I have been trying to get my grubby little hands on some large tritium vials for about a year now. For the uninitiated, tritium vials are glass tubes filled with tritium gas, a radioactive gas, that excites phosphorescent paint/powder in the tube for at least 10 years. They are like little glow sticks that never die. The amount of radioactivity is negligible, and is almost completely absorbed by the glass.
Tiny little vials around 1mm x 5mm are easy to find, but where’s the fun in that? Recently, I came across a seller over at [url=http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/]CPF[/url] with 1.5″ and 2.5″ tubes for sale. They did not look quite new and were probably pulled from an exit sign (one of the more common uses of tritium vials), but they seemed to have a good bit of life left.
The seller took forever to ship, but they finally came in the mail today. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with them. I have a very talented knifemaker working on a couple of special projects for me, so I am thinking that I will have him incorporate them into the next knife I have him make. He is already making the current knives with glow in the dark handles, so this just seems like the next logical step.