Sunday, July 15, 2012

homemade/homeschool oil lamps


I had recently read an article about how to make a homemade oil lamp in a pinch (or catastrophe event perhaps). I have been wanting to try this with my son. Perhaps one day, hidden away from the interference from sassenach, this skill will be useful. We did follow the instructions...some things worked better in writing, than in actuality. We finally found something that worked in the end...

We found a good shell to use to hold the oil. You are supposed to use one that can be supported on the base, so the oil will not run out...and is slightly fluted on one end to hold the wick.


The wick was supposed to be any type of fibrous natural substance. You are supposed to be able to use any type of oil or fat. We tried first to use plant fibers and some yarn...



We tried Canola Oil first, because I had some in the cabinet that I wanted to get rid of...
We filled the shell with the canola oil...I did steady it using a box lid from a jewelry gift box. We presoaked the plant fiber and yarn.

We added the canola oil.

We added the plant fiber.

It did light...but quickly extinguished itself. It would not stay lit.

We tried the yarn in the canola oil.

The yarn in the canola oil is much the same as the plant fiber. It will light, but does not stay lit. As soon as you remove the flame from it, it extinguishes in seconds.

We tried olive oil.

We tried the plant fibers in the olive oil.
It did light...but quickly extinguished itself. It would not stay lit.


We tried the yarn with the olive oil.
It did light...but quickly extinguished itself. It would not stay lit. it did burn longer than the others before, but not long enough to be significant or for the trouble it entailed to light it.
 


We tried a shoestring...this was the one that worked....a
shoestring in oil/fat works...

shoestring fibers

shoestring in olive oil soaking...

 shoestring burning and staying lit in olive oil...


after a few minutes of burning...

 well after 5 minutes...it is a slow burn, with low to no smoke; a clean burn...

we discussed how you might not have access to olive oil in an emergency...i had left over grease on the stove from frying chicken for dinner...we did discuss animal fat was something you would have access to in the wild after getting game for dinner...

we soaked another shoestring piece in the leftover grease...

the grease shoestring lit easily...

it burned for quite a while...the child thought this flame appeared more controlled than the olive oil flame...
 

the flame was adjusted for more light by extension of the wick or shortening the wick...this was also a clean and odorless burn...

we practiced transporting the lamp while lit...it works well...
you just have to walk a bit slower...

 we did use what seemed like a ton of matches for this project...all in the name of learning...

4 comments:

  1. Hi, Analisi! Good experiments. You ispirated me. :)

    Pax et bonum. Letitia.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Letitia. I appreciate the comment. I still want to build some of the birdhouses you posted with him, but I need to translate the instructions better. Be well.

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  2. Very interesting Analisa! Thanks for becoming a Follower of my Blog. I am happy to follow back. Have a good week.

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  3. Hi,

    Found you on the blog hop. I love this idea. I am going to try this with my 2nd grader, she would love it.

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