Just get out and do it.

Welcome to my blog, Garden for Your Life! This site will be mostly about my garden, but you can build one just like it in your back yard too. It can be bigger or smaller, just get out and do it. You can do it for fun. Your can do it for your health. You can do it for fresh food in these troubled times. The point is to get out and do it for whatever reason that you need.

Over time I will cover topics like canning and preserving your harvest, soil and beds, bugs, what to plant and when, and much more.

I've been working on this garden on mine and improving on it for over five years now. I will continue doing that for many more. You can too, just get out and do it.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

easy emergency lamp


Lets make an emergency candle in case the lights go out for a bit.

You will need a Ball jar plus an extra used lid, short half pint.  a Coleman lamp wick, liquid paraffin or mineral oil, a 1/2 wood chisel, and a lamp cover. 

I'm using the ball short half pint jars.  As of yet Congress hasn't repealed the law of gravity.  If you get the regular half pint jars the oil will not be drawn up all the way to the top of the wick as the fuel is used up.  Your flame will get smaller until it goes out with about half the fuel left.  I bought everything but the fuel from Walmart.  Walmart doesn't have paraffin oil.  They have mineral oil which is really pure kerosene.  The paraffin oil produces very little, if any smoke, the mineral oil much more.  The glass covers are lamp shades for a ceiling fan and are used to defuse the light some and protect the flame from drafts and inadvertent touching.  WARNING all part may get hot, the lamp cover very hot!

First, cut the wick in half as there is enough for two lamps.  Then get out a 1/2 to 3/4 inch wood chisel.  You will need a small block of wood too.
Using the chisel knock a slit into the jar top to make a slit just big enough to pass the wick in.  Make it a little tight.  Too loose and the wick might fall in and oil will leak out if the jar is tipped.

Pass the wick in until only about 1/8 of an inch shows through, that's all the hard part!

Now fill your jar with oil, screw on the top, let it sit for a few minuets to let the oil rise up and light!

When you want to extinguish the flame use a top from an old jar to cover the flame. 

When it's cool place the second top lid over the lid with the wick cut into it and you seal the jar for further use!

A word on the Paraffin oil.  It's expensive when you can find it.  Lehman's and other stores like them have it.  I found mine from a catholic church store for several bucks less per gallon.  The large one even comes with a pump!  So shop around.  Yes, by the way, you can use citronella oil for those outside!

Cost:  Pack of four jars, 3.97 so a buck each.  wicks .97 cents, makes 2 so 50 cents each.  mineral oil 5.97 a quart.  Paraffin oil 7.50 a quart. and 17.50 a gallon. The lamp shade was 5.97.  Lowe's and Home Depot had some pretty ones if you want to spend the bucks.  So each one is about 3 bucks plus the lamp shade if you want one, and the burn time was about 10 hours.

Enjoy, Ken