Fuel efficient Tiki lights

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by hot diggity, Jun 8, 2017.


  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    This is a teaser, to see if there's any interest from those in regions where bugs are an issue. With Tiki oil prices increasing I looked for a way to solve the fuel consumption problem with regular commercial Tiki lamps. I had to find something that was cheap to build, durable and efficient. After almost a year of fiddling, I have built several different designs that all work well at chasing bugs. Most recently I tackled a problem with wind blowing my little Tiki lamps out, and completely solved it with stuff I had on hand. I've also found that great clouds of smoke aren't necessary for the citronella oil to be effective. Even burning smoke free, these lamps seem to do the trick.

    It's past my bedtime, but if there's an interest, I'll share my designs with you. There are details that I discovered by trial and error that are quite interesting. I fixed a couple safety concerns, and like the fuel efficiency. I have three of these things lit tonight, as I do almost every night, and I can't remember ever having one run out of fuel. I know one prototype had 5 ounces of fuel when built, and that was six months ago!

    kyocera 5 21 17 095.
     
  2. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Monkey+

    I would be interested to know your tricks and tips. I have several stored away somewhere, because they operated poorly.
     
    Dunerunner likes this.
  3. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Please put me down as an interested party.
     
  4. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Asia-Off-Grid [ditto] yeah, what he said. Particularly interested in the bug repelling aspect. Gnats and flies can be a problem at my BOL at certain times of the year, so I could end up burning something like this 24 hours / day.
     
    Ganado likes this.
  5. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    Me likey bigly
     
  6. aardbewoner

    aardbewoner judge a human on how he act,not on look and talk.

    Yes always interested to learn and improve.Would be nice to have a working tiki light :)
    Tease mode on/ o what BUGS do the repel ? Tease mode off/
     
    Dunerunner likes this.
  7. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I'll write up a detailed construction outline tonight, but I thought a rough supplies list would be useful. Obviously these are aluminum beer can based, whatever brand you prefer. Wick is cotton clothes line. The latest batch I got had a nylon core that I pulled out. I have used brass fittings, refrigerator door bushings and .17 Winchester Super Mag rimfire cartridges as wick holders. There doesn't seem to be any difference between the smaller constriction of the rimfire case and the 1/4" refrigerator bushing as far as efficiency. In the picture I have an aluminum cap from a flare as a lid/snuffer, but using another cut off can as a lid works great and you've got a six pack of them anyway.
    Some weight in the base, about 5 ounces of either lead shot or sand will keep things upright. Dog tag chain, fishing leaders, and a couple holes and Bob's your uncle - an efficient Tiki lamp. :)

    Construction details to follow.
     
  8. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

  9. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    @john316. A man has to sleep some time, and I can only do so much at work. Will try to do a picture post tonight that will explain all in one shot. :)
     
    Ganado likes this.
  10. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    What do you use for the wick and oil?
     
  11. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Commercial citronella oil sold at most Dollar General Stores, Lowe's, etc. Wick is white cotton clothes line rope. This stuff is getting harder to find since it has been replaced with nylon. It's out there, and one roll will last you forever.
     
    Dunerunner and Tully Mars like this.
  12. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    They sell the cotton stuff at the cheaper places. Dollar store type places. I found some at Chinese grocery store.
     
  13. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Hmm. Me thinks some of these parts for this project may not be available to me, here in Cambodia.

    I will tell you why I am interested, though, in this topic. A few nights ago, the boss and I were discussing this very subject - well, Tiki Torches. At her farm, the mosquitoes eat her alive. I mean, after a visit to the farm, we come back to the apartment in the city. After arrival, she looks like she has chicken pox, due to having so many bites on her. I feel so sorry for the little thing (149 cm tall), every time we go to the farm. That's why I really need to sort out some sort of perimeter protection for her, at least right around our living quarters.

    Me? Those little turds won't come within a hundred kilometers of me. I don't know why, but I never, ever get bitten by mosquitoes. I'm the perfect traveler / resident in SEA. I will never contract Malaria, Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, or Yellow Fever. Although, I have seen a lot of people stricken with these very diseases.

    Anyway, now you know why I have such an interest.
     
    Motomom34 likes this.
  14. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    @Asia-Off-Grid, as long as you can get the citronella oil, the rest is flexible. I could make a wick from old t-shirt that would work as well, and any kind of old bottle will work. I just used the beer can style bottle because it was available, and I'd had a couple glass torches get broken by cats.

    Curious about your natural resistance to mosquitoes. Do you eat a lot of garlic?
     
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  15. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Nope. Rarely, if ever. I thought they were attracted to our breathing?

    A restaurant / bar I used to frequent, was full of skeeters one afternoon, back in 2012. Five customers and the owner, contracted Dengue. I was the only other customer there.
     
  16. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Okay, here we go. Could get picture heavy, but I tried to get maximum information into minimum pictures.

    My disclaimer: Don't do foolish things. This project involves fuel, flame, and sharp metal. Do take precautions and use good judgement when trying any of this. Please, proceed at your own risk.

    This version shows all the latest changes, although I think I am becoming more fond of the refrigerator door bushing wick holder since it is an overall shorter package. Those familiar with bronze bushings will see the other advantage; the bronze is porous and allows the fuel to pass through it, effectively giving a larger flame once warmed up. The back of the .17 WSMR cartridge must be drilled through, and the star washer is pressed over it to prevent it falling through the cap. I made these to be attractive, but they need not have anything fancy to be effective. I've used copper tubing, brass fittings, etc. The refrigerator bushing right on the cap will melt the internal seal in the cap, but since I vented this model I have had zero issues with it.

    If all you had was a pocket knife you could cut a series of slits at the center of the cap, push the resulting petals through from the inside with a stick and stuff a piece of wick through the hole. IF you have a tight fitting hole which your wick passes through, you will need some sort of vent. Notice the small hole next to the wick holder. This prevents fuel from being pushed up the wick when the air in the bottle expands. If it's just overnight temperature changes you get a puddle on the deck. If it's happening while in use that puddle will be on fire. :eek:

    Using the three can design has been the most effective, since it gives very good wind resistance, and I suppose some light suppression. The lower can has about 18" of wick, probably overkill, but I wanted it to last. Dry sand or gravel works fine as ballast when the fuel gets low. I put the wick in first so it can suck all the fuel out of the sand, and wouldn't pull it out more than necessary to add fuel. The center can extends just about an inch above the top of the wick. I found one air hole (paper punched)
    was necessary to provide combustion air. It also drains water if it gets caught in the rain. The top can is the snuffer, cap, rain guard. No more water in the fuel. All of the cuts are easily made with scissors.

    The whole package is held together with a stainless steel fishing leader attached at the neck with a stainless steel dog tag chain.
    The dog tag chain gives me the ability to transfer the cap to a new fuel canister if necessary. the older safety wire version would have been tough to transfer. The cap end of the leader on mine is fed through three holes in the mouth of the can. It is just as easy to simply fold the leader over the lip of the can from the inside and screw the lid on. That's all there is to it.

    KIMG1521[1].
     
  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I will try to get everything else covered in one picture. Here's a whole family of Tiki torches. Fuel guzzling commercial glass ones that break and require filling nearly every evening, ugly ones, potential overseas resources if no bottle neck cans are available, as well as old and new beer can models. The mosquito coil is from the Japan Insecticide Mfg Co. is for Asia-Off-Grid. They are very effective as well, and may be available in SEA. I used them while I was in Japan, and found them at the local Japanese store here.

    Special bonus points for anybody who can figure out how I made the two perfect rims around the bottom of the polished can on the right. Not so sure I could do it again. :)

    Not sure what to call these. One version spelled Litete when I assembled just the bottle with cap. Stripping the paint off is possible with some nasty chemicals, but they never get so hot that a coat of high temp paint wouldn't cover up the label if you have to maintain your reputation in the community and don't want to have beer cans scattered about.

    Have fun with these, and be safe.

    KIMG1519[1].
     
  18. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    this is a must enter in @Motomom34 contest! just put stars in the title.

    Thank you for posting its a great post!
     
    Gator 45/70, Motomom34 and Dunerunner like this.
  19. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Mosquito coils are as common here as rice. :) If you don't have the little metal base mount, you just stick the end into a bottle and light 'er up. Last about 8 hours. Trouble is, we would have to put one under each window in the house, in order for them to be somewhat effective. I'm still pretty sure, the boss would have been carried off, by first light, by those cheeky little buggers.
    I figure, if I can make several torches, and strategically around the outside of the place, they may help a lot. Just not crazy about using any sort of chemicals here, if I can get away with it. The more natural the ingredients, the better I would feel.
     
  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Wonderful thread @hot diggity thanks for including photos. Nicely explained and thumbs up on the disclaimer.
     
    Ganado likes this.
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    Here is a song can you relate to it. [MEDIA]
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