how can i make a tesla coil out of common stuff i have around my house?
i have stuff like magnet wire and tools and various random parts...
- Diverging PointLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
You can START to build a Tesla Coil with things you have around your house, but you will still need to get a few parts.
You'll need a high voltage transformer that can supply between 6,000 to 15,000 volts. It also has to be current-limited. This means that it has safety features built in that automatically control the current...because a Tesla Coil basically shorts out the transformer. So what you want is a neon sign transformer or a furnace ignition transformer.
You can make a homemade capacitor. In its simplest form, a capacitor is just 2 conductive "plates" with an insulator between them. Almost anything can work as a capacitor. A lot of people have made "saltwater" capacitors, which are just empty soda bottls or jars filled with saltwater. A screw is inserted inside the jar and the saltwater becomes one "plate" for the capacitor. Aluminum foil is taped around the outside of the jar, and this is the other "plate." Instead of aluminum foil, you can also just put the jar inside another larger container of saltwater. You will probably need several jars to get enough capacitance. Experiment with different kinds of capacitors. One time, I made a real simple capacitor with just a sheet of glass with aluminum foil taped on each side.
The other thing is you really need to understand the basics. You have to understand inductance and capacitance. A Tesla Coil works with resonance. You have to tune it, almost like a radio.
I don't know if you've looked at a diagram for a typical Tesla Coil, but you should understand that first. You will need capacitors and a spark-gap switch in the primary circuit. The transformer charges up the capacitor, and spark-gap acts as a switch to transfer energy to the primary winding as just the right time. You adjust the spark gap and the amount of capacitance to tune a Tesla Coil.
For the secondary winding, you can't just use any magnet wire. You want 26 or 28 gauge wire. If the wire is too thin, it will have too much resistance. The coil might still work, but you will get a very low output. The secondary winding should be about 2 inches in diameter and 12 or 13 inches in length.
Also, a Tesla Coil works with high voltage and can be extremely dangerous if you aren't careful. This isn't static electricity, but real high voltage alternating current. The primary circuit is especially dangerous...the transformer and capacitors can be a deadly shock hazard.
Tesla Coils are awesome...but you just have to be careful.Source(s): I have experimented with high voltage for over 10 years, and I have built several small Tesla Coils.