Work on nixie tubes

Take a look how nixie tubes comes to life

Patience, diligence, a sense of precision, and absolute cleanliness of the work environment and each component, are cornerstones of our production.


The vast majority of work on nixie tubes is done by hand, although we have already simplified many processes by construction of our own machines, some of which you can even find within your households.
The hot work making us sweat is done on a glass lathe and during pumping of nixie tubes. The glass work has also required a lot of development and we are constantly improving every detail of our work.
But first things first.

Cleaning / drying /gluing...

It is hard to pick one moment that can be considered a starting point. If we say that everything starts with the assembly of numbers, we would be skipping a lot of preparations and quality checks that had been made before that.
We glue the ceramic parts of the tubes carrying the numbers ourselves, metal parts for the construction around numbers are bent; sealing is made on a glass lathe, and all components undercome washing and drying in various machine types to obtain the maximum cleanliness.


When all parts meet in production, it is time to put it all together.
Piece by piece.
Tweezers and gloves alternate with a welding machine, number-leveling hook, and truing tool for positioning of wires.
As soon as everything fits perfectly and the entire inside of the nixie tube is all done and provided with a serial number, we put it in glass and the flame dance may begin.

Flame dance

Anyone standing and watching this process would not call it anything else. It is not the same flame dance as the one in the fireplace that calms you down and warms you to your fingertips. It is adrenaline rushes through you while you are looking at dancing flames, melting glass and an endless stream of rotations and movements within the glass lathe. A perfect centering and firm attachment of individual components ensures that the individual components cannot rotate and accidentally break, which is only a small fraction of all the mistakes that can happen.
Proper warm-up and cool-down are crucial. Maximum attention is required to capture the right moment in between pulsing flames and the rotations that is needed to take a step further.

Pumping machine

Hidden inside is one of the most important phases without which the nixie tubes would never light up. Pumping off the air and filling with gas. The only thing that can be seen is yet another risk with flames when the pumping rods are separated and even the tiniest mistake would result in a gas leak.

A plasma globe control

A magical-looking control?
A plasma globe catches the eye every second and we would like to point out its importance. By the color of the nixie tube, we can tell if it is defect, if it has sucked air through leaks. Each nixie tube shows up 3 times in several phases of the process. At times it happens that we discover a defect, and so we do not let the nixie tube further into the process.

Spot-welding / Gluing / Soldering

Out of the reach of flames and light effects, the nixie tube is taken to the welding machine again, where its wiring is weld, provided with a cable insulation sleeving and the nixie tube finally gets its socket. It is then turned over and the wires are soldered with tin.  

Burn-in process

The joy we feel looking at the finished, fully working nixie tube is immense.
This excitement is given to us by the final check and testing of the nixie tubes in a test machine.

Completing the clock

As soon as a nixie tube undergoes the whole process, it is inserted into a clock, and based on your order, it can become a star of your room. We use the nixie tubes in our Puri and Blub clocks, you can also spot them in several collaborative projects. For instance Nixie Machine II by Frank Buchwald.

Nixie machine II by Frank Buchwald

Finally, a few more deails of R nixie tube.
And if you want to know more about our nixie tube lets take a look here:

R|Z568M Nixie Tube