If you’ve never built a robot, car, or computer, you might not be totally familiar with plasma cutters (not to be confused to with plasma inductors from Ghostbusters). But the good news is neither is your kid, so they’ll be impressed as hell if you can make a mini version of one, with the help of maker and YouTuber NightHawkInLight — basically the Egon Spengler of your mission, if you chose to accept it.
His most recent instructional video titled “How To Make A Plasma Pen & Micro Torch,” comes in response to feedback from an earlier clip on how to make a mini-plasma cutter out of an arc lighter. While both projects are doable, the plasma pen is arguably cooler because it allows you to do more than cut paper. Instead, the most practical application for it is engraving wood with little to no smoke, which is perfect for all those homemade birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, or really anything you haven’t been able to carve “Tom Brady sucks” into … until now.
Even with the optional torch modification included, you only need 10 parts to complete it (full list available here). Sure, you may not stick the landing, but you can still teach Junior something constructive to do with a lighter other than the obvious — it’s just a bonus that the thing is science. And for your next lesson: Micro ghostbusting.