Desertfoxx sent us a tip to a classic KipKay howto video. It’s pretty easy to swap out the diode in a laser pointer or similar laser housing with the diode from an old DVD burner. Put the whole deal into a mini Maglite and you’ve got yourself a nice little handheld fire starter, perfect for lighting matches or popping dark colored balloons from across the room. Like all lasers, it’s also excellent for quickly blinding people, so watch where you point the thing.
If you haven’t caught KipKay before, he’s been doing some fun weekend project video podcasts for MAKE.