I've built this Van De Graaff generator for a science coursework and it works pretty well considering it being built in a rush (needa hit that deadline man). With it, I managed to achieve a 1.5cm spark, a happy physics teacher and full marks for my coursework :D.
All the parts used are easy to find in shops and really cheap. Don't be too intimidated by the looks of it, its not that hard, improvising is key.
It's my first instructables so bear with me and I welcome any suggestions and comments.
All the best!- CCX
A generator is able to generate a very high voltage but it's pretty safe due to the low current. One with a weak heart, a pacemaker or any sensitive electronic device should not be operating or even be close at it. I bare no responsibilty over your carelessness and injury.
It is really important to understand how it works, if not what's the point?
A Van de Graaff generator is an electrostatic generator which uses a moving belt to accumulate electric charge on a hollow metal globe on the top of an insulated column, creating very high electric potentials. It produces very high voltage direct current (DC) electricity at low current levels.- wikipedia
Understanding it can really assist on your build. (I missed this part)