How to Make a Wooden Generator?

Homemade Generator

A generator is simply a device that converts mechanical energy itself derived from coal, nuclear reactions, water, wind, natural oil gas or other sources into electrical energy. We explained how to use readily available materials to make a simple homemade generator. Although it will only be powerful enough to light a small torch bulb, it works on the same basic concept of power station generators that supply domestic electricity. Primary electrical generators convert motion into electricity the same way we convert our clapping motion into sound waves. The generator needs a magnetic field and a moving wire to come together to make electrical energy.  

Electric Generator Science Project

The electric generator project is to make a homemade generator that will work well for many science fairs. Simple DC generators have been made over years from commonly available materials. A homemade generator can be a good base for explaining magnetic and electrical principles, and performing this electric generator project will be interesting. To construct a homemade generator, check down.

How to Make an Electric Generator

One willing to perform an electric generator project to make a homemade generator will need the following:

  • Cardboard 

  • 15cm long iron nail with a 6mm diameter and a large head.

  • 8–10cm long bolt with a 6mm diameter, and nut25m enameled copper wire (30 swg or approximate 0.3mm diameter)

  • Eclipse button magnet E825 with a fixing hole.

  • 6V, 0.06A torch bulb and bulb holder

  • A roll of insulating tape

  • A hand drill


  1. Cut out two cardboard discs roughly 3cm in diameter making a 4–5mm hole in the centre. Put the nail in the hole, pushing one disc up to its head. Cover the next 2–3cm of the nail's surface with a couple of layers of insulating tape.

  2. Slide on the other disc until it butts up against the tape, then wind more tape on the other side to fix it in position and the cardboard discs are no more than 2–3cm apart. Uncoil 30cm or so of wire from the reel to shape a lead from the coil, and start winding the remaining wire around the insulating tape between the two cardboard discs. To keep track, this may help to make a tick mark on a piece of paper after every 100 turns. 

  3. Covering the nail with a single layer of turns, continue building up layers one on top of the other. It’s not necessary to do a neat job.

  4. After about 1500 of turns, leave about 30cm of wire-free at the other end and then cover the windings with insulating tape. Remove a cm or more of the insulation from the two end wires by scraping off the enamel, and connect them to the bulb holder. Fit the bulb into the holder.

  5. Pass the bolt within the hole drilled into the base of the magnet, and fasten it by tightening the nut. Fix the bolt into the chuck of a hand drill and fix the sharp end of the nail in a vice so that it’s horizontal. Bring the magnet to about 1mm of the nail head, which should be slightly off-centre from the middle of the spinning magnet. Making sure of the gap between the magnet and the nail head is as small as possible, also not so close that they touch. Here, the tip is to rest the hand holding the fixed part of the drill on the table-top so that it’s as steady as possible.

Turn the drill handle as fast as you can, and the bulb must light up.

Wooden Electric Board


  • It is cheap compared to lead sheathed and conduit wiring systems.

  • Easy to install and rewire.

  • The wooden electric board provides good insulation as conductors are a reasonable distance apart.


  • Since there is a risk of fire, it cannot be used where there is a possibility of fire hazard.

  • The wooden electric board can be used only on the surface and cannot be concealed in plaster.

Solved Examples

Question: On Which Principle a Generator Works?

Answer: Generator works on the Faraday's laws of “Electro-Magnetic Induction ”.

Fun Facts

Few facts on the generator are:

  • An alternating current generator is also named as an alternator. 

  • Hydroelectric generators use the water falling through gravity to turn the turbines which generate electricity.

  • Some generators produce alternating current (AC) and generators that produce direct current (DC) electricity.

  • A direct current generator is an efficient form of a DC motor working in reverse.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: What are the Types of Generators?

Answer: There are three types of generators:

  1. Portable generator: This is powered by gas or diesel fuel and can provide temporary electrical power. It is used in Refrigerators, nail guns.

  2. Inverter generator: It uses an engine connected to an alternator to produce AC power. It also uses a rectifier different from other generators to convert the AC power into DC power. These are used in car batteries, laptops.

  3. Standby generator: It is an electrical system that operates with an automatic transfer switch that commands it to power a device up during power loss. These are used in emergency settings, hospital machinery.

Question 2: Difference Between Portable and Standby Generators?

Answer: Portable generators are portable and proper storage is required while standby generators can be permanently installed onto your home. No installation is needed in the case of portable generators while standby generators are professionally installed by a certified Briggs & Stratton dealer or licensed electrician. Portable starts manually, and standby starts automatically. Portable generators start with a pull cord whereas standby generators start when the power goes out. Refueling is needed in the case of portable generators while no refueling is needed for standby generators. Gasoline is required for portable generators, and Natural gas or liquid propane is required for the standby generators.