Picture of Tornado Machine
tornado machine.jpg

I made a number of these "tornado machines" in the past and everyone usually enjoys them but because I make things in such a careless way I often don't take photos and everything is one of a kind. However, Instructables is helping me to change all that. Now I plan and research and make models and document everything. So, now I have enough information to give to you about how you can make a TORNADO MACHINE (or whirlpool machine if you wanna be technical about it.)

Step 1: Gather materials!

Picture of Gather materials!
Oring parts.jpg
1. Gather the necessary items!
-Glass salsa jar, or similar with the thin metal lid.)
-Some HDPE (High Density Poly-ethylene) Look for empty plastic containers around the house they should say HDPE on the bottom.
-Small electric motor with a long shaft.
-Assortment of rubber bands (different thicknesses and widths)
-Sharpie marker. (or other permanent marker)
-toothpick, or wooden skewer stick or similar.
-Medium balloon
-Electrical tape. (only a small piece)
-Quick dry epoxy.  (JB WELD would work. Super glue brand 2 park clear epoxy is what I used)
-Hot glue gun.
-Petroleum Jelly or Dielectric grease. (Or really any thick greasy substance that will stay in place)
-Silicone sealant (or other waterproof sealer, OPTIONAL, use at your discretion.)
-Plastic medicine syringe (OPTIONAL)
-various tools for cutting and filing. 
ixisuprflyixi (author) 2 years ago
Check out the write up on HACKADAY.COM
31039604 months ago

Can I make a Tornado machine with a little shaft like one of these small motors?

shaft 1  .jpgshaft  2.jpg

I am currentely in 9 standard and this seems some thing tough for me

mcfunworld7 months ago
I have a idea for one that I may make with a fish tank and I could put the motor on the top so it will create a updraft not a downdraft like yours and this is my inspiration keep up the good work :)
lwilson371 year ago
awesome idea though I built it a little bit diferent by using a pop bottle instead but still works great
ixisuprflyixi (author)  lwilson371 year ago

I'm glad you liked it enough to build one of your own. Some of my earliest versions were made with 2-liter bottles and they worked great. Nice job!

beautiful, should bother no one my friend, my sons are about to have a blast with it!! I have made a whirpool machine with a tesla turbine made with cds and magnets, but it is complicated, a child could make this one on his own and have lots of fun , and learning with your led power calculation without forggeting myself as well!!, thank you for sharing,
mathiemom2 years ago
I love the dollar store fan idea.
ixisuprflyixi (author)  mathiemom2 years ago
Thanks. It makes it a simple and more accessible project for anyone.
There is nothing "technical" about calling it a whirlpool. There is no such thing as a tornado in water. By calling it that you're misleading people and teaching them the wrong thing. When someone is taught the wrong thing someone else later on has to "un-teach" them the false information you're feeding people. So please, call it what it is. I have a motorbike at home, but if you want to be technical then you can call it a car.
Quite obviously this is not a pool and 95% of all whirlpools don't whirl but bubble.
Hope you never end up in a plasma lamp store...
For years they sold an adapter to connect two soda bottles together and create a [water] tornado in a bottle. Also, they sell novelty [water] tornadoes that has an image of a farm and cows on the outside of the cylindrical "globe". Yes, it's actually a whirlpool, but the effect looks like a tornado, and is the easiest way to show a child what a tornado looks like, hence, has been called a tornado for years [for demonstration purposes].
ixisuprflyixi (author)  martincoetzee2 years ago
When I was a kid my dad and I used to make these, he always called it a tornado machine. He passed away when I was younger and I have called them by this name ever since. Sorry if that rubs you the wrong way.
pudtiny2 years ago
Good work, but it would be safer to use a magnetic stirrer system. It would present its own challenges but water and electricity shouldn't be one of them.
produKt.NZ2 years ago
Hi hi :)
Numerous questions :) - Is it possible to find or source an underwater motor as opposed to potentially sustaining leaks in the near future?
What additive could be added to the water to prevent the water growing algae?

I'm thinking longetivity :)
ixisuprflyixi (author)  produKt.NZ2 years ago
If you set it up like this instructable shows it should be fairly waterproof. But I suppose for extra protection you could tape the holes in the electric motor and dip it in wax to give it a waterproof coating. This will cover the vents of the motor that are normally used to cool the motor, so it may not be the best solution but I couldn't find any cheap, small, waterproof motors online.
Most of these small cheap motors will take a fair amount of abuse though. I am using a 3 volt DC brush motor and have run it at up to 15 volts for a few minutes with no problem. Also purified/distilled water by itself isn't terribly conductive, so if the motor gets a little wet at some point it likely wont hurt it. As far as keeping the water from growing algae, maybe a drop or 2 of bleach or vinegar added to the water will help. I haven't tried additives in the water because it is somewhat trivial to unscrew the top and just replace the water, but you are welcome to try. Remember only a drop or 2 as bleach tends to cause havoc with certain metals.
NinjaMidget2 years ago
I think this would look cool if you used UV leds and a UV liquid that is easily made by following this instructable:


What could be more fun than a glowing tornado?
NickGriffin2 years ago
All I can think of is dropping Monopoly houses into the mix....:-)
.. And some lego men!
ixisuprflyixi (author) 2 years ago
agis68, it's true I could use the RGB leds that cycle the colors. I like that Idea, I just might try that.
agis682 years ago
you can build it with RGB leds without the m/c to save some space. Of course you will have a periodic cycle of colours
J-Five2 years ago
It's a twister! It's a twister!
vincent75202 years ago

a project for the kids during the coming holidays !

thank you !…
ixisuprflyixi (author) 2 years ago
Thanks WriterChick.
Mad_b, I have seen those before too but I have never made one.
mad_b2 years ago
There is an option that (I've made a prototype once) works well too, like professional stirrers do; in a few words, you can attach a strong magnet on the motor shaft. Then you position this on the bottom of the jar (normal position, glass in the bottom). Take a cylindrical magnet and put inside a plastic tube. Drop this tube inside the jar; when you turn the motor on the magnet in the shaft will make the magnet cylinder inside the jar to turn, creating the tornado as well. :-)
WriterChick2 years ago
This is lovely, complex and well-detailed 'ible. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on breaking the "no documentation" jinx!