Sunday, 11 April 2010

Polaire lighter

Being an ebayaholic I couldn't resist this for a fiver. It's a French 'Polaire' lighter from, I'm guessing, the 1930s. The detail on the motif is amazing, I had a look with a magnifying glass and there's fins on the cylinder, a hand gear-change on the tank and a tool bag on the back. Motif diameter is 17mm. I've since found out that they were a special order made for a motorcycle club in Aux de Provence in France.
It was described on ebay as missing a part; turned out it was shy of the thumbwheel /striking wheel, the screw that held that on, the flint and its spring. The snuffing lever was seized, but on the positive side it had its original wadding inside.

I managed to free up the snuffing lever and replaced the collapsed spring that keeps it perky with one out of a disposable lighter. The arm now clicks up and down positively.

I took the striking wheel out of the same donor disposable lighter and JB Welded that on to the head of a knurl screw that I centred-drilled at 1mm diameter and faced off until it was the right thickness. I managed to find a dome-headed brass M1 screw the right length which screwed in nicely acting as an axle for the combined thumbwheel/striking wheel. Used the flint and its spring out of the disposable and bought a new wick and lighter petrol from a tobacconist. Flicked the wheel...

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