LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

Project Information

This is my second Wimshurst machine. This one is slightly smaller but also has a very unique drive system for the disks. I had a die cutter made to spec for the copper foil segments. The copper foil is a peel and stick tape and it worked very well. At least is dry weather I get up to a 3.5" spark which is pretty good for a machine with a 12 inch disk. My first machine was capable of about 4" but it had 15 inch disks. I'm addicted to these things. They move, they function, make noise and make very cool sparks!

It's made from riff sawn white oak. The tree was cut from in my neighbor's yard a few years ago years ago and I had an Amish saw mill cut it into quarter and riff.

Watch it in action here:



Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
I had never seen on of these before but what a great project, I bet it was a lot of fun to build
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,105 Posts
Pretty neat! Can you rig it up to start my wood stove?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,006 Posts
I was looking for a Playing Card with a clothes pin holding it in place… for sound effects… :)

Otherwise, quite a very COOL project!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Great project. Takes me back to physics lessons at school.
Jim
 

·
In Loving Memory
Joined
·
8,391 Posts
Fun project and very nicely made too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Norman: Very cool device!

Joe Lyddon: It has to be a Yogi Berra or Mickey Mantle baseball card, like the ones I ruined on my bike…..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Probably inspired by genius Tesla - awsome mschine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
This is SO Cool!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
Tesla was a genius, but the kudos for this baby goes to Wilhelm Holtz and August Toepler, and others who came later with more refinements.

The build on this machine is outstanding. Mork your attention to detail is,,, shocking - ly beautiful.!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I guess you might call it Steampunk but the mix of brass copper and wood certainly gets attention. Of course the facts that it functions and makes a big spark doesn't hurt. Oh… and the sparkle of acrylic transmits the reflections of the brass and copper really adds a lot too.

Working with acrylic is fairly easy and woodworking tools do pretty well. Melting can be a problem in some cases but most often sharp tools overcome this. One cool aspect is that you can rough sand, remove a few burrs and then take a propane torch to all the cut edges. It hides all the saw marks and makes the plastic clear in seconds. Gluing is also super easy and quick with Weld On glue.

The brass requires a few different tools but I did use my wood lathe a lot (fitted with a metal lathe chuck) to drill and also smooth all the corners. The gray plastic for the disk hubs is PVC which is very cheap and easy to work with and to my surprise glues well with the same Weld On glue.

If anyone wants to build on of these things contact me and I'll give you some pointers. I have made a few mistakes I can help you avoid and it's hard to find much good information on how to make these things.

Thanks for all the compliments!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,254 Posts
These are so fun. Great job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Mork, this is fantastic. I never had one of these in my school- so I'm a little bit fascinated by it. I would definitely like to build one. I think you should make up some plans and materials list with suppliers exactly as yours was built. It is both well made and the combination of materials is very attractive. I think you could make a little money just on the plans if it would come out looking like this one. Great Job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,124 Posts
Mark,

I have not seen one of these since I was building tube radios in grade school! LOL! OOOOHHHH Prettyyyyyy!

Thanks for posting!
 
Top