Building a Tesla coil involves building a power coil using PVC, plywood, wheels, a transformer, bolts, nuts, washers, a computer fan, a battery holder, capacitors, resistors, a base to mount the device to, copper tubing, magnet wire, pie pans, an aluminum dryer duct, copper lug terminals, high voltage wire, gorilla glue, a drill press and a table saw. This project is intended for someone with some experience in working with high voltage and wiring.
- Build the platform and prep the coils.
- Add the spark gap, capacitor array and toroid.
The platform can be made in any shape or style that the builder wishes. It needs to be very strong to hold the coil and also very sturdy. The secondary coil is a thin magnet wire wrapped around the PVC pipe, while the primary coil is made from the copper tubing and secured into grooves cut into a wooden X base set distances apart.
The spark gap is made from two bolts enclosed in a PVC pipe to keep the spark shielded. The spark is bright enough to damage eyes so builders should take precautions. Drill a hole in the base under the spark gap and mount the computer fan to keep cool. The mounting for the capacitor array will depend on the type used and the weight. The energy discharges through the toroid, which is made from the pie plate and air duct tube and mounted on top of the secondary coil. Once the pieces are all mounted, wire them according to safety requirements.