Wands

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sbwertz

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I've been making Harry Potter type wands. My grandsons both want one, and a couple of people locally ordered one, and several of my blind turners want to make one.

Anyone make one? Any tips? I've made one of mahogany. Turned out pretty good. They were thrilled with it anyway.

I'd like to try some decorative stuff. I have an index attachment I got a while ago and have never used.
 
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dogcatcher

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I also made 2 part wands with a tenon joint. They were for our granddaughter, doing it in 2 parts let her turn the handle and I made as she called it the "magic" part. We used various types of wood so they looked laminated.
 

McKenzie Penworks

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My wife has been on me to turn some wands for a while now. She thinks with our sparkly resin they'd be a big hit... Are you all using a collet chuck to hold the spindle? If I use my current molds they'd start out round at least so that will save me some grief but I can't see how this would be good to turn between centers... Two pieces would be easier but I'm thinking the collet is the way to go.
 

dogcatcher

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My wife has been on me to turn some wands for a while now. She thinks with our sparkly resin they'd be a big hit... Are you all using a collet chuck to hold the spindle? If I use my current molds they'd start out round at least so that will save me some grief but I can't see how this would be good to turn between centers... Two pieces would be easier but I'm thinking the collet is the way to go.
I use my collet. For the handle end, I drill my blanks with a 5/16" bit about 1" deep. I made a 5/16" spur drive out of a steel rod that I mount in my collet. On the end of the steel rod I cut an X and then filed to points like a spur drive. I tap this end into the hole in the blank then turn between centers.

For the "magic" part, I turn them between centers, first turning the 5/16 tenon to fit the hole in the handle. Then get as fancy as I want as I turn the "magic" part. The tenon should be close, but does not have to be perfect tp glue it in the handle. To clean up the live center end, I stick the tenon in the collet chuck and sand it smooth starting with 80 grit.

The secret is to make these in batches of 12 or more, it is a time killer changing out tooling. I cut and drilll the handle blanks, then tirn all of the handles. Then cut and turn and sand the "magic" part and tenons, then sand all of the tip.

Sizes, about 3.5 to 4 inches for the handle, about 6 to 7 for the "magic" part. Sometimes I cheat and use dowels for the "magic" part, all they need is sanding and rounding the end. I made a 144 once, the dowels saved my sanity. My advice is be CREATIVE, make them all a little different, DO NOT try to make them all the same.
 

McKenzie Penworks

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Makes sense and thanks for the guidance and tips! I've got a number of pin chucks that would get the job done too for holding them on I suspect. If not, it's a good excuse to bug Rick and get a few more. :tongue: Just realized I have bin full of stablized and dyed wood from a project that never panned out and I think a lot of it would work for handles. I need a creative outlet between pouring blanks and I think this will be fun.
 

dogcatcher

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You don't need a pin chuck. A piece of steel rod 5/16" in diameter about 5" long. On one end, first drill a 3/16" hole about 1/4" deep. This is easily done using your collet chuck. Next use a hacksaw to cut an X about 1/4" deep. Then take a rattail file and file 4 "teeth" on the end. Your drive spur for the collet chuck is finished. To use, stick in the hole of the handle blank and tap it with a mallet. Then mount the mandrel and blank in your collet chuck.
 

Noot17

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These all sound like good ideas. If you're short on tooling like me you can use a set of Nova pin chucks to hold the end of the blank and then a live center on the other end. I only needed about an inch in the pin chuck, maybe 1.5".

I've made a couple dip pens this way, which are basically the same, just with a hole in the end.

Made one out of diamond cast as well.

IMG_3338.JPG
 

dogcatcher

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These all sound like good ideas. If you're short on tooling like me you can use a set of Nova pin chucks to hold the end of the blank and then a live center on the other end. I only needed about an inch in the pin chuck, maybe 1.5".

I've made a couple dip pens this way, which are basically the same, just with a hole in the end.

Made one out of diamond cast as well.

View attachment 178978
If you are short on tooling the simple way would be to turn using nothing but a spur drive and live center. Both of which comes with the basic lathe. 50 years ago there were very few chucks available and no collets chucks available for wood lathes. We had face plates, spur drives and dead centers.
 

donstephan

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For me, turning such thin spindles between centers creates extensive wobbling. Shape one end to fit the headstock morse taper and tap it snug. Friction will drive the spindle. Bring up the tailstock lightly. It's still necessary to keep one or two fingers on the back side of the spindle.
 

jjjaworski

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Las Cruces, NM
I made a bunch of them 14-15 years ago and turned them between centers. I made them on the chunky side for small children hands.

Nowadays I would turn a round tenon on the headstock end to secure work in a collet chuck instead.
 

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Skie_M

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Lawton, Ok
Well ... it's not a tip for wand making, but they are wand tips nonetheless ...




I still have them laying around after making them .... they were hand made on my lathe from pure selenite sticks (crystals). I have some pieces that may actually be long enough to turn into the body of a dip pen, but CA doesn't seem to want to adhere to it so finishing with a decently scratch resistant coating for durability may be out of the question.

Selenite is water soluble, so it CAN slowly dissolve over time. Water can sometimes also be used to polish them, though these were sanded to 1000 grit dry and then hit with Plast-X for that nice clear finish .... it was fairly difficult just holding them in the chuck to even be able to turn them. Turning tools were all wooden with various grits of sandpaper glued to them, and very delicate work.
 

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