Tritium: Rings, Lanterns and Jewellery

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
Hi Everyone,
I've been working with tritium for a few years, making various keychain lanterns and jewellery items (not to mention tarting up flashlights).



However over the last six months or so, I've been focusing on designing some 3D printed tritium rings.

It started with Ring III, an unwearable lump, designed to be printed in silver and hold 18 2×8mm vials. The band is 4mm thick and 12mm tall.
I never took it past the initial prototype stage for obvious reasons. Sections of carbon fibre rod were used as placeholders for the vials.



This evolved into the Ring VI, which uses the smaller and more available 2×6mm vials, a theme continued through all my later ring designs.
The ring is printed in silver and with a band that's only 2mm thick and 10mm tall, it's a much more wearable item.



However, the problem with using tritium and to an even greater extent screws is that they can’t be scaled up and down easily. The last two rings have an internal diameter of 23mm, or a US 14 ring size, which is much larger than an average person would want. Scale the ring down so that it is a US size 8 or 9 and the relative sizes of the vials and screws would dominate the design, or not be able to fit at all. So I set about designing a simpler and more easily scalable ring, made as a single piece, which became Ring IX

For this ring, the vials are installed from the front then set and protected by a thick layer of Norland 61 adhesive. The ring above offers very little protection to the vials which was always a concern. This was also printed in silver.



This was also my first ring, designed to reflect as much of the vial's light as possible, out of the front of the ring.



After getting some feedback on the deign, I reduced the height and thickness of the ring's band further.





While designing the ring above, I played around with alternative designs and different ways of mounting the vials.
The next two rings have their vials installed from the top and both have added protection for the vials while not requiring to be potted like Ring IX.

Ring X has vertical bars, which protect the vials from impact while allowing as much view of the vials and their reflections as possible from multiple angles. Printed in silver.




Ring XI is my latest tritium ring, with a horizontal, vial protection bar, which adds more surfaces for the vial's light to reflect off. This one's printed in titanium.








Please post pictures of your own tritium rings, lanterns and other jewellery, as well as any comments you may have.
Cheers
 
Last edited:

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
Thanks Guys,
The titanium ring was 3D printed, using DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), so there's no real shaping that needs to be done, just a whole lot of sanding and polishing to get the right finish.
 

snapshot30830

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
4
Great ideas. Nice work. How available are the blue vials you work with? I cannot find blue or red, only green.
 

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
Cheers,
They are available in all the usual tritium vial colours of: green, yellow, orange, red, purple, ice blue, deep blue and white.
In the UK the 2x6mm vials are sold as fishing markers, lures and indicators, on places like ebay. Many of the sellers will ship internationally.
 

Conte

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
734
Location
Canada
Hmm, I know they are really low level radiation, but you figure they are safe to wear against the body for long periods of time?
 

AnAppleSnail

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
4,200
Location
South Hill, VA
The cumulative dose from the tritium vial is pretty low. The gas inside emits an electron through Beta decay. This electron is functionally similar to the element inside a fluorescent tube: An electron emitted inside a tube hits a phosphor on the inside surface of the tube. This energy is down-converted to visible light (Glows).

For safety, you are more at risk from cornea damage due to UV from sunlight and CFLs. You get higher dosage from most groundwater. You get a thousand thousand times more radiation to your internal organs during a short plane flight. However, there IS a very slight X-ray dose. You may want to research likely dose rates and make your own best health decision. UK Tritium Light Source leaflet


You should not breathe or drink tritium in large quantities though, because the emission of most radiation is worse for you inside your body. The hydrogen can combine with oxygen to make water you might absorb. Breaking a vial under your nose isn't a good idea, but it's not likely to have health risks. That said, not a lot of research has been done on sniffing isotopes.
 

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
Thanks AnAppleSnail, as you say the level of radiation emitted is tiny and exclusively in the form of beta decay. I had an opportunity a while ago to test the largest lantern I ever made, which held six 5x80mm vials, against a Geiger counter. The readings were just twice that of background radiation in a not particularly radioactive area. The rings contain perhaps 100th the quantity of tritium, so the health risks are pretty much non-existent.


Here are a few more rings, that I've been working on recently (they're all made from polished silver):

Ring XVI.






Ring XVII.






Ring XVIII.






Plus some renders of all my rings, including those that I have not yet made real.

 

Obijuan Kenobe

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
1,060
Location
Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Earth
While I understand that the Radioactivity symbol is not really copyright-able...someone around these parts already uses it as a calling card/trademark of sorts. Why not just avoid that, esp. if you are going to make rings that resemble those of said maker as well (the angled trit design in a ring has been done by him).

Other than that, I continue to like trits in principle while owning strikingly few objects (one flashlight) using them effectively.

obi
 

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
Obi, your concern does you credit.
However, there are many reasons why I should not have to stop using the trefoil and why it is impertinent to ask me to do so on a public forum.

1. The Radiation Hazard symbol has an important technical function, by informing people that a potentially hazardous substance is present (if consumed). This is probably why Jeff Hanko originally choose to include the trefoil into his clips, as he uses tritium a great deal in his beautiful torches and other work.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission are notoriously strict on the use of tritium and one of the many things they demand is that all tritium carrying items are clearly labelled as doing so. Asking for the removal of a relevant hazard label has neither wisdom, nor common sense.

2. I am not the only maker of tritium rings who has included the trefoil, as part of the design. Innovo, a member here, also does so, for the same valid reason, as mentioned above.

3. Jeff Hanko does have a logo, which includes the trefoil, but it also includes the letters: H, M and W (for Hanko Machine Works), one letter in each wedge of the trefoil). This can be seen on the base of his Dragon Scale Shot Glasses. Were I to copy this specific logo, then I would indeed be trying to pass myself off as Jeff, or at least breaching his rights.
Copyright is breached when an average person could be confused, or tricked into believing that an item was made by a specific manufacturer, when it wasn't. I see no reason why there should be any confusion between mine and Jeff's work. Unless requested not to, I always try and put my name on my work, to avoid any confusion as to the maker.
If Jeff came to me and explained that he has noticed actual financial loss through my actions, then I would of course endeavour to rectify the situation.

4. All that being said, I don't usually include the trefoil as part of my work. It was included on only two pieces of work and it's inclusion was requested by the clients, who I choose to accommodate. Much of my work evolves from the various requests I receive and there are only so many ways of sensibly doing things.

I trust that suitably clarifies the situation.
Now on to the more serious implication laid down, that I am in some way copying one of Jeff Hanko's designs.

1. There are a limited number of ways to mount tritium cylinders into a ring, while maintaining the lowest possible profile: Vertical, horizontal and at an angle, principally 45 degrees. From my render in a previous post, it is clear that I have explored all three options. To leave out a perfectly suitable option, just because somebody else has done something vaguely similar before me, isn't logical.

2. They're not that similar. They're not even the same type of ring. Jeff's is a keychain ring, while mine is a jewellery ring. They are not in direct competition with each other, as products, in function, or design. They're not made in the same way, nor out of the same materials.

3. When I designed the ring XVII, or more accurately it's predecessor, which is not shown, I was unaware of Jeff's tritium ring, so it wasn't an influence on my own design.
The direct influence was in fact from a much earlier thread, on this very forum, from Orb, about making an angled tritium ring: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?233884-Tritium-Ti-Ring. This is something that he never followed up on, so I tried my hand at taking the idea and running with it, while changing the design considerably in the process.


Obi, your tone and content seem always to be accusatory towards myself and my work, with nothing positive, or constructive to add. Perhaps I am misinterpreting you somewhat, but I would suggest sending any future concerns you may have as a PM next time.
However, I do remember reading in a thread (linked to below), that you are working on a tritium ring, or similar piece of jewellery. As this is supposed to be a showcase thread for all tritium jewellery, please feel free to contribute to this thread.


I have been generally surprised at the general lack of tritium rings, so I have catalogued all the others I could find.

Orb's concept ring.



Innovo is the only other maker of tritium rings currently for sale. Here's a selection of his work.






Then there's the work of GaminKWB. Here's his second printed ring in stainless steel.



Here are threads about this ring, along with his plastic prototype:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?387196-Tritium-Ring-Take-Two
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?354801-Tritium-Ring-First-Draft


I found this ring on Reddit, made by dmarkus.




Believe it or not, but that's the total sum of tritium ring expertise that I could find.

(I keep coming across references to skull rings, with tritium in the eyes, but I can't find a single picture of one)
 

LEDAdd1ct

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
3,547
Location
Hudson Valley
Do these rings convey any sort of mystical powers on the wearer, i.e., invisibility, invulnerability, flight, etc.? :D
 

Tofty

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Hampshire, UK
I have a feeling that they keep away man-eating predators.....well I certainly haven't seen any while wearing my ring.
 

awoodby

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
23
I know, old thread, but I still had to pop in and say awesome work!
Will look you up!
 

Glassglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
5
I am looking at a few tritium keychains right now online. I know that green is the "brightest" color, but I am kind of leaning towards RED/ORANGE just for the cool factor. Do you think its too dim to be noticeable?
 

Str8stroke

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
5,035
Location
On The Black Pearl
GlassGlow, welcome to the forum. You dug up a old thread! lol. I have just about every trit color out there. None are that noticeable during the day. However, at night, once your eyes are adjusted, the red/orange look good. I find orange is much brighter than red. I like Ice blues and white or Purple and greens. That looks sharp!

BTW: Red will look a bit dim if side by side some fresh green. But otherwise, I have been happy. Also, I have several Tofy lights and love them. He is really a great guy. I love his products.
 

Glassglow

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
5
Awesome! Thanks for the info! SO, I ordered the Guardian from Innovo designs in Ice Blue. Its coming from Greece, so I am sure it will be a while, but I will update with photos when it arrives.
 
Top