Do you feel like your jack-o-lantern missing something? Do you want to carve your Halloween pumpkin in an awesome new way? If so, then this instructable is for you. In this instructable, I will show you how to carve a pumpkin using high voltage. The high voltage creates cool looking marks on the pumpkin skin. The video below will give a demonstration of this process.
Lets get started!
Step 1: Tools
For this project, you will need a few different tools.
- Pumpkin carving tools
- High Voltage power supply
- This can be found or built relatively cheaply and easily. The power supply I am using is a ZVS high voltage power supply that I built. It will be an instructable soon, but in the meantime, there is a video below on how to make it. You can use almost any high voltage power supply, including microwave transformers. A microwave transformer can be found cheaply in broken microwaves. Just connect the primary to AC mains and the secondary will be the high voltage output.
Step 2: Materials
To complete this project, you will need very few supplies. You will need:
- A pumpkin
- U Nails
- Alligator clips
- PVC Pipe
- Metal Rod
Step 3: Emptying the Pumpkin
The first step in extreme pumpkin carving is to empty it of seeds. This will allow you to add other carved features to the pumpkin. To do this, use a serrated knife to cut a lid hole in the top. Then, use a scoop or spoon to remove all the seeds and innards of the pumpkin.
Step 4: Carving Features
You do not necessarily need to carve facial features into the pumpkin, the extreme pumpkin carving method works with an untouched pumpkin too. However, the extreme pumpkin carving method can also enhance any normal jack-o-lantern. To carve the pumpkin, just use a knife to make holes into a pattern of whatever face you want.
Step 5: Preparing for High Voltage Treatment
To prepare the pumpkin for high voltage carving, insert a U nail into the side of the pumpkin. Then, attach the ground of the high voltage power supply to the U nail. This will make the entire pumpkin referenced to ground so it can be carved with high voltage. Then, attach a metal rod to a PVC pipe and hold it there with an alligator clip, this will be the high voltage probe. Then, attach the high voltage PVC probe to the positive lead of your high voltage power supply. You are ready to carve your pumpkin the extreme way.
Step 6: High Voltage Burning!
To actually carve the pumpkin, turn on the high voltage power supply, and hold the end of the high voltage probe to the pumpkin. An arc should jump from the pumpkin skin to the probe. This will make small white burn holes in the pumpkin. Just move the high voltage probe around to "draw" the design you want. The arc should burn the pumpkin in the design you want. The effect will not be immediate, it may take a while. Continue to the next step to figure out why.
Step 7: How This Process Works
This extreme pumpkin carving effect will take about 7-8 hours to take full effect. It works because the electrons traveling from the anode of the high voltage supply strike the pumpkin at high speeds. These high speed electrons heat and burst the cell walls of the cells inside the pumpkin. Nothing happens immediately after the high voltage treatment, but over time, gravity causes the now burst cells to collapse and become more dense. This is what causes the cool collapsing effect on the pumpkin where it was struck by electricity.
Step 8: The Final Product
After letting some time pass since the shocking of the pumpkin, the collapsed features should start to set in. It will look really cool and give your once boring jack-o-lantern a scarred zombie effect. It can also be used for creating intricate designs, such as the Tanner Tech logo. The extreme pumpkin carving method will most definitely enhance the Halloween atmosphere of your house. Please vote for me in the pumpkin carving contest.
Good luck carving!
Disclaimer: This carving method utilizes a dangerous and potentially fatal voltage. Please exercise caution when using this method of pumpkin carving.