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Non-Petroleum oil lamps

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

Use Corn oil, olive oil, even bacon grease supposedly works. (but I haven't tried that)

I used my glass obviously, and 1 old jar, old cotton bias from my sewing stash for the wicks, and a pumice stone or lava rock from my grill. ;)
The lava rock floats.

Thumbnail by CascadeMom
Topsham, ME(Zone 5a)

Ultra cool!! I love them. Thanks for sharing.

maybe a dumb question but is there a hole in the rock for the wick and if so how did you do that?

This message was edited Feb 6, 2008 10:20 AM

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

Yes I drilled a small hole in the rock for the wick.
Lava rock is actually soft enough you could just use a screw and make a hole.

Topsham, ME(Zone 5a)

Thanks. I'll be adding that to the list of stuff to do ;-) when I get a minute to breathe.....

Mesilla Park, NM

Oh those are just too cool.. I love them.. i'll be in line to try these out too.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

Don't try the bacon grease. I did. It smoked like heck and smelled like a burning pig.

Rock Hill, SC(Zone 7b)

lol...great if you are having a luau, not so good otherwise.

morehead, KY(Zone 6a)

Could these type of oils also be used in regular oil lamps? and could a fragrance be added. Like using olive oil with an essential oil makes for a great massage oil.
One more. Could they also be used in teki(sp) torches outdoors?

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

These oils do smoke more than oil lamp oil and will not give off as bright of light. You'd probably have to clean the chimneys a lot. vegetable oils are heavier than petrolium based and require more oxygen to stay lit. It may be worth a try though, olive oil lamps provided light for thousands of years. (so did sheep and goose fat, think how bad THAT must have smelled)

Maybe I should have tried to scent the bacon grease with eggs, It would have , at least, smelled like breakfast.

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

What a simple but great idea, I will definitely be trying this.

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

This was an experiment for me. I had heard about using olive oil etc., especially in an historic context.
But also heard they were smelly smokey etc.

I only had smoke when I initially lit the wick, after adjusting the wick lower I did not have smoke.
My kerosene and even my Aladin lamps smoke heavily until the wick is adjusted. So I assume that
is where the smoking comes from.

I let these burn in a 10x10 room (my office) for over 2 hours and did not notice any smell or smoke.
I used both corn oil and olive oil. Didn't try bacon grease and don't have any on hand to experiment with
but it does sound like it would smell.

using the pumice stone was just handy and probably not good long term. Eventually pumice does soak up
any liquid it is in and sinks. But in an emergency this would work for at least several hours.
I have heard of using a regular 'kerosene' lantern but haven't tried that 'yet'.

Lehmans has fancy little fixtures or whole lamps one can buy for burning non-petroleum based oils.
If you are prone to buy ready made items you might check there.

As in any lantern ... the larger the wick the bigger the flame, and Lehmans does have a flat wick so I
would imagine those give off a bit more light.
FYI : Mine gave off more than a candle but less than a typical kerosene lantern.

If you experiment with different ideas I would love to know what you find.

I think it is a great idea especially for those of us (ME) who live in a remote area and electricity goes out
unpredictably and sometimes for many days /weeks. I keep a good stash but last winter after a nasty windstorm
we did go without electricity for about 2 weeks. When my supplies dwindled there was not a candle or canister of
kerosene left in town to had.
This will be my backup in situations like that.

be had.

Topsham, ME(Zone 5a)

I just think they look really cool! I plan to use them outside this summer. Thanks again for the idea.
Could have used this idea during the mega ice storm of 1998 because all the stores ran out of lamps (we only had 2), lamp oil, kerosene, etc We stocked up after that learning experience :-D

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

Brender: you bring up another advantage from petroleum based fuels.
If these spill they simply go out.... not up in flames like kerosene.

A little soap and vinegar should clean up the mess rather than replacing burnt flooring. ;)

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Using the lava rock is a very clever idea and a great safety feature.

morehead, KY(Zone 6a)

I have friends who drive a vegetable based used cooking oil car. They convert vehicles and gives lectures at a location called "the farm" in Tenn. When they pull up to the house it smells like french fries cooking. They get most of their oil from Chinese places because they use purer oils. I plan to buy a car that is an easy one to convert and have Jason(farm resident/friend) convert it. The cars are not great for long distances and go a little slower, but for quick town trips I think It would be awesome.

morehead, KY(Zone 6a)

Hers a link if anyone is interested in more about the farm in Tenn.

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

daylily nice link Thanks!

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