Doomsday Veggie Lamps

Doomsday Veggie Lamps for when the lights go out!

Ok, this is not the end of the world tonight, though I did think the title fitting, nes pas? So this will be the start of a series of primers on some Veggie Oil Lamps and Heaters. The heaters will be just how to go about doing it, not the full on create a heater, though that might change in a few days as well.

A quick how to primer on making and using assorted Veggie Oil Lamps & 2 Heaters

3 different types of veggie oil lamps

veggie oil lamps

pic of my Mason Jar lamp which I have been using now for over 2 yrs.
Use of Veggie Oil is safe, convenient as well as much cheaper than regular candles or making the candles from scratch. The price of wax has gone up and up, the price of Veggie Oil is yes going up though much slower. I also keep and eye out for deals on Veggie Oil, some are also the 2 gallon tins, which I just missed the sale two weeks ago at No Frills (President’s Choice subsidiary)
Another advantage of using the veggie oil is safety, when and if it tips over the flame is extinguished by itself. This is in sharp contrast to using Lamp Oil or Kerosene Lamp oils (there are some varieties here, all very flammable.)  You can get right creative with this, put string around the tops of the threads, and make Redneck chandelier or mount in wall scones, put inside brown paper bags, sky is the limit and so is your creative juices. I can see you thinking now, hmm let’s get started, shall we.
* pliers
* big nail or screwdriver
* mechanics wire or coat hanger, metal
* can opener
* natural fibre string, or, wicks, or, natural plant fibres, or dense paper towels, or, cotton stocks cut up into strips.. or… you’re imagination!
For the lamp bases;
* herring tin
* mason jar
* canned turkey flakes
* an oyster shell
* small cupcake shell – anything really
* big rock with a hollow!
(purchase them, eat them, clean them, use them)
Lard Lamps:
* get lard in a tub
* stick wicks in it, poke them down into it
* light them up use them!
1st. Mason Jar, been using this one for over 2 years now and it just keeps working away. Filling to the line I have now, will work without filling from 4-5 days using for 3-4 hrs per evening, or 1 overnighter, topping up the oil. My oil of preference is Extra Virgin Olive Oil or any oil really. The Extra Virgin Olive oil is the one that smokes the least and has the least odour as well. Any and all will work, even mixing them together will work quite nicely. Need to see if I can get some of the old grease from a Restaurant to see how that burns, though it will make you hungry when the oil is burning, same as veggie fuel in vehicles. Smells like french fries in the background, yummy but makes you hungry!
 veggie with tail
a, using the metal hangers or mechanics wire
* use your pliers to hold the end, wrap around the screw driver or big nail first
* once you have a few spirals
* make the bending shape to go down
* make a loop for it to sit on, in the bottom of the jar
* now, keep going and make a nice tail to raise out of the oil
* make sure your tail is below the opening of the jar, so you can put the lid back on when not in use
The tail is for lifting it out of the oil to add in another wick material (see list above) as well as to trim the wick if needed
(these pics did not turn out, so will be adding in some in the next instalment and adding them into this place-holder, sorry)
Filling options
you can put some decorative stones or marbles in the bottom of the mason jar, then fill up the jar with oil, or just fill with oil. The advantage is a little bit of looks and less oil. Disadvantages are setting the stand back in with ought some work to do so
Soak the wick for at least 10 mins or so, until saturated, this is very important as you will be impatient now to see how it will work! I suggest the first time, to get the wick soaking in oil perhaps in a small tuna can or in the mason jar while you make the wick stand.
from start to finish, O about 4 mins, that’s it!
Now I added some tin foil shiny side in to mine, you might want to make up a stand using pie plates, shiny metal bowels behind them mounted on the wall as scones, whatever works for you!
If the oil gets frozen, it does not matter, it will take a bit longer to get it going but otherwise it will burn just fine with the oil frozen, or if it has been frozen, so no issues there.

Herring Fish Tin

Buy the fish tin, eat the fish, clean out the tin!
 veglamps 099b
Now while you are opening the tin, make sure you leave the one side attaches about 2-3 cm, this will assist you in making a wee ramp for the wicks.
* use your pliers (tin is sharp) bend the ramp into position on the side where the handle is. I just leave the pull tab on for now, and use it to help keep the ramp in the can
Ok, your done the build!
natural fibre cord
plant material
paper towel
string, anything at all really that is a natural fibre and will burn
see next images
Sting 2 methods:
a. first is the simplest, measure the string to make sure it will go side to side, cut it so it raises just above the edge of the can
you can now use 2 or 4 ends to get more light
Note: you will burn more oil as you light more ends, this oil will last about 3-4 hrs., if you light all 4 ends. This is done for more light!
 veglamps 116b
b. take a small length of string, wrap around your finger, pull the end up into the middle and extend beyond the clump
put into the middle of the ramp
when it is saturated, light the end which will burn all night! Yuppers, this will burn all night unattended and safely. When it is damp and not so cold, I do this as it will provide a small measure of warmth to the air and helps to burn off some of the dampness, making it more comfortable.
wrapped natural fibre jute string to make a wick

wrapped natural fibre jute string to make a wick

AB. do the above operation with any shallow holder such as an oyster shell or metal cup cake shell, put in the same style wicks, light and enjoy!
see pics below
Option; heat option
put a tin can overtop of the flame, make sure you have vent holes along the side of the can top and bottom
this will heat up, take the dampness out of the air and provide some added warmth as well
Herring Can Heater
* do the same as above
* now use 4 string ends, or a wad of dense paper towel or a wad of plant material in the middle
* fill with veggie oil
* * * light it up, when it is going good, put the tin can with the holes over the top
veglamps 132b
This is just an expedient lamp/heater to show you the basics. This should only be used like I do on my fireproof stone pad on a solid surface beside my stove! This would be too dangerous in a tent or anywhere else like this, so this is just to show you, it is not hard. A full on heater would need to be made and I might make one soon that is much safer to use in a tent or anywhere else but a table top with a fireproof base!
+ + Legal warning, do not do this, consult a specialist, not responsible this is what I did, if you burn down or die, not my problems!
use leather gloves or hotdog tongs to remove the can from the top
Note: this should be vented outside as it creates more smoky residue in the air as well as you should have a supply of fresh air for it as well, or you might not wake up!
Oxygen Thief – carbon monoxide warning – use a detector – fresh air – venting system as well
your warned, use at your own risk!! yadda yadda yadda legal speak, use your common sense  be safe


Filed under Blog post, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Survival Prepping

6 responses to “Doomsday Veggie Lamps

  1. Hmmm, I didn’t know you could use veggie oil to make ‘candles’. I learn something every day. Thanks!
    Happy solstice to you and your pup.

    • Although I do have candles, I stopped using them 2 yrs ago now. The Veggie Oil burns cleaner and is less smelly. I do like the ability to get more light by adding in another wick, or two or three.

  2. onestrangelifeblog

    Thanks for this as I want to make oil ones in mason jars and wondered how it was done, great info! How long would you say a small mason jar of oil burns for? I want to make one and try but not quite getting what the nail wrapped in wire should look like so hopefully you can get an ok photo of that to add later. 🙂

    • Hello OneLifeBlog,
      if you use a floater wick holder then that amount of oil will last you about 5 full nights from 6pm to about 6am

      If you use the lamp holders, then the oil level will last for two to three nights before you need to top up the oil. Add the oil till it is just below the wick holder for best results. See the next post for close ups of the wick holders.

      The nail is to be used in the making of the shape of the wick holder. Once the middle wick holder is created, remove the nail and then continue shaping the wire to whatever you want it to be. Use a screw driver instead of a nail.

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