You'll need a few basic items to start with:
- A jar with a lid.I used a plastic Kraft peanut butter jar, but glass jars are fine too. The advantage of glass is that it isn't as affected by static electricity, which can make the wheel stick to the jar. But you can just use an anti-static dryer sheet rubbed on the inside of a plastic jar to take care of that problem. The advantage of plastic is that it's lighter and easier to carry with you if you want to take it anywhere (school, coffee shops, the Rhine Research Center, etc...). If you live in a high humidity environment (like I do), static isn't a huge problem anyway.
- A eraser small enough to fit inside the lid of the jar.
- A sewing needle.
- A square of Al foil (I used a 4.5 cm square in my example).
The next thing to do is to fold the Al foil square into a little pyramid shape. Start off by folding the square in half, forming a triangle.
Now open up the triangle into a square again, and then fold the other two corners together.
If you want to get things a little fancier, then make additional folds in the middle of each of the first four triangles, forming eight triangles.
Once that is done, open up the pyramid again. You will notice that the very top is quite pointy. You can leave it that way if you want to, but I find that the pin will tend to wear through that spot quickly when you do get it to spin.
My remedy is to flatten the point into a little square at the top. I use something like the flat end of a pen or knitting needle to shape it the way I want it. Just be careful not to poke a hole through the foil. I find that the wheel spins more easily and lasts longer if I shape it this way.
So now you have a base and a pinwheel:
You just balance the pinwheel on the pointy end of the pin:
The next step is to place the pinwheel inside a jar. If you use a plastic jar, rub the inside of it with an anti-static dryer sheet first. You now have a Psi Wheel to experiment with!
As far as spinning the pinwheel goes, I worked on getting it to spin without a jar first, and after I was very good at that I moved on to learning to move it inside the jar. After I could do that I started to work on distance PK, which is something I'm still learning to do in a reliable fashion.
I wish you all the best of luck in your own experiments!