I remember first encountering a Tornado machine at SF Exploratorium couple month back (You can see it in my YouTube video here), but it would be helluva nicer to actually build one yourself for self-amusement. This tutorial will certainly get you started so check it out.
Can you build this? Yes! However, the design of this machine is more elaborate than it would need to be to just produce a vortex – it is meant to be put in your living room or somewhere else that requires it to look nice. If you follow the construction plans carefully and methodically, you will find that building this machine does not require a lot of work, and the results will be well worth it!