Thursday, April 4, 2013


For quite some time I've had a hankering to build a static electricity generating machine, ether a Van de Graaff or a Wimshurst. The Wimshurst was picked because it is more mechanically interesting. Over time I had collected information, and there is tons of information on the internet, although I never did find a suitable plan. It looked like most builders did their own variation, so I decided to do the same.
As with most models I started by making patterns and pouring castings.
Followed by a little machining, which did not amount to too much on this one.
Then acrylic discs were cut out and aluminum sectors applied.
After that a Walnut board was milled out to mount everything on.
Large pill bottles were used to make the Leyden Jars by applying aluminum foil inside and out over the bottom half.
The combs or brushes were of my own design. A copper strand from a scrub pad was wound around a simple mandrel and a very thin layer of solder run along a 1/16" brass wire.
This was then slid into a keyhole shaped slot in a 3/16" brass rod.
After being at it for a month it is finally completed. Here is a view from the back side, there is a front view at the beginning of the post.
There is nothing like a Video to show that it works, so take a look.