Introduction: How to Remove a Lighter Valve

About: I'm a Mechanical Engineer who has been a part of this community for over 10 years! My interests have evolved over time, and now center around 3D printing.

If you're like me, you're either cheap or don't have much money to spend on fun projects, or both. I happen to be both. So whenever I can, I salvage things that may come of use from things that are broken or are no longer of use. Disposable lighters are cheap and I have found that they have really nice valves in them that could be used for a really sweet squirt gun or flamethrower. Plus, they're small and unlike other valves are operated by pulling on them instead of turning, so a bunch of other uses could be found.

This is my first Instructable. Unlike other people who tell you to go easy, I invite you to rip it apart as much as you like so long as you offer ways I can improve.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

Because we're salvaging a valve, you don't need much. All you will need is a lighter and some way to remove plastic. The lighter I have I was holding sideways and melted the piece of plastic that was holding the wheel in place. The wheel popped out along with the spring and flint stone. To remove plastic, I'm using the screwdriver and needle-nose pliers on my leatherman.

Step 2: Begin Disassembling

This entire process is pretty simple actually.
First you want to take off the metal casing on the lighter. You can probably do this with just your fingers, but you may need to pry it off with a screwdriver. If you still have the wheel attached, you'll need to remove it. You can just break off the plastic pieces holding it in place with a screwdriver, some pliers, or your hands, whatever works.

Step 3: Remove Some Plastic and Fluid

This is hard to describe, but you want to remove, by however you wish, all the plastic that would make it difficult for you to turn the white gear-looking thing that is the valve. There is a lever-thing(see picture) attached to the gear that you can use to turn it, but I broke it off and turned it with pilers. Turn it to the left to loosen it and you will start to hear a hissing noise as the gas is released. You should really wait until it all seeps out, in a ventilated area of course. However if you're stupid like me, pour the fluid into a bottle cap and light it on fire while working in your basement! Remove the valve and set aside. It may be a different color in your lighter.

Step 4: Finishing the Job

So at this point you can call it done it you want, but I took it a step further. The part that the main valve screws into is used as a sort of regulator to allow as much or as little flow to the valve as you wish. Keep in mind though that it doesn't go to full off if you're using it in a project. So, I wanted the regulator, to do this, I chipped off the plastic surrounding the clear plastic piece. There isn't a science to this, just get the piece off. It's OK if you damage the plastic that doesn't affect the main valve's ability to screw in. If this is unclear, look at the pictures.

Step 5: You're Not Done Yet!

You now have your valve that you can do whatever you please with. Woo! I put one on the cap of a bottle that I can pressurize and blow air or water out of, I blew some lighter fluid out of it too, but my mom just had to supervise and freaked out when she realized it was lighter fluid so I stopped. I'm working on some fun stuff using these valves, so if I get sick again and get some time, maybe we'll have something awesome you can use these for.

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