Hi, I'm Stale56; and I'm here to teach you how to make a kaleidoscope.
Last year, I had to make one for a school, project, and I just decided to post how to make one.
I made mine out of copper pipe (you can use PVC if you choose), to stick out above everybody elses.
It works pretty well, and I'm happy with mine. If you have any questions or don't understand something, please ask me. I'd be happy to post pictures of other people's kaleidoscopes if you post this.
If you see any typographical or grammatical errors, please PM me.
Step 1: Gather Materials
• Copper pipe (2” diameter by about a foot long)
This can be PVC if you choose, and you can make it as long as you desire
• Copper pipe end cap (still 2")
This can also be PVC, but I recommend using PVC only if the pipe is PVC.
• Pipe cutter and gloves (if the pipe isn't the right length)
• Copper pipe coupling (again, 2")
Again, this can be PVC
• Reamer (for smoothing the sharp edges of the pipe)
• Sand paper (for cleaning the pipe)
• 3 pieces of mirror (1.732” by a quarter-half of an inch shorter than the pipe)
• 2 pieces of plastic circles (2” diameter)
Can be from plastic packaging
• Tape (to hold the mirrors together)
• Adhesive caulk (to hold the plastic in place)
• Drill and ½ inch drill bit (to drill an eyepiece)
Step 2: The Pipe
Cut the pipe into the right length (I suggest having it around a foot long) using the pipe cutters (picture 2). Make sure you are wearing gloves. After the pipe is cut, use a reamer on the inside to smooth away the edges of the pipe (picture 3). Use sand paper to clean the mirror (picture 4).
Put the sand paper around the pipe, like in the picture, and rub the paper over it (by pulling each arm up). When one side is clean, go to the other side.
Look at the pictures and follow the image notes.
Take the three mirrors (make sure that they are slightly shorter than the pipe and about 1.73 inches wide) and tape them into a triangle (picture 1). Slide it into the copper pipe (picture 2). It should be a snug fit on the inside of the pipe (picture 3). If it is slightly too small, then put another layer of tape over the mirrors to make it slightly thicker. If it is WAY too small or too big, then you may need new mirrors.
BE SUPER CAREFUL WHEN WALKING AROUND WITH THIS. THEY ARE MIRRORS. THEY WILL BREAK IF THEY FALL. IF YOU WALK AROUNG WITH THE MIRRORS IN THE PIPE, THEN MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE KEEPING THE MIRRORS FROM FALLING OUT.
Step 4: The Parts the Beads Go In: Part 1
Cut out the 2 plastic circles if you haven’t done so already, and make sure that they fit in the copper coupling without bending. It's alright if it isn't a perfect circle, but be as close to a circle as possible. I used the packaging from an XBox 360 headset (picture 1), but you don't need to use that. Use anything that fits your needs. But if you happen to have the plastic packaging (the stuff that is really hard to get open), I would use that (Yay, recycling!).
Make sure that the plastic circles can fit inside of the copper COUPLING, not the pipe (picure 2).
Step 5: The Part the Beads Go In: Part 2
Put one piece of plastic inside of the coupling, until it is halfway in it (there should be a ridge that stops it) and caulk it in there (pictures 1 and 2).
Wait for the caulk to dry and insert the beads on the plastic. Make sure there are enough in there, but not so much so that they can’t move (picture 3).
Caulk the other piece of plastic onto the coupling, so the beads are sandwiched between the plastic, but can still move. Gently shake the end cap to make sure that the beads aren’t caulked to the sides of the end cap (picture 4).
Step 6: The Eyepiece
Find the center of the other end cap by finding half of the diameter. Make sure that it is half of the diameter by checking the distances from the center point to the end; the distance should stay about the same. It’s all right if it isn’t perfectly centered (picture 1).
Attach the eyepiece to a piece of scrap pipe*** (picture 2) and drill a hole using a ½ inch drill bit (picture 3). If the whole is too small, use a bigger drill bit. Remove the end cap from the pipe and sand away the edges of the new hole; to make sure small shards aren’t on it.
***NOT THE ONE THAT HAS THE MIRROR IN IT! THAT MIGHT END BADLY***
Step 7: Putting the Ends On
Attach both end caps onto the copper tube, making sure that the end with the beads can still rotate, and neither end will fall off without being pulled off (picture 1).
Putting the ends on are pretty simple, and self-explanitory.
You may need to GENTLY hit the eyepiece against a hard surface (not a wall or somebody's head), so it will slightly dent and stay on.