Picture of How to Make a Table-Top Van de Graaff Generator
Michael, Elizabeth, and I made a table-top sized Van de Graaff generator.

Step 1: Materials

This is what you need:
     • 1' long 4" diameter PVC tube
     • 5" long section of 1/2" CPVC pipe
     • 1 airplane blanket (or other static material like rubber of fleece)
     • Metal Bowls
     • Scraps of 2x4
     • Motor
     • Dowel (lots of dowel)
     • JB Weld (I now love this stuff)
     • Hot Glue
     • *Optional* a ball bearing for shoving in a hole
Also, 2 friends insane enough to do this with you!

doed anyone know how to make a discharge wand. I am confused.
Astronautic2 years ago
Would you give more info about the motor which you used, such as Torque value, Power, Brand name (if possible) etc. ?
you are very intelligent and smart boy, I love you..................!
looks like he has a G.F :D
100kw23 years ago
elizabeth kawaii!
ssearle13 years ago
(or other static material like rubber "of" fleece)
don't you mean or ?

Would some old grey plastic guttering do as the pole that holds it up i think it is PVC or possibly U-PVC
nickademuss3 years ago
NIce little VDG, in the spring the garden centers will all have small stainless garden gazing balls, these make great collectors, and under 12" diameter they are pretty cheap!
DevCoder (author)  nickademuss3 years ago
Wow, that's actually an excellent idea! I always thought those were only made of glass, but Google is your friend I guess :D
wii5523 years ago
I want one
yes hello Elizabeth you can cut on my pipe anytime
I have lots of questions.
            *Do you have to wrap the rollers with conductive or non conductive material
            *How many RPM is the motor
            *Do you attach 2 metal combs to the top and bottom of the airplane blanket
            *Do the metal comps touch the airplane blanket
            *Does it matter which side of the airplane blanket is attached to the combs
            *If you make it 3 1/2 ft tall, will it be safe to touch it still
            *Do the combs attach directly to the discharge in the inside
            *I think I saw the motor attached to an outlet, do you keep the current at AC, or do attach a regulator to it
            * and, does the top roller move, or stay still

          I am sorry for all the questions. The Instructable is great though!  
DevCoder (author)  Football viking boy5 years ago
And I have a lot of answers:
     • Non-Conductive
     • Mine is 3450, the faster the better, but keep in mind that it needs to have some tourque
     • They don't attach, they just almost touch it
     • See previous answer...
     • ?
     • It'll just hurt like all hell (really? i want pics!!!)
     • Attaching them to the outside is easier, but inside is better looking, and yes
     • The motor is really a small part, many would work. I chose an AC motor because it was the easiest
     • It can move if you want (or put a tube around a tube and make less friction), we just chose to keep it static

I don't mind at all, I'm more than happy to answer any question if you are nice.
will a 2900 rpm motor work?
Amped_Foray4 years ago
Nice Job!
Kiteman5 years ago
Does it make sparks?

Can you do the dancing monks trick?
DevCoder (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
yes and ??? dancing monks???
Stand a line of people on insulators (plastic stools, in buckets etc), all holding hands and with one person touching the dome as it runs.

They all get charged, until the person at the other end of the line touches "ground", at which time they all get a shock.

It was first done to a line of monks that was connected to ground, and then the first monk touched the ground of a charged Leyden jar.

We did this in a Phyics lesson at school just last week... other fun things to do include:
- lighting a bunsen burner (or similar)
- making someones hair stand on end
- dropping feathers, then having them stick to the charged dome, then becoming attracted to the nearest neutral object (similar to how a balloon sticks to a wall after being rubbed on something)
- shocking someone just for fun
- producing mini lightning
gb123 Kiteman4 years ago
i think i saw that on brainiac...
cute girl =)
Well Hello Elizabeth!