Introduction: How to Build a Time Machine (Vortex Distortion Space and Time Dilating Device)

Picture of How to Build a Time Machine (Vortex Distortion Space and Time Dilating Device)

Well lets put it this way, ive always had this thing about traveling through time, and having a time machine. So i set about making one, i decided that instead of being a vessel to travel in, i would rather have something portable.

Many hours thinking i came to a conclusion. If im going to be traveling through time, the actual time machine would have to be timeless (not out of place in the past, present day, or the future)

So eventually i decided to make something that resembled a time piece, mixed with an old compass, and various other inspirations, some from various steam punk items.

However i did not want to make something that was steam punk, as i personally find alot of steam punk to be a bit over comic like, and a bit to fantastical.

So, heres how i did it.

Materials consist of -

Alot of scrap and junk
corrugated cardboard
Mount card
PVA glue
Super glue
Black paint
Spray paint
Some thicker mount card
A few Special oddments - for me this was the lenses.

Step 1: Building a Base

Picture of Building a Base

Ok, now the base of my time machine was modeled around two ring type peices of metal, and as with the rest of the -ible, you kinda have to work things out for yourself too!
Firstly, i set about cutting out some ring shaped pieces of card, As you can see from the pics below.

Obviously, you could just create this thing from scratch using cardboard. But i think a good scavinge can always turn a good result - The metal sections in the first picture are off an old repromaster! bout 20,000 pounds worth of kit in there day ( we recently scraped ours)

I basically used these as a shape to trace onto the card.

Cut as many as you like to give it a good depth that your happy with.

I recommend corrugated card as it is easily to get a thick depth, its easy to cut, and great for gluing in later steps.

Step 2: Lots, and Lots of Glue!

Picture of Lots, and Lots of Glue!

Ok, firstly stack up your pieces, here i have about 4/5 layers of corrugated, and a layer of mount board either side.

picture 2 - Holding the inside cover the out side in PVA Glue, make sure you get it all in the gaps, soak it in the stuff. Then do the same for the inside.

Picture 3 - Glue your scavenged parts to the top and bottom - i found that PVA was strong enough to hold them in place.

Picture 4 - Finally just glue a strip of paper around the outside and inside to neaten it up

Leave to dry over night, or longer if you can wait.

Step 3: A Bit of Paint

Picture of A Bit of Paint

Ok, so, you should have something looking like the picture below. Before we start filling the hole with various bits of stuff, i suggest painting it black.

Step 4: Filling in the Middle

Picture of Filling in the Middle

Now, this is the section that will hopefully turn out a bit different for all of you, because we dont all want time machines that look the same do we?

Picture 1 - the main part of my time machine is a big lens that i got off the repromaster, i constructed a small tube for this, and added a little circular metal ring ontop also, again paint everything card like black.

Pictures 2 and 3 - Using various parts, i then played around to get a good fit, - most my inside were taken from the inside of hardrives, cd drive, and old floppy drives and a few other bits and bobs.

The key is to use your own creativity, and lots and lots of super glue! (bout 8 tubes for me)

Step 5: More Rubbish

Picture of More Rubbish

Ok, keep adding the rubbish, a few additions here consist of a applying a piece of leather all around the out side, and various more bits.

As you mite notice there are some bits that have been broken off, again, all part of the creativity.

I added a few 'bolt' esque pieces poking out of one side.

Remeber to take your time, and play around, working out what looks best.

Step 6: Painting the Metal.

Picture of Painting the Metal.

I suggest getting some special Metal spray paint - the stuff i used was Wickes direct to metal spray paint. Dont use any normal stuff, it will just rub and flake off. If all else fails, Car spray paint does the job!

Picture 1 - Carefully pic any sections you dont want to paint and mask them off - For me this was the lense and the leather, and a few other small bits.

Picture 2 - This is after painting, i removed the masking around the edge, but left the lens covered up to prevent damage later on.

Picture 3 - ok, no to take some of that paint off, i used a combo of power tools, sand paper, and a scapel - basically take off the edges to reveal some of the metal underneath. Take off a little, take off alot, its upto you!

Step 7: Finished, Wait a Minute, Whats That Cool Box?

Picture of Finished, Wait a Minute, Whats That Cool Box?

Well, we cant have a time machine just sat on the side can we?
So we need a secure box to keep it locked up.

Im not going to tell you how to build a wooden box, just how to customize it, (plus i bort the bottom half of the box ready made)

Picture 2 - here we see the top of the box - which has like a sun/lens/thingy. Although i didnt take any pictures, i cut a hole clean out the top.

Step 8: Glue!

Picture of Glue!

Picture 1 - Once you have cut your hole, mix in some of the sawdust with the pva to make a sawdusty glue mush.

Picture 2 - Mask off the lens it self

Picture 3 - Glue around the edge of the lens, and use the excess to hold it in place underneath

Picture 4 - Sand off the excess ontop.

The lens ive used here is again off the repromaster - For this section i printed off a picture of the sun, and taped it to the underneath.

Also for this bit you can use anything, a hunk of metal, a pebble, what ever you think looks cool.

Step 9: Decor

Picture of Decor

loosely following this instructable - i then continued to add card to the box -more pva glue here.

Then you stick tin foil over the card, and trim.

Paint, or colour the foil in with a permanent marker.

And than sand some of it away to give a distressed look.

Finally, i cobbled together some pieces into a make shift key, and then drilled a hole in the front to fit.

Step 10: DONE

Picture of DONE

There we go, you have your completed time machine.

Enjoy responsibly, and don't go killing your ancestors. (unless you happen to have built in a parrelex distorter)

Please let me know what you think, and i would love to see any adaptations you make yourselves.

Thanks for reading.


denverh1 (author)2017-12-04

does this work for real bc I wanting go back in time I'm gotta try to my best,

thomas.harrell (author)2017-12-04


NaradaW (author)2016-10-13

Dude why isn't it working? Did I do the 2nd step wrong? I used blue paint instead of black paint.

Quotientt (author)NaradaW2017-11-04

I don't think the paint matters. Try connecting it to some type of device, or use a crystal.

hipsterSunflower (author)2017-01-16

it worked and i was abble to go 2 hours but for example; if i went 11 months in time or to 1 year ago ...How can i go back to this day or month?


that's the tricky thing! U would be stuck in that time and contuin and will have to live that life till present day

NeoDaenium (author)2017-10-14

Wow. In making this, you would have already time traveled by a few hours into the future. :O

michaelpak19942 (author)2017-09-15

I want to know how long is the time michine build?

King_M1 (author)2017-07-29

how would you know when and where it would take you

AngelStarFlora7 (author)2017-05-31

did it work did you change your past.

morbid88 (author)2008-07-09

You forgot to put in the crystal..

Time_Hopper4200 (author)morbid882017-03-10

Has anyone experimented to see what crystals are most efficient?

I guess a half Painite and half Plutonium crystal is the best one to choose, I say get one of 3 cm high. I don't know why a crystal like this works but it really does! (Don't put any metal in though, otherwise it will expload and then you'll have to do it all over again,)

I found a particularly small flux capacitor at Dick Smiths (It's like the Australian equivalent of Radioshack) that fit perfectly. Funny thing though - when I had finished using my time machine, I went back in time to stop myself from buying it, and the shop assistant said I had already bought it earlier that day. He must have been experiencing 'future echoes' (As per Einsteins theory of relativity).

i dont wanna be mean or anything.... how does it work exactly. like is this bogus or are you serious about making this work?? because i dont wanna put time into it if its not really possible. you have no idea how desperate i am about going back in time. as ridiculous as that soundsss.

cp03198 (author)helpmeout52017-01-25

It 100% works, because logic, and nasa

ADAMC229 (author)helpmeout52016-10-21

now i havent tried this and tbh i probably never will, to go to the future you need to go into space and time will move faster on earth relative to you. However, to go back in time you need to go faster than the speed of light, and not to mention the paradox's associated with time travel. first off light speed is impossible for humans to reach and 2nd, if you go before you built a working machine the machine wont exist and you wouldnt go back in time in the first place. paradox bro.

bumpus (author)helpmeout52008-07-21

I actually tried it, I only was able to go back a few hours.. try adding crystals..

helpmeout5 (author)bumpus2008-07-23

you think it could go back like... a couple of days?? what kinda crystals??

bumpus (author)helpmeout52008-07-23

Most likely, um I would try Amethyst crystals.. I heard the work best.

helpmeout5 (author)bumpus2008-07-23

oh. well... so, is that the only one then??

bumpus (author)helpmeout52008-07-23

I'm not sure.. I'm kinda new to the whole subject, but I am learning

helpmeout5 (author)bumpus2008-07-23

i thought you said youve gone back in time before though...??

bumpus (author)helpmeout52008-07-23

I did, I'm still learning on the subject, I hopefully will be able to learn enough to go back in weeks, not just hours.

helpmeout5 (author)bumpus2008-07-23

oh well good to hear. buuuuttt, will me in my past be able to see me or is it like... im in different phases and me from that moment wont be able to see me in the future moment... or am i completely off and everyone there can see me. wait... so will changing the past alter the future??

LuisL40 (author)bumpus2015-11-30

do you believe you can go back in months?

totusvoloestmei (author)bumpus2013-05-26

Wondering if you ever accomplished that, bumpus, but since this post is from 2008, I don't know if you still come here.

fridgeus (author)bumpus2008-08-17

come on man... everyone knows quartz is the crystal of time.

BrashardB (author)helpmeout52015-05-25

What kind of crystals?

TonyD90 (author)bumpus2016-03-04

¢αи υ ρℓєαѕє тєℓℓ мє нσω υ мα∂є ιт ι ωαит тσ ѕєє му мσм αgαιи

jeymeowmix (author)bumpus2008-09-15

you could go further, but you might blow a flux capacitor.

bumpus (author)jeymeowmix2008-09-15

Heh, then I could go back 88 minutes.. :P

KevinH22 (author)bumpus2015-06-09

Is this truu??

its not possible

I help but wonder if you’re really wishing to get ya head
out of the clouds by getting back to your own planet; rather than passing back
in time. I mean come on, do you really for one moment think that cardboard is magical?????

Chuck P. (author)helpmeout52008-08-05


CapnTac (author)helpmeout52008-08-02

Dude. IT ISN'T REAL!!!!! They are pulling your leg!

gmjhowe (author)helpmeout52008-07-21

*pats head*

helpmeout5 (author)gmjhowe2008-07-23


Unbelievable. ... You are simply unbelievable... I've been going back in time on the stopped you from buying that stupid Flux capacitor. you are created several Timeline Sir. there was a time line Where I convince you to stop going back to that shop... 7 years later later in this timeline and I'm still trying to stop you.

player2030 (author)player20302015-06-22

to talk top it off... Stupid talk to text in this little boxes don't work at all...

Sorry to say that the flux capacitor is outdated now with
having been completed by Doc Brown back in 1985, Here we are 29 years later in
(2014); I find that clicking my heals and saying “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home” is all you really
need to do; that ought bring you back to reality.

what else can you use rather than a flux capacitor? since its outdated.

'Future Echoes'? What!!!???. That doesn't exist. Why do you humans lie to yourselves so much.

red dwarf???

It's an old British televsion show with Rowan Atkinson.

Wait..or is that White Dwarf?

I always mix them up.

Or am I thinking of Black Adder?

Lol, I don't know. Nevermind. I guess you'd better ask someone who actually watches these shows and ignore me. :)

You rock Googleman. And for picking that reference, you deserve a virtual hug: _*V1RTU@L*HUG*_ ...Love that Red Dwarf. -Mick

gmjhowe (author)morbid882008-07-09

My time machine is from after the crystal based era.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to ... More »
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