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Fitting tritium tube into carbon fiber knife

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Fire Fighter, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Fire Fighter

    Fire Fighter Loaded Pockets

    Tritium tube 11mm x 3mm. Ice blue.

    Drilling 2mm pilot hole straight through and then 3mm main hole through carbon scales one side at a time. By doing one side at a time both holes ended up slightly offset by a micro amount less than 0.3mm. This was done so the tritium tube would have to be gently pressure pushed into the hole and fit tight without the need for glue. (Note: the micro offset actually worked.)

    After drilling I slightly sanded the hole edges with a rat nose sharpening tool (Lansky blade medic) which I used for filing serrated knife blades.

    Inserting tritium tube. Gentle finger pressure needed due to micro offset. Used match to push tritium tube further in to line up even on both scales.

    Neat finish at 1mm below carbon fiber scale surface both sides.

    Tritium tube is above lanyard hole. 4mm gap between carbon fiber scales.

    Tested in a darkened room and works brilliantly. Tritium blue dot on each side of the knife and a 4mm blue light on the back of the knife and when flipped over two small blue dots each side of the blade when the knife is folded.

    More photos

    There is enough room to fit two more tritium tubes. Just got to chose the colors.
  2. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Very cool!!!
    GaryMc and Fire Fighter like this.
  3. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

    Very interesting method to attach a tritium vial, i love to know if it stays put and holds up at all after some serious use. Usually you mount these vials at least a little bit protected as they are very very fragile.
    Fire Fighter likes this.
  4. Adahn

    Adahn Loaded Pockets

    Good job, I think it would fit well in the modding thread (also makes it easier to find it again).


    I'd be worried about lateral forces that could warp the handle when you use the knife for (gentle) prying or when the stuff you want to cut is a bit tougher, like for outdoor use.
    Glass vials don't like stress, I wouldn't be sure it can take it if it'd fall down on concrete for example.
    My solution would be a backspace with a space for the vial and the holes (incl. the unused clip holes) to be filled with glow in the dark powder mixed with nail polish (easier to apply than epoxy, still strong enough to ill up holes).
    GaryMc and Fire Fighter like this.
  5. Fire Fighter

    Fire Fighter Loaded Pockets

    I had tested the torsional movement of the carbon scales and found there was no movement at the end of the knife between the lanyard hole, which has a metal sleeve in it, and the closest torx screw. See below photo. The inner face of each of the carbon scales have a 1.2mm metal plate routed in which also forms part of the knife's blade locking mechanism. This metal plate has a void in it at the location I placed the tritium tube. Three tubes could be inserted here evenly spaced.

    I am not worried about the glass vial breaking if I drop it as this would be consistant with most gear that has a tritium tube in it, i.e. titanium lanyard bead.

    Next accessory for the knife will be a matching blue paracord lanyard with a blue titanium bead.
  6. ItsHardToKnow

    ItsHardToKnow Loaded Pockets

    This is a cool mod.
    When i first read the thread I thought, "I dont like this..."
    By the end it was all like, "I want that!"

    Kudos bro
    Fire Fighter likes this.
  7. Fire Fighter

    Fire Fighter Loaded Pockets

    8 week EDC evaluation of tritium light tube fitted into carbon fiber knife

    I have carried this knife everyday in my pocket for the past 8 weeks, except for one day on the train to the City. No problems whatsoever. No movement and no adjustment needed. This is good as I never glued the glass tube in place but rather offset the holes on the scales by a micro amount. The knife sits on my bedside table and gives out a gentle blue glow all night long. For anyone handling the knife it is impossible to tell that the tritium tube is not a manufacturers fit or that it it is actually a tritium light. A knife modification that I am 100% satisfied with.

    EDIT TO ADD: The knife has also been out with me on two fire fighting turn outs and one bushfire incident. Forgot the knife was in my shorts and I put my firefighting gear straight over my shorts.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    tde, Adahn, Dirty Rod and 1 other person like this.