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somebody 'splain how this works?

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somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby ratatosk » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:26 pm

I've had a Peterson Old Boy-style lighter for nearly a year and mostly like it, but have had a problem the past few months that I can't sort out. Basically, I find it completely unpredictable, sometimes it takes one strike to light, sometimes 6-7. Fresh flint doesn't seem to matter and it has fuel, altho this is somewhat less of a problem shortly after refilling. It doesn't seem to matter whether I open the valve up more as far as ignition goes, altho the flame is bigger once it catches.

The first time I refilled it, I think that it took a count of 12, but it's never gone beyond a count of 6 since then. This is true even if I purge it and close the flame valve or not. When it's been apparently empty, it's always turned out to have some fuel left when I purge.

My guess is that the valve becomes clogged or something, but I try to clean it and the surrounding parts with naptha every couple of weeks. I've used both Zippo Blu butane and Xikar gas as fuel with no difference between the two. Ditto with Zippo and Corona flints.

I understand that the thing works on pressure, but would assume that the gas is compressed enough that it should discharge more or less evenly as it is replaced by air. Or is that not how this works? This is getting frustrating and I'm thinking about replacing it with an Old Boy, but maybe I don't understand something and am open to suggestions.

Thanks.
Richard
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby Muddler » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:26 am

I have one as well & have experienced the same thing. What I have noticed is that the lighter works best when the wheel is not pressed too hard when flicking it to start. They are quite temperamental.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby ratatosk » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:44 pm

That's a bit discouraging, but thanks for the reply.

Is the Old Boy temperamental as well? I could just use my zippo I suppose, but would prefer the adjustable candle flame.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby 4nogginsmike » Tue May 20, 2014 12:01 pm

I've used lighters for both cigars and pipes but find the unreliable and expensive. A worker told me that that's the way they are, and to his mind they aren't made to be reliable. I use 3" stick matches now on both. Matches are reliable, even for cigars, with all that tobacco to light. With cigars I do one charring light, without the flame touching, and then another touching. It's supposed to be a better light if the cigar is "toasted." I don't know but just do what I'm told.
Pipe smoking: the most cultivated taking of tobacco; a good friend and a sublime addiction; but give me a cigar, too. But so expensive: smoke up and smoke less.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby William » Tue May 20, 2014 12:26 pm

I got really frustrated with several lighters (especially not lighting on the first, second, and sometimes third strike) till I went with a Zippo. I know you can't adjust the flame but I'll never use anything else.
The meaning of life becomes irrelevant once I'm smoking my pipe.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby HowlinWolf » Tue May 20, 2014 3:43 pm

About once every year and a half I'll get out my Zippo to once again prove to myself that the most famous lighter in the world doesn't work consistently and reliably. Many flicks, no lights. New flints don't help, messing with the wick doesn't help.

Mrs. W bought me a very nice Vertigo butane pipe lighter. It works great, but every time I fill it I keep my fingers crossed. As near as I can tell the lighter needs to be bled out every time you refill. It needs more bleeding out than you think. It needs more filling than you think, too. If the lighter doesn't work even though you think you've filled it enough, fill it some more, even to the point where liquid butane is gooshing out around the valve, if you have to.

The Vertigo isn't so great for initial lights. It seems to send the top layer of the tobacco in a fresh-dry-charred-burning-burnt-gone life cycle in one fell swoop, without actually starting a lasting coal. It's better for the relights after the first 1/3 of the bowl because it doesn't take any BS from the ash head on the tobacco.

Take-away: I think lighters are pretty over-rated. Big kitchen matches work just fine.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby William » Tue May 20, 2014 4:56 pm

HowlinWolf wrote:About once every year and a half I'll get out my Zippo to once again prove to myself that the most famous lighter in the world doesn't work consistently and reliably. Many flicks, no lights. New flints don't help, messing with the wick doesn't help....

Take-away: I think lighters are pretty over-rated. Big kitchen matches work just fine.


HW, that's a rare Zippo you've got there. I have the opposite experience with mine. Maybe once week mine will not fire up on first flick and half the time it's my fault. Not bad for approximately 200 flicks a week.

I'm probably one of the few, if not only, odd balls who doesn't like matches. I went through an entire bundle of Diamond "Strike Anywhere Matches" only to discover I don't like the way they make my tobacco taste (Yep, I know to let the phosphorus burn off before using). I've heard that matches have a lower heat level than the soft flame of a Zippo and this should actually improve the taste so as not to over burn the tobacco but not so in my experience.
The meaning of life becomes irrelevant once I'm smoking my pipe.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby HowlinWolf » Tue May 20, 2014 6:05 pm

William wrote:HW, that's a rare Zippo you've got there.


Actually, it's about the third or fourth one that I've had problems with, so it must be me. :(
Whatcha gonna do?

I had a chrome one that had the problems I described. I lost it.
Got new one, a sort of slimline version, had the same problems.
Found the chrome one again while looking for something else a few years later. Same problems.
Someone gave me a "Hard Rock Café" commemorative - which by the way had very, very tinny looking innards.
I took the innards out of the HRC commemorative and put them in the chrome one. Same problem.
Put the original guts back in the chrome one. Same problems.

Most recent attempt was last month. Here's the scenario:
I take the lighter out of my bureau drawer and fill it with fluid. It works!
Maybe this time will be THE time?!?!?!?
Fast forward about three weeks and four fillings later...
flick, flick, flick, flick, nothing

I would say "I give up" but I know from past practice that I'll be taking yet another try at grabbing the brass ring.
If I had to guess, I would say I'll be on the merry go round again sometime this fall.

Either I'm an optimist or I just don't learn.

I see people using Zippos on TV and in the movies and it absolutely infuriates me.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby William » Tue May 20, 2014 6:19 pm

HowlinWolf wrote:
William wrote:HW, that's a rare Zippo you've got there.


Actually, it's about the third or fourth one that I've had problems with, so it must be me. :(
Whatcha gonna do?

I had a chrome one that had the problems I described. I lost it.
Got new one, a sort of slimline version, had the same problems.
Found the chrome one again while looking for something else a few years later. Same problems.
Someone gave me a "Hard Rock Café" commemorative - which by the way had very, very tinny looking innards.
I took the innards out of the HRC commemorative and put them in the chrome one. Same problem.
Put the original guts back in the chrome one. Same problems.

Most recent attempt was last month. Here's the scenario:
I take the lighter out of my bureau drawer and fill it with fluid. It works!
Maybe this time will be THE time?!?!?!?
Fast forward about three weeks and four fillings later...
flick, flick, flick, flick, nothing

I would say "I give up" but I know from past practice that I'll be taking yet another try at grabbing the brass ring.
If I had to guess, I would say I'll be on the merry go round again sometime this fall.

Either I'm an optimist or I just don't learn.

I see people using Zippos on TV and in the movies and it absolutely infuriates me.


I'm at a loss but I like your optimism. :D I would send you mine but Mrs. A purchased it for me during our honeymoon over 25 years ago. They do require filling often (Zippos ;) ) but that's a minor issue for me.

Here's to grabbing that brass ring!
The meaning of life becomes irrelevant once I'm smoking my pipe.
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby HowlinWolf » Tue May 20, 2014 6:43 pm

William wrote:I would send you mine but Mrs. A purchased it for me during our honeymoon over 25 years ago. They do require filling often (Zippos ;) )



...noted. :oops: :twisted:
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby rbw65 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:51 am

I suppose you read the directions for the Peterson,they r very reliable. Use only butane like xikar or Colibri. They are filtered several times. Use only flints designed for it. Yes there r soft and hard flints. Bleed tank before refill. Has a five year warranty.
Keep Em lit.....if you have a lighter..that works!
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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby dissector » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:47 am

I have an Oldboy and a Zippo.

Both work fine. I had to clean my oldboy only once. I had it for a few years.
(toothbrush and very little water, dried it well and that was it).
I had my Zippo for almost 15 years.

I prefer my Oldboy. I can't say I had serious issues.

I will use anything to light up in a pinch.

So far, so good (touch wood)... :D


Cheers,

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Re: somebody 'splain how this works?

Postby hooboy » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:29 pm

I had a similar problem and I FINALLY solved it...It seems over time the flint wheel grooves will fill up and not produce enough spark.
It looks like it doing its job But alas
Try brushing the wheel with a copper or brass brush. It made mine reliable again!
If this doesn't work well.....
hoo
I feel strongly both ways!
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