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

  1. #1

    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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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by nopeda View Post
    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
    I'm late to the party as usual, I have been having the same thought for the past few years. I have an idea for the mantle but have not had the time to try it, I'm waiting on parts to come in this week and if it works I'll post back here

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    I grew up listening to the hiss of a coleman lantern on camping trips. When I got old enough to have to be running the camping trip myself I found that keeping a supply of mantles was tricky. I got a bunch of cheap kerosene lanterns. They did just fine and the boys could use them by themselves. Just clean the globe every now and then and carry on.

    I use a propane coleman stove now and solar lights. For just me light cooking I have a little biolite stove. It works pretty good for warming up a can of beans or boiling coffee water.

    Alan

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Grandpa had a kerosene lantern that was taken to the outhouse. It was the "keep you warm in winter" and "see what you're doin'" light at night. I used that thing more than once and inherited that lantern when he passed away. One of my kids will get it when I'm gone I guess although no one uses it at my house. Things are a bit more modern around here.

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    Those were a different breed of folks back then. Wake up, light a lantern, walk 50 yards to a spider, and God only knows what else, infested rotting wood shack, to drop your drawers and place all your valuables over a dark hole ...... Any little sound or touch would likely provoke the intended results!

    Alan

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    He had a well and a waist high wooden bench tacked to a tree with a mirror. That's where he shaved, when he shaved. You would catch all sorts of crap if you dropped the bucket in the well. You lowered it, you didn't drop it. Not more than once anyway.

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    i often i often go hiking and take a flashlight,knife,sleeping bag and matches

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julianash View Post
    i often i often go hiking and take a flashlight,knife,sleeping bag and matches
    Really? Tell us more without editing your post or posting a link.
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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    I have had a few oil lamps for dining purposes. I enjoy the calm light they provide and find them to be relaxing.

    I have been considering getting a couple kerosene lanterns for power outage emergencies. I keep kerosene around for a heater any way, i figured why not a couple lanterns too?

    Out of curiosity, can oil and kerosene be used in the same lamp/lantern or are there differences in the design?
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Lamps are fine. I used 1-K for my kerosene lamps for the longest time. I recently converted to paraffin lamp oil because it doesn't smell. Both will smoke if your wick isn't trimmed correctly or if you burn your wick too high. I haven't noticed any difference in light output but my eyes are not the best judge of that. I only use them for emergencies and just to have them as antiques so the lamp oil "looks" better in my opinion. I still use 1K in my heater though.

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Lamps are fine. I used 1-K for my kerosene lamps for the longest time. I recently converted to paraffin lamp oil because it doesn't smell. Both will smoke if your wick isn't trimmed correctly or if you burn your wick too high. I haven't noticed any difference in light output but my eyes are not the best judge of that. I only use them for emergencies and just to have them as antiques so the lamp oil "looks" better in my opinion. I still use 1K in my heater though.
    Good to know. Do you have to change wicks when going from one to the other? Or clean out the lamp? Is the interchangeability work on lanterns too, or only lamps?
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    I have also never used this.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I suppose there isn't much use for them in Bangladesh.
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    Sorry, Nater, I don't know how I missed this. I did clean out the lamps. The kerosene leaves a residue so I cleaned that out. Hot soapy water and a bottle brush took care of it. If the kerosene has been in the lamp for some time and not been burned there will be a ring at the kero level that will be a little tougher. I seem to remember using denatured alcohol for that. Not sure. Old brain cells and all. As for the wicks, I have a roll of wick and I replaced all the wicks using the same stuff I had in the lamps before. The lamp oil is clear as water so anything not cleaned out will show up and look dirty. As for function, I suppose it would work if not cleaned. Kero and oil burn so I don't know that you HAVE to clean the lamps and change the wicks. I have no idea how well the wicks will pull the oil out of the basin once they are saturated with kero. I would guess that's a viscosity issue. Cleaning and replacing eliminated any of those issues.

    As for lanterns, I have no idea. I haven't done any. The only lanterns I have were my grandfathers and I don't use them.

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