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DIY Tritium Install

Installing tritium vials in your Ronin Metalwerks Hotaru lanyard bead.





The actual process of installing tritium may seem like a daunting task but so long as you have somewhat steady hands and some time, its very easy to complete!  There is no need to be scared of doing the install, as long as you follow some simple steps and take your time it will look great!




Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Ronin Trit-Kit (Contains the bare essentials for an easy DIY tritium install, just add sunlight!)
    • Norland Optical Adhesive 61 (NOA61)
    • T-Pin
    • Syringe
    • 2 Pipettes
  • (Up to) Six Tritium Vials up to 1.55x6mm 
  • Latex gloves
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Toothpicks
  • Micro fiber towel 
  • Magnifier of some sort
  • Tweezers
  • 365nm U.V. Light Source (or a well lit window on a sunny day) [McGizmo Nichia UV365 LE
  • Panavise or something similar to hold the bead level while doing the install






Install Process:

  1. Clean your bead thoroughly using soap and water, use the toothpicks to clean any debris or dust from the slots.  Dry using a microfiber towel, and be sure to only handle the bead using gloved hands.
  2. Clean your bead again using rubbing alcohol and wipe dry using clean microfiber towel and set into your vice or other suitable mount that will hold the bead steady and level.
  3. Open the NOA61 and fill a small clean container so that you may draw it up with the syringe or pipettes.
  4. Draw up a small amount of the NOA61 into your syringe and then starting at one side of the slot and moving to the other side begin to fill it about half way up.
  5. Using tweezers, pick up the Tritium vial and place it into the top slot, use the pin or dental pick to remove any bubbles from around the vial, use your magnifier to ensure all bubbles have been removed and that the vial is centered to your liking.
  6. Fill the remainder of the slot up over the top of the vial and even or slightly above the surface of the bead, the surface tension of the NOA61 should allow you to fill it high without dripping out, but be careful not to use too much.(this is where the syringe comes in real handy, much better control than the pipettes alone)
  7. If you have a UV light that emits light in the 365nm spectrum then the cure time should be very fast, if the light has sufficient output, time to set should be about 30-90 seconds for something similar to the McGizmo UV light engine driven using a single 123 cell.  (If you are unsure of the power of your UV light, you may want to test a little bit of NOA61 on a small piece of plastic to see how long it takes for it to set)  Place the light just above the vial and hold it on the high power setting for until the NOA61 sets up.
  8. If you do not have a UV light carefully place the vice with your bead near a well lit window on a sunny day, the Suns natural UV will slowly cure the NOA61 in about 4-8 hours, you can drop a small amount of NOA61 onto a piece of plastic bag as a cure test and place it next to the bead while curing.  You can then test the drop for rather than touching the NOA61 on the bead.  Once the test drop tacks up and is no longer viscous, you can then 
  9. Follow steps 4-8 for the remaining slots.
  10. Once you have all slots completed its a good idea to cook the bead under the UV light or the Sun for some additional time to ensure the NOA61 is fully cured





A couple general video tutorials to help familiarize yourself with using Norland61 optical adhesive to mount Tritium.