Introduction: Storm Lighter

Picture of Storm Lighter

Storm lighters are nice.
Storm lighters are useful.
But storm lighters are expensive. Too expensive for what it is: a sturdy fuel tank combined with a starter.

Here's a way to boost up an ordinay lighter into a cheap, water- & stormproof fuel torch.

- some alu tubes in different sizes
- a few brass caps
- a lighter
- a few tampons

Step 1: Making the Reservoir

Picture of Making the Reservoir

The hardest task will be finding two alu-tubes (or copper, steel, titanium or whatever) that fit exactly one into another.
I used a bigger tube from a bicycle pump and a smaller from a camera tripod.
Exit tripod - to sacrifice is nice.

Cut the smallest tube into the size you want and perforate one half of it in the drill press.
Smash it into the bigger tube (with or without CA).
Cut the bigger tube.
Smash the bottom of this 'reservoir' into a brass cap (see picture howto).


Step 2: Making the Cover

Picture of Making the Cover

Cut a piece of bigger tube and smash it in the second cap.


Step 3: Adding the Starter

Picture of Adding the Starter

Glue an ordinary lighter to the reservoir.
Or use sugru.

Step 4: Mummyfication

Picture of Mummyfication

You're right.
It IS really an uggly thing, in this stage.
Let's put some camouflage!

THE ingedrient: 'DIP étanche' ('DIP watertight') - a rubbery fibre stuff paste used to make junctions in wet areas watertight - on roofs for example. You'll probably have something similar where you live - I'm sure that even a mixture of pine resin & yakdung will do the job.

Put a lot of DIP layers (cover the spark-mechanism with tape) and let it harden.

Cut the mummy on the right place in half to separate cover & reservoir.

Now you've got a lighter which is almost waterproof.

You're right.
It's still an uggly thing.
But waterproof.

Step 5: Light My Fire!

Picture of Light My Fire!

Put the tampons in the reservoir & loosen the top.
Soak it with fuel (or ethanol, methanol, lighter fuel or whatever)

Lighter ON!!!

You just made the cheapest storm lighter ever!

Enjoy, & thanx for watching!!!


rcooke1 (author)2014-11-09

how caveman discovered fire lol

happy lasering (author)rcooke12015-09-12

dude, cavemen don't have tampons.....

hramsey1 (author)2014-01-27

I like the idea for a survival pack melt down some petroleum jelly and soak the tampon in it and use some firesteel for an ignition source wouldn't be "cheap" but would have a neck of a long shelf life. Great job man!

snotty (author)2013-11-25

For some reason I thought copper (or perhaps brass in this case) would cause excessive corrosion through electrolosis. Maybe all your glue makes this a moot point. How has it been holding up?

ASCAS (author)2013-11-16


KROKKENOSTER (author)2013-11-10

I have read through the comments and the solution to prevent the Bic from exploding due to overheating of the metal parts in the top. Cut a slot from the top for about 25 millimeter (One inch) and feed the string of the tampon through it. Also mount the Bic a little lower than illustrated so that the bulk of the heat will not reach the Bic. The string then be used as a fuse to light the tampon. This slot obviously must be in line with the flame of the Bic.

bricobart (author)KROKKENOSTER2013-11-13

I didn't have any problems with exploding the bic - see one of the comments below. Even with a full reservoir and a complete burning cycle it didn't give a boom.
And, it's a lighter - no one will let it burn for longer than a few minutes. It's ment to start a fire, not to cook on it.
But, if you prefer some extra safety you made a nice mod, so thanx mate!

KROKKENOSTER (author)2013-11-10

This look simple and interesting worth to have

bricobart (author)KROKKENOSTER2013-11-13

Thanx mate!

H2o4u72 (author)2013-11-09

That's awesome but isn't it a bit bulky,could you maybe use a mini butane lighter instead?

bricobart (author)H2o4u722013-11-13

I love custom made stuff, so the answer is no ;)

stephenf (author)2013-11-07

Flame ON! Should work with Everclear, yes?

bricobart (author)stephenf2013-11-13

Wazza? Type of cleaner? Spoil a bit of it on some cotton & ignite. If it burns, it'll burn in the storm lighter!

Breygon (author)2013-11-02

nice design. what kind of thermal insulation does the "dip" offer? also just a thought, how about using a clipper lighter and use a small straw to protect the gas refill valve during mummification (also let's you replace the flint)

bricobart (author)Breygon2013-11-02

Well it's quite resistant and not inflammable when it's hard. For example, I wanted to know how far I could push the limits of this device and thus I let it burn solo with a full (ethanol) tank. You know what? It lasted 9.43 minutes, and it's still intact!

Breygon (author)bricobart2013-11-07

eep! wow. That's quire impressive.

akiko159 (author)2013-11-02

is it safe?

bricobart (author)akiko1592013-11-03

Not less safer than table salt - all depends on the way you use it.
Do it the outdoor way: it'll be safe.
Load it with gunpowder: it won't.


TREX ZoaR0K (author)2013-11-06


Bowtie41 (author)2013-11-03

Just don't try this build at the wrong time of the month,lol

bricobart (author)Bowtie412013-11-04

Halloween humor ;)

Bowtie41 (author)bricobart2013-11-04

Nah,I was thinking of the'Nuff said,lest I get into trouble.Nice project!

srilyk (author)2013-11-03

I just have to say I love that you used a tampon for this.

bricobart (author)srilyk2013-11-04

Comment of my wife when she saw this I'ble: 'you stole my tampons again!'

spiritwalker6153 (author)2013-11-03

Not the prettiest girl on the block but probably the most effective for the cost. Very nice and what a flame.

I love the first phrase!!! Thanx!

jstnbeeks (author)2013-11-03

Why 2 pipes for reservoir not just 1
Also I am trying Durham's Rock Hard instead of dip

bricobart (author)jstnbeeks2013-11-04

The 'big' pipe seals the 'small' pipe.
Volatile liquid filled reservoir. Better seal it as much you can.

xeonfire9 (author)2013-11-03

That's pretty awesome nice work!

bricobart (author)xeonfire92013-11-04

Thanx mate!

Bowtie41 (author)2013-11-03

I'm not sure if the "heat soak" wouldn't get to the top of the lighter and blow it off.I've been in situations where I've lit a bic WAY too long(well after I felt it get hot) because I either needed the light to see,or was trying to heat up or light something wet,and the top literally blew off the lighter due to the metal parts getting too hot and melting the lighter.Be Careful if you build this!!!

psycophonic (author)2013-11-02

NOW I KNOW WHAT THE TAMPONS FOR.... refilling the tampons the easy bit but for starting why not just work a clippers flint thingy into the side. Although this just makes it a very long winded zippo...

bricobart (author)psycophonic2013-11-02


Makersauce (author)2013-11-02

Good job! i love the idea and design, and you're looks very nice and outdoors-y :D voted!

bricobart (author)Makersauce2013-11-02

Thanx mate!

jamob (author)2013-11-01

Great design if only the fuel could be refilled, then it would be perfect

bricobart (author)jamob2013-11-02

Thanx, I guess that even with a frequent use the starter will last a lot of time...

neo71665 (author)2013-11-01

Its cool and all but I wouldn't call a $10 lighter expensive. My plain zippo I carry daily cost more than my storm lighter.

About This Instructable




Bio: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.
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