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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting to convert some old radio and TV vacuum tubes for a lab scene. Does anyone know if it's possible to drill them out from the bottom, to insert LEDs without them popping into a zillion pieces. I'm not afraid to try it, I have tons of them, but if anyone has heard of a method that works, please let me know.
 

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I have not tried it myself, but am wanting to...

I am doing a Frankenstein scene this year and want to use some for that...I was thinking the same thing about putting in led's...if you get the nerve before I do, let us know the outcome.
 

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For vacuum tubes, I'd try to find a way to make them light up naturally as opposed to putting LEDs in them. Maybe you could hunt down an old vacuum tube tester or figure out a way to hook power up to them to get them to glow. There must be some info on the net to help out.

Otherwise, I believe the bottom of the tube is plastic, so I don't see why you couldn't drill a hole big enough for an LED to fit through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have a few old testers, but I want to customize the bulb placement in props, and using the testors would limit that. Also, the bakelite (an early plastic) found on the bottoms of the tubes, is only a means to hold the contacts steady that come from inside the vacuum tubes. I guess I'll just have to risk a few with the lowest possible vibration drill that I can find. Dremel don't fail me now, lol.
 

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Zombie-F said:
For vacuum tubes, I'd try to find a way to make them light up naturally as opposed to putting LEDs in them. Maybe you could hunt down an old vacuum tube tester or figure out a way to hook power up to them to get them to glow. There must be some info on the net to help out.

Otherwise, I believe the bottom of the tube is plastic, so I don't see why you couldn't drill a hole big enough for an LED to fit through.
I know those tubes have a vacuum in them..just be REAL careful they don't implode when you make a hole.
 

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Hmmmm... would it be possible to heat up a piece of wire and melt into the plastic casing first, to let the vacuum out that way and then drill it? That may prove to be easier (and safer) than to just drill into it.
 

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I would wrap the tube in masking tape before drilling. and use a diamond tipped jewelers grinding bit.
could soak them in a solvent and pull them apart. if you see moisture in the tube you will know its working.
the viscosity of the solvent would slow and distribute the equalisation of pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm certain that the bakelite bottoms don't hold the vacuum at all. they merely hold the wires coming out of the glass vacuum tube. The vacuum tube is no more than a glorified light bulb.
 
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