Intro: Never Have a Lighter Stolen Again!!
Stop lighter theft and make your lighters last for years. I have an antique restoration business and have a need for fire everyday. I use a lighter to light my pen torch that I use for a number of reasons. I find keeping a lighter to be difficult, nearly every smoker I know will accidentally swipe it. This would cause me to have to stop working, close up shop and run to the store. It really isn't the cost of the lighter that was problematic, just the interruption in my work day. So I made it painfully obvious, "that's not your lighter, that's my lighter" I noticed that the lighters were lasting way longer as well. I think I have stumbled upon a way to make a lighter last much longer. Like years longer! Check out the second pic, I write the dates on them when I glue them-10/30/13! The pics of the lighters in this tutorial are not fake, those are the real dates. That's right four years, by total chance I picked the day before the four year anniversary to make this instructable. I use these lighters everyday so its not that they're not getting used. I can think of several reasons they are lasting this long (other than not getting swiped) 1) when we put lighters in our pockets we probably hit the gas trigger a bunch and gas escapes. 2) maybe our body heat causes gas to leak or leaving them in a hot car might? 3) The hole where they fill the lighters at the factory might leak? I don't know why they last longer, that was not my intention, I just glued them in a block to help my friends realize that they were stealing my lighter and nobody has stolen one yet. This is a good way to keep lighters in places you need them, like a camping kit, you can write on the block where they are supposed to stay. If you decide to make this, get ready for the moan of a lighter thief, they will be very loud in their protests against you fixing their problem, I love hearing them whine.
Step 1: Make a Hole in Some Scrap Wood and Cut to Length.
I am using scrap 2x4, I have the advantage of owning a hollow morticing machine. You can drill yours out if you don't own this type of machine. It is important that you make a "pocket" to receive the lighter as you will be gluing it in. You want to bury the end of the lighter in adhesive, covering the hole on the bottom where they fill it with gas, I think that might have something to do with the lighters lasting so long. Here in the USA the lighters I like to buy are made by Bic they are 3 1/8" long. I leave about 3/4" of the lighter sticking out. So the hole I drill is 2 3/8" deep. I cut my holes to where there is 1/2" on all sides, my original block was a piece of 2x4 that was 6" long and it was too awkward to use. I use a piece of 2 x 4 that is 2" long. The size I use these days is large enough to help my friends realize that is not their lighter, yet its small enough to be used easily. The finished size is 2" x 3 1/2" x 1 1/2"
Step 2: Glue the Lighter Into the Block
I have used the same type of adhesive every time I have made these, so that might have something to do with the length of time they hold up. Its an adhesive made by 3m that is used in the automotive industry to hold weather strips on cars. This tube is black, it comes in other colors and is useful in all sorts of projects, you wont regret buying a tube believe me. Just squirt a bunch in the hole and press your lighter into it. You will need to wipe away the excess around the top if you have done it right. The idea is to encase the lighter in adhesive, sealing off the hole in the bottom (although I can't be certain that is why they last as long as they do)
Step 3: Flatten the Bottom
The edges of 2x4's are rounded which makes the lighter tipsy, So I take it to my sanding wheel and flatten the bottom.
Step 4: Put a Date on It!!
Don't forget to put a date on the bottom, its incredible how long they last. Honestly I would have expected the flints to give out, but nope. One of the best parts of this instructable is listening to the satisfying sound of a habitual lighter thief moan as he or she has realizes you have figured out how to stop their annoying habit! Please post pics on here if you have a lighter last more than a year, thanks for looking!