There are many different ways to build tilt switches, both in the factory and in the garage, but I like this idea from Instructables user fjordcarver to use unpainted metal craft beads (e.g. leftmost, above) like liquid mercury in a mercury switch. His tutorial shows how to assemble two such vials to give an SPDT changeover tilt-switch.

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.