Instructables

How to build a Tesla Coil

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Step 2: Gather the Materials

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The total cost came to around $25, being that I already had the wood, Snapple bottles, PVC, and glue.

Secondary Coil:
  • A length of 1.5" PVC (the longer the better)
  • About 300 feet of 24 AWG copper enameled wire
  • 1.5" PVC screw-thing (see picture)
  • 1.5" metal floor flange with threads
  • Spray on enamel
  • Circular, smooth metallic object for the discharge terminal
Base and Supra-base
  • Various pieces of wood
  • Long bolts, nuts, and washers
Primary Coil:
  • About 10 feet of thin copper tubing
Capacitors:
  • 6 Glass bottles (Snapple bottles work really well)
  • Table Salt
  • Oil (I used canola. Mineral oil (horse laxative) it preferable as it doesn't mold, but I didn't have any.)
  • Lots of aluminum foil
And a HV power source such as a NST, OBIT, or other transformer that gives off at least 9 kV at around 30 mA.
 
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I wanna see him connect it to a nuclear reactor and make someone touch it. >:D
would a solid state transformer work, and if so would what efect would it have on it?
and i am not new with electricity.
just new to tesla coils!
dming981 year ago
Does any body know somewhere cheap to get all the materials
Your cat is adorable.
camokid962 years ago
is the threading on the adapter on the ouside or the inside?
mgfsniper3 years ago
would sea salt work for the capacitors??
red_green3 years ago
i noticed you didn't include the nst in the parts list.
any reason for that?
DevCoder (author)  red_green3 years ago
Whoops! Thanks for that ;D
nwadsworth3 years ago
fyi the "screwy thing" is called an adapter
red_green3 years ago
i am asking this because i could not possibly accumulate that meny glass bottles in enough time.
red_green3 years ago
Would it be possible if i used regular capacitors instead of making them out of bottles and canola oil?
(removed by author or community request)
You do not want to do either of those things.
there is a reason a tesla coil has no iron core, that being that it is a resonant transformer.
hii .... actually this is my first attempt to tesla coil ... i m doing it for my college project ... i use a secondary coil 63mm in dia , with wire .3mm thick and 1000 turns... my primary is made of 10 SWG wire with 6 turns with first dia being 160 mm and consequent turns 5mm apart .. i had ordered a transformer 220/4000V and 35mA ... i dont noe whether it is current limiting or not ... i made toroid using a 4inches aluminium duct .. 22 inches in circumference ... now a few questions :-
1) can i use a series of 400V capacitance for primary ?
2) what should be the value and current rating of my bleeder resistance ( connected accross capacitance)
3) how do i limit the current ; provided i dont noe whether my transformer can limit the current or not ... ?? if using a choke what would be a good value of the choke and its rating ??
4) can i wind primary on a wooden structure or do i need acrylic sheet or Bakelite ???
5) how do i tune my tesla coil ... i have no access to occilioscope :( :(

thanx alot BTW for sharing your experience !!!
malik983 years ago
my spark gap caught on fire is there anyway to fix this
malik983 years ago
mine won't start do you have any troubleshooting ideas
sixpackwill3 years ago
where did you buy your wire and does it have to be a certain diameter? Also, what did you use for you discharge terminal and electric supply because its not in the materials. Thanks
punkzter3 years ago
Can I use the flyback transformer from an old crt monitor? What would I need to change if I did this?
DevCoder (author)  punkzter3 years ago
yeah. nothing.
bretta3 years ago
@ electridanger same problem, but if you live near a scrap yard you could find the transformer or make a suitable one with and ignition coil. refer to http://www.instructables.com/id/Variable-voltage-ignition-coil-power-supply/ for making one cheap.
honestly that makes NO SENCE
DevCoder (author)  electridanger3 years ago
Yeah, +1 on this electridanger - an auto ignition transformer is not meant to have 120/240 volts AC thrown at it, it is meant for 12 V DC. I'm not sure what would happen if you ran that system for long, but I don't think it would end well.
probably not but it would be fun lol
bretta DevCoder3 years ago
It works. I've tried it ant it produces a 1 inch spark on the highest power setting. And yes it did end well. But make sure any Transistor basedow Electronics are un hooked. It shuts them down for a day.
what source of power can a 14 year old without an e bay account get that is big enough to power it
i am also 14 and i dont have an ebay account eather but you can buy "buy it now" stuff without one, i do it all the time.
I just dont want to spend that much money, but thanks anyway
by increasing the size of the pipe, and the amount of wire you used, would you be able to make this bigger, and how many capacitors would need to be used?
 Anybody have links for where to buy these things?

About 10 feet of thin copper tubing
A length of 1.5'' PVC (the longer the better)
About 300 feet of 24 AWG copper enameled wire
1.5'' PVC screw-thingy
1.5'' metal floor flange with threads
Any hardware store (home depot) with plumbing supplies will have:
1/4" copper refrigerator icemaker tubing
lengths of PVC-DWV (It's really cheap sewage line, avoid pressure pipe $$)
1.5" PVC Male Adapter and floor flanges

Instead of the male adapter and floor flange, try a floor flange for a toilet. They glue to pipe and screw to the floor.

I got my 24 or 30 AWG wire from techfixx on ebay. Cheap.
kelpshark4 years ago
2 questions: 1 is the wiring connected to the torrid? 2 what is the PVC screw thing used for and where?
rob954 years ago
 What should i use for the circular smooth object for discharge terminal
 
derbert rob954 years ago
derbert derbert4 years ago
sorry. comment thingy broke. i've used an aluminium pie dish with a bolt going through it for mine. it possible that crinkles will give coronas that will eventually destroy the top load, but it's working for now
I used 28-30 awg wire, is that bad?
not necessarily. it should still work, but your secondary (i assume that's where you used it) is just more likely to break because of the amount of electricity going through it. thicker wire=less likely to melt. hope that helps
 thanks
no problem. also, it's possible that the thinner wire will have an effect on the inductance of the secondary, which might make your coil a little harder to tune
bmnot4 years ago
What could i use as discharge terminal?
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