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Steadyhands
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I decided I wanted a wand. Not having a lathe it was off to the local Hardware and see what I could cobble together off of the shelves. These were made from Tasmanian Oak, a collective name for any one of three native Eucalypt species here in Australia. Tassie Oak 12.5mm dowels can be picked up for a $3.60 for 1.2m length-so I bought two lengths.

Not knowing what size or weight I might like and material being cheap I decided on making a variety of lengths, 12", 13", 14" and 16".

Tassie Oak is a hardwood and very light coloured hardwood with a long straight grain. I wanted a dark wand so they were stained with several coats of a Jarrah stain. Jarrah is a Western Australian hardwood sort after for floors that varies in colour from pink to reds. They were then coated in a several coats of tung oil that also has beeswax and carnauba wax. I'm still playing with a 12" blank to see what sort of finish I can get after many multiple coats, but it's not looking good as I can't really see a difference between pieces. I was lazy with the photo, I didn't want to break out the real camera, light tent, studio lights and white balance card so this is a shot off of my phone. Lighting on the photo isn't great and they are considerably darker in real life.

The ends were sourced from the the plumbing department. One wand uses copper end caps ($1.20ea) and the other uses two brass fittings ($9.50) with each end cut off. The copper end caps are a press fit and in the heat and humidity we've had over the last few days are already starting to patina. The brass fittings were a close clearance fit and I glued these on with 5min araldite.

For a little variety I've ordered some rare earth magnets from eBay. I'll drill into the ends and insert these into one of the copper tip wands. The extra weight at the tips will be welcome also.

I'd love to get access to a lathe to make some fitted tips. I've still got a few pieces of brass stock from when I turned up some Okito boxes 20 years ago. Although it might be a waste to use them because of their larger diameter. Plus my skills are very rusty, I've not touched a lathe in 20 years.

Playing with some of the other Australian hardwoods would be fun. We've got a good variety of colour in our local hardwoods. My uncle has a small bed wood lathe that would be perfect for wands.

After a few days of practice I'm starting to get the hang of the wand spin and the drummers spin. Very far from perfect but the wands I've made are good enough for practice for now. The 14" with the copper caps is nice for drummers spin practice. The 16" with big brass tips is good for wand spins and certainly has some weight in it. I find it easier to practice with wand spins when there is weight at the ends but the larger brass tips almost make it a weapon.

So for less than $35 I've made 6 different sized wands with different tips. I'm happy with the results but would like to do better. They would look better if the tips were flush but that wasn't happening with my limited workshop.

Click here to view attached image.
Dick Oslund
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Profile of Dick Oslund
When I was 14, and had become a part time professional, when I did my third show at the local Jr. High School, I decided that I needed a better magic wand than the drum stick that I had painted black with white tips.

So, not being any sort of craftsman with lathes, and electric saws, I went to a lumber yard (this was about 45 years before WalMart had even been thought of.) and, spent, fifty cents for a 1/2" x 36" wooden dowel, fifty cents for a 1/2 pint of black enamel, and twenty-five cents for a 1/2 ounce of Testor's white model paint.

Back home, on the back porch ("decks" hadn't been thought of yet) I borrowed dad's key hole saw, and sawed off a 13" piece of the dowel. I painted the 13" dowel black, with white tips. I had a dandy magic wand, that I've used for about 70 years, and, it's still working good. But, what to do with the left over 23" of dowel?

As a Depression raised kid, I remembered Grandpa's two mottoes: "Waste not, want not!" and, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"

Ah ha! Tarbell had the answer, I made a second wand with 13" of the 23" left over dowel (now I had a spare!) and, two fekes for the Tarbell Vanishing Wand. The two fekes were only 2 3/4" long (each). That left me with 5.5" of left over dowel.

Not being particularly inventive, but being frugal, like grandpa, I stored them in a small box labeled "piece of dowel, too short to use". I figured that if I ever needed to make a 5.5 inch wand, I could use up the left over paint.

Unfortunately, the paint is all dried up, and, I can't find the box with the 5.5" left over dowel.

Maybe I should have just sent Percy Abbott a dollar for his "professional" model wand, but, I was just a part time professional at the time.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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I was trying to be a bit humorous when I wrote that! (Hope it was!)

I think that I have worn out more brakawa wands than most performers have even seen! In 70 years, I have "tried out" darn near every "gag" wand that has been "thought up"!

I still use a few gags and bits of business with an "ordinary" (!) wand, but, the two wands that have stood the test of time are the brakawa, and, the .22 cal. shooting wand. Brakawa gets 3 good laughs, and, the shooting wand, gets a show stop laugh, EVERY TIME!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Romano911
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2016, Steadyhands wrote:
I decided I wanted a wand. Not having a lathe it was off to the local Hardware and see what I could cobble together off of the shelves. These were made from Tasmanian Oak, a collective name for any one of three native Eucalypt species here in Australia. Tassie Oak 12.5mm dowels can be picked up for a $3.60 for 1.2m length-so I bought two lengths.

Not knowing what size or weight I might like and material being cheap I decided on making a variety of lengths, 12", 13", 14" and 16".

Tassie Oak is a hardwood and very light coloured hardwood with a long straight grain. I wanted a dark wand so they were stained with several coats of a Jarrah stain. Jarrah is a Western Australian hardwood sort after for floors that varies in colour from pink to reds. They were then coated in a several coats of tung oil that also has beeswax and carnauba wax. I'm still playing with a 12" blank to see what sort of finish I can get after many multiple coats, but it's not looking good as I can't really see a difference between pieces. I was lazy with the photo, I didn't want to break out the real camera, light tent, studio lights and white balance card so this is a shot off of my phone. Lighting on the photo isn't great and they are considerably darker in real life.

The ends were sourced from the the plumbing department. One wand uses copper end caps ($1.20ea) and the other uses two brass fittings ($9.50) with each end cut off. The copper end caps are a press fit and in the heat and humidity we've had over the last few days are already starting to patina. The brass fittings were a close clearance fit and I glued these on with 5min araldite.

For a little variety I've ordered some rare earth magnets from eBay. I'll drill into the ends and insert these into one of the copper tip wands. The extra weight at the tips will be welcome also.

I'd love to get access to a lathe to make some fitted tips. I've still got a few pieces of brass stock from when I turned up some Okito boxes 20 years ago. Although it might be a waste to use them because of their larger diameter. Plus my skills are very rusty, I've not touched a lathe in 20 years.

Playing with some of the other Australian hardwoods would be fun. We've got a good variety of colour in our local hardwoods. My uncle has a small bed wood lathe that would be perfect for wands.

After a few days of practice I'm starting to get the hang of the wand spin and the drummers spin. Very far from perfect but the wands I've made are good enough for practice for now. The 14" with the copper caps is nice for drummers spin practice. The 16" with big brass tips is good for wand spins and certainly has some weight in it. I find it easier to practice with wand spins when there is weight at the ends but the larger brass tips almost make it a weapon.

So for less than $35 I've made 6 different sized wands with different tips. I'm happy with the results but would like to do better. They would look better if the tips were flush but that wasn't happening with my limited workshop.


Those are really nice, thanks for sharing.
Commonly known as Mariano Blanco.
Steadyhands
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
When I was 14, and had become a part time professional, when I did my third show at the local Jr. High School, I decided that I needed a better magic wand than the drum stick that I had painted black with white tips.


Quote:
On Jan 1, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
I was trying to be a bit humorous when I wrote that! (Hope it was!)

Hi Dick, yes, it is all good. Bet you find that little piece of dowel when you least expect it, and then burst out laughing.

Quote:
On Jan 1, 2017, Romano911 wrote:
Those are really nice, thanks for sharing.

Thanks.
Dick Oslund
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Hey Steady! (first name basis! We're not very ceremonial here!)

Thanks for not being offended by my "subtle" (?) sense of humor!

It has been a wanderfillled life!

Happy New Year!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Michael Baker
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Dick,

Since you made a spare 13" wand, and a pair of 2 3/4" wand fekes for the Tarbell Vanishing Wand, didn't it occur to you that the remaining 5.5" would make a SPARE SET OF 2 3/4" WAND FEKES???

Hahaha!!!! (I couldn't resist!)

Happy New Year!!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TheRaven
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He can't Michael - the box says -- too short to use.
Dick Oslund
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Thanx Raven! That darn "kid", Michael, was one "up" on me!!! hee hee
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ringmaster
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Quote:
On Jan 1, 2017, Michael Baker wrote:
Dick,

Since you made a spare 13" wand, and a pair of 2 3/4" wand fekes for the Tarbell Vanishing Wand, didn't it occur to you that the remaining 5.5" would make a SPARE SET OF 2 3/4" WAND FEKES???

Hahaha!!!! (I couldn't resist!)

Happy New Year!!

Or the Genii vanishing wand fake from The Sphinx.
Remember, slightly less than two present of all UFO sightings turn out to be actual extraterrestrial craft.
Borrow three wide brimmed felt hats from the audience.
Dr. Harlan Tarbell
docguitarman
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Thousand Oaks, California
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Thanks Steadyhands for this post! You inspired me to make my own wand also!

In my case I went the really easy route. A 1/4" dowel from either of the craft chains (M's or J's). Spray paint gloss black. Then a pair of 1/4" copper couplers from the big box home supply store for $0.77 each. They are just pushed on with a friction join. There is also a nice little space in both end where I plan to put a neo Smile . Will need to use some wood filler to close it in near the tip.

Here is a photo of it resting on my DIY cigar box "Egyptian Water Box"

Click here to view attached image.
Rook
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I went to the Magic Cafe and all I got were these lousy
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I made mine in the same manner as Ammar's Mercury wand, only with a brass rod rather than aluminum. It's a touch heavy, but darned near indestructible!
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
ThunderSqueak
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2017, Rook wrote:
I made mine in the same manner as Ammar's Mercury wand, only with a brass rod rather than aluminum. It's a touch heavy, but darned near indestructible!


I have one of those... doubles as a weapon <.<;;
lnlver
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I have access to a lathe in my club's shop; it has a 6' long base. I have lots of cherry, walnut, maple and oak scraps. If one would specify a diameter and length, I could - theoretically - fabricate these.
docguitarman
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Thousand Oaks, California
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Quote:
On Nov 29, 2017, lnlver wrote:
I have access to a lathe in my club's shop; it has a 6' long base. I have lots of cherry, walnut, maple and oak scraps. If one would specify a diameter and length, I could - theoretically - fabricate these.



The OP quoted approximately 1/2 " dowels. I misspoke on mine -- mine is a 3/8" dowel. Different people no doubt will prefer different sizes. Lengths of 12" to 16" sound good to me as per the OP. My wood dowel was 12" -- with the copper couplers attached it is 13"
Rook
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I went to the Magic Cafe and all I got were these lousy
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Quote:
On Nov 29, 2017, ThunderSqueak wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 28, 2017, Rook wrote:
I made mine in the same manner as Ammar's Mercury wand, only with a brass rod rather than aluminum. It's a touch heavy, but darned near indestructible!


I have one of those... doubles as a weapon <.<;;


Which works great for dissuading curious participants from handling the props!
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
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