Through building this color wheel, young students will learn the elements of mixing colors to achieve new colors. The mixing of primary colors is a basic part of all of our educations. At the same time, older students could adapt the color element to learn something about the elements. The chemistry behind Acid / Base mixtures with respect to their concentrations is easily taught with the use of color-changing indicator dyes. Either way, its really fun!
The inspiration for the entire project came from tumbling across the last image on this step. (source fails to be cited!)
Step 1: Materials
Wood for the wheels supporting the test tubes
String or wire to hold them up
Food coloring (water-based works best, but any kind will do)
I ordered my test tubes via Carolina Biological Company
They sell boxes of 48 test tubes for around $10 to $15 and have decently priced shipping. A good company!
They also sell universal indicator solution (not great quality, but still decent) if you want to use the chemistry approach.
A 1/2" drill was used to drill the holes for the tubes
a bandsaw was used to cut the circles for the wood form (use whatever you want here though)
and a tiny drill bit was used to drill holes for the string
Step 2: Wooden Frame
Use the bandsaw (or whatever you have, handsaw, etc) to cut out your circle.
Now the tricky part!
Make sure to leave room for the 1/2" holes you are to drill later, but you need to cut out an inner circle.
You need (want) to cut out the inside of the circle to make it a donut shape. I cut though the rim and just went crazy with the bandsaw until i had the center cut out. You can then glue the rim back together with wood glue (or elmers even would work fine).
Make a similar scaled down clone using the same method. This is the second ring and is a few inches smaller. Mine is about 6.5" in diameter.
If you want simplicity, you do not have to make this second ring, it will still be cool!!!
Step 3: Drilling Holes
I made approximate marks for where to drill each hole for the test tubes. And then drilled them with 1/2 inch drill bit.
Now would be the time to paint the wood if you want to. I spray painted them black with a hint of red.
As a substep, drill holes in the circle's edge. I drilled 3 holes (approx. at 1/3 intervals) for the wires to hold them up. Then thread the wire through these holes. It should be hang-able now!
Step 4: Color the Tubes!
Precaution: your sink may become messy (as will hands, clothes, anything nearby). It IS washable but fair warning!
Hint / Note: purple is hard to make!
This step shows a bunch of pictures of the colors i made.
Please post pictures! Especially if you make a nice purple!