Simple Improvised Slush Lamp

Slush Lamp CanOver the years I have experimented with slush lamps. My first project employed a clam shell as the vessel for the fuel and wick (see “Slush Lamp Basics). Recently I was snacking out of a small can and I saw the potential that it might be used for making a slush lamp. While I was eating, I was cutting up some discarded 100% cotton jeans to be used for making charcloth. One of the by-products of cutting out the square cloths is the thick seams at the hem and sides. It occurred to me that these would make good wicks for a slush lamp and could be used in conjunction with the can.

To pursue this thought I decided later that day to take a second can and only partially lift the pull-tab lid. I emptied the contents into a bowl, rinsed out the can, and used a paper towel to dry out the interior. I placed a strip of the cotton hem seam into the can and poured some vegetable oil inside. Then I lowered the lid down flat to close the top and slid the wick into the corner which wedged it in place, thus securing it. I left about 1/8″ of the wick exposed on top and made sure that it was moistened with the oil. I lit it and voilà! it worked!

Initially the flame was quite large and smoked a lot until the wick burned down to a fraction of it’s original length. At that point it burned clean having self corrected to a proper height. I learned some time ago that when I lit the tiki torches on my porch it worked best when full of fuel because it was able to easily draw the fuel up the wick. The same principal works in a slush lamp in order to get the best flame. There also seems to be a correlation between fuel height and flame height.

This would probably be more of an urban project for perhaps a power outage or maybe a bivouac in outlaying areas but it’s a good project to know if it is ever needed or perhaps just for fun.

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