Introduction: Uber Lighter 2.0
Burn everything in your path with the updated, ups-scaled and most awesome of lighters
This build is easier to build, you can change the wick simply and without any fuss and ascetically, it’s a much better looking and hardier lighter (in my humble opinion). Also it's around 40% larger as well! The size of the lighter will depend on how long you make the body section. I decided to make this version even bugger than the first.
Instead of fabricating a sparker section as I did in this 'ible, I went down the easy road and brought one on eBay. I’ve also added a screw cap to the end so filling-up the lighter and changing the rope (which you probably won’t do for years) is a tonne more easier to do. Also, the lighter is all made from off the shelf parts that you can buy from most hardware stores.
Also, I have changed the fuel type. Instead of using Methylated spirits which does burn well and clean, I changed it to Zippo fuel (Naphtha in the US). I find that it lights easier as well. Only problem with Zippo fuel I find is it does smoke more. Methylated Spirits burn very clean.
Methylated Spirits is called many different names. In the US it's called denatured alcohol (be careful of denatured alcohol though as it has Methanol in it which can be very dangerous) , methyl hydrate, or fonduefuel. In Europe, it may be called spirits. check out this link to find out more.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
Brass and Copper Fittings
1. 15mm Brass Threaded Socket - Bunnings
2. 15mm Brass Threaded Nut (2) - Bunnings
3. 15mm Brass Threaded Hex Plug - Bunnings
5. 1/2" x 1.5m Copper Straight - Bunnings
6. 20 X 15mm Reducing Copper Coupling - Bunnings
7. 15mm Copper End Cap - Bunnings
8. Sparkwheel - eBay
10. Brass wire (to make the loops for the chain) - eBay
12. Zippo Fuel (or Methylated Spirits - see the intro for more information)
13. Cotton Wool
1. Soldering Iron
2. Silver Solder. It's important to use silver solder as lead solder is too soft.
3. Mini Blow Torch
4. Angle Grinder
Step 2: Bottom Section - Removing the Hex Section
If you wanted to keep it simple, you could just solder on the whole coupling. I wanted to have a better finish so decided to modify the coupling.
1. First thing to do is to shorten the coupling. grab the angle grinder and remove part of the coupling as shown in the images below.
2. Next, grind off the hex section do the coupling is round. don't worry about getting it too smooth, you can do that later.
3. To fit the copper tube (main body of the lighter) into the coupling, you will need to grind some of the thread away. I used a dremel with a small grinder to remove some of the thread.
4. Push the tube into the coupling to make sure it fits ok.
Step 3: Bottom Section - Soldering and Shaping the Coupling
1. Once you have the coupling sitting correctly in the tube, you need to solder it into place.
2. Add some flux and heat-up the section with a blow torch. Add a lot of solder to ensure an air tight seal.
3. Once you have soldered on the coupling, it's time shape it. To do this I secured a drill into a vice and pushed the lighter onto a rod that was inserted into the drill. it's kinda like a poor mans lathe but it does the job. Check out this 'ible on how I did this in more detail
4. Use files to round the end of the coupling. Take your time and check your work regularly. Also smooth out any scratches and solder that may be showing through the join as best as possible
Step 4: Bottom Cap
If you try and screw in the cap to the coupling you'll find that it probably won't screw in all of the way. To fix this you will need to remove a part of the screw section.
1. With a angle grinder, remove portion of the screw section. I removed about 2 screw turns worth.
2. Remove any burrs on the end of the cap and test that it screws into the coupling.
3. Lastly, you will need to clean up the cap as it is covered with a black material. I'm assuming this is for protection of the end of the cap. I just used a file and removed all of the black material. To finish the cap, use some low grit wet and dry sandpaper (400, 800, and 1200 grit)
Step 5: Top Section - Soldering to the Main Body
In order for the 15mm cap to fit onto the end of the coupling, you will need to add a small piece of 15mm tube.
1. Cut a small piece of 15mm tube. It needs to be long enough to fit into the coupling and have the 15mm cap fit on as well. The cap should sit flush on the coupling.
2. Add some flux to the 15mm tube and solder into the coupling.
3. Next solder the coupling into the top of the body of the lighter. Remember to add a lot of solder to make sure that the seals are air tight.
4. Place the lighter back on the drill and use files and sandpaper to remove any excess solder and smooth out the lighter.
Step 6: Hex Nuts - Modifying and Soldering to the Lighter
The hex nuts are used as anchor points for the sparkwheel and loop for the chain. One you need to remove all the hex sections except for 1 and the other you need to leave 2.
1. Remove the hex sections on the nuts with a grinder. You could also do this with a file. Once nut is to have 1 hex section left and the other 2.
2. Smooth out the grinds with files and sandpaper.
3. As the nuts are too small to fit over the top coupling, you'll need to remove the threads inside the nuts. I used the dremel to do this but again you could used files to do this.
4. Once the nuts can fit over the coupling, you will need to solder them into place. Solder the bottom one first and then the next one.
5. Place the lighter back onto the drill and clean-up any solder, scratches etc.
Step 7: Adding the Sparkwheel
1. To make sure the sparkwheel sits straight on the hex nuts, use a file and make a groove in both of them.
2. Adfd some flux and secure the sparkwheel into place. I used my vice to hold in place whist I heated the lighter and added solder. The important thing to make sure of when attaching the sparkwheel is to make sure that the sparks go across the top section of the lighter. you can always reduce the top section by filing it down if the sparks are too low.
Step 8: Adding O Rings
Adding O rings ensures that the fuel won't leak out.
1. Add a small O ring to the top of the lighter and place the cap on top. You may find that the cap is loose on the top of the lighter. You can fix this once you have attached the chain.
2. Next add an O ring to the bottom cap. I had to add a couple to make sure the seal was right.
Step 9: Adding a Chain
You don't have to add the chain if you don't want to. However, it's a good way to ensure you don't lose the lid.
1. Solder a small brass loop to the lid. I made mine out of a piece of thin brass rod.
2. Next, drill a small hole into the hex bolt on the opposite side of the sparkwheel.
3. Make another loop with a little arm sticking out. Secure the arm into the hole and solder into place.
4. Add some chain to the loops.
5. The lid will probably be loose so if you squash it slightly with a pair of pliers, you should get a nice secure fit. Give it a slight twist as well as I find this holds it in place better. Don't make it too tight however as you won't be able to get off the lid!
Step 10: Adding the Wick and Cotton Wool
1. Cut a length of the sash (cotton) rope. make sure that it is longer than you need.
2. Next wrap some thin wire around the rope. This will give it strength and rigidity.
3. Push the rope through the top of the lighter and through the end.
4. Pull off small pieces of cotton and push it into the lighter. Make sure you evenly spread it through the inside of the lighter and around the rope.
5. Add a piece of cotton inside the cap.
6. Lastly trim the end of the rope so it just sits out the top.
Step 11: Adding Fuel
I used Zippo fuel but |I do find that it smokes quite a bit. I used methylated spirits in the past and this burns more cleanly.
1. Un-do the bottom cap and also take off the top one.
2. Fill the lighter up with fuel. It will take a fair bit as the lighter is large.
3. Once the fuel starts to come out of the top then you know it's full.
4. Place the bottom cap back on and the lid.
5. Give the lighter a wipe and test to make sure it works.
The flame is quite large in the image but it's actually about half the size of this now. The rope was a little too high when I fist lit it up but I have pulled it back in a little and how it's just right