Introduction: Wooden Tesla Valve With a Dremel!

The Tesla Valve, or valvular conduit, as Tesla's 1920 patent explains, allows fluid to travel in only one direction, without the mechanical complexity of moving parts.

During our recent build night at ADX, one of our members built one from wood with the help of Dremel tools.

Step 1: Tesla's Valvular Conduit

Nikola Tesla's design demonstrates a series of pathways creating a passive system for allowing fluid movement in only one direction. No effect on motion is seen when fluid travels in the preferred direction. However, the pathways feed back upon themselves in the reverse direction, creating resistance to fluid movement. In effect, a one way valve. But unlike other valve designs, Tesla's requires no moving parts, increasing reliability and ease of manufacture. In theory, at least. Very few practical applications have been found.

But, it's pretty cool to see it in action with just a little carving!

Step 2: Develop the Pattern and Carve!

First, mark a pattern for the Tesla Valve on your material. Take special note of the angles connecting each 'lobe' to the central channel. This is what creates the feedback effect.

After marking, slowly start carving out the pattern using the engraving/carving accessories in your Dremel kit. The depth and complexity of the pattern makes the small, flexible tool perfect for jobs like this.

Continue carving the pattern until you reach the desired depth, taking care to keep the sides of the channels smooth and uninterrupted.

Step 3: Try It!

Once you're satisfied with the carving, affix a cap to seal off the valve. Only the entry and exit points should be exposed.

Then, try it out! For a simple test, blow in one end, noting the resistance. Then, turn the valve over and blow through the other side. Feel a difference? The effect may be subtle.

You've hand carved a Tesla design from 1920!