Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fun with Fire: a Bic powered hot knife

From this video on alternative ways to light a bic lighter (useful for when you're hands are numb), I found myself on this lighter hacks video. One of the suggested hacks involved carefully attaching a paper clip to a lighter to create an improvised soldering iron.

I was curious if this hack truly worked, so I busted out a Bic, a paper clip and some Gorilla tape. I haphazardly folded the paper clip into position and taped it in place:

I fired up the Bic for 20 seconds or so and then attached a plastic yogurt container:

Like a hot knife through butter, the metal tip trivially pierced the plastic. Looking around for what else I could play with, I sliced up a ziplock bag.

I then went and grabbed some solder and tried melting it. No luck. Perhaps I need lower temperature solder for this to work?

This trick does get the paper clip hot enough to melt hot-glue-gun-glue. I grabbed some items recycling bin and confirmed that you can improvise a glue gun if need be:

How practical is all of this? Not sure yet, but being able to rig up a hot knife in a few seconds with minimal supplies shows promise to me.

The video opens with a slick hack for keeping a lighter burning continuously. It involves a using a large screw, a nut and a hot glue gun to attach everything. This works, though a simple hair band works equally as well:

But I think calling that a hack is probably being a bit too generous.

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