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  1. #1

    Default Emergency Candle / Heater

    I haven't made one of these yet but I'm planning on trying it out. It will heat & light a room for 36 hours and can be made with spare candles or with whatever wax you can get.

    #10 Emergency Candies - This candle should burn approximately 36 hours and keep a 12 ft X 14 ft room warm. It can be used for light, heat and cooking. To keep a roaring fire, occasionally scrape the surface off

    Making a #10 Emergency Candle

    1. Sawdust or wood shavings - approximately 1 to 1 1/2 lbs
    2. Wicks (found at craft stores) - 1 per can approximately 12 inches.
    3. Candle wax (available at craft stores) - 11 lb brick will make 5 candles.
    4. #10 tin can and plastic lid (unused paint cans work the best).

    Directions - A #10 can requires approximately 2 lbs, wax and I to 1 1/2 lbs of sawdust shavings.
    1. Gather all materials together in one location.
    2. Melt wax in a separate tin can over a larger pan or electric fry pan filled with water. (Work outside if possible.)
    3. Mix sawdust and shavings into a bucket or small mixing bowl.
    4. Pour wax over sawdust and shavings and mix well.
    5. Put sawdust and wax mixture into your can and pack well, half-full.
    6. With a pencil, poke a hole in the middle of your mixture and then push the wick down the hole to the bottom of your can.
    7. Fill the rest of your container with the sawdust mixture to 1-2" from the top of your can. Keep your wick about 2 inches above sawdust mixture. Let stand until wax has hardened.
    8. Seal top with a small amount of melted wax. Cover with lid when cooled.

    These are only guidelines; Use your own experience and knowledge. Be sure to use only fuel you are familiar with, and remember to be safe first.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    So. ME


    That is screaming fire hazard to me. I have used wax and sawdust as fire starters but there isnt a chance in hell I am going to use it in a can burning in a house. It will smoke like mad and suck up a lot of O2. Please try this outside first!!

  3. #3
    NES Member Another_David's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Eastern Mass.


    burn in a fireplace?
    pew pew pew

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    So. ME


    Here is a link with pictures on how to make it:


    I wouldnt burn it in the house.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    If you are just looking for light and not heat. I have 10 of those $3 solar lights you line your walkway with.... if power goes out at night I go outside and pull the top off the post and place them in short rocks glasses on counters and on tables in every room. You can light a whole apartment like this. no help on the heat though... lol

  6. #6


    Hmm... Maybe this would be better as a way to cook out doors instead.

  7. #7
    NES Member MisterHappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!


    There are a lot of different emergency lightng solutions that have been discussed on here. Kero, propane, candles, etc.

    This is not a "light source" this is a last-ditch SHTF stove, IMO. It might be OK in a fireplace, but if it's winter, an open flue will suck out heat. Personally, I'd be cautious about using this inside, especially without plenty of ventilation.

    One of my favorite emergency light sources is the 10-inch votives (They're at Market Basket in the Latino section). Cheap, burn well and long, and safely.

    Before you need your SHTF lightng.....test it. No TVs, no powered stuff. Make sure that the smell (if any) of the lamps or candles does not offend. Figure out where one light will cover the most area. Put a mirror behind it to boost the available light.

    IMO, a lot of "Prepping" seems to be more theoretical than practical. When Irene came through, even though it was mild weather, I gave myself only a "C" .

    Personally, I'd try before I'd recommend.
    If you pull a trigger, you have to pull together.

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  8. #8


    I've seen several similar designs, using tuna-cans rather than #10 cans and rolled corrigated cardboard rather than saw-dust/wood chips, for use as a heat-source for a #10 can stove. They work pretty well because the carboard serves as a wick to bring melted wax to the flame rather than burning itself (until the wax burns off). I don't think saw-dust/woodchips would work as well.

    I supose you could try the same technique with a #10 can - cut cardboard to a width 1" less than the hieght of a #10 can, roll it up tight to just fit into the can, then fill with wax and add a few wicks to get it started.

    I'd also be worried about it smoking fiercely, but might be worth a test if you have lots of #10 cans around.

    I'll toss in another vote for the tall 10" 1" diameter "voltive" candles for light though. We have several that came in glass tubes that are taller than they are with a 3-4" diameter base. They'll easily light up a room for general use or a table for reading and they burn for 10-12 hours. We use a few when the power goes out, and if they get nocked over, the large amount of liquid wax typically washes out the wick immediately.

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