CountyComm Austrian lighter working well now. Think it was the flint as well.

Omega Man

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When I first recieved the lighter, the website said almost any liquid fuel can be used: " uses any liquid fuel for emergencys, including meths, paraffin, petrol and any of the branded fuels".
I promptly filled it with lamp oil, and it did not work. I wrote here about it, and to CountyComm, and members suggested using lighter fluid, and Nick also said ONLY use lighter fluid. I'm not sure why all those other things are listed, since Nick was so adamant about only using lighter fluid.

Anyway, it works pretty shoddy. It totally failed me when I seriously needed it this Saturday, trying to start a bonfire in a field to show people where to park for a party. I just would not light despite me filling it with lighter fluid that day. I had to use matches to start the fire, then I ended up standing in 30degree weather for 2 hours flashing my C3/P91 at people as they drove in, and waving the light to show where to park. And while that worked great, I originally had called everyone earlier telling them to look for a fire.
Anyway... I think the best thing to do is totally replace the wick and cotton, and try all over with only lighter fluid. How easy or hard is this to do? Do I need to go to a smoke shop for these things, or will Walmart have them in their tobacco section? Is the wick, the wick and cotton wad together? I've never done this before with any lighter, and I'd like to keep using this instead of buying a butane rocket type lighter.
 
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eluminator

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Shoulda got a Zippo :)

You can clean the wick and cotton with any flavor of gasoline. Lighter fluid is a clean gasoline and is recommended. If you use plain old gasoline for an extended period of time, the impurities, A.K.A. gunk, will probably eventually plug it up also.

If you don't like the smell of lighter fluid, the purest gasoline is the stuff sold in stores that cater to back-packers for use in camp stoves.

Lamp oil didn't work because it's not volatile. It ought to burn once you light it with a match, but it won't ignite from the sparks. For that, you need a good fuel/air mixture in the chimney (wind screen). You need the volatile stuff, gasoline/lighter fluid/liquid camp stove fuel.

By the way, in an emergency you can also use alcohol although it doesn't seem to burn as well in the wind. It also burns with an almost invisible flame. The biggest trouble with most alcohol is it usually contains a significant amount of water. Eventually you will end up with a soggy wick and cotton that contains only water. I've found water doesn't burn worth a damn. :crackup:
 
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eluminator

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

If you want to replace the cotton, I think any cotton balls you can buy locally would do the job. Of course to keep it authentic you really should go to Austria and get the local stuff. :naughty:
 

Omega Man

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

So the wick isn't attactched to the cotton? That would make it easier, I could just try replacing the cotton with cotton balls I have now and see if it helps.
Does anyone think the lamp oil somehow messed up the wick?
 

eluminator

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

I guess it's similar to a Zippo. You just pull out the cotton balls. The wick will be zig zagged through it. Then you can pull out the wick if you want. Getting the wick back through the hole in the top can be a bit tricky but millions of people have done it. You might want to insert it from the top.

The wick is usually a braided cotton thing with fine wires in it to make it stiff. I've also seen fiberglass ones. I suppose you can get replacement wicks in some local stores, or buy them on the internet. I've seen zippo flints in the local mini-mart, but I don't think it had wicks.

No need to buy a wick though. Soaking it in lighter fluid/gasoline will remove the oil. You could probably soak the lighter with the wick still in it, in gasoline. But of course it's flammable. You would need to do it outdoors.

You could also wash the oil out of the wick with hot soapy water, using some kind of detergent.

Again I assume most wick lighters are essentially the same. I've heard there are some where the lid fits tight and prevents evaporation of the lighter fluid. It's possible these are a bit different than a Zippo, but I guess the wick and cotton packing are similar.

You could also get the oil out by soaking it in mineral spirits / paint thinner. This is somewhat similar to gasoline but not as volatile. I think it's not volatile enough to light from the sparks, but it will evaporate.

Alcohol will also dissolve and remove the oil from the wick, but more slowly than the volatile petroleum products will do it.
 
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Omega Man

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

eluminator said:
You just pull out the cotton balls. The wick will be zig zagged through it. Then you can pull out the wick if you want. Getting the wick back through the hole in the top can be a bit tricky but millions of people have done it. You might want to insert it from the top.

No need to buy a wick though. Soaking it in lighter fluid/gasoline will remove the oil. You could probably soak the lighter with the wick still in it, in gasoline. But of course it's flammable. You would need to do it outdoors.

You could also wash the oil out of the wick with hot soapy water, using some kind of detergent.
I'll try removing and washing/drying the wick with soapy water, then replacing the cotton balls. Thanks for the info. I'm now going to page Cutlery Lover to this thread.
 

eluminator

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Okay. As I just edited my last post to say, you can also remove the oil with alcohol, if you happen to have some denatured or isopropyl around. The alcohol will evaporate quicker than water too. If you use the detergent and water method, you can still use alcohol to dry the wick in a hurry.

Alcohol is interesting stuff. It will dissolve with water and also apparently dissolve somewhat with oil. At least I've found it will remove a film of oil fairly quickly.
 
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cutlerylover

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Hello, well 1st of all yes you can use any kind of fuel ina lighter like that although lighter fluid is whats highly recommended over anything else since that will work the best...from what I underatand it works the same way as a Zippo does, and in vietnam soldiers would dunk their zippo inserts into the gas tanks to "fill" them and gasoline worked fine in the lighters...what I think went wrogn egre is that after you used lantern oil in it you tried lighter fluid and the oil and the lighter fluid dont mix well...

Now to fix it...

You can purchase a wick on ebay or other online vendors, yes your lighter uses the same wick as zippo so a zippo brand would be just fine, or even a lantern wich would work just as good, no the wick is NOT attached to your rayon balls (thats whats inside, but plain cotton balls will do as a substitute) they rayon balls are just surrounding the wick...you cna take all of it out and replace it very easily...If you need more help with this you can email me or send a PM...but here is a video of how to replace a wick in a Zippo whcih is very similar to what you will need to do...

http://lightertricks.com/videos/Maintenance/How_To_Change_Your_Wick_Maintenance
 

cutlerylover

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Hey, guess what I was just lookign at my non zippo lighter collection and guess what I found...

IMGP6612-1.jpg



I have the same lighter, I love that one too, I totaly forgot I had one myself...lol, yeah my suggestion is right you can easily switch out the wick as well as the rayon balls with a new wick and soem cotton balls and start over with lighter fluid...after a good cleaning of the inside of the fuel tube...let em know if you need to know how to get the flint out, after 10 minutes and no help when I 1st gotr this lighter I finally figured how to get to the flint, lol...
 

Omega Man

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Fantastic link, thanks a bunch Jeff!! I'll take the rayon balls out, swish the wick in rubbing alcohol and wipe it with a paper towel, and let it dry. I'll also clean the fuel/cotton tube with rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips.
 

cutlerylover

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

sounds good to me! Let us know if it works after that...If it still doesnt work send me a PM...
 

Omega Man

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

Well I did it, but forgot to let it dry before assembling it. Man, the wick is only 1"! I think it'd benefit from a new one.
Seems to be lighting more consistently now, we'll see after a few days. I should also replace the flint, maybe it's not making as big a spark.
 

cutlerylover

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

You can buy a new wick from a hardware store for lanterns, or roder a zippo wick online...You can get ronsons flitns at any supermarket by the candle section where they have matches, or sometiems by the tobacco products...a 5 pack of ronson flitns should be less than $2.00...If you have a hard time findign a wick I can send you one or you can send me the whole lighter and I will get it right for you and send it back...Let me know...
 

Omega Man

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Re: CountyComm Austrian lighter not working well. How to change wick and cotton?

I found flints at Walmart, 5 Ronsons for $0.40, niiiice. But no wicks, and no wicks at the hardware store. When I popped out the flint...wait, nobody sneeze! The thing was SO SMALL and pathetic, it was almost transparent it was so thin.
With a new flint it now fires up just about everytime. So I'll wait and just pick up a wick whenever one crosses my path.
And on my way out of the parking lot, I picked up a dirty discarded Bic on the ground, cleaned it up, and it works fine. Almost full, too. Some people, ya know?
 

hank_moon

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Omega Man said:
When I first recieved the lighter, the website said almost any liquid fuel can be used: " uses any liquid fuel for emergencys, including meths, paraffin, petrol and any of the branded fuels".

I bought 2 of these and they are among the most reliable lighters I have ever used. Used only Ronsonol lighter fluid so far. Maybe yerz defecto?
 

Omega Man

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Nah, it was the lamp oil I filled it with. It chared up the wick and messed up the cotton wadder. The wick was cleaned and trimmed last night, flint replaced today, and it's working the best it's ever worked for me now.
 

SJACKAL

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Is the brand Imco?

Thats the first lighter company in the world!

I just saw countycomm webpage, looks like Imco. I got a couple of them, and I have to say, they are probably the best lighters I used. Much better than Zippos. Mine was a 70s model though, similar to yours.

I wonder what happened to yours...

For me, I use lighter fluid, when on a full refill my Zippo dries up after 3 to 4 days, the Imco last me 2 weeks! I am smoker, so I use lighters regularly a few times a day.

The down side is that they have sharp edges, and rust easily.
 

eluminator

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The original flint may have not been a problem. It could be some lamp oil got on the thumbwheel and flint. This would probably diminish the amount of sparks that are thrown. Unlike lighter fluid, the lamp oil won't evaporate. Lighter fluid or other solvent would wash it off though.

I've noticed there is a difference in the ease of getting ignition among my lighters. It seems the difference is due to the amount of sparks that are generated. To my eye, they look similar but the effect is easy to see.

I have a Windlite that was heavily used for many years before I bought it. The thumbwheel knurling is apparently worn down somewhat. It seems to throw a lot of sparks, but it often won't light the first time if I just give the wheel a casual spin.

I've also seen this with disposable lighters where you can remove the thimbwheel and install it backwards. There seems to be a subtle difference in the knurling of the steel so it has more bite against the flint when turned one way compared to the other. The effect on ignition is considerable.

Speaking of ignition, I've noticed if my thumb is wet my lighter won't light. I have to wait until the wheel dries out. That might be something to think about the next time you are trying to start a fire while standing in the rain.
 
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