Introduction: Nuka-Cola Quantum and Nuclear Reactor Display Stand

In here I'm going to show you how to make a Nuka-Cola Quantum with a display stand that looks like a mini nuclear reactor.
I wanted to make my own Quantum but I didn't want one that was just sitting on a light. I wanted to make a base with purpose- one that looked like it was part of the piece. I came up with this little reactor design. I designed it to make it look like the reactor is blasting the Quantum with radiation activating the strontium in the liquid. I also tried to design it to look like it came from the Fallout universe.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Here are the tools and materials needed to make this highly sought after wasteland beverage:

-355 ml Mexican Coke bottle (the size is important for it to fit inside the exhaust gasket)
-tonic water with Quinine (it glows under ultraviolet light)
-red and blue florescent paint
-Nuka-Cola cap label available from
-Quantum and Nuka-Cola labels available from "whatpayne" at
-two 5mm ultraviolet LEDs (#176-0014)
-one 150 ohm resistor (for the UV LEDs) (#271-1109)
-one mini momentary push button switch (#274-1547)
-one submini slide switch (#275-0409)
-size K coaxial DC power jack (#274 1565)
-300mA 9 Volt power supply with size K adapter
-three 5mm red LEDs
-three 5mm blue LEDs (I'm using red and blue LEDs from Christmas lights but the wire leads on them are cheap and tend to break easily. I would recommend buying better ones from Radio Shack.)
-third hand
-3/16" drill bit for the LEDs
-1/4" drill bit
-5/64" drill bit
-J-B Weld
-black spray paint
-mechanical pencil
-about a foot of 20 gauge insulated wire
-.220" thick acrylic glass
-bailing wire
-a piece of sheet metal cut to 3.5" diameter circle
-3" PVC cut to 2 1/4" high
-a solid metal exhaust gasket 2 17/32" inside diameter. This is the piece you'll likely have the most trouble finding. It is the perfect size for the bottom of the Coke bottle to fit through. I went to three auto parts stores and all they had were gaskets made of soft gasket material. I finally went to Midas and explained to them what I needed and showed them a picture. The guy went to the back where they have leftover and spare parts and he had three of them. I am providing lots of pictures of this piece to help you find one! A place that does a lot of exhaust work would be a good place to start.

User "sixteenthmatt" has found the gasket online. From his comment below. "Also, I was looking for the exhaust gasket you used online and I think I managed to find it. I believe the part is called a FX318 Steel Donut Gasket.
There seem to be a couple makers with parts numbers including: Rol #EG24109 and Maremont #521006."

-soldering iron
-Dremel tool
-small files (one round, one square, one flat)
-drill press
-bench vise
-bench grinder
-band saw
-jig saw

Step 2: Prepping the Base

Cut the 3" PVC to 2 1/4" high.
File the burrs off the edges and sand the inside and outside with 220 sandpaper.

With the Sharpie trace the inside diameter of the PVC onto two pieces of .220" thick acrylic glass. Cut off the excess with the band saw or a jig saw if you don't have a band saw. Use a grinding wheel to shape one so that it fits snugly into the PVC. This one will be in the middle of the PVC holding the LEDs. Shape the other one so that it fits just a little loose. This one will be at the top of the PVC.

Step 3: Exhaust Gasket and Prepping the Sheet Metal

Here are some close up pictures of the exhaust gasket. Garages that do a lot of exhaust work might have some spares or know how to get one. Take the Coke bottle with you to make sure it fits.
The gasket measurements are:
inside diameter- 2 9/16"
outside diameter- 3 1/16"
height- 17/32"
ring width- 7/32"

(Not pictured) With the Sharpie trace the outside diameter of the PVC onto the sheet metal. Cut out the circle with a jig saw. File and shape the circle on a grinding wheel or with a Dremel tool. The diameter should be 3 1/2".

Center the exhaust gasket on the sheet metal. Holding a mechanical pencil straight up and down, trace the inside of the gasket. There should be a small gap between the line and the gasket. Cut out the center of the sheet metal. I drilled some holes around the center then cut it out with a cutting wheel on the Dremel. File and smooth the edges with the Dremel. The inside diameter should be approximately 2 3/16".

Step 4: Drilling Holes in the Exhaust Gasket

Take the sheet metal ring and exhaust gasket and center them on top of the PVC. Center the Nuka-Cola label with everything.
Use the Sharpie put a mark on the gasket to line up with either edge of the label. The space in between the marks is now the front of the gasket.

Starting from one mark and going towards the back, make four marks 17.5mm apart. Repeat on the other side. There should be a total of ten marks with a gap in the back about 32mm wide. This gap is where the DC power jack and submini switch will be.

Center each mark on a drill press and drill clean through the gasket. If you don't have a drill press, try mounting the gasket in a vise and drilling it. Just make sure it's straight.

Step 5: J-B Weld the Gasket

Use 220 sandpaper and a small round file to sand and clean any burrs off the gasket and make it look pretty.

Mix up some J-B Weld and put a layer of  the mix on the bottom edge of the gasket. Center the gasket on the sheet metal ring and press in place. Make sure it is centered and set a weight on it while it dries.

Step 6: Cut Holes for the Power Jack and Switch

While the J-B Weld is curing, get the PVC, DC power jack, and submini slide switch.

Find the place on the PVC that you want to be the back. About 5/8" from the bottom drill a hole with a 1/4" drill bit. Using a small round file and a small square file, shape the hole to fit the DC power jack. Right beside that do the same for the submini switch.

Step 7: Drilling Holes and Installing the LEDs

When the J-B Weld is dry, get the gasket ring and the snug-fitting piece of acrylic glass. Center the metal ring on top of the acrylic glass. With the Sharpie mark the inside of the sheet metal ring on the acrylic.

Following the picture, make a pattern of eight dots inside the ring. To the right of the dots mark a notch extending just into the inner circle. This is for the bottom of the momentary switch to stick through.

With a 3/16" drill bit, drill out all the dots. Use a band saw to cut out the notch.

Insert the LEDs into the holes, alternating red and blue on the outside and the two ultraviolet LEDs in the center. They should fit snugly without any glue. Note the positions of the wire leads so they can easily be bent to solder them together. The long wire leads are positive and the short ones are negative.

Bend the leads and solder the LEDs together. The resistor should be in line with the ultraviolet LEDs and not the colored ones. There is a schematic in step 12.

Step 8: Glueing the Acrylic Glass to the Gasket Assembly

Gather the PVC, the gasket assembly, the loose-fitting piece of acrylic glass, and some glue.

Turn the gasket assembly upside down and center the PVC upside down on top of that. Put a thin layer of glue around the inside edge of the sheet metal ring. This glue is for the acrylic glass not the PVC.

Center the PVC on the sheet metal ring and then put the piece of acrylic glass inside the PVC onto the glue. Make sure everything is centered. Once the glue starts to set, take the PVC off so it doesn't accidentally get glued in place. Carefully put a weight on the acrylic to hold it in place until it dries.

Step 9: Glueing the Center Acrylic Glass Into Place

Position the snug-fitting acrylic glass inside the PVC about 13/16" down from the top. The notch should be to the right when looking at it from the front, and the LEDs facing up. Make sure it is level the whole way around and glue it into place.

When the glue is dry, position the gasket assembly on top. Line up the back of the gasket with the back of the PVC. Make a mark on the top glass in line with the notch on the middle glass. Drill out the mark with a 1/4" drill bit. This is for the momentary switch. You may need to file the hole a little bit to get the switch to fit.

Step 10: Prepping the Momentary Switch

Take the momentary switch and remove the red or black plastic cap and the lock washer and discard them. Cut off the little nub that the cap was attached to. Be careful not to cut too much off or the bottle won't press down on the switch. Glue the switch into the bottom of the top assembly with the leads positioned like in the picture.Be sure you don't get any glue on the switch itself.

Once the glue has dried, solder 5" 20 gauge insulated wires to the leads on the momentary switch.

Step 11: Paint the Base

At this point you can paint the base. Tape off the top and the inside of the two holes in the back. I painted mine flat black. I considered a copper or silver color but you can go with whatever color suits you.

Once the paint has dried glue the DC power jack into place.

Drill holes and screw the submini switch into place. I didn't glue this because I didn't want to get glue in the switch.

Step 12: Soldering It All Together With Schematics

Now you can solder it all together! Put the top piece in place so the wires and the bottom of the momentary switch are sticking through the notch in the middle glass.

The circuit is wired for a positive tip DC power plug.

Step 13: Making the Cooling Wires

Cut ten 5" pieces of bailing wire. File one tip flat and remove any burrs. Straighten them as much as possible and sand them to make them shine. Measure about 7/8" down from the filed end and make a mark. Bend them at a 90 degree angle at this mark. I used a bench vise to do this.

Insert one of them into the gasket. Find a spot at the bottom where you want the wire to bend and go into the base. Put a mark on the wire there. Mark all of the wires in the same spot and bend them to a 90 degree angle.

The bottom part of the wire will be too long. Cut it off so there is about 3/4" left to stick into the base. Put the wire in the gasket. Make sure it is straight up and down. Make a small scratch in the paint with the bottom of the wire where you want to drill the hole.

Use the 5/64" drill bit to drill out the holes. Insert the wires one at a time until all ten of them are installed. These wires are what hold the top on. They are not glued in place and neither is the top.They should be a snug fit in the holes. I did this so it could come apart easily if I needed to get in there and work on it.

Step 14: Nuka-Cola Label

The labels are available from user "whatpayne" at
I printed my label onto glossy photo paper so it would shine and be bright red.
Just make sure it is centered and glue it into place.

You're done with the base. Woo Hoo!

Now to move on to the bottle.

Step 15: Scraping the Coca-Cola Off the Bottle

When popping the top off the Coke bottle, be gentle with the cap so you don't bend it very much. You're going to need to reuse this.

Scraping with the straight edge of a pair of scissors works pretty well for removing the labels. Scrape all the labels off the whole way around until you have a clean bottle. I tried to use paint remover to get the Coke label off but it didn't even soften it up.

Step 16: Making the Nuka-Cola Cap

I got the Nuka-Cola cap label from

I printed the cap label onto glossy photo paper. While this worked well for the other label, photo paper is kind of thick and is pretty obvious on the cap. I would recommend something thinner like sticker paper or maybe regular paper later painted with a clear coat.

Take the Coke cap and straighten it as best you can. Then sand the whole surface with 220 sandpaper. Glue the label into place, making sure it is centered. Once the glue dried I painted the rest of the cap with model paint. I mixed the two colors "Stop Light Red" and "Chrysler Engine Red" to get a red the same color as the label.

Step 17: Mixing the Quantum

Get a couple of empty drink bottles for mixing the paint with the tonic water. Fill the one bottle most of the way with tonic water.  Use a toothpick or something similar to drip paint into the water. You should only need a few drops of each color. If you put in too much, the water will be too cloudy and the light won't make it to the top of the bottle. Just put a couple drops of blue and a couple of red. Mix it up and test it on your newly finished stand. Do this until you're happy with the effect. There shouldn't be any color to the liquid at all, just an ever so slightly cloudy water.

When you have the mixture just right, there are going to be big pieces of paint floating in it. Take a shop towel or something similar and place it into the top of the empty bottle like a filter. Slowly pour the mixture through the filter removing all the big chunks of paint. The liquid is now ready to be poured into the Coke bottle. I recommend using a small funnel for this.

Put the bottle on the stand and light it up. If you are happy with the color, you can glue the cap on. I do this to seal it and so no one tries to drink it! Put a thin layer of glue around the top of the bottle and pop the top on. Hold it in place for a little bit until the glue starts to set.

After that's dry, glue the Quantum label on. Make sure it is centered on  the bottle. I used three rubber bands to hold the label in place and against the bottle until the glue set.

Step 18: Finished

There you have it! You can make your very own Nuka-Cola Quantum and mini nuclear reactor stand. If anyone has any questions or suggestions on any of the steps, just let me know and I'll try to answer them or respond as best I can.

Thank you for your time!

Nuka-Cola and Quantum are Copyright of Bethesda.
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