A Conversation for Matches
Safety matches and friction...
Hell Started conversation Jan 25, 2001
You can light safety matches WITHOUT the chemical component on the stripe, and ONLY using friction. Don't try this unless YOU really know what you are doing, and only if you are fully aware of the dangers going along with fire...
Here the instructions (it turns out to be a fascinating party-trick):
Find a glass surface (e.g. a window). Make sure the glass surface is dry and resistant (indeed a windowglass is exactly what you are looking for, not a cupboard-door-glass or a whisky-cup - those won't work).
Put your index finger on the match-tip (the igniting part of the match) and the tip on the glass surface. This part is really difficult to explain without a picture - Now swing the tip and the finger (pressing the tip against the glass surface) rapidly along approximately 60 centimetres of the glass... Instantly remove your finger from the igniting tip (useful hint: hold the match with the remaining fingers of your hand). Don't panic if it doesn't work on the first attempt - it takes a little practice. Don't worry about getting burned, it might sting a little, but if you do it correctly nothing serious should happen. (AH - don't let the lit match fall on combustible things (such as a carpet) - this might happen when you are baffled that it worked)
Other slick surfaces may work as well, but they won't be as easy to clean as glass.
The reason why rough surfaces won't work is because the match tip brittles before ignition.
Peterr Posted Mar 24, 2001
you left out wax vespers. the party trick just mentioned I learned from watching cowboy movies as a child
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