Zippo Lighters, Extending Fuel Life

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Old Geezer, Sep 17, 2020.

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  1. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Reducing lighter fluid evaporation in your Zippo









    This one, I myself have done. It does lengthen the storage life of the fluid, but makes the lighter less immediately accessable.


    Butane conversion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z47G1H4me4

    I just bought another Zippo. Why? It was pretty. OK, so it had a beautiful woman's image on the case, Art Nouveau. I began smoking in Jr. High, smokin to get high in high school, but I began always carrying a cigarette lighter & pocket-knife in grammar school. Cave man say, "Must make fire! Must cut meat! Og happy. Time man give Og Zippo, big can fire magic water. Zippo God!"

    Everybody, please add your ideas in the realm of making fuel last longer in a Zippo. I know that we all have several containers of hurricane matches, but hey, Zippos are handy.
    .
     
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  2. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Yes, I do buy naphtha at the hardware store. So you have your handy small can that has the tiny fuel spout, but you fill the little handy can using a quantity can of naphtha you bought in the paint thinner section of your hardware store.

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  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I make what some call ranger bands by cutting bicycle innertubes into bands that are from 1/4" to 1/2" wide. If you will put one of the 1/2" bands around the zippo covering the hinges and seam it will make it waterproof and eliminate a lot of the evaporation without making it a problem to use and will also keep a recently filled lighter from leaking in your pocket.
     
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    1. Old Geezer
      One of these videos has a guy using a section of bike inner-tube. Now this has been confirmed by a trustworthy person. Thanx Tex!
      Stopping leaking flammable liquid and its vapors is good all-round. Sure can't get the cheap little plastic butane lighters near any open flame situations -- "most don't leak" = not comforting. I often work near K-sized oxygen tanks, several tanks stacked side by side, plus working near oxygen delivery systems. O2 levels above 21% ambient.
       
      Old Geezer, Sep 18, 2020
  5. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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    Are there any dangers in using another gas? Be it kerosene, diesel, gasoline, etc. Obliviously, you wouldn't want to light a smoke with that.
     
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  6. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning F22,

    An indirect response to above;

    During the Vietnam War, some of the local ladies would sell glass vials of lighter fluid to the soldiers at a very low cost compared to buying a can of American stuff when/if returning from the thorns to a base camp.

    The vials contained naphalm.
     
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  7. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I went with a kaschie bullet lighter. It's a big peanut lighter with a screw on top.
     
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  8. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Over the many years I carried a Zippo and finally started making leather belt sheaths to carry them. It always sucked if I put a little to much fuel in one and then had it leak in my pocket. That stuff causes a chemical burn that takes a couple or three days to stop burning. In a pinch I have put kerosine in them a few times. It worked but stinks and doesn't burn as clean. I think that the regular lighter fluid might be some form of massive high octane gasoline without all the additives in it.

    Contrary to what most people think, higher octane means a higher spontaneous flash point temperature. I used to mix 135 octane avegas (Aviation fuel for the old radial airplane engines. I worked for a crop dusting service and did the refueling every morning.) with shell premium when I went to the drag strip. My heavily modified engine had at least a 13 to 1 compression ratio and low octane gas would ignite just from the compression and cause preignition problems. The higher octane gas allows for more complete compression and burns giving you more power from the firing. The only problem with that Avegas mix was that it was hell on valves and I usually had to replace the valves pretty often. I ran a 235 bored to 250 inline 6 cylinders in the V8 unlimited class. there wasn't a 6 cylinder unlimited class. The inline engines generally have a stronger low end and a hell of a first 1/8 of the mile but then can't match the V8 in rpm and longer legs at the end. I was a TERROR at street light drag racing and embarrassed a lot of Corvettes. 3 aces set up progressive made it run like a sh1+ eating ape but was mean to idle. Ah yes, the good old days when I had nothing better to do than spend my spare time with my head under the hood of my car.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  9. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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  10. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Master Survivalist
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    Lighter fluid may be liquid butane.

    Found this on naphtha octane. Very interesting.

    https://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/10/20131008-naphtha.html

    So I take it a low compression engine could burn it?

    Another fuel source for Zippos could be liquid paraffin wax I suppose. You can buy it by the gallon at Walmart or other places. Also, Coleman campfire can be had by the tin jug. Though, unlike paraffin oil, not sure how long campfire fuel lasts. I know gasoline for example can age over time and losses its power.

    Edit-

    Looks like butane is a 90. http://www.chemgapedia.de/vsengine/...enwasserstoffe/octanzahl/octanzahl.vscml.html
     
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  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Even before I smoked I carried a lighter and a pocket knife too. Back then that lighter was a multipurpose tool. A Zippo allowed you to do more than just light a fire. It let you light a lady's cigarette with style! I could whip mine out and pop it open like a switchblade with one hand and then with a snap of my fingers had a fire and my hand wrapped around it to offer to a lady. Women back then would just pull out a cigarette and wait and see who got to her first. I was fast and on my toes and offered a bit of performance art along with a light.

    the same was for a knife. It was a multiuse tool and even the lady teachers would just wait and see which boy was fastest to pop out a blade if she needed something opened. I carried a Buck knife in my hip pocket and could snap it open lightning fast onehanded.

    The good old days on the hunt and on point for the ladies.
     
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  12. Max rigger

    Max rigger Master Survivalist
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    Fuel leakage is the number one weak spot for zippo's, I have one in a drawer but I've not taken it out on a camp for maybe ten years now. Bic style lighters just work better, simple as that.
     
  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    Zippo's can explode if they are overfilled, I know cos it happened to me, I gave up smoking in 1995 I just have disposable lighters for prepping purposes now.
     
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  14. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I can recommend a liquid fueled lighter now available for $ 17.00 on Amazon . Listed as " bronzy carved Constantine antique style lift arm oil petrol lighter ". It is made of solid copper and is heavy for a lighter and can withstand a lot of wind with its powerful flame . Mine was filled over two weeks ago and is still functioning great with its original fill up . Actually My son wanted one also , after seeing mine , so I bought a second one for him . I may buy several more for the stash and the rest of our survival clan . It has a seal over the wick and refill hole conserving the fuel . --- I had some years ago bought a bunch of cheap liquid filled lighters and decided to try one out before s.h.t.f. . I am certainly glad I did because those cheap lighters would allow the fuel to evaporate out even with no use in about two days .
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  15. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    Another thought on this matter . In my stash is a hoard of disposable lighters . Going through them a while back I did find one that had evaporated out , without it ever once being used . I suspect others in my stash may have succumbed to the same end , but I didn't go through all my stash checking disposable lighters . Just thought our members should be aware of this possibility . My focus now is the refillable liquid lighters and flint and steel .
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  16. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    I'm now in an experiment that has been going on since mid-summer. I am trying to discover the best method of keeping the lighter fluid in a Zippo from evaporating-away. A Zippo unprotected will lose its fuel to evaporation in a week or less. This phenomenon means nothing to a smoker because they are lighting the little beast perpetually and thus use up the fuel in the form of the lighter's purpose.

    All of my efforts to seal the reserve before re-inserting the mechanism back into its case have failed or have been so troublesome as to make them undesirable. I tried plastic seals. I tried wax -- that was messy and rather stupid. There is an online rubber seal that goes into the bottom of the lighter -- I did NOT buy this due to its getting negative reviews online.

    Dropping the Zippo into a sealable plastic bag, rolling it up in that plastic mashing out the air in the process, making sure the bag's seal is zipped shut, then wrapping this small package with a rubber band results in an extreme reduction in evaporation. I just reached over and tested my lighter that had been sealed and it readily lit and produced a full, robust flame. I know for a fact that I haven't filled that puppy in over three weeks. During this three weeks, I have lit it four times or less. It was convenient, so I used it.

    Eventually, plastic-sealed lighters WILL run out of fuel. I would put the time at around one month of storage. Stored in plastic and given that some evaporation is definitely occurring, I store my Zippo atop a metal file cabinet. I believe that it would be profoundly unsafe to put this storage package in with flammables such as any container/desk-drawer full of papers. More unsafe yet would be to put this storage package in with fabrics. As everybody knows, if a gas-station crew throws all their oily cotton clean-up rags in a big 55-gallon barrel, that barrel can spontaneously combust. When storing a lighter, the fuel must not evaporate into combustible materials -- that's an inferno waiting to happen. That's NOT going to be any experiment I'll be conducting.
    .
     
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  17. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    Update - I went back to buy some more of the lighters I recommended on one of my above posts . They were sold out and stated they may never get any more . Perhaps folks took my advise and bought them out . I can say this , they bought a good lighter , especially from a preppers stand point .
     
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  18. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    Well I found more of my coveted lighters but without the fancy designs on the case . So I just ordered 8 more so as to cover each household " some futuristic " for all my kids and grandkids . I will put the lighters in the stash so I know they will not be lost before the collapse gets that dire and then distribute them . The collapse has picked up dramatic speed in the United States in just hours so the day of distribution may not be that far off . At least with the un-designed cases on the lighters , I can engrave the owners name on them in order to prevent future confusion over ownership .
     
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  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Amazon sez that they have the following lighter in stock:

    https://www.amazon.com/Kerosene-Cig...V8NB1MFTFSH&psc=1&refRID=1J1TC3Z94V8NB1MFTFSH


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    There is a video on Amazon showing how to disassemble and maintain this lighter. The screw that opens the filling chamber (located on lighter bottom) has an "O"-ring seal. The cap that goes over the lighter wick area may just prevent some evaporation also.

    "【Refillable Design】 Simply rotate the tank cover on the bottom and refill with lighter fluid/fuel or replace flint stone. With the bottom anti-leakage ring, effectively inhibits leak and evaporation. "


    These are made in Hong Kong. Now that China is doing its best to rape Hong Kong, maybe they could use some money to escape the place. I'd welcome intelligent freedom-loving capitalists who had to escape the collectivist cancer.

    About suppliers:
    https://www.amazon.com/s?me=A7EPYQ6VRMANA&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/...browse-bin=yusud&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_20946097011

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
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  20. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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  21. Old Geezer

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    Reading reviews on above lighter, Vintage Trench Lighter:

    Most reviews positive.

    One person got a defective lighter; cover for wick was bent.

    One person said that he'd like a larger flame.

    One person said that they wished the little lighter would hold more fuel.

    Me, O.Gzr, might buy one just because it is cute. I could rationalize this by saying that I was buying it to test its fluid evaporation rate. I routinely lie to myself. Too much self-observation leads to spoiling the big lie that life is worth living.

    When a boy in grammar school, I always carried a cigarette lighter and a pocket knife. I still have a couple or three pocket knives I carried those many centuries ago (I'm now looking at a couple of them in one of my top desk drawers, another I keep in one of my house tool boxes -- they still work, I still use them). I had a small collection of cigarette lighters back then. The nostalgia-factor on this lighter invokes a lot of bias in me. I'm OCD through and through.

    Steam punk partyers would like the "trench lighter".
    .
     
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  22. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    The lighter I now possess is made with rubber seals to prevent fuel loss . Mine is not the same as the one above but the theory is the same . I can testify the sealed fuel intake and sealed wick cover when not in use works . The fuel will eventually evaporate out , but at a much slower rate . For a prepper looking at just starting one or two fires a day for warmth or cooking , it will be a priceless item to have in ones pocket when things finish collapsing . --- After having done a lot of practice I can usually get a live ember burning in under 30 seconds and a burning flame under three minutes with my flint and steel but being the person I am will take the easy way out as long as I can with either matches or a lighter .
     
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    1. Old Geezer
      Just bought me some more magnesium shavings. I keep these inside the fireplace when it's not in use or on the masonry around the fireplace. You can also buy fire lockers for flammable materials. I've also got a small steel locker with key. One must always be OCD concerning safety matters. My ammo is locked-up along with firearms not in immediate service. We have multiple fire-extinguishers -- buy the big ones.
       
      Old Geezer, Jan 9, 2021
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