Introduction: The World's Simplest Electrostatic Machine

With a simple plastic cutting board you can build an electrostatic generating device, powerful enough to produce little shocks and even small sparks. This is a really simple project that can be made in very little time: the power of electricity is just a few steps away!
Also see how to build a Van de Graaff Generator - plans at:

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
- A plastic cutting board
- Aluminum foil
- Electrical tape
- Stick glue
- A soft cloth

Step 2: Place the Aluminum Over the Cutting Board

Cut the Aluminum foil in a piece enough to cover the major part of the cutting board leaving about 1/2” on both ends uncovered.
Glue the cut Aluminum foil over one side of the cutting board, making sure it is stretched.

Step 3: Cover the Borders

Cover the borders of the Aluminum with Electrical tape. You can cover the four boarders or just the smaller two.


Step 4: Operating the Machine

To operate the machine hold the cutting board with one hand and rub the surface without Aluminum using the soft cloth.

Step 5: Operating Detail

While rubbing touch the Aluminum foil with one finger of the hand that is holding the board.
Just touch and release one time while still rubbing, then apart the cloth and your machine will became charged.

Step 6: See It Working

If you touch the Aluminum with a Neon lamp you can see it brights for a second.
Touching the Aluminum part with your finger you will fell a little shock and touching with an round metallic object you can see a small spark.

Hint : If you have trouble operating the machine and think it is not working , it is probable because humidity: blown hot air over the board and over the cloth, it should works now.