Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Burning oil

So a couple weeks ago I was surfing the internet and came across a video of a guy making a olive oil lamp. So I watched the video and found it interesting. He took a piece of wood and using some coals to burn a depression in it. Then he used a knife to carve the outside of his bowl. I of course thought, "I could make one of those it 5 minutes" on my lathe and put some decorations on it. To make it work you find and place two stones that fit together pretty well. Place a wick in between and then fill the bowl with olive oil and light the wick. Today I taught a woodturning class and I made a little bowl. I placed some decorative lines on the outside rim and I put a spiral pattern inside under the rocks.  The bowl is made from a piece of cocobolo wood. This is a dense oily wood with really nice colors. The bowl is only about 3 inches across and around an inch deep. It does have fairly thick walls, but I wanted it to be strong and able to handle some abuse. It holds about an ounce of oil and so far has been burning for 5.5 hours. I estimate it should burn for at least another hour. This was a fun little project. I imagine the oil will seep into the wood which will help the bowl to continue looking good for a long time to come. I think I will make my next one from a lidded box that way I can use it for storage of the stones and extra wicks. 

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