a Fuel is it makes you hungry.

Fat Lamp3

Bacon Fat Lamp Poor Wick Holder

New Wick Fat Lamp

Bacon Fat Lamp Good Wick Holder


The Flat Wick Lamps Seam To put off more light. It is easier and Faster to make. The Round Wick burns the oil faster. it might just seam like it is burning it faster. There is less oil in the Round Wick Cup because of the Large Wick. The Flat Wicks are so much smaller I made Both the Oil and the Fat Flat Wick lamps with just a short section of the Wick. The Round wick lamp has the entire wick untrimmed.

Well there you go friends How to make Oil or Fat Lamps. Experiment Have Fun and Be careful playing with Fire.

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Jerry is a podcaster and blogger. Bringing to the attention of his listeners the loss of their personal liberties, and calling to attention the personal responsibility’s they are turning over to bureaucratic agencies whose only agenda is continued growth and expansion.
Jerry has built a reputation as a person who can identify an issue find a solution, and fix the problem. As a working man his whole life. The many jobs have allowed him to build a skill set that range from pizza to running large printing presses. Going back to school he retrained himself in the computer support field. this has led him to the current job he holds. Supporting the local school systems computer networks. A few days a week he works helping people with repair advice and parts to fix their cars.
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