RE: Thorated vs Pure Tungsten

	Today I replaced the 2% thorium electrodes with pure tungsten.  The gaps
actually fired much sooner with pure tungsten??  However the firing voltage
was more stable.  

	I think the firing voltage depends mostly on the rather sharp edges I left
on the rods.  I will try to really round them out and see if that helps the
stability.  In retrospect, the sharp edges only make high field stress
points.  However, the thorium electrodes do seem to suffer much more from
ionization caused by the radioactivity and thus like to sporadically fire
far too early.  I may end up using ball bearing electrodes to get a much
more stable firing voltage for the safety gaps.  I assume cobalt drill bits
will cut through ball bearings to mount the shafts that hold them?...

	I definitely would stay away from thorium and other radioactive
electrodes.  Pure tungsten is supposed to wear faster but the worry of
radioactive dust getting in one's lungs during the difficult cutting and
grinding of this gnarly material out weighs that.  "Playing" with the pure
tungsten is far better than worrying about dust particles from the thorium,
or cesium, or lanthanum...  Some claim good wear from non radioactive
alloys of tungsten too, but this is getting to be too complex as it is...


explains much about these rods...

I still find myself strangely drawn to the 3/8 inch diameter rods :-))



BTW - If all elsa fails, I still have 100+ Victoreen gaps :-)...