Flux Capacitor Solenoids
One of the trickier parts to replicate will be the glass tube which contains the relay elements. I order from McMaster-Carr several 6 foot acrylic rods. I used 1/2 inch acrylic rods on my B9 Robot Replica and they are great to work with. I have ordered the follow different types.
1/4 in. outer dia. Solid Acrylic Rod
1/2 in. outer dia. Solid Acrylic Rod
1/2 in. outer dia. - 1/4 in. internal dia. Acrylic Tube
1/4 in. outer dia. - 1/8 in. internal dia. Acrylic Tube
3/4 in. Acrylic Balls
Additionally, at my local hobby shop I purchased some other materials from their K&S Engineering display.
1/8 in. outer dia. Copper Tube (Stock #120)
3/32 dia. "Music Wire (Stock #506)
To create the round end I first round the end of each tube on the bench sander. Then I gently sand the rounded end with a 1000 grit wet sand paper. Next I use Novus #2 "Fine Scratch Remover" and then finish it off with Novus #1 "Plastic Clean & Shine".
I started by sanding a flat spot on one side of a 3/4 in. acrylic ball. This allowed me to drill a small 1/8 in. hole part way through. Next I placed the drill bit into the hole. This allowed me to hold the ball against my table sander and sand two more flat spots at right angles to the original and at opposite ends of each other. These flat spots should be exactly 1/2 in dia. I then drilled a 1/8 in. hole completely through from one flat side to the other.
I glued sections of the 1/2 OD, 1/4 ID acrylic tubes on the flat spots. The lower right side, which is placed into the solenoid base can be cut flush to the same length as the depth of the hole. This will allow it to sit flush in the hole. I'm still playing with the lengths of the different tubes to get the right look.
Here are all the pieces and parts to the Fluxing Tubes. I decided to add a taper to the upper tube and I added a 1/4 inch acrylic rod in the center to snap the spark plug wire on to. As you can see i also changed the rod to solid steel and added a short copper tube. I also eliminated the vertical rod since the spark plug boot will hide most of the upright tube.