Don't throw away those used lighters, instead turn them into a fire starter.

I hate to see anything go to waste, so whenever a disposable lighter runs out of fuel I either turn the flint into a firework (see here), or make one of these. The fire starter is made from the spark wheel, spring and flint from the lighter. The body of the fire starter is made from copper.

There's nothing too difficult making one of these, the hardest thing probably is adding the spark wheel to the copper bracket. It took me a couple of times to work out the best way to make this section.

The spring is held in place with a screw which has a ring soldered to the bottom of it. This makes the flint easy to change.

Without further ado - lets get started

Step 1: Parts and Tools


1. Lighter. Use a large one if you can as it has a bigger flint.

2. Copper tube. The size will depend on the dimensions of the spring in the lighter. I pulled apart the lighter and took this to the hobby shop to find the right sized tube

3. Copper strip. Hobby shop. Don't get it too thick or you will never be able to bend it. Same goes with too thin!

4. Copper wire. Hobby shop. This is used to make the ring

5. Screw. The screw should just be a little larger than the inside diameter (ID) of the tube.


1. Pliers. needle nose and any other small pliers

2. Small files

3. Drill

4. Mini blow torch

5. Solder

6. Flux

Wow! That's great! I totally want to make one. :)
<p>Do it! Actually, if you are new to soldering copper, then this would make an ideal project to start with</p>
Thank you, I appreciate knowing that. I am new to it and have tried a few times before with limited success. I'm not sure what I did wrong but it hasn't gone too well when I've tried. The soldering didn't stay on with or without flux. It kinda bubbles away from the metal I'm attenpting to connect. Any idea what might cause that?
<p>I use a paste flux which always does a great job of bonding the solder to the copper. you will know when the copper is at the right temperature when the flux starts to bubble. </p>
<p>Thanks! I will use these ideas for my next project and see what I can do differently. I really appreciate the coaching! </p>
<p>Sounds like too much flux. I use liquid flux instead of the paste. put it on the metal when it is cool and heat the metal rather than the solder. As the flux evaporates, it keeps the oxygen off the metal.</p><p>If it doesn't stick, let it cool and buff it with an emery cloth. Metal oxides are our enemy.</p>
<p>The pieces you are trying to solder have to be very clean, no dirt or oils, use sand paper or scotch brite pad to clean up the area to be soldered. Don't touch the area with your fingers as there can be enough natural oils on your fingers to make it not adhere. In some cases I use the Works toilet bowl cleaner to clean the parts. BE careful with the Works t.b.c it is a strong acid, have water and baking soda handy just in case.</p>
<p>one mod I might suggest isoldering a second tube to the side that you can put some char cloth in.</p>
<p>Simply amazing and awesome tool for all those who wants to spend night in woods. #VOTED</p>
<p>Muchos-gracias :)</p>
<p>Yes, thanks for the instructable. I think it is great not to have to go to Coleman in order to give them money for something I can build myself. Woo Hoo</p><p>Thanks again.</p><p>Anyone who thinks just carry a lighter apparently has not run out of fuel, or had a lighter explode in their pocket even. It happens.</p>
<p>Anytime. Totally agree with being able to make something yourself. I think people forget sometimes that this is a DIY site!</p>
<p>.... a DIY site indeed ! </p><p>I think every 'ible should have, as a constant reminder (to all that are shopping-ready-to-go), in it's title (or somewhere): Warning! Beware, you have just entered the DIY zone..... ;-)</p>
<p>Just use the old lighter</p>
<p>I think your missing the point.</p>
<p>LOL, indeed.</p>
<p>simple but very cool (and useful) </p><p>voted!!</p>
<p>Your da man</p>
<p>This is cool! Last week I tried to make a fire starter from empty lighter too, but the flints I got were only one or two millimeters long. Then I got rid of the fire starter project :D</p><p>Now I think I have to hunt a longer flint from empty lighters ^_^</p>
<p>I find that the larger bic lights have a pretty decent sized flint inside</p>
To save some time on soldering you can use an eye loop screw. Less chance for it to snap off and you can get a few in one pack.
<p>Good point. </p>
<p>heck buy a cheap cerium rod unmounted <br>reboot the project. Stripping a dead lighter is good too, or just pop <br>them open to add several flints to this crazyness. This is small easy to<br> lose, but easy to put4 of them in a pack, car etc. With a dead lighter I threaded sisal twine <br>and/cotton twine through the gas port hole, (I removed the guts first <br>and reamed out the spot to accommodate the twine), this is cleaner. And <br>having a cheap butane lighter everyplace you can is, well, cheap!</p><p>Still this goes on the keychain and is Ever So Steam Punkie. I may need to make one. </p><p>Oh I have both a Blast Match and the little brother Sparkie, they work very well.</p><p>If you can't make a fire with them, you have no hands or you are under water.</p><p>I did not get any of my scars from Bible School, in the Choir or as an Alter Boy.</p><p>I gotta have flames, and sharp stuff etc! And explosions, small, controlled, are good too, I did mention scars ....</p><p>Spark On!</p>
<p>Spark on indeed!</p>
<p>Very nice Instructable. Very nice explained and illustrated. </p>
<p>The Coleman company already sells these. They are used as an add on accessory for lighting their line of gas and propane lanterns. They are cheap too.</p>
<p>Great idea. But I think brass tubing would be stronger and will solder just as easy.</p>
I wasn't clear on my question. I meant drill it after it's bent but before you cut the tail off.
<p>Gotcha. Yep it would be, especially if you also had a drill press too! </p>
Why don't you drill the holes for the spark wheel before you cut it? It would give you something to hold on to while drilling.
<p>Getting the holes for the spark wheel to line-up is tricky. Doing it before you make the bends would take some serious skill.</p>
This thing is really cool!!!
<p>I actually use an empty Bic lighter to fire up my propane torch, no reason why this can't do the same job too. ☺</p>
<p>yep. You could attach the flint and spark wheel with a key ring to the torch somewhere. Then you'll always have it ready to use</p>
<p> I like it! Simple but efective :)</p>
this thing looks awesome. in fact, I have the need to make this one. but... I don't need it haha. nice one!

About This Instructable




Bio: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with.
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