Monday, May 9, 2011
Should I light my torch with a disposable lighter?
There is an urban legend about these disposable lighters. It seems, the story goes, that railroad welders would carry these to light their torches. Sparks from the welding would ignite the lighters. As I heard the legond they explode with the force of a stick of dynamite. Workers were killed and or severely burned. I did a little bit of research on the legend. Seems that there is no proof this ever happened. There was proof that the lighter manufactures would settle out of court and require silence about the matter as part of the settlement.
I have dropped these and had them explode. I have seen them spontaneously ignite on the dashboard of a hot car. The ones I have had explode created a rather nice bang and a small fire ball. I suspect that the legend was created to scare the beginner into using the correct tool. This might be a better teaching method. My teachers did not however believe in this teaching method.
There are better disposable lighters on the market...They are still cheap, still plastic. There are very expensive butane lighters on the market. There are other fuel lighters available. I don't want any unexpected fires at the bench. Use a striker.
There are nice tabletop automatic igniters on the market. They are battery operated spark producers. They will run in cost from about $25.00 to $45.00. They are an alternative. Frankly I'd rather have an ounce of silver. But that's up to you. I don't want anything else that requires 2 AA batteries. I suspect I have some of them some where. Perhaps the replacement flints to my strikers are in the same drawer.Get a striker and get good at using it. Enjoy