One of the octal tubes in my collection has a broken spigot / key post that lets some light in through the bottom of the normally opaque Bakelite base:
Perhaps drilling out the base would let more light pass around the evacuation tip, but that requires a shell drill to clear the tip. Some doodling suggested a drill with 12 mm OD and 8 mm ID, which was close enough to one of the smaller homebrew drills in my collection that I decided to see how it worked:
You (well, I) can’t freehand such a hole, particularly with a glass tip in the middle, so I needed a way to clamp the tube in either the drill press or the Sherline. A pad for the clamp screw in a V-block seemed appropriate:
The screw hole sits at the 1/3 point to put more pressure near the pin end of the base. Maybe that matters.
The setup looks like this, with a small red laser dot near the front of the base:
The tube rests on a random scrap of plastic, with the hope that the drill won’t apply enough pressure to break the glass envelope.
In normal use, the V-block would be oriented the other way to let you cross-drill the cylinder. In this end-on orientation, drilling torque can rotate the tube; compliant padding for more traction may be in order.
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist now includes a module that spits out the clamp: