Stumped by a challenge from a friend. Anyone have ideas?


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My friend wants me to make a cigarette ashtray for him, in which a [standard bic] lighter is embedded, but removable. He doesn't want it permanently mounted. He wants it in some kind of hidden drawer, and encased in wood, so that it will not automatically get pocketed by the person he allows to use it. Basically he's tired of his friends pocketing his bics. 

I've thought of a lot of ways that I might be able to do this, but none of them really feel eloquent. Sooo I figured a lot of y'all are just as hyperanalytical and particular about your smoking accoutrements as I am - why not ask you?

Anybody got any spitball ideas?

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It sounds like he wants something like a secret compartment in the ashtray.

There are a few videos on Youtube with a search for "secret compartment box".

They are usually boxes, like jewelry boxes, with a secret mini drawer. But no reason it couldn't go in the base of a wooden ashtray. It would probably be easier if the ashtray is square or rectangular. 

Or else a wooden sleeve for the bic, that can be pushed top-first into a spring-loaded matching oval (or rectangular cross section) hole in the side of the ashtray. Spring loaded so it's push in to release, and "click-in" to reset it. Have the grain of the wood on the base of the "sleeve" match the grain of the wood surrounding it and it's fairly well hidden.   

It does sound like a lot of work for a bic.

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Install some basic electronics so that anytime the hidden compartment containing the Bic is open, an LED light goes on, alerting your friend of a possible theft in progress. Or have the ashtray play the Pink Panther theme until the compartment is closed.:D

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How about a bic-sized hole, covered by a flap of wood that closes flush. The flap is spring-loaded and clicks shut only when there is a bic slotted in place to lock a catch in the ‘close’ position. Otherwise it stays sprung straight up - you can paint THIEF on the bottom surface ?

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A fitted wooden sleeve for the bic attached with dummy cord to the back of a drawer should cover his wants without going totally overboard. Pretty sure you can even get the sleeve on Amazon, either as a work guide so you're not reinventing the wheel or to use straight up as a piece of the completed ashtray.

Here's a couple things I learned in college: Use pink disposable lighters. No one will pocket them. Works on phone charging cords as well. Or put $5 price tags on them with a layer of clear coat. Price tags on beers in the fridge will slow ppl down, if you have those kinda ppl hanging around and need to play them out.

Someone is going to take his lighter. Tag an extra $30 on what you're charging him and get him the basic Xikar so he can be a grownup and learn to keep track of something 'nice.' And maybe a pack of CoSo. Ha!

Regardless of what you end up doing, please post up some pics!

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I would create a drawer in the side/bottom of the ashtray, with a little notch to hold the drawer firmly in place. Maybe a little finger slot hidden below the drawer for extra grip to pull it out.

Though in time I think the notch will be worn down. 

Something like this maybe?

image.png.34597cf7857d2af87e8d3812749ca2d5.png

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I’m not thinking it’s a drawer, cause I think the goal is for the friends not to have it in their hands. 
 

It would have to be some type of cylinder, bic shape, with a loop at the top, so you could still flick the flint and flame would come out, but the bic would be trapped like an embedded table lighter. 
 

You would be able to get the bic out from the bottom, but that would require lifting the ashtray up, which would prevent absent minded theft, although not intentional theft. Maybe a door with a small lock at the bottom?

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I hate to break it you your friend but losing Bic lighters is the cost of entertaining at one's home. Best bet is to buy a box of real cheap lighters for $0.25-.50 each and let them go where they may. 

Take it from someone who has entertained over 400 people at their residence more than once. If it ain't tied down, it's gone. Lock all your rooms and take pictures down from the walls. Remove everything from the medicine cabinets. Zip tie your cabinets and cupboards.

 

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Maybe a large block of wood, too large to fit into a pocket, that has a hole in the center that the Bic sticks out of?  Said block also fits into the ashtray, with a magnetic cover so it can be completely hidden?

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Depends on how big an ashtray he wants. You could make one with an upright block for holding matches on one side, and on the other is the bic lighter holder. The holder will have a swing away top, revealing the lighter inside. The lighter can be attached to a lighter leash, making it retractable, and preventing it from being completely removed.

Lighter Leash Premium Clip Retractable All 5 Colors on PopScreen

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While it seems a nice design task, sounds a bit like asking for an in-wall-mounted, vandalism-proof portioned loo paper dispenser done from marine-grade TiAl for the fear of guests' excessive tp-indulgence.... :lol:

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Two pieces: box with hole on top and drawer with ash bowl that aligns with hole on top of the box. 

When the drawer is closed the bowl lines up with the hole on top of the box.  When the drawer is opened, the ashtray bowl slides under the solid part of the top so the hole no longer aligns with the bowl.  

In the drawer, place a spring loaded lift under the lighter pocket that acts as a catch that prevents the drawer from closing until the lighter is in place to depress the catch. 

If he's got nowhere to ash until the lighter is replaced in its pocket allowing the drawer to close (thereby aligning the bowl with the hole on top), the bastard will learn. 

You're welcome.       

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13 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Embedded but removable seems like it's going to be removed. Encased in wood--I'm not sure what he wants.

You can always tie a string around a bic like the pens at a bank.

Look up "Gammon Reel" under surveying supplies. Self retractable. I use them with my plumb bob. Drill a hole in the bottom of an attractive Bic lighter case and fish the string thru it to tie a knot. Do not let go of the string when you're pulling it thru, or you will be unhappy. ? 

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None of this will really be helpful, but my first thought was to get a big table lighter (actually, my first thought was what kind of friend would steal anything). Then I saw this:

61K7S8T7rXL._AC_SX425_.jpg

 

Which made me think (and I believe it's already been alluded to here) of a sleeve for the lighter that fits into the tray that covers the body but reveals the flame / wheel / button.

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