Monday, October 15, 2018

Bringing a Bic Lighter Back from the Dead

I found not one, but three discarded lighters while running yesterday. I picked one up, planning to convert it to a handy Spark Lite fire-starter knock-off. Rather than grab a needle nose pliers and other tools, I decided to see if I could do the conversion using whatever items I had on my keychain. My thinking: if I ever needed to turn an empty Bic Lighter into a sparker in the field, I probably wouldn't have the benefit of a toolbox to rummage around in.

I used a P-51 can-opener to gently pry the metal cover off. From there, I used no tools, just gentle pressure to unsnap the rest of the components. The tricky part was getting the tiny flint back into the spring-loaded chamber. I managed to launch both the spring and flint into the air, and spent most of the the build time on my hands and knees looking for these fly-away parts. I used my keychain tweezers to help set the flint back in place.

For just a couple of bucks, it's hard to imagine a more glorious piece of gear than the Bic Lighter. Even out of fuel, it still has much utility to offer.

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