aerojad writes: "Why a Zippo lighter? I was a boyscout. The two things I took from my years of tying knots in the church basement were a psychotic need to be prepared and a certain strange love of fire. Having a lighter on hand fills both requirements. I don't smoke, but the knowledge that I have a box that can create light and warmth with me is reassuring. A Zippo because I'm fascinated by concepts that predate me. The Zippo of today is exactly the same as the one I inherited from my grandfather, and functionally identical to the first ones made three quarters of a century ago. Fill with naphtha, click to open, strike the flint and you have a portable flame. This particular Zippo was purchased by myself as a sort of a present for doing well in school, and replaced the previous Zippo (that was purchased for the same reason), which vanished mysteriously after four years of loyal service.
Why electrolytic etching? I stumbled upon Von Slatt's brass etching page via the Make blog and the idea of etching the scythe and pen into my lighter immediately jumped at me. After a bit of research and experiments, I was determined to do it. This is one of my few projects that is entirely useless, but like all of my projects, it's educational, and I will use the experience I gained doing this once I start working on making circuit boards."