ST 11

With less than a month until Christmas, hopefully you’ve been working your way through your holiday shopping list. Still, come December 24, you may find that your hectic schedule of professional and scholarly pursuits means you’ve forgotten to get a present for one of the little tykes in your family.

Rushing to the store on Christmas Eve, your spirits may fall as you find the toy department picked clean. Don’t give up hope, though! As long as the hardware section is still stocked, you can make a pretty cool “toy train” with just three incredibly common items.

Japanese YouTube channel AmazingScience-kun delivers on all three parts of its name, with a guy (kun) doing awesome science tricks. In the past he’s shown how to magically mend socks and create entrancing towers of flaming dominos. If all your clothing is hole-free, though, and you’re too attached to your domino set to set it ablaze, AmazingScience-kun’s coolest demonstration is how to make a do-it-yourself model train.

To build it, all you’ll need is a length of copper wire, some batteries, and a couple of disc-shaped magnets.

ST 1

The exact type of battery doesn’t seem to matter, but you’ll want ones with a similar circumference to the magnets. Speaking of the magnets, the stronger ones you can get, the better.

First, take the wire, and bend it into a coil, leaving enough space so that the battery can fit inside.

ST 2

Next, attach magnets to each tip of the battery.

▼ Well, technically, the magnets will attach themselves…

ST 3

Insert the battery into the coil, and you’re done! Observe!

The pull of the magnets should send the battery sliding through and out the far end of the coil. While the first example shows a course only about twice as long as the battery itself, AmazingScience-kun goes on to demonstrate with a much longer section.

ST 6

ST 7

At this point, though, you haven’t built a train so much as a low-powered cannon for lazily lobbing batteries. To really complete the project, though, all you have to do is wrap the coil’s end back onto the start, then hold or clamp it in place.

ST 8

The batteries actually get up to a respectable speed, and can build up enough momentum to work their way over small rises along their trajectory.

ST 9

Really, the only problem we have with the setup is that since it’s entirely encased in a tube, it seems more like a subway than a train. Still, no matter which of the two terms is more accurate, there’s no arguing that “cool” is very much the appropriate descriptor .

Source: YouTube via CuRAZY
Images: YouTube