Making A "Bright Betty" Oil Lamp
(Part 2)

Dateline: 20 December 2016

In My Previous Blog Entry I introduced you to my emergency oil lamp concept, which I call the Bright Betty. I'm going to provide you with a series of pictures showing how you can make your own Bright Betty lamps. But before the pictures, I should discuss the materials you need...

Mason Jar Mugs

The Bright Betty glass jars are referred to as a Mason Jar Mugs. You can often find them at thrift stores and yard sales for much less than the cost of buying new. Such jars are thick glass and made to take heat. The top of the jar (above the flame) will get hot when in use. The handle does not get hot. You'll need the appropriate canning jar lid and ring to fit the jar. When the Betty isn't being used, the lid seals everything tight.

A "Safe" Fuel

As mentioned in the previous blog post, I use high-quality odorless, smokeless liquid paraffin, which is also known as liquid candle wax. Specifically, I use Hollowick Liquid Wax Lamp Fuel. The product description of the Hollowick lamp oil states...

Safety First. Approved by all major fire departments for use in restaurants. Our lamp fuel is classified as not toxic and non-flammable. It is in the same non-flammable category as vegetable oil: NFPA Class IIIB combustible liquid. D.O.T. Regulations rate it non-hazardous. It is safe to use on the tabletop and there are no shipping restrictions, storage limitations or insurance worries. Not intended to be used with kerosene or most common lamp oils, which are not suitable for liquid candles and tabletop use.


I use 1/8" round fiberglass wick to make my Bright Betty lamps. I bought it from They have small lengths for sale, and you can also buy 100 or 200 yard rolls there. It's item #1284. I used a 12" length for each lamp, but I think half that would work just as well.


The wire I used to make the spiral wick support and handle is 18-gauge galvanized steel. You can find this item at your local home center. I paid $4 for a 110 foot roll of it back in 2010.

Wick Tube

You need a wick tube to hold your wick securely, but not so securely that it can't be easily adjusted up and down a little. By adjusting the wick up and down you adjust the flame size.

I opted to make my wick tubes using 1/4" outside diameter soft copper refrigerator tubing, as you can see in the picture above.

When I cut the tubing with a tubing cutter, it reduced the inside diameter just right for gripping the wick, while allowing it to also be manually adjusted up and down. If the wick is lit, I make these adjustments using a pair of needlenose pliers.

The other end of the copper tube is flared with a flaring tool. It makes a perfect seat for the wick.

You probably don't have to go to the trouble I have to make these copper tube wick holders. It so happens you can buy wick holders. Do a Google search. And check out THIS LINK to see the inexpensive thermal glass wick tubes sold by  I have not used any wick holder besides my own homemade ones, so I can't recommend a specific storebought wick holder.

In my next blog post I will show a series of photos that detail the steps I take to make the finished wick support, as you can see in this next picture.

CLICK HERE to go to Part 3 of this series.

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