So, I’ve always wanted a Vesta (a traditional match safe). After the invention of the match, and up till the invention of the lighter, anyone that needed to carry a source of fire had a match case. A great deal of them were the basic style of a Zippo lighter, a flip top slim box case.
I’ve found that antique ones from the mid 19th century can be had in everything from pot metals, pewters, brass, up to various grades of silver, gold or even ivory, ranging from $50 to several hundred… But where’s the fun in that? 😉
I’ve thought several times about making one from a Zippo, and actually tried once before with this brass one… The hang I always had was keeping the spring latch; without it the lids on these things flop around terribly! 😉
The placement of the stock spring for the cam lever is on top of the insert, leaving very little insert that can be cut away to store matches. And its a real pain to modify the spring to a different location on the inner wall of a insert… tried that too, but the spring pressure was never worth a darn after re-locating it.
The solution I finally found was to cut the bottom 3/4 off of an insert, flip it upside down, and leave the area with the formed bumps in it stick up. Those bumps provide friction/tension that hold the insert snug in the case normally… Now they do the same inside the closed lid, keeping it shut! A liberal amount of super glue holds the piece into the bottom case. Then simply glue a striker from the match box to the bottom, and voila; Vesta!