Custom Sonic Screwdriver build


Active Member
Since the existing Doctor Who sonic props seem to be pretty well covered, and I don't have a mill to do complicated metal work, I thought I'd take a stab at creating an alternate take on the prop. I got a used lathe back in October and have been playing with it. I turned some old PVC, copper plumbing fittings and fiddle about with other found bits and came up with this:

Basically what I've wound up with is a sort of 10th/River hybrid with a coppery feel and 11th green 'emitter'. I have the sound chip and all from a dead C.O. around here somewhere, carefully boxed in a tin so I wouldn't lose it which of course I now can't find. Once I get that done this will have a slightly different slider, the one pictured is a goofed up piece of copper I used to just to make sure the thing will slide.

The acrylic tubing is a found object called a "WonderTube" which I noticed in a Walmart near where they have Magic Eight-Balls and that sort of stuff. It's very cheap, filled with colored sand, glitter and mineral oil which I cut off with a Dremel where there's an air bubble when held upright, drained and washed it out.

The copper 'spiral' is a just the bare ground wire found in most home flat wiring that I bent around a screwdriver into a spring-like shape. I plan to wire some bright green LEDs into the circuit so the head and tube will both light up eventually. The paint finish is some Krylon crackle paint I had. It's coppery base coat seemed to work well with the fittings, though the head part probably needs a repaint to match the body better. I'll probably turn an end bit that better matches the black-bulb bit on the 10th/River sonics, the bit there is just left over from an old pen light.

Going to try to lathe out some other bodies and bits and see what else I can come up with come the weekend. Anyway, thought I'd share.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Oh that's just brilliant, very nice work on you sonic, it's got that steam-punk ish feel to it I think.
You have made an excellent job of helixing that copper wire in the clear acrylic tube, thats a hard job to do.

Good use of every day materials I think. :thumbsup


Active Member
hmmm.... I think you've just inspired me to take a stab and making my own steam punk'd sonic screwdriver....

Cheers I needed something to do while I wait on some other stuff to arrive