I am going to make a box to hold matches, and would like to build in a
durable strike plate. Do any of you know what material would be
suitable for the purpose? I know next to nothing about them, but I am
guessing that "safety matches" require something specific from the
strike surface: does anybody know what?
Obviously, I'm trying to avoid the obvious solution of providing a slot
in which we would slide the strike from the cardboard box the matches
Many thanks for any replies.
(no email, sorry...)
Some years ago, I built a matchbox for fireplace matches. It had a strike plate
on its bottom...I used, IIRC, 220 or 320 grit wet and dry for that, contact
cemented in place.
A friend has been using it off and on for years now, and all is well. When it
goe, replacement is simple.
"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The
conduct of public affairs for private advantage. " Ambrose Bierce
Safety matches require a "scratch" surface with red phosporus in it.
Since there is
no phosporous in the match head. As the surface is used the material
gets used up
so the surface has a limited life. Either go with the old white tiped
"strike anywhere" or use the box side as srtiker.
Thank you everybody for the rapid and helpful responses. I'm somewhat
embarrassed, as I should have found for myself the information on the
chemical reaction involved with safety matches...
I'm still undecided whether I'll only accomodate strike-anywhere
matches (I like the idea of a file), or whether I'll fashion some kind
of slot to hold the strike plate from the original cardboard box of
safety matches. I need to check just how readily available are
I'm also toying with the issue of where to place the strike plate. I
suppose that affixing it under the lid would be hazardous (the risk
being that something could fall and light the rest of the matches in
the box). Under the box would be inconvenient. The top, front or sides
would be an eyesore (though if the material is a metal file, perhaps
not, hmm...). I'm considering placing the strikeplate in a removable
frame which rests above the matches themselves. Anybody have any
suggestions or advice?
Many thanks! Oh and feel free to tell me it's just a damn match box,
and to slap it together, already! :-)
(sorry, no email)
According to Diamond's web page, you should be able to find them at most
grocery stores. A camping supply outlet would be another place to
purchase them. If you have a problem locating them here's an on-line
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
Most of us here know what you are making, it is not "just a damn match box",
it is a piece of your heart and soul meant as a gift. We take a lot of time
on things like that.
I've kept a piece of sandpaper in a container with strike-anywhere
matches for camping, for as long as I can remember, without any
incidents of accidental combustion. While it may be possible for the
striker on the inside of the lid to be a danger, It wouldn't keep me
from sleeping at night if this box were in my house.
I also second the idea of using a section from a small file as the
striker since the strike-anywhere matches are easy enough to find
He wasn't talking about 'spontaneous' light-off. But when actually _striking_
a light, and having a 'stray' bit of scraped-off flaming material land on
one of the matches inside the box, setting off the rest of the box.
It _is_ a valid consideration.
Use the extra-long cook's matches. They're non-safety (assuming you
don't live in some nanny-state) and generally better as matches. Most
smokers these days use lighters and gas stoves have spark ignition. If
you're still using matches, chances ar that you're lighting candles,
woodstoves, pipes or other non-flammable items. The long matches are
just better for this sort of thing. As a striker, the best thing
(lasts forever) is a piece of a coarse file. Silicon carbide paper
(black "wet and dry") also lasts quite well - 120 grit does it.
If you're stuck with safeties, recycle the box side. You could make
your own, but you'd need red phosphorous. As this is also used for
drug manufacture (not to mention nerve agents), it's very hard to get
If you live near me, you can also go out to the fields of "Dig your
own" white phosphorous, courtesy of an exploding phosphorous plant a
few years ago. Recent roadbuilding was fun to watch, because when the
grader took the first topsoil off, the little fragments of phosphorous
would dry out and spontaneously combust with a puff of smoke.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
You tweaked my memory. There was once a study, who knows how good, that
said smokers who used lighters had an even higher cancer risk than those
who didn't. Something about the hydrocarbons, IIRC. It made me stick to
matches (until I quit) :-).
You're correct in that safety matches do need something from the striking
surface. Dunno what it is, but I've managed to strike safety matches on
normal - not toughened - window glass in an emergency. It's not that easy,
since normal glass is pretty smooth, but you might try a piece of frosted
No, I'm taking the piss!
Let us know how it goes.
The match head is coated with potassium chlorate, and the strike surface is
covered with red phosphorus. Without the phosphorus, you won't get the
matches to light.
Just a piece of trivia: You won't get the match to ignite with a
"normal" strike, however, with enough friction & heat, you CAN light a
safety match on a suitqble surface. If you try a regular book match
and strike it fast enough, it is possible to light it on a dollar
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