Wimshurst Electrostatic Machine


When I saw the subject line “homebuilt Wimshurst Machine” I was thinking “sausage maker?” Turns out that a Wimshurst machine was an early electrostatic generator design. It is more efficient than its friction based predecessors. The one featured here was built in 1976, but the site has a ton of other designs. If you just want to learn the principle behind the Wimshurst, that’s there too.

5 thoughts on “Wimshurst Electrostatic Machine

  1. This project is not for the faint of heart. It looks easy to create from the pictures, but it is harder than it looks. I know I am speaking to people who have a more technical mind than I do, so I will not try to discourage you. I tried creating one for a high school physic

  2. Dear god, this brings back the memories. My high school chem/physics teacher was retiring at the end of the year so he let us to pretty much anything we wanted. We built on of these guys during a few classes and spent a good week or two shocking ourselves silly. It was only after we got the biggest guy in the class to put his head in it that the teacher told us to put it away. It was a fun and satisfying build. The stuff you could get away with back in the late 90’s…

  3. All these posts are talking about how difficult this is. it’s not that tough. I made one for fun when i was a senior in high school. its construction was very similar to the one mentioned in post #1 so I don’t know what he did wrong. It worked very well as i was able to use it to destroy 5.25″ floppies at will. In my opinion, Van de Graaff Generators are more fun. These are just more impressive to behold in sort of a jules verne/victorian sort of way.

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