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Thread: Tritium slot machining

  1. #31
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    This C2 received 2x12mm on each side of the clip, 2.5x25mm on the opposite "narrow" edges & 2x8mm on the tail collar.



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  2. #32
    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    I didn't realise that the C2's had a narrower edge on them....my brother has his C3 now so maybe I should go have a look for myself lol.

    Nice job as usual Barry. Really adds to these lights!

    - Matt

  3. #33
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattaus View Post
    I didn't realise that the C2's had a narrower edge on them....
    The "wide" corners are those on either side of the clip & the narrow edges are the other two. Width of the edge is right at 2.5mm so a 2.5mm trit will just fit and barely cut the corners back. To place the groove dead center on the edge means dialing in to +/- 0.5°. If the slot is off center any more than that it would badly.

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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    I hope this is the proper spot for these questions, I have an aluminum V10r, I would like to have three trits installed in the cooling fins, what is the cost of the drilling and installation, what size trits do I need to get, and is Norland used, or do they float in the holes,thanks

  5. #35
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    I hope this is the proper spot for these questions ...
    This is a perfect place to ask.

    The trit size is 1.5x6mm and those are available (AFAIK) only from Steve Ku for $8.50 each. More info in Post #1 in his thread in The Marketplace: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...24#post4609924 Norland is not used as the trits are held captive when the head is put back together.

    Cost to disassemble the head, drill three holes, install your trits & reassemble is $35 + $6 return shipping. NOTE: this pricing is for the V10R Aluminum model.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 06-12-2012 at 05:57 PM.
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  6. #36

    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Just a quick question, do tiny tritium beads about 2mm or less in diameter exist? I'd like to install a glowing thing on a AAA light but it doesn't have much space for a vial.

  7. #37
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    I haven't seen anyone offer dots or beads lately. You may want to contact both B@rt & Merkava:

    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...t=bart+tritium

    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...-Tritium-Vials
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  8. #38

    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Or ask Steve, I noticed a post awhile back where he interesting sizes.

    (Edit by PW - the quickest way to contact Steve is velenodesigns@hotmail.com )
    Last edited by precisionworks; 06-06-2012 at 09:28 AM.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    This is a perfect place to ask.

    The trit size is 1.5x6mm and those are available (AFAIK) only from Steve Ku for $8.50 each. More info in Post #1 in his thread in The Marketplace: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...24#post4609924 Norland is not used as the trits are held captive when the head is put back together.

    Cost to disassemble the head, drill three holes, install your trits & reassemble is $35 + $6 return shipping.
    Precisionworks,
    thanks for the info, in your opinion, are the 6mm trits a necessity, or is it possible to use 5mm ones, and if so what would be the difference on the finished product. I'm trying to determine which trits to order so I can proceed with this project, thanks again
    thanks
    Last edited by Lolaralph; 06-06-2012 at 07:31 PM.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    There are two really good reasons not to use the 1.5x5mm vials. First is that the space between the upper & lower fins is 5mm so the 5mm vial does not extend into the head fin. Since the trits are no longer captured they will need to be set in place with Norland. I've done this on a titanium head fin & the Norland is almost invisible ... but it will probably show against the matte black finish of the aluminum light.

    The second reason is that it doubles the amount of time needed & that would make the cost $70 + $6 return shipping. Unless Steve has no available 1.5x6mm trits they are the best ones to use. Also, since no Norland is used for the 6mm vial you can change colors at any time you want.
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  11. #41
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    There are two really good reasons not to use the 1.5x5mm vials. First is that the space between the upper & lower fins is 5mm so the 5mm vial does not extend into the head fin. Since the trits are no longer captured they will need to be set in place with Norland. I've done this on a titanium head fin & the Norland is almost invisible ... but it will probably show against the matte black finish of the aluminum light.

    The second reason is that it doubles the amount of time needed & that would make the cost $70 + $6 return shipping. Unless Steve has no available 1.5x6mm trits they are the best ones to use. Also, since no Norland is used for the 6mm vial you can change colors at any time you want.
    Sounds perfectly logical to me, I'll order some 1.5x6mm trits and be back in touch,thanks for the advice.

  12. #42

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    I don't mean to disagree with you regarding your statement above but 1.5mm x 5mm trits fit perfectly. I know this as I have drilled and fitted this size trits in over 15 fins for cpf members free of charge. Your original assertion to me was incorrect and after you returned my fin I drilled it and took pictures. It takes me less than 20 mins to drill 12 holes and I use a cheap drill bit that costs less than 1 dollar and I discard it after drilling 12 holes. If I use 5mm trits I do not penetrate the last fin and the trit sits flush on the last fin with no requirement for Norland. All I do is plug the hole with a 1.5mm piece of o ring. The walls of the fins support the trit in situ.

    If I use 1.5mm x 6mm trits I penetrate the last fin as otherwise I do not have enough clearance to plug the hole with a o ring at the top. I prefer to use a piece if O ring rather than Norland as it allows the trits to be swapped. I consider having to drill an extra 0.6mm extra work and therefore do not always go for the longer trits unless they are to hand.
    During the day when I don't need a torch ... RC is my hobby http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/gallery/47842/Always on the lookout for McGizmo/Kuku Titanium torches with Trits..

  13. #43
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Finally caught a break from "work" & spent the last day on flashlight projects Images below are a Ti-6-4 knife scale into which a 2x12mm slot was milled. The scale is about 3mm thick & the trit is Norland suspended in the slot.





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  14. #44
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    This is a perfect place to ask.

    The trit size is 1.5x6mm and those are available (AFAIK) only from Steve Ku for $8.50 each. More info in Post #1 in his thread in The Marketplace: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...24#post4609924 Norland is not used as the trits are held captive when the head is put back together.

    Cost to disassemble the head, drill three holes, install your trits & reassemble is $35 + $6 return shipping.
    Barry,
    when you prepare the head for drilling, do you break the loctite seal, I'm hoping this is the case as it will make it easier for me to swap out the LED at some point.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lolaralph View Post
    ... when you prepare the head for drilling, do you break the loctite seal ...
    In order to drill the trit holes in the fins the the entire head assembly is taken apart. After the loctite seal is broken (which may be really easy or it may be next to impossible) the dried thread locker is scraped out of both the male & female threads using a dental scaler or other dental cleaning instrument. The trit holes are drilled & the head is reassembled without any thread lock.
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  16. #46

    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    Finally caught a break from "work" & spent the last day on flashlight projects Images below are a Ti-6-4 knife scale into which a 2x12mm slot was milled. The scale is about 3mm thick & the trit is Norland suspended in the slot.





    That looks awesome Barry, I can't wait to get that back and put together.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Glad you like that Eric Eager to see your knife fully assembled.

    I keep looking at my Zero Tolerance 0550 since there are so many places to mill trit slots, but all the locations are on the "back" side of the knife. The ZT0560 (flipper) is almost totally hollowed out & I cannot find even one good place to mill a slot.
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    Glad you like that Eric Eager to see your knife fully assembled.

    I keep looking at my Zero Tolerance 0550 since there are so many places to mill trit slots, but all the locations are on the "back" side of the knife. The ZT0560 (flipper) is almost totally hollowed out & I cannot find even one good place to mill a slot.
    I've seen it where TAD gear once sold tritium thumb studs
    my typin is bad and my speeling is evenworse...

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by houtex View Post
    I've seen it where TAD gear once sold tritium thumb studs
    That would be kewel
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    This looks so awesome and sooo cool. But holy craps!! Thats alot of money!! That comes out to like $60 for 1 slot with a single trit on a Ti Haiku. The working man could never have this. Geez...I bust my azz picking up stones and concrete bags and get $88 bucks after 8 hours in the sun. It would take me almost a hole back breaking day to get 1 slot with tritium in it.
    Very nice clean work though. The lights look way better and Sci-Fi'ish with those perfectly centered magic capsules in them. Great work.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EDIT by PW:

    Cost to mill 2x6mm slots in titanium is $44. 1.5x5mm slots cost only $24.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 06-30-2012 at 06:01 AM.

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by SuPpAvIlLiN View Post
    This looks so awesome and sooo cool. But holy craps!! Thats alot of money!! That comes out to like $60 for 1 slot with a single trit on a Ti Haiku. The working man could never have this. Geez...I bust my azz picking up stones and concrete bags and get $88 bucks after 8 hours in the sun. It would take me almost a hole back breaking day to get 1 slot with tritium in it.
    Very nice clean work though. The lights look way better and Sci-Fi'ish with those perfectly centered magic capsules in them. Great work.
    Unfortunately this is not a cheap hobby

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattaus View Post
    Unfortunately this is not a cheap hobby
    LOL

    It isn't too bad if you stick with aluminum bodied lights. Boring & slotting aluminum takes half as much time & machining costs are 50% of titanium prices. Not only is Ti more time consuming to machine, the lights start at a much higher price point. AFAIK Mac's EDC is the lowest priced titanium custom available ($300), most McGizmo's run $500, Fred (PhotonFanatic) sells some of his for $1000 & the Spy lights are almost twice that.
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  23. #53
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    Default Re: Tritium slot machining & installation

    Quote Originally Posted by SuPpAvIlLiN View Post
    This looks so awesome and sooo cool. But holy craps!! Thats alot of money!! That comes out to like $60 for 1 slot with a single trit on a Ti Haiku. The working man could never have this. Geez...I bust my azz picking up stones and concrete bags and get $88 bucks after 8 hours in the sun. It would take me almost a hole back breaking day to get 1 slot with tritium in it.
    The working man would not have a Ti Haiku to start with



    Quote Originally Posted by SuPpAvIlLiN View Post
    This looks so awesome and sooo cool...
    Very nice clean work though...
    The lights look way better and Sci-Fi'ish with those perfectly centered magic capsules in them...
    Great work...
    That you quoted is why the charges are what they are. You are paying a machinist to do custom work, totally manual, one slot at a time. It takes a LOT of time to do it "correctly". Time = money ....

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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    Tritium is like Bacon, it makes everything better. And just like Bacon some people serve it up better than others. Take Jeff Hanko for instance. What a master craftsman. If you want a benchmark for the finest hand machined work, Jeff is a perfect choice. Jeff has been doing slots since his return at $10 a pop.

    I'm wondering why it costs you so much more Barry? I realize there are a lot of variables that include the tooling and machinery used. Jeff of course does his work with an old chinese manual lathe still. So, I don't guess it could be more labor and skill intensive than that. Mohan does them Pro Bono on a very limited basis using the most minimal of tools, he taught himself with the help of a local machinist. My surmise therefore is that you have much more sophisticated machinery and therefore much more cost recovery is necessary. Is that it?

    Also, when working with Jeff, the turnaround time is very short. Jeff is very focused on his patrons and doesn't like to hold things in his shop for long. I notice that sometimes there is a significant delay when sending items your way. Again, my surmise is that it has to do with perhaps the variety and amount of non flashaholic work you might be doing. It probably takes a big variety of customers to fund your operation, so our delights have to be scheduled amongst more 'industrial' requirements of other customers. Yes?

    At any rate, these lights look marvelous. Yummy Bacony Goodness! Thanks for sharing!

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    Quote Originally Posted by egrep View Post
    Tritium is like Bacon, it makes everything better. And just like Bacon some people serve it up better than others. Take Jeff Hanko for instance. What a master craftsman. If you want a benchmark for the finest hand machined work, Jeff is a perfect choice. Jeff has been doing slots since his return at $10 a pop.

    I'm wondering why it costs you so much more Barry? I realize there are a lot of variables that include the tooling and machinery used. Jeff of course does his work with an old chinese manual lathe still. So, I don't guess it could be more labor and skill intensive than that. Mohan does them Pro Bono on a very limited basis using the most minimal of tools, he taught himself with the help of a local machinist. My surmise therefore is that you have much more sophisticated machinery and therefore much more cost recovery is necessary. Is that it?

    Also, when working with Jeff, the turnaround time is very short. Jeff is very focused on his patrons and doesn't like to hold things in his shop for long. I notice that sometimes there is a significant delay when sending items your way. Again, my surmise is that it has to do with perhaps the variety and amount of non flashaholic work you might be doing. It probably takes a big variety of customers to fund your operation, so our delights have to be scheduled amongst more 'industrial' requirements of other customers. Yes?

    At any rate, these lights look marvelous. Yummy Bacony Goodness! Thanks for sharing!
    When you have to bring income to support you and your family, you have to charge "enough" to achieve a fair balance in order to maintain a relative "steady" amount of work, week to week, month to month. If you charge too much, you don't bring enough work. If you charge too little, you get too much work but you don't bring enough revenue. So whether you are doing a Tritiun slot, or making a custom bearing for a motor, your time as a machinist has a price, and the only thing fair is to charge everyone the same - that is how a shop determines what is the "shop rate" - that they need to charge in order to survive through the ups/downs. Just like any/all other businesses.

    Without a question, Jeff is an outstanding machinist - I would even say an artist. His attention to detail is incredible. But my educated guess is that Jeff is likely not doing the outstanding machining he does for a living, as a full time job. If it takes Jeff 1/2 hour to an hour to setup and cut one slot, and he is charging $10/each one, he is making about $10/hour. That is not even enough to maintain equipment, buy new tooling as it wears out, let alone generate enough revenue to make a living as a machinist. That is just my educated guess.

    And of course there is nothing wrong with Jeff charging $10/each, or other folks charging even less to do work. They must charge whatever they feel their time is worth, and I know many (which like you said) charge nothing since it is a hobby for them. I even know software developers who work for months and months, spend $100's of dollars developing software, only to give it away for free for others to use. Nothing wrong with this either.

    But, in terms of shop rates, you can't do an apples to apples comparison between a full-time machinist (making a living as a machinist) and anyone else doing it as a hobby/side business. The revenue requirements are different. I feel that is "the" main difference you see in pricing/shop rates. If you were to visit any machinist (that works as a machinist for a living), you would see that they will likely charge anywhere from $40-50/hour on the low end, to $80-100 and up at the higher end. And that is assuming they have the time to talk to you as most shops would not even bother with small jobs as the ones we discuss here in this forum. If it is a CNC shop, and you are not talking "at least" in the "hundred" or more, most CNC shops will not even talk to you.

    Will
    Last edited by wquiles; 06-23-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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  26. #56
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    Excellent post Will I'll try to answer the few questions that are left ...

    PRICING. My machining prices are the same whether working on a $100 Surefire, a $1000 titanium custom, or a $1,000,000 piece of industrial equipment.

    TURNAROUND TIME. Figure four weeks, sometimes more & sometimes less.

    Flashlight mods are an important part of my business & every job is done as quickly as time permits. The work is intense whether boring or slot milling. I cannot afford to rush through any flashlight mod as the cost of a replacement item may be 5X more than the job is bringing in. Been there, done that, no fun & no profit.

    One interesting service that I offer is machining to the owner's design or request:

    McGizmo piston slotted for 1.5x5mm. Wall thickness where the vials almost touch is 0.15mm:


    Twin trit slots with 2x6mm on the outside surface & 1.5x5mm on the inside:


    Last edited by precisionworks; 06-30-2012 at 05:54 AM.
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  27. #57
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    What about the tritium balls. I have seen them. A tritium ball in the center of a tail cap switch would be awesome. I have never seen that done.

  28. #58
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    Quote Originally Posted by SuPpAvIlLiN View Post
    What about the tritium balls. I have seen them. A tritium ball in the center of a tail cap switch would be awesome. I have never seen that done.
    The reason you haven't is probably due to the size. If you want a 10 mm sphere that means your tailcap must be 10 mm deep + whatever material for stability. Maybe you could have it sticking out a bit, but a glass object protruding from the end of the torch probably isn't the best thing to do. Not to say it couldn't be done, but it would require a completely new switch cover, and it wouldn't be a small one.
    Finning does help dissipate heat. This is why the fins are removed before cooking fish. Otherwise it will throw off the heat and not reach the proper cooking temperature. --Duglite

  29. #59
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    The reason you haven't is probably due to the size.
    +1

    Even the smallest vial (1.5x5mm) needs a fair amount of real estate. Slot width & slot length are usually not the issue but available depth can be a deal killer. A 1.5mm vial needs at least 1.7mm of depth so that the top of the glass vial can be covered by a thin layer of Norland. Quite a few light bodies are not this thick in the area that the owner wants slots.

    Another consideration is "what lurks on the other side of the proposed slot?" The answer many times is ... air. Perforating the metal (whether aluminum, stainless or titanium) is best avoided. That means avoiding O-ring grooves & other sub surface features that can turn a nice light into an expensive paper weight.
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  30. #60
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    Default Re: Boring service for Surefire® and other aluminum or titanium lights

    After a long wait, finally the body of my Nitecore IFE2 is arrived. I rapidly unpackede the box and ... wow! The work on the metal is outstanding. The trit vials shine from their slots like gems, perfectly covered by Norland. Absolutely no defects.
    Barry, you have a waiting list long as a train but the result is fantastic.
    Thanks

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