Electric Generator

Wooden Generator


Making an electric generator is a good way of learning the principles of generators. It also is an exciting science project. 

As a display project, you just need to make it and demonstrate its structure. As an experimental project, you need to come up with questions about the factors that may affect the rate of production of electricity. 


If you want to do this as an experimental project, following are some suggested questions:

  1. How does the speed of turning affect the production of electricity?
  2. How does the diameter of coil affect the production of electricity?
  3. How does the number of loops of wire in the coil affect the production of electricity?
  4. How does the wire gage (diameter of coil-wire) affect the electric current?
  5. How do the material used in the construction of an electric generator affect the production of electricity?



Depending on the question that you select, you may predict an answer. That is called your hypothesis.

Dependent and Independent Variables

The factor that you are testing is your independent variable. For example the speed of turning and diameter of wire are samples of independent variables. The rate of production of electricity is the dependent variable.


Following are the material that you need in order to construct a wooden electric generator.

  1. Wood dowel 3/8" diameter
  2. Wood Dowel 1" diameter.
  3. Rod magnet 3" long
  4. Insulated copper wire 
  5. 1.2 Volt Screw Base light Bulb
  6. Base for the light bulb
  7. Small sand paper
  8. Wood Glue
  9. 1/2 Square foot Balsa wood (1/8" diameter)


If you are buying a kit, all the wooden parts are included and they are already cut to the size. So you just need to connect them. If you don't have a kit, prepare the wooden parts as follows:

  1. Cut two square pieces from the balsa wood (3.5" x 3.5").
  2. Make a 3/8" hole in the center of each square.
  3. Cut four 1" x 3 7/16.
  4. Cut a 3/4" piece from the 1" wood dowel. Make a 3/8" hole in the center of it. Insert a 6" long 3/8" wood dowel in the hole, apply some glue. center it and wait for it to dry. 
  5. Make another hole with the diameter of your rod magnet in the center of the larger wood dowel piece for the magnet to go through.
Wood dowels after completing the step 4
Wood dowels after completing the step 5
The picture on the right shows samples of wood dowels formed as a magnet holder rotor. They are included in the wooden generator kits; however, you can also order them separately. (Check the price and availability)

Adult supervision and professional help is required for all cuttings and hole makings.

Procedure: (If you buy a kit, make sure to read the procedure suggested in your kit)

  1. Insert the magnet in the hole of the wood dowel. Center it and use some glue to secure it.
  2. Use one large square balsa wood and four smaller rectangular balsa woods to make a box.
  3. Insert your wood dowel into the hole in the center of the box. At this time the magnet is inside the box.
  4. Place the other large square to complete the box. Apply some glue to the edges and wait for the glue to dry. By now, you have a box and inside the box you have a magnet that can spin when you spin the wood dowel.
  5. Wrap the copper wire around the box and use masking tape to secure it. Note that more copper wire around the box results more electricity.
  6. Remove the insulation from the ends of the wire and connect it to the screws of the bulb holder or base. 
  7. Insert the light bulb
  8. Spin the wood dowel fast to get the light.

More detail Instructions: A more detail and step by step online instruction page is available for the users of the kit. If you have got the kit, please make sure to use the URL (web address) suggested in the kit to access the instruction details.  

More detail instructions based on the kit materials

You may order wooden generator science set online. All parts are cut to size and ready to use. 

Wood glue, masking tape and sand paper are not included. Additional wooden parts may be included.

New kits are smaller in size and may include LED lamps.

The high quality parts included in this science set may be useful for many of your future projects. All parts other than balsa wood are reusable. You may purchase additional balsa wood from craft stores for your future projects. 
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