*Trash Oil Lamp*
By: Varsil
23 May 2010

This is a pretty basic oil lamp, but it works just fine, and the total material cost was zero. I have one that I fired up recently during a power outage. The basic elements are that you need a jar that will serve as an oil reservoir (and also possibly wind shield), a wick, and something to keep the wick protruding just above the oil. You also need oil. All of these can be had for free, just by diverting the materials from your garbage. In particular, the oil is taken from scrap that we might otherwise throw out. Photo quality here is low - the only camera I have access to at the moment is a cell phone camera.

The finished product has cost you absolutely nothing, and burns oil that you were probably going to throw away anyway. When I recently had a power outage, I fired up my lamp, which worked just fine and shed more than enough light for me to sit around and read by. It's honestly easy enough that you could throw one together in a pinch from things you have laying around. I just keep my pickle jar sitting in the kitchen to pour waste oil into. As a note, pouring waste oil into your kitchen drain is bad for your plumbing, so you do much better saving it for use as lamp oil. Below are pictures of the lamp in use, as taken with a crappy cell phone camera. The second picture is taken with it as the sole light source. Even just with my shoddy cell phone camera you can make out a fair amount of detail. It's no halogen floodlamp, but it'll certainly get you around the house.


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