Spent 10 hours in the shop last night, did a few little EDC projects..
Anybody else notice that the newest Zippos are thicker than the older ones? Not just outside, but inner case dimensions! I have two of the Thunderbird inserts that fit Perfectly in my newest lighters(2009 or 2010 and up) but are too thick to go into my 1990s and prior Zippos! I had sanded/carved down the plastic outside of one to fit into my 1952 steel case, but even sanded its super tight in my early 1990s era case.
Even the stock inserts from the new ones are super tight in the older cases, and the older insert from my 1990s edition will fall out of the 2013 case if you turn it over and give it a shake…
All of this I find out after modding my 1990s model, thought it needed a little modding and I’d stick an butane insert in it and carry it some… I can carry it, the insert goes in, but it takes a pair of pliers and lots of wiggling and muttering/swearing to get it out, will make re-filling it a P!TA every time.
Note to self, check how things fit together before you put a lot of time and work into using them together!
ANYway, My @hatchetjack inspired mod(wanted to solder something to the front of a zippo for a while after looking at his mods!); I soldered a 1oz. pure silver AK RR coin(silver proof actually) from the Alaska Mint to the front, and sanded it down to fit on 3 sides. Might go back and notch or texture those edges, not sure yet… Has a gold overlay platting on the train itself which I thankfully managed to not mangle(much 😉 ).
Mom bought me the coin on a trip the family took that year on the train, its a nice reminder of the great times we had. These silver rounds were only available on the train, in the gift shop, this was in the late 90s.
The lighter itself I bought when I was 9 or 10, my first lighter, first zippo, and a big part of some of my early EDC, I carried this A Lot for a long time after I got it, lots of memories associated with it too. It originally had the word Alaska, and a white wolf printed on the front, that’s long since worn off… Figured the two items were a good match for each other.
I had been wanting to do something with that coin for a while… These things all come sealed in a plastic cover, but I had taken them out a few years ago to do things with, but never did do anything.
Several years laying around exposed to the air, and oils etc and the silver around the mountains thats polished has a rainbow blue and purple sheen to it, and the frosty areas around the train turned a light coppery colored oxide… The sucker is just plain purty, and all that natural patina deserves to be seen and handled, not just lay around. 🙂
I even learned something; No matter what you do, solder Will Not stick to Chrome! Had to sand it down to bare brass to get it to stick. Also learned that you don’t need a torch to have enough heat do non-wirring soldering, like I had thought before… I used a Craftsman 230 Watt soldering gun… that sucker puts out a LOT of heat, worked great!