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News Link • Inventions

You Built What?!: A Tesla Coil Gun That Produces Foot-Long Sparks

•, By Gregory Mone
 While browsing a bookstore near his home in Seattle last year, Rob Flickenger came across a graphic novel titled The Five Fists of Science. The story portrays inventor Nikola Tesla as a crime fighter who battles his enemies with a pair of handheld Tesla coils—transformers that discharge spectacular streams of electricity into the air. To Flickenger, 37, the guns were beautiful, hilarious, and inspiring. “I started thinking, How would I do it?” he says.

Flickenger wanted his homemade lightning machine to look as cool as the one in The Five Fists of Science, so he chose his model carefully: a huge motorized Nerf gun. With the help of Rusty Oliver at the HazardFactory, an industrial arts studio, he made an aluminum version of the plastic toy.

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