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Beautiful and meticulously made Bill. Seeing all your wood and brass work which you do so well reminds me of a project I did not so long after I took up woodworking. It was a failure in almost every respect except that it actually worked (because I willed it to), not that it mattered because like your project it is mainly meant to be seen and perhaps create interesting conversation. Seeing your wonderful quality work made me think this might be something right up your alley. Here it is. I've always been ashamed of this project and I have wanted to make a better one, but I haven't been able to find a brass supplier here, probably because I haven't tried hard enough. I only posted it because I thought it was interesting from a historical perspective.
 

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Beautiful looking workmanship here, can't see why it wouldn't work, it certainly looks like it would. Maybe you need someone like me to get it started, I just walk across the room, and get zapped when i touch the door knob.
 

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This is a work of art, too wonderful!
 

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Thank you all for viewing.

Stefang, I saw your link, what a wonderful project. (Everyone should see the link in the first comment on this post from Stefang) I would never think of this as a failure, it is just beautiful.

I like to think of my projects as concepts or scale models for building something else, but that constitutes a completed project for me.

I love the creative process as it allows me to flesh out ideas and do what I love in the shop, which is ultimately solving problems and creating something beautiful to look at. You have done this with your project with great aplomb. Thank you very much for the link and for creating something beautiful and mechanically interesting.
 

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Well it sure is pretty!

What you need are metal brushes that are grounded and metal brush attahed to your brass rod. There needs to be a circuit which does not appear to be there at least.

Check this out: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_de_Graaff_generator

Van de Graf used an insulating belt to move charge. You are using the wheel. The brushes pick up or donate charge.
 

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Thanks Nes_Matt, I did also see some people who had placed metallic strips on the glass and this seemed to help. The 4 pads on either side are felt and are in contact with the glass and are supposed to generate the electrical current, but as I am a complete knucklehead on basic electrical theory, I just moved on to the next project.

Thanks for the link, it really does have some nice diagrams even I could follow, wish I looked further when I was building it ;-)
 

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Thanks for your way too generous comment Bill. I am still not happy with it, but it is a nice contrast to your work!
 

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That is beautiful.

Is that a plexiglass disk? If it is, I wonder if you had it pass thru a box of sawdust or some wool would static build up on the disk? Sawdust passing thru PVC pipe will build up a static charge. I wonder if the same would apply here. Just asking ….
 

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Stefang, what you have - nearly - built is actually a Wimshurst machine.

This video
shows you what additions/changes you might have to make to get it to spark.

I hope you do get it to make indoor lightning properly as it seems a waste of so much excellent work to not be able to 'amuse and amaze your friends' !!!
 

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It does work - see, the hairs are standing up on my arm! Lovely job.
 

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Great looking machine! I too hope you can get it working-would be cool to see it in action!
 

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Don Johnson, Great link, I can see know I need to start thinking about a new project!! I did see designs for that type when I was building it, but not the nice video really breaking it down, thanks for sending that.

I also never built the Leyden jars. From what I remember they were a sort of battery that allowed the charge to build, then let it discharge a higher voltage arc, (or is it amperage?)....... See, I really don't need to be messing with these things!

I do think another build is in order, thanks again.
 

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Tyvekboy; Thanks for your questions. The disk is glass. I found it at Target as a small table-topper. I tried to order a custom cut piece from a local glass outfit, and they wanted 60 bucks or something and it would be a week. I went down and got this that night.

I have seen folks posting plastic, and while that looks like it works, the original design I was looking at was pre plastics and used glass. It also did not have the metallic strips like I saw some had. I think a second build is brewing and some design changes, plus it was a really simple fun build so hard to beat that.
 

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Beautiful work. For some help to get it working, go to YouTube and search for "RimstarOrg" and also look at this
and his series "Thomas Kim".
 

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Don, I think you got me mixed up with Bill Huffman the maker of the static electricity machine. He actually knows how to make stuff!
 
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