Oil lamps are great. They can provide long-burning light that shines brighter and more consistently than a candle. Plus you can make them with just about any jar.
There are couple of different methods to make them. One method is very simple:
Take any kind of jar that has a secure lid. Mason jars work great for this. Poke a small hole in the lid and thread a wick through. You can use a properly made wick, or even just strands of fabric, but a synthetic fiber wick properly made for this purpose is going to work best. They’re cheap, easy to find on sites like Amazon, and are a very valuable item to stock up on for DIY lamps or candles such as this.
Next, fill the jar with your fuel of choice. Olive oil is great but can be expensive, you’ll probably want to opt for lamp oil, which is relatively inexpensive and is sold at hardware stores and Wal-Mart (typically used for things like tiki torches-what you’re making here isn’t terribly different from a tiki torch to be honest).
When the jar is filled with fuel, secure the lid and let the wick soak up the oil. It might take awhile, overnight is best. Then, light the wick and you’ve got yourself a lamp! You’ll need to adjust the wick as it burns, pulling it out as needed, and possibly applying a new one if you don’t have the right ratio of fuel to wick length, which will vary based on the material and fuel you are using.
A good way to prepare these lamps for emergencies would be to prepare the jars with the oil, but to cover with a regular lid and keep the lid with the wick in it separately. That way you’re not taking up too much space but the lamps won’t be vulnerable to spillage or worse-flammable.
Speaking of flammable, obviously these lamps need to be used with caution. The lid needs to be tightly secured and this will make them safer, but of course there’s still the chance of breaking which can cause a fire. Make sure they are somewhere they cannot be easily knocked over whenever they are lit, and use in well-ventilated areas. And make sure to keep buckets of sand, water or a fire extinguisher near by when you are using them.
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