Weekend Project: The Arc Light

Weekend Project: The Arc Light

Build an amazing 19th century arc light out of simple materials.


Other Boards

Build an amazing 19th century arc light out of simple materials. Thanks go to William Gurstelle for the original article in MAKE, Volume 20.

To download The Arc Light video click here and subscribe in iTunes. Check out the complete Arc Light article in MAKE, Volume 20 and you can see that in our Digital Edition.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Project: The Arc Light

  1. chrisrosa says:

    And he actually used AC rather than DC! Basically cutting off the end of an electrical cord, stripping the wires and wrapping and taping either side around the carbon cores. Then plugging it into the wall! Then I think he basically held either side in his hands and brought them close enough to arc. I remember he said, “This is scrambling all the TVs for a few blocks around us.” This was pre-cable TV…ages ago. Surprised we survived! I’m sure my mom wouldn’t have approved.

  2. will kahn-greene says:

    I’m a Miro developer and I love Make: Online. I noticed today that the video at the link:


    is all mangled. At a minimum, I’m not able to play it with Miro or Xine.

    Also, you should have subscription links for Miro (http://getmiro.com/). Miro is Free Software and is in the spirit of what you folks are doing much moreso than iTunes. It’s worth supporting.

    Keep up the awesome work!

  3. audin says:

    I remember reading in a library book in about middle school how to make an arclamp that used line voltage. They suggested using a coffee cup of salt water as a variable resister to control the current flow. Even at thew time I thought ‘um…that seems iffy…’. Sort of neat though was their suggestion of using it as an arc furnace for small scale metal work.

    I ended up using a reasonably beefy 120->24v transformer instead. I didn’t have any current limiting. Just 120v in one side, 2 ‘C’ cell carbon rods on the other side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.