How to machine / make a custom sonic screwdriver out of aluminum with Arduino inside.

This Instructable documents the creation of two custom Sonic Screwdrivers for two very special people in my life. They are huge  Doctor Who fans and I could not resist making this for them.

Please note this project made use of metal working machinery (Mill and Lathe).

Technical Specifications:
Material: 6061 aluminum, black delrin (acetal) and glass
Electronics: ATTiny85, custom PCB, 4 AG13 batteries, ear bud speakers, 2 SMD LEDs
Programming platform: Arduino

Here is a video

PLEASE NOTE: This instructable is ever evolving. I am making changes to it frequently to make it better. Please see STEP 2: "Update Tracker Page" to see what changes where made and when. And keep checking back often because I am still adding A LOT OF PICTURES. Thanks

Step 1: Fabrication

Most of the parts were machined using manual machining tools.  While a lot of these tools are very expensive and beyond the means of 99% of us (me included) there are tools out there for amatuers like us. The first lathe I ever used was one I purchased from Homier for $350.   I made 30+ lightsabers with that one before I sold it for the same price I purchased it for.

Places to look for machining tools:

Harbor Freight

Grizzly Tools


<p>also, about how big is it?</p>
<p>outside diameter of body is about .75&quot; (19mm). inside diameter is about .6&quot; (15.5mm). Over all length retracted to 6.5&quot; (16.5cm), extended 7.5&quot; (19cm). There is not much room inside.</p>
Do you think I could buy just the outside? I can't afford the tools, but i wanted to make a tv remote out of it
<p>Sorry, i currently do not have time to make more. </p>
<p>ok thx!</p>
<p>Very Nice Is it possible u could make that exact one custom except with turquoise to my brothers birthday he didn't even get a party</p>
<p>i'm sorry, currently I do not have the time.</p>
<p>Do u have a recommendation of a website for some sonic screwdrivers that are custom?</p>
<p>this one ;)</p><p>But sorry, no. Best thing to do is read some forum threads dedicated to props and sci-fi. Places like </p><p>The Replica Prop Forum - therpf<br>The 405th<br>The Dented Helmet</p><p>etc. A lot of times places like those will lead to internet sites that sell the prop you are looking for. Also, you can usually find someone looking to be commissioned for custom work.</p>
Do you custom make Sonic screwdrivers for others? @thatmikehill on Twitter might be the best way to contact me not sure if this site will send me notifications.
<p>I hope to start up this project again. In total I made 8 sonic screwdrivers. 5 were sold. the rest were given as gifts.</p>
That's cool, you do a great job!
<p>how much did it cost?</p>
Can you open your prop and switch the batteries?
<p>good question IDK</p>
Can I buy one?
<p>sorry, life hectic. no time to make more. maybe when things settle down.</p>
<p>Hi. Do you still take comissions?</p>
<p>sorry, life hectic. no time to make more.</p>
Love it. Why don't you put a spring in it. So when you hit the button it pops up on it's own. Just an idea.
<p>I'm really interested in your product, I was wondering if I could get one with sound and purple LED? if not blue is fine Id be willing to pay a good and fair price for it but I need before April 26th. Could we work something out?</p>
I changed my mind I am making one
if only I had the tools, time, money, and patience to make this I would but instead I am going to buy the 10th doctor's sonic screwdriver remote control so if anyone knows where I can get it for under $100 then could they kindly reply or send a link via private message
I'd be interested in a kit as well. I'd buy that up in a second.
I'm not selling kits. Too complicated. I'm building and selling fully made sonics. I am about to post one on Ebay tonight (November 25) at 10 pm east coast time.
I made another Sonic Screwdriver. Here is a video :<br> <a href="http://youtu.be/3FuqRH-4UK8" rel="nofollow">http://youtu.be/3FuqRH-4UK8</a><br> <br> If anyone wants it, i put it on Ebay.<br> <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Who-Custom-Metal-Sonic-Screwdriver-Gallifrey-Series-03-/121218867272?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c39352048" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Who-Custom-Metal-Sonic-Screwdriver-Gallifrey-Series-03-/121218867272?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item1c39352048</a>
Check your email payment sent again sorry for delay
I was able to make three. I put them all on ebay. <br>Here is a link to one of them. <br> <br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Who-Custom-Metal-Sonic-Screwdriver-Gallifrey-Series-01-/121215483313
I have three that will be done by November 14, 2013. due to many request, I am auctioning them off on ebay to keep it fair. Those serious about getting one will win the auction.
could you sell me one? contact me for info and other things!
PLEASE? i could buy it for about $20?!
I am trying to make some now. No, it will not be $20, sorry.
Shoot me an email at smartrchild@gmail.com, I'd buy a kit/commission/whatever in a heartbeat.
Mr T I call you on here!! Absolutely no probs I know how time consuming the plane must be I tried to make a soapbox kart took too long missed it yep ill look at the site. And vote oh I'm glad you've started the build I have a place set out for it on display as I collect the photos of making/production mean just as much to me there are almost no metal sonics out there for fans or collectors to buy which is why yours is attractive along with the standard of finish IMO if you want any suggestions from me on personal touches let me know apart from red light keep in touch and best of luck trying to fly bird man!!!
Vince any updates mate?
If I survive the 30 foot plunge into the murky waters with my flugtag plane. I will be sending you pictures of your sonic. I have lots of progress pictures.
Email me pls looking forward to seeing photos
Also, I have electronics built and ready to install in your sonic. it has just been crunch time to finish our plane. I am so sorry for the delay.
I just need to get through Red Bull Flugtag then I will have free time again.<br><br>Help me out and VOTE for my team though. Sorry I have not been active here. Flugtag got all my attention.<br><br>http://redbullflugtagusa.com/page/teams/view_team/520/down_to_earth_dworks<br><br>I will be creating a Flugtag PLANE construction instructable when this is all done.
Dear God! Email me, please! I would like to buy one from you if at all possible. Name your price (I'm serious) ejones62385@gmail.com
I will start making sonics again as soon as I am done with Red Bull Flugtag. You have no idea how time consuming it is to create a 28 foot wing span plane out of PVC and wood.<br><br>Check us out at <br>http://redbullflugtagusa.com/page/teams/view_team/520/down_to_earth_dworks<br><br>VOTE for us.
I am interested in buying one.Email me at llusnak@gmail.com
or a complete version email me at bradylarsons@gmail.com
im interested in a kit <br>
Very nice! Love the light and sound effect. Might have to have a go at making one of these.
Interested in commissioning one of these. Please email me at ben.bobcat@googlemail.com <br> <br>Many thanks
I am interested in buying one, if you are still making them. Email me at KadenCrothers@cableone.net
Hey mate can you email me pls I'd like to just get an update pls
I would like to buy an operational Sonic Screwdriver <br>Please and Thank You <br>Jacob (The Doctor) <br>Please Get Back to Me ASAP

About This Instructable


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Bio: I like to tinker and create things. When I have time, i make stuff. The stuff could be as simple as my patent pending spoon-on-a-stick ... More »
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