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Author: Subject: A lighter that lasts
Morgan
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[*] posted on 25-6-2013 at 05:52


I bought a magnesium fire starter the other day at a Harbor Freight store for 40% off just for the striker. But having watched this clip, I will now have to try it out just to see. The starter in the video doesn't last very long, in fact it doesn't even seem to get off the ground. Who would have thought?
Magnesium Fire Starter Fraud
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frDMAOlIGaY#t=5m52s

[Edited on 25-6-2013 by Morgan]
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 26-6-2013 at 14:49


I tried my Chinese Harbor Freight magnesium fire starter which came with a ~2.5 inch piece of hacksaw blade on the chain. The non-serrated side worked fine for scraping off magnesium slivers.
The instructions read:
Note: Effect use requires practice. If fire starter is to be used for emergency fire starting, practice using it in a safe location before an emergency arises.
1. Shave magnesium with the flat edge of the attached blade onto surface to be ignited. Make a pile about "1/8" deep and as big as a quarter.
2. Strike bar with tip of attached blade (as if the blade were a match) to create spark and ignite shavings.

The back of the package also had some warnings about not staring at the initial bright white flame, to wear safety goggles during use, keep away from children, use only in areas designated specifically for fires, and "if using different blade with starter, use blade, not back edge to prevent injury from blade closing." "Save these warnings."

Anyway the shavings lit quite easily, the pile ignited on one edge and this quickly ignited the entire mass releasing a blizzard of magnesium oxide into the air. I was most impressed how fast it burned. A+ for this product.
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 30-6-2013 at 10:21


Just out of curiosity, I wonder if you could use a hand-heated Peltier to store/step-up enough electricity to create a tiny spark to light a butane lighter. Something like this but with a butane cartridge. Or any other way to concentrate the heat from your hand/micro energy harvesting.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/06...

[Edited on 30-6-2013 by Morgan]
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 30-6-2013 at 11:49


A good historical account on lighters.
http://sci-ed.org/Conference-Pognana/Brenni.pdf
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 4-2-2015 at 15:00


Yet another lighter design.
My taser lighter thing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obxk3f9QKw0
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Pyro
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[*] posted on 5-2-2015 at 20:17


if you have 800 bucks to spare you can get an ST Dupont :)
it has never failed me, flints are cheap as hell (3$ for 9 of them, one lasts months of continuous use) and you look stylish :P
they also make the butane ones, but they are ugly as hell.

For home use I have a creme brulee thing with an electric lighting system (it's excellent for placing and removing candles from candle sticks) , they cost around 25$ and are totally worth it. also good for occasional soldering.

Also, old fluid filled lighters are very hit-and-miss. sometimes they will light at the first try and another time you need to try 20 times before getting a light.

Morgan, since you seem to like lighters, you may like this one I got for Christmas. It's a lighter and cigarette case built into one.


WP_20150206_003.jpg - 183kBWP_20150206_002.jpg - 68kB




all above information is intellectual property of Pyro. :D
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Varmint
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[*] posted on 6-2-2015 at 06:10


When used to light fuses, fuse combustion products deposit on the surfaces where the piezo spark is supposed to form. The problem is, the deposits are partially conductive AND present very tiny points.

The net effect is to dissipate the energy of the electrical charge to the point to where it no longer has enough energy to light the butane. In essense, instead of building to a high potential and crashing over in a high intensity arc, the small points provide places for the cahrge to bulk ionize the air rather than punch through with full energy.

So, clean the area in and around the discharge lead and whatever surface the discharge is supposed to got to. I have a lighter I have "killed" over and over by letting the fuse spew into the critical areas, but I simply take a few minutes to clean it and it's back to working like it came from the factory. In general, physical contact (rubbing, like a Q-tip, etc...) is required, compressed air might work a few times until the buildup must be physically removed.

Fuses obviously aren't the only culprits, pocket lint or anything else that can bleed charge and waste spark energy can turn the best piezo lighter to rubbish in no time. Accordingly, I can state with absolute certainty that many of you complaining about failed piezos simply needed to find a way to clean them.

Having said that, some designs are impossible to mechanically clean, in particular those windproof models with the platinum wire. The ignition happens below this area, so any attempt to clean it is almost certain to damage the platinum wire.
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 6-2-2015 at 07:36


The Bernzomatic torches light the propane far away from the tip of the torch and thus get around that annoying problem of deposits on the arcing surface. But they are rather bulky.
http://www.bernzomatic.com/item.html?id=15
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quantumcorespacealchemyst
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 21:24


I got a magnesium bar with scraper too. Then I read that finely powdered magnesium in the skin or something can cause cancer tumors. I then put the thing in a plastic bag. Now I just remembered I have magnesium. I don't know how pure it is though. :D

The powdered magnesium doesn't seem as dangerous to as getting it all over oneself and inhaling it, while scrapping a bar of it to make a fire. :/
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