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Mercury - playing safely at home

Posted By: Romarrk
Date: Tuesday, 19 February 2013, at 1:57 a.m.

I know it it is a tough question, but may be someone have some ideas...

I have small hobby neon shop at home (basically at kitchen:) Despite all limitations I was able to bend and bombard a few test tubes. But I am limited to using neon only, and was able to do reds, oranges and pinks so far. Argon is dim - do not want a tube which looks like a dead mercury unit. I plan to experiment with krypton and xenon too. That way I believe everything is kept pretty harmless. Not completely sure if i shall continue bending lead glass at home though...

Anyway, I am tempted to add some mercury. Using mercury traps is clearly out of question for home. So the only option left is capsulated electrodes like Mer Plus or our local brand which uses zirconium amalgam pellets. Still not sure if I shall try them - any accidental capsule rupture, and mercury will pollute manifold and pump. Not really that much to die immediately ;) , but I will start to feel sorry to run them each time...

What do you think? Any other ideas how to get some mercury to the tube (at least small amount for mercury-neon SFX) in a way that is safe enough at home?

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