My Grandson Bryan came up to visit this week.
He knew I made canes and asked me to make him one.
After talking with him and his mother we decided he’d much rather have a wand.
He’s very animated and energetic (read HYPER) so for the first 10 minutes he was full of ideas and tangents of creative thought (making lightning bolts shoot out the end type stuff.)
He’s a big fan of the Harry Potter movies and decided he wanted The Elder Wand.
I’ve never tried making a wand before, but they are just miniature canes so I thought I’d try something a little different, putting a natural branch in the lathe and turning that.
We went to the branches stack and picked a Crepe Myrtle branch I thought would do the job.
One of the branches from the “Y” was long enough and reasonable straight so I cut it off.
I chucked it in the lathe to see how “off axis” it was…it was….WAY off axis. So my plan to use a strip of sandpaper to smooth it down wasn’t going to work. But, I do have several flavor of sanding mops so I decided to chuck one up in my sanding drill and run the lathe on low speed while I sanded it smooth. So I got a big 220 grit mop and started sanding.
The mop was doing what I wanted on the branch, but the bolt wasn’t big enough to hold in the drill chuck. So about the 4th time it fell out I decided to make a smaller one with a smaller, longer bolt. I had the materials already left over from the sanding mop project so in a few minutes I had a smaller version up and running.
Bryan popped back in to check on me and I showed him my progress. He got quiet for a second and then said “So how will you make it straight? The elder wand is straight.” So I realized that although I was having fun trying something different to make it unique for him he just wanted the elder wand.
Not to worry. I had proven the technique of using the sanding mop to turn a crooked branch so I knew I could make others that way. I decided to finish the crooked wand in the fashion of the elder wand.
After I finished sanding the rough shape I took a 320 grit sanding mop and sanded the wand smooth.
As the elder wand had dimples on the bulged areas I had to do the same. I had left several bulges along the branch and decided to just dimple those areas.
I broke out the dremel and grabbed a round-tipped carbide dental bur and started doing a Dr. Szell on the branch. After I finished the dental work I resanded those areas.
I applied a mahogany stain for about 5 minutes, a liberal coat of teak oil for 5 minutes, then took the wand in and set in over the mantel to do a quick dry. A couple hours later I brought it back to the shop and polished it with the Beall Buff system.
Appreciate any comments/critiques/suggestions.
-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."