ion wheels

I made an "ion wheel" of a sort that works quite well.  I was able to make
it in about 5 minutes.  It's not elegant, but it works quite well with
my 3"x12" coil.  I took a piece of 1/2" brass rod, drilled a hole down the 
center of it about 3/8" deep, cut it off about 1/2" long and drilled a 1/16"
hole across it to put in a wire.  I then took a piece of 18 ga. magnet wire
about 12" long, threaded it through the small hole and bent it into an S
shape.  Later I had to squash the S down a little so that the center of
gravity was below the point of support.  

Next I took a piece of heavy wire (coat hanger wire would work fine) and 
bent it into a sort of P shape and then bent the bottom of the P up so that
there is a loop on the base and a wire pointing straight up.  This part is 
sharpened to a point.  The S assembly is perched on top of the heavy wire, and
the whole assembly is placed on the toroid.  I eventually had to put a 
heavy nut on the P wire because the thing would fall over when it got spinning.

The overall effect is quite exciting.  There are spinning sparks flying out
of the tips of the wire.

Cross section:

              /[---]\  <-- Drooping S wire and hole 
_____________/ [ ^ ] \______________ <--- Top of hole and drooping S wire
               [|||]   <--- Hole with wire inside
                 |     <--- Heavy sharpened wire
            ========== <---- Base, formed on heavy wire piece.

All in all, it was quite simple to make and is a great effect.

Perhaps the fact that the wire is magnet wire and therefore insulated
makes it work better.  I do get corona off the top of the brass button, but
it does not detract from the effect.