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oil lamp discussion

updated sun 26 sep 99


LOWELL BAKER on sat 25 sep 99

A year or so I wrote an answer to a question submitted to CM
regarding oil lamps. I had often wondered why they leak oil and not
water, being that oil seems like it would have a much longer/larger

The reason given to me by one our chemists is that water
molecules are attracted to themselves much like but for none of the
same reasons blood clots. Oil does not do this so oil slides
through the minute cracks and water builds its own little water
dams. I know this is over simplified but it works for me.

You will probably have to seal the lamp prior to putting any oil in it.
You have received good advice on sealers.

W. Lowell Baker
the University of Alabama