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Thread: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Feb 2019
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    Default modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Hi and thank you for allowing me to join this group. I am experimenting with converting a dietz "traffic gard" lantern to burn alcohol fuel. I am going to use off the shelf components from small camp stoves and small mantle lanterns to make the conversion. My question is "Has anyone attempted this before?" I found that the coleman propane lanterns have a high center of gravity and blow over easily when used camping. They are large and cumbersome and not clean burning if used in a power outage indoors. Any thought on this topic are welcome.

  2. #2

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Quote Originally Posted by ranger rick View Post
    They are large and cumbersome and not clean burning if used in a power outage indoors..
    This probably isn't want you want to hear but please use battery powered lights indoors. I've been crunching the numbers for basically all types of portable illumination for an article. Batteries and LEDs are now beating out hydrocarbon fuels on every metric. If you have a liter of li-ion or a kilo of li-ion they will make more light than the matching amount of any common fuel.

    Hydrocarbons do better if you also want a source of heat. But it is so much cheaper and safer to use rechargeable batteries. Particularly if you want to have enough stockpiled for months of use and not just a weekend camping trip.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Quote Originally Posted by ranger rick View Post
    Hi and thank you for allowing me to join this group. I am experimenting with converting a dietz "traffic gard" lantern to burn alcohol fuel. I am going to use off the shelf components from small camp stoves and small mantle lanterns to make the conversion. My question is "Has anyone attempted this before?" I found that the coleman propane lanterns have a high center of gravity and blow over easily when used camping. They are large and cumbersome and not clean burning if used in a power outage indoors. Any thought on this topic are welcome.
    http://www.colemancollectorsforum.co...nterns-5999494

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Iím curious as to why you would want to convert? If itís for a cleaner smelling burn, check out Firefly clean lamp oil. Better than all other fuels Iíve tried. I am a tubular lantern fan.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  5. #5

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    my guess the only advantage is that alcohol available everywhere. you can use ethanol, methanol, rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol....

  6. #6

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Quote Originally Posted by parametrek View Post
    This probably isn't want you want to hear but please use battery powered lights indoors. I've been crunching the numbers for basically all types of portable illumination for an article. Batteries and LEDs are now beating out hydrocarbon fuels on every metric. If you have a liter of li-ion or a kilo of li-ion they will make more light than the matching amount of any common fuel.

    Hydrocarbons do better if you also want a source of heat. But it is so much cheaper and safer to use rechargeable batteries. Particularly if you want to have enough stockpiled for months of use and not just a weekend camping trip.
    Is this really true? A liter of white gas for a Coleman lantern (with globes) will make less light than a liter of batteries with an efficient LED light?

  7. #7

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimIslander View Post
    Is this really true? A liter of white gas for a Coleman lantern (with globes) will make less light than a liter of batteries with an efficient LED light?
    interesting question. i have 8d rayovac lantern, and coleman propane lantern with 2 no21 mantles, on high, gas lantern is a lot brighter, and can of propane (small green) runs about as long as 8d cells light, 8d cells weight about as much of even more than a can of gas. but 8d lantern uses 2 13w florescent tubes.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Jun 2007
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    Colorado
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    1,799

    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    Ultra-pure paraffin lamp oil should work without converting the lantern. Paraffin oil isn't perfect as it solidifies below 40 F and clogs wicks sometimes but generally is much nicer for indoor use and doesn't put out a foul odor.

    I can't speak to the efficiency of fuel vs. batteries but if you want emergency lighting there are battery powered LED options that do very well.Something as simple as an old incandescent 6V light with a Dorcy LED drop-in replacing the bulb,pointed at a white ceiling works nicely and will run a long time. There are of course many options and dedicated LED lanterns available and they lack the fire risk of fuel powered lanterns.

    Not to say that lamps or lanterns* can't be safely used indoors but they do require attention and fresh air flow. parametrek is right, main advantage of a fuel lantern these days is heat output for winter use.

    *I would say NEVER use a Coleman or White gas pressurized lantern indoors,they just aren't made for indoor use and it isn't worth the risks.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  9. #9
    Enlightened Cavannus's Avatar
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    Montrťal, Canada
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    Default Re: modifying a kerosene lantern into an alcohol lantern.

    If you want to use alcohol* for lighting, you need a mantle burner as you mention it. Moreover you need a burner that vaporizes alcohol (using heat) and transforms it into gas.
    THe best you can do is to get an old burner, for instance the French burner Tito-Landi (please note there are two versions: white gas and alcohol Ė the alcohol version has a cotton wick that looks like whool) or the Engelfred burner.
    These burners need preheating. You'll find a lot of information in French.


    * You are asking for alcohol, so I am talking about alcohol - not white gas, not gasoline, not Coleman fuel, etc. that are different fuels with different requirements.

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