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Thread: Mods for using a mantle with less expensive kerosene lamps?

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    Question Mods for using a mantle with less expensive kerosene lamps?

    I've just recently learned about kerosene lamps that are super bright because they use a mantle burning above the wick. The only ones I've seen that are available are Aladdins which are quite expensive. The price isn't that huge a deal, but I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with doing modifications to less expenssive oil lamps so you can use a mantle with them. Like maybe using the Aladdin Lox-On mantle in a different type of lamp, possibly with the Kone Kap adapter Aladdin makes for using the Lox-On mantle with their older model lamps.

    Also I've seen the HM2 Hard Pre-formed Mantle which is described as an inverted mantle for all gas yard lights and the UM3 Upright Mantle described as a mantle with metal frame for gas yard lights. Would those types of mantles also work with a kerosene lamp if they can be held in the correct position above the wick? Or are mantles for gas lights so different from those made for kerosene lamps that they wouldn't work the same way?

    Thank you for any help learning about this topic!

    David


  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've never used a kerosene lamp with a mantle, but have read a bit. It seems they are quite a bit brighter than without the mantle. I cannot offer any advice on the differences between mantles for kerosene lamps and gas or propane lamps.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    I've never used a kerosene lamp with a mantle, but have read a bit. It seems they are quite a bit brighter than without the mantle.
    Yes. I've never used one yet either but you can see them on Youtube and they are a lot brighter. They also don't need to be pumped up, and I'm guessing without the pressure involved they use less fuel also. But the only lamps I've found available that have them are Aladdins which cost about $100 and up, though you can get the mantles for about $15.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    For me (and this is just a personal preference) I like the oil lamps just the way they are. The light they throw is calming and relaxing. If I need bright I have several other options.
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    This isn't a bash on the your idea, nopeda, but I agree with crash. I've always hated how bright mantle lanterns are when camping. I've never owned one, but other people's lanterns bug the heck out of me, even at a considerable distance.

    You can put foil on one side of the glass. This throws all of the light in one direction, and keeps it from shining directly in your eyes, which inhibits your ability to see anyway.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Here's the thing, the Aladen lamps were designed in a time when there were few options for home lighting. They were intended to sit in the middle of the dining table and light the meal at end of day, light the kids homework after supper and serve as reading lamps by the easy chair after the kids were in bed.

    Most of the engineers that put the first man on the mood did their math homework in the light of these lamps.

    They lit rural American homes. They were not camping gear.

    Oddly enough Coleman designed their pressure mantle lanterns for the same duty, not as camping gear. Use as camping gear did not come until after WW2, when so many GIs were introduced to the Coleman products.

    If you are in a recreational setting the calm glow of a standard kerosene lamp is "good enough". If you are in an emergency situation long enough for your "Options" to wear out their batteries you may want a little more. That long term survival bug-a-boo.

    Are you really going to be in a grid down situation long enough to need that much 19th century technology?

    I personally used Coleman lanterns as primary lighting for two years while I was living off grid building a house from scratch. The hiss of the lantern was much more pleasant that them drone of a generator, and cheaper.

    It is said that Thomas Edison was inspired to invent the electric light bulb by an untimely middle of the night appendicitis attack in his family that required more light than the lamps of that era provided.

    The Aladens are nice conversation pieces and decorations around the house, but will never be dual purpose equipment.

    I opt for the Coleman lanterns, which cost $40 less and can be used as camp gear or inside lighting, as they were intended. I have even gone so high tech as to abandon the troublesome gas and "dual fuel" gear and switch to propane.

    When you use those lanterns day in and day out you burn the carburetors out or plug them up and although I could rebuild a car engine back then I never mastered the Coleman carburetor.

    Which brings up another option, You could buy a small cheap Chinese generator for $90 at Harbor freight, and run every LED bulb in the house, and the fridge, in a long term situation and not use much more fuel!
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    Thank you folks for your good points and great explanations! I'm not intending to take anything like that camping or really try to depend on it in an emergency situation. But it is an idea I wanted to play around with if was practical to modify a cheap kerosene lamp with a $15 Aladdin mantle so I went asking around about it figuring that if it was people like you would be doing it and probably could suggest links to places where there are explanations of how to do it. Or I'd find out it's not a practical idea and in fact could very well be dangerous to attempt which seems more the reality than what I was hoping to find. Thanks again for your input about this topic!

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