Picture of Metal Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver with Arduino
Sonic Screwdriver model B and M extended
Sonic Screwdriver Model B and M
Three Sonic Screwdriver WIP.jpg

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

Picture of 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


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MasonN39 days ago

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

MrTinkerer (author)  MasonN38 days ago

i'm sorry, currently I do not have the time.

MasonN3 MrTinkerer35 minutes ago

Do u have a recommendation of a website for some sonic screwdrivers that are custom?

thatmikehill4 months ago
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.
MrTinkerer (author)  thatmikehill4 months ago

I hope to start up this project again. In total I made 8 sonic screwdrivers. 5 were sold. the rest were given as gifts.

That's cool, you do a great job!

how much did it cost?

Can you open your prop and switch the batteries?
MrTinkerer (author)  nodthinksno5 months ago


good question IDK

Can I buy one?
MrTinkerer (author)  petetgrosswi5 months ago

sorry, life hectic. no time to make more. maybe when things settle down.

Hi. Do you still take comissions?

MrTinkerer (author)  elena.clarke.795 months ago

sorry, life hectic. no time to make more.

JoLoveN8 months ago
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.
NickYates1 year ago

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?

nerd74731 year ago
I changed my mind I am making one
nerd74731 year ago
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.
MrTinkerer (author)  mtheophilos1 year ago
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.
MrTinkerer (author) 1 year ago
Kito6191 year ago
Check your email payment sent again sorry for delay
MrTinkerer (author) 1 year ago
I was able to make three. I put them all on ebay.
Here is a link to one of them.

MrTinkerer (author) 1 year ago
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.
SPACEGIRLU1 year ago
could you sell me one? contact me for info and other things!
PLEASE? i could buy it for about $20?!
MrTinkerer (author)  SPACEGIRLU1 year ago
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.
Kito6191 year ago
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!!!
Kito6191 year ago
Vince any updates mate?
MrTinkerer (author)  Kito6191 year ago
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.
Kito6191 year ago
Email me pls looking forward to seeing photos
MrTinkerer (author)  Kito6191 year ago
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.
MrTinkerer (author)  Kito6191 year ago
I just need to get through Red Bull Flugtag then I will have free time again.

Help me out and VOTE for my team though. Sorry I have not been active here. Flugtag got all my attention.


I will be creating a Flugtag PLANE construction instructable when this is all done.
hnic623851 year ago
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
MrTinkerer (author)  hnic623851 year ago
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.

Check us out at

VOTE for us.
_Doctor2 years ago
I am interested in buying one.Email me at llusnak@gmail.com
bisonlarson2 years ago
or a complete version email me at bradylarsons@gmail.com
bisonlarson2 years ago
im interested in a kit
Honus2 years ago
Very nice! Love the light and sound effect. Might have to have a go at making one of these.
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