for ol' git...heres them tuna can thingies : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hubby is a landfill operator and he brings home candles that have been pitched in the dump. I put them into a 3lb coffee can and stick in the solar oven and melt them. (You can melt them on the stove on very low heat in the coffee can) Then I take clean tuna cans, or more often, cat food tins and fill them with the melted wax. I use the wicks that come out of the original candles. Put the wick in after the candles crust on the top so the wicks will stay upright. Then after they are cool, I put in a book of matches and cover the whole thing in seran wrap. Hubby takes them back to work and distributes them to the employees and I give them away to people too. People seem real pleased to get them. Maybe its just they don't want to hurt my feelings. I tested one and it burned for 23 hours. The fact that they are so squat makes them much safer as they won't tip over. If you like you can buy scent to put in them when its melted. You can also purchase paraffin at the grocery store and make them. But I enjoy recycling the old candles.

Gotta match?

-- Taz (, April 02, 1999



Very interesting recipe for tuna candles. I wouldn't be allowed to search for used candles or anything else at the local landfill, which is off limits to scavengers. All city trash in bundled garbage bags is off limits, too.

Your recycling reminds me of Freddie the Freeloader's WWII account of remelting wax from a candle in the sunlight and reforming it around a cloth thread to make a new candle to burn the following night. These are very smart and frugal uses of limited resources.

People like anything that's free. Maybe they'll pass 'em around like fruitcakes. Maybe they'll use 'em for gag gifts. And maybe they'll forget about 'em until the electrical grid fails and then happily remember they still have them. Better hope the DGIs have enough sense to remove the Seran Wrap first.

SPAM candles: I wonder if opening a fresh can of SPAM, sticking in a sturdy wick and lighting it would work. I don't have any SPAM with which to experiment, but the fat content might be useable if one doesn't mind essence of fried pork.

-- dinosaur (, April 02, 1999.

My human likes this idea! I don't think he'll like washing the can out first thing in the morning after he feeds me. At my house I'm Fed first. It's strange my human cooks spam and eggs for his breakfast, after I'v been in and out the back door 6 or 7 times.

-- Kizzie (tuna@breath.meow), April 02, 1999.

dinosaur: I wouldn't try the SPAM candle idea; I think with all the fat in SPAM it would explode or at least flare up and ignite everything in close range.

Taz: I love the tuna candle idea. I wonder if it would be cost-effective to buy bulk wax to make them for those of us without access to a large supply of used candles.


-- jhollander (, April 02, 1999.

Thanks for the idea Taz.

I have another use for tuna cans, actually it came from my daugter's 1st grade class. They made bird feeders (the suet/seed kind) in empty tuna cans. I thought it was a great idea.

I don't have the recipe though, but it shouldn't be too difficult to make.

-- Deborah (, April 03, 1999.

you can find candle wax in bulk (like 12 lb. blocks) at hobby stores........last one i bought at Hobby Lobby was about $11 or so......less than a buck a pound

if you cut a strip of corregated cardboard that's a 1/2 inch shorter wide, than the tuna (or catfood) can is tall .....coil it up tightly till you can barely cram it into the can.......pour melted wax over it till the carboard barely sticks up over the wax and allow it to harden

then......turn an empty 3 lb. coffee can upside down after punching several holes in the sides (at the top and bottem) with a can-opener

place it over the tuna can after you light the cardboard, and you have a stove!

this works very well.....specially if you're trying to cook when there is wind whipping about and blowing away most of the heat of an ordinary campfire

-- andrea (, April 03, 1999.

What about all those folks who have no cats and don't like tuna?

It just doesn't seem fair.

-- Tom Carey (, April 03, 1999.

News flash for Tom:

EARTH--For the 50 billionth consecutive week since its inception, life was revealed to be unfair Monday. Death and suffering continued to be dispersed randomly among the planet's life forms, with such potentially mitigating factors as solid community standing, genetic superiority, and previous good works in no way taken into account. Despite the efforts of the Code of Hamurabi, the U.S. Bill of Rights, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, life is expected to remain unfair far into the foreseeable future.

--with a tip o' the hat to The Onion for a very funny bit!

-- Max Dixon (Ogden, Utah USA) (, April 03, 1999.

Taz--great idea and I can certainly use it. Candles--I picked up a grocery bag full of partially used ones for $3 at a yard sale. Empty cans--Sweetie and I would be glad to UPS empty cat food cans to anyone who wants them, providing they send us the cost of mailing. It's been embarrassing for some time now to put out the recyclables with the extra bin solely for cat food cans. I have to tip the sanitation workers very heavily at Christmas in case they complain about the fragrance in summer--you can NEVER wash the smell out of cat food cans. Yeah, sure, we feed the cats dry food but there are several who won't eat it without some smushy stuff mixed in. (Would you eat your Wheaties without milk???)

Do people still make those milk carton candles--you know, set the wick and then pour in the somewhat cooled wax mixed with water so you end up with a lacy effect. Does Martha know about this? Then there were those sand candles. Me? A hippie? Not moi.

On a similar subject, when I lurked around the North boards there was mention of a company selling fiberglass wicks for use with one's own containers and oil, believe they fit into a bottle-type top. I've seen something like that in the Real Goods catalogue but they're very expensive, about $11 apiece. The fiberglas ones were considerably cheaper. Anyone know this company?

-- Old Git (, April 03, 1999.

I don't think anyone makes those milk carton candles anymore on a conna there aint no milk cartons anymore. I don't know about those fiber glass wicks, but I did find find wick and lamp assembly in the Cumberland Store catalog that screws onto Mason jars. I thought that pretty neat. I have some 3/4 pt real squatty antique Mason jars that I am going to use. I think the price was $4.50. In someways, I am enjoying y2k as it is a game of wits. I am saving and using things that I used to just throw away. The stove described above is a "hobo" stove and they really work good. Have used them a lot, but sort of forgotten about them. Guess I will start making them since every one I know is full up with candles. LOL

got was and cardboard??

-- Taz (, April 03, 1999.

Old Git, I came across fiberglass wicks last year when searching for stuff for oil lamps. Here's one of my bookmarks:

fiberglass wicks

Also, last year I ordered these great wicks with ceramic holders to use in bottles with lamp oil. Great! Gave them as christmas gifts to my kids. You can use all sorts of decorative bottles. These too have fiberglass wicks. I use fancy looking wine bottles, and before putting in the lamp oil, I put dried flowers and stuff inside the bottles...those fancy glass pebbles look cool too,...(speaking of old hippies, LOL) Here's the link for those wicks with holders for bottles of all sorts:

Wanchese Pottery Bottle Wicks

I vividly remember making the milk carton candles when in elementary school in the late 50s/early 60s),the kind with water so it gets all lacey). Might be a fun-comfort project for me. I'm gonna try the can candles too...Thanks everyone for the tips. I've been a candle nut for at least 20 years,... :=)

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 03, 1999.

That's it, Donna, thanks! Wanchese! Taz, you might want to have a quick look at that site.

-- Old Git (, April 03, 1999.

We definitely can still get quart size milk containers like in the old days...wax-covered cardboard, or the like. No problem, Old Git, I said I love odd oil lamps and candles...have been lighting my house with them for years and years. My friends and family look forward to candle lit nights at my house...only reason I use electricity for light is to see better...(on my 40th birthday my eagle eyes went kaphlooey!)...when not reading I prefer to see things in that wonderful golden glow. It offsets my often angst-filled insides. (smirking)

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 03, 1999.

For free used candles -- ask your local church what they do with their left over candles. Ours discards candle stubs that really aren't stubs. They have a whole lot of burn time in them.

Also the 3 foot high Paschal candle gets replaced every Easter. I salvaged last year's candle and it was at least 2 feet 6 inches high!! Now have lots of wax... Got matches?

-- Libby Alexander (, April 03, 1999.

Ever thought about the reason why church candles last a long time ?It is not simply because they are large.Most shop-bought candles are made of paraffin wax which burns fairly quickly but church candles are made either from beeswax or a mixture of beeswax & paraffin wax.

Beeswax can be expensive if bought from shops but is much,much cheaper if bought from your local beekeeper.

A bonus is the candle is perfumed naturally of honey & with whatever flowers the bees obtained their nectar from in the summer.

Make beeswax candles in the usual way.You can use cotton parcel string as a wick but must coat it in wax before using.

Not having cats,I use 1 inch plastic waste pipe cut into 6 ins lengths as a mould.This makes a five inch candle which should last about 7.5 the time between it getting dark & bedtime.With standard sized candles,I can work out how many I need to make. PS.You need to grease the inside of your pipe before pouring the wax. Another good mould for a chunky candle is an old plastic tubular bird feeder.

-- Chris (, April 03, 1999.


I experience asthmatic reactions from scented candles, but I don't think I have any allergies from SPAM or cats. Where I work, sometimes coworkers light scented candles, and I must pass quickly through their work areas in order to avoid breathing problems. They are unwittingly (stupidly) contaminating the work environment, but they don't care because they feel they are contributing to the ambience.

Old Git:

Do you think your house is a fire hazard with all of your candles and lanterns? Have you sold your house? It seems you are still where you were weeks ago. Do you plan on selling your house and moving out into a rural region? Is that your Y2K plan?



-- dinosaur (, April 03, 1999.

Chris made a good point. Church candles do burn a long time. My neighbor gave me a case. (I'm saving them for a rainy day ;-)

They are UNSCENTED, so if you are not going to make candles, you might want to try finding a wholesale source of church candles. The ones I have are in glass cups, & don't seem like they would tip easily.

They are made by World Crisa Corp.

-- Deborah (, April 03, 1999.

Old Git:

I think unscented candles are the best. However, others desire the scented ambience. I think cats have their own opinions, in other words, let us outside for some fresh air! Meow! Scratch, scratch...

Cats are smarter sometimes than humans.

Both species have too much free time.............

-- dinosaur (, April 03, 1999.

Taz, thanks so much for information and inspiration. I've been saving old candle wax in a coffee can for about a year. Today I did my first three cat food can candles, and two refills on tea lites. Except for the "oops" when the tongs failed, and the candle wax on the floor and door of one cabinet, it was a success...

My Sweetie and I have a saying: Inspiration is where you find it. You have shown this to be true. I'm now gonna scout yard sales and churches for remnant candles. Since I'm a crafty sort, I'm also gonna dress them up and give them as presents. 7 cans of cat food a week translates into 7 candles per hour or two, less decorations...

Thanks, Taz,...

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 04, 1999.

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