Thursday, December 31, 2009

How to Make a Leyden Jar and Electrostatic Generator

When the cold weather makes the air so dry, it's impossible to touch stuff in the house without getting a little shock. If you want to take that making a spark thing to the next level, then check out the next issue of Make Magazine (Make 21.) I show to how to create some really big-ass sparks by building a friction based static electricity generator and a Leyden jar.

The longer I worked on this project, the more excited I became with it. It took me a while to figure out how to best fabricate the Leyden jar and electrostatic generator and had to go through several iterations before it worked the way I wanted it to. The jar really holds a charge and it's unbelievable how big a spark that thing makes! If you accidentally discharge it with your hand when you're not expecting it, look out! It's quite a shocking experience.

All the directions are in the upcoming Make. I also made a video that's pretty detailed. See it at:  or click on the thumbnail photo below.

PS Thanks to everybody who wrote me with good wishes concerning my health. I'm going to be fine.

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