Make an Aluminum Can Lamp

Inspired by an article in Wilderness Way, SuriviveLA made our own post-apocalyptic lighting out of two aluminum cans. According to the author of that article, Del Gideon, the Vietnamese used to make these lamps back during the war. You can also use these lamps to heat up water. Making one is easy:

    1. Remove the top off a can. We like to do this by scoring the inner ring of the top with a razor blade and then using a pair of pliers to bust it out. The fastidious and safety conscious may want to file down the sharp edge.

    2. Cut a 2 1/2 inch square window out of one side of the can with a pair of scissors.

    3. Now cut the bottom 1 1/2 inches off of another can. We like to do this by taping a razor blade to a piece of metal and inserting it in a book. Simply rotate the can against the blade a few times and you will get a nice even cut. Precision isn’t necessary for this project (unlike the Pepsi can stove) so you can also do this step with a pair of scissors.

    4. Punch out a 1/4 inch hole in the bottom of the can for the wick.

    5. Cut a 1/2 inch by 3 inch piece of cotton from an old shirt for the wick.

    6. Cut out a 2 inch by 1 1/2 inch piece of aluminum and use it to wrap up the wick tightly.

    7. Fill the can with the window with lamp oil. Insert the aluminum wrapped wick in the hole you drilled in the other can and squeeze both cans together as shown in the image at top.

    8. Trim the wick, light it, and wait for WWIII.

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    1. Pingback: Make an Aluminum Can Lamp For Light And Heating Water - SHTF, Emergency Preparedness, Survival Prepping, Homesteading


    3. Um…I’m confused. 3 cans? How do they go together? And how would you use this to heat water? I think we could use a little more detail.

    4. This lamp is made out of two cans, not three. One can (part of a can) goes upside down in the base of the other. People did use these for heating water as well as light–simply by balancing a cup full of water on the top. There are many, many small DIY stoves out there which may be more of what you’re looking for — this pintrest page might be a good place to start:

    5. Pingback: Make an Aluminum Can Lamp For Light And Heating Water | OutLive The OutBreak

    6. Pingback: Survival/ DYI/ Make – Your – Own/ Interesting Facts | Time To Wake Up News

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    8. You can also Remove the top of any aluminum can, by rubbing it on concrete until the top will simply lift out…easy peasy….just watch as you are rubbing it and you will see when the top has separated from the rest of the can…used to do this when i ws in a situation where i had nothign to use to drink water from….makes a nice tin drinking glass….Or pencil holder or whatever…PEACE

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