Capacitor design help

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 11, 2007
I am new to electronics, but am very interested in learning about, and building Tesla and Moray type devices.

My question involves building a capacitor using copper flashing (house construction material) and rubber from a shower liner. the copper plates are .020" thick, by 1.80" by 2.26". The shower liner is .040" thick, and I was planning on folding over each layer and gluing it into a sleeve for each copper plate to slide into. I plan on soldering a regular insulated copper wire (12-14AWG) to each plate on opposite ends of the capacitor.

Are these materials acceptable to use for high voltage (up to 5kv)? Any recommendations on good books on building circuits and capacitors? Should I use distilled water to add to the dielectric qualities? The type of device I am trying to replicate is shown here: on page 11 by Tesla. My primary interest right now is tapping into free energy.

Thank you for any help offered.


Joined May 16, 2005
1) Review the Laws of Thermodynamics

2) Don't put too much stock into Thomas Moray's work. See (1) above for why I might make this suggestion. (But he makes dynamite fodder for science fiction and pulp!)

3) Try not to use the name "Tesla" and the phrase "Free Energy" in the same paragraph. The poor fellow suffered enough when he was alive.

3) Dielectric breakdown voltage per unit thickness of your shower liner will depend on what kind of material it is made from.

4) Try rolling the foil and dielectric on a cylinder instead of folding them.

5) High voltage kills. Use all appropriate precautions.


Joined Apr 20, 2004
I might look into a layer of mylar plastic because it is less likely to suffer from handling. Look into published characeristics about thickness vs insulation quality at high voltage.

You would be better to use mineral oil instead of water. It is less likely to pick up impurities and lose its ability to insulate.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
Here's a page that you'll find helpful in selecting a dielectric material:

These kinds of projects you have in mind are rather advanced. A large capacitor charged to 5kv would kill you very easily if you make a mistake.

Additionally, many of Tesla's experiments will cause an enormous amount of interference with RF communications, including TV, radio, aircraft and cellular equipment. Trying such things will have the authorities beating down your door and hauling you away.

I strongly suggest that you stick with projects that are low voltage and current until you have at least several years of experience.

See if there is a Ham Radio club in your area. You'll learn a lot from those folks.

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 11, 2007
Thank you for your answers. I will keep the safety issue in mind always.

I agree that Tesla was/is not respected nearly as much as he deserved. His discoveries and inventions are fascinating, and have been crucial to our modern society.

Perhaps I should have phrased it as 'radiant energy' instead of free energy. :)