Andy Dingley wrote:
> Find your pair of glass disks. Then the rest is easy.
A decent glass merchant will band saw the disks easily enough - I
recently had some 10mm disks around 150mm in diameter which were round
within 1 mm.
Edging them properly round is also pretty easy, but rather slow.
I did wonder about that, but concluded that the Wimshurst design would
look better on the exercise bike than would a Van de Graaf, even if the
latter would be more efficient. I'd not need to generate long sparks,
when relatively short sparks should be enough to encourage the user to
On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 19:51:00 +0000 (UTC), mike ring
When I was a kid, I read a series of library books on building your
own physics experiments. Anyone remember the titles ? - I'd love to
find them again.
I built a Wimshurst, VdG and a Wilson cloud chamber. They worked too,
apart from the VdG which never tracked the belt for long enough to
build up a good charge - needed a crowned pulley.
Some years later I built a nitrogen laser based on the SciAm design,
with the transverse discharge from a Blumlein generator. There's most
of a Tesla upstairs, waiting to be assembled. Ikea sell lovely
secondary formers as the legs of their kids' "Mammutt" (?) chair and
table - polypropylene with a useful taper.
I think that you might mean "The Book of Experiments" by Leonard de
Vries. There were three or four volumes of these over the years - I
think the first one was in the late 50s.
I can remember, at the age of about 8, wanting to take books about how
to build radios from the library. The librarian obviously thought that
these were beyond me and tried to sell me on Famous Five or something
like that. So I opened the book and explained to her how a crystal
set worked. The following week she brought an old one in that she
claimed wasn't working and asked me if I knew how to fix it. This
set had a number of coils that you had to plug in to listen to
different bands but she didn't understand that. Anyway, I got it
working and she would listen to the Archers on it.
After that, she'd even buy in titles that I wanted.
Come on, own up - you're making an electric chair, aren't you :-)
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
No, I've still got that around somewhere.
These were large hardbacks, with red or yellow coloured bands on the
cover and a big B&W photograph. They were distinctly more serious then
Leonard de Vries and very '50s in style. Lots of "Experimental
Equipment for the Keen Schoolboy" atmosphere. Everything seemed to be
made from goldfish bowls, honey jars and lashings of Aquadag.
Anyone else remember the series of radio-building books at that time,
with a couple of early geranium transistors and some of those
colour-coded plug-in coils that were sold in their own aluminium
screening can ? Colour photo illustrations too, now there was posh.
Nowhere to put it - I've got the hydraulics off a dentist's chair
cluttering up the shop at the front, and the ejector seat (MB H7) is
still sat out in the conservatory waiting for me to weld up a swivel
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