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Topic: Lignum Vitae Wands
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 29, 2003 02:33PM)
I'm very interested in street magic and love reading the advice in this forum, so I'm hoping for some help. I recently acquired several Lignum Vitae pieces and am going to have a good friend who is a wood turner make them into wands for me. I'm wondering about size and shape, ie length width and how ornate to make them. Is there a "Standard" I should be thinking about? If all goes well maybe I'll even be selling some wands buts that's down the road. What would the perfect street wand look and feel like? I'll hang up and listen. Thanks in advance,
Message: Posted by: r4bid (Mar 29, 2003 05:20PM)
I know that some of the people on here use drum sticks wrapped in black tape if that gives you any idea of dimensions.

From what I have read you should care most about the integrity of the wand, you don't want it breaking halfway through your second show causing you to either go without a wand or stop the show.
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 29, 2003 11:33PM)
Thanks, that does give me some idea of size. I'm not a wood expert but this stuff is REALLY heavy. Once I have one turned I'm going to really beat on it and with it to see how well the wood holds up to punishment.

Are there effects that require a wand to be a certain length? I mean like for a vanish or a production from a coin purse like in Mr Cellini's book? The pieces I bought are 18 inches long by 1.5 inches square, so that can't be longer than that but is 18 inches too long? The color of the wood is kind of olive green, should I stain it black? Should it just be a stick or what? The guy who is going to turn them says he can do almost anything, I'd love to have more input before I give him the go ahead. :confused:
Thanks for the thoughts,
Message: Posted by: Jason Wethington (Mar 30, 2003 10:45AM)
My Buddy Tom Frank (Maker of the Phoenix Cups) has Lignum Vitae wands (also known as iron wood)in his sets. Check out his site http://www.tfrankmint.com it has a picture of the wand with the set of cups. Might give you an idea. It is a plain wand and not very fancy. But it stands up to the strictest conditions and I beat the #@*% out of my cups with it.
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 30, 2003 08:06PM)
Hey Jason,
Thanks for the reminder I own a set and forgot about the wand which is still in the box. Two questions: do the cups get banged up pretty bad from the wand and are the tips of the wand holding up ok?

We got to talking today and the guy who's going to turn them wondered if he should use metal on the ends to prevent the tips from damage and I was unsure how the metal ends would bang up the cups
and/or in using the wand as a "thumper" is it best to have it all one solid piece. Well that seems more like four questions.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 31, 2003 08:42AM)
On 2003-03-30 11:45, Jason Wethington wrote:
My Buddy Tom Frank (Maker of the Phoenix Cups) has Lignum Vitae wands (also known as iron wood)in his sets. [/quote]


I have two of the Tom Frank wands and they are not lignum vitae. They are an American Iron Wood. An ok enough wand but nothing like L V. A lot of people do not know (I was one of them) that many different hard woods are considered Iron Wood.

As far as real L.V. goes nothing you will ever buy for yourself as a magician will make you feel more empowered than holding a wand made of the same wood as the staff of Merlin.

This stuff is beautiful with a super dense and beautiful grain. It can be polished and oild to almost look like glass it is so dense.

When you hold one you feel like a magician.

The downside for street work is while this wood is strong as all get out it will eventually break if you are as hard on a wand as I am. The wood because it is so dense is also very brittle. I don’t mean it will shatter the first time you bang it but because it is so dense it has almost no give or bend. So depending on how thick you make it sooner or later it will snap.

Is this a big deal? Nope. Just have a back up.

Will I be buying one of these wands when they become available?

You bet!




You want a one piece thumper. Tips will cut the lifespan. This wood is magic itself and needs no orniment other than some fine steel wool and some oil.

You will be able to beat your cups to death with this wand so be careful.

The only wand I have ever seen that could dish out this kind of punishment is the Ammar Mercury wand and that one is made of metal.

When you are ready to seal some of these wands Jim please send me a PM.


Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 31, 2003 10:24PM)
Thanks Danny,
I sent you a PM earlier let me know if you got it when you get a minute.

I got the first look at the wood after it's been turned and polished and in the sunlight it takes on the same shades as a set of copper cups that has devolped that "aged patina". So I'm wondering if for contrast and/or aesthetic reasons I shouldn't stain them black. Anybody that has any thoughts on that I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.
Thanks everybody,
Jim :nod:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 1, 2003 07:57AM)
NO! Do not stain them!! Please!! :)

The beauty of these wands is the wood. Just shape it like a dowel straight, thin, with no ends.

When you steel wool and oil this wand it will GLOW. They are just beautiful.

This should look like a REAL magic wand and not something picked up in a magic store.

L.V. looks like magic.


Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Apr 1, 2003 12:12PM)
Hey Danny,
Thanks that's just the kind of input I'm looking for. I have some work to do testing the one wand I have for strength and durability, but so far it's held up well.
If you get another minute and had any feeling about length I'd be interested in your thoughts, and of course any one else that may care to offer me the benefit of their wisdom, I would very much appreciate your help!
Thanks one and all,
Jim :)
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 1, 2003 01:59PM)
I would say 12" and a half inch across would be a perfect size.

If you need a test pilot let me know. I would love to take one for a ride! :)


Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Apr 1, 2003 02:10PM)
Hey Dan,
That would be great, check your PM I sent you my email.
Jim :nod:
Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Apr 2, 2003 08:24AM)
I just placed my order for LV about a week ago so I will be turning out a few at my uncles next weekend. Looks like I will be making about 6-12 from the piece I will be getting. If all goes well you can get one from me Danny, since Davis and Harvard are only 2 T stops apart.

Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Apr 3, 2003 10:01AM)
Ok. I'll bite, what would be the cost for one of these wands. this would be my first wand, so the next question...will be a new topic.
I would want it plain I think. think renfair.
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Apr 3, 2003 10:55AM)
I'm not sure what these wands will cost or if I'll be selling any but I'll let you know. If you're a Ren Fest guy there's a cool site that makes more Wizard type wands, check them out at http://www.dragonmother.com

Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Apr 3, 2003 12:35PM)
Not that much actually, but you need some that has a lathe that can cut iron wood. If you know any carpenters you can order the wood online. Just do a google search for Ligium Vitae, there are about half a dozen dealers of the wood out there, I actually got mine on ebay.

In fact as I recall L&M ligium Vitae, that's the company name, actually sells pre-cut dowel of the wood. And you know the difference between a dowel and a wand? about 40 bucks!

Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Apr 3, 2003 01:12PM)
The Iron wood wands that Tom Franks provides may not be LV but I doubt you will ever see one of his wands broken, I had mine for several years & totally beat it to death doing evrything from beating on my copper cups, the table & having it falling to the sidewalk with hardly a mark on it leave alone it breaking. True the wand may be simple in appearance but its functionality is without equal. My only problem is I have now lost it & Tom is now located in Seatle so life goes on.

Tom Boehnlein
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Apr 3, 2003 03:10PM)
cool sight, but I was asking as one Café member to another. (keeping it in the family)
I also did not see L.V. in the list of woods on the sight.
I like the "wild" wands, but for that I'll go in the back yard and get a stick.
I'll look it up on the net. thanks.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 3, 2003 03:15PM)
Hi Pokie,

For the record a wand is really a powerful tool and not just a conversation piece. It provides cover, misdirection, and reason, in a lot of important ways in some tricks.

In my opinion it is tough to do the cups and balls effectively without a wand.

We like to give the audience the impression that the wand is just something we wave around but it really is a wicked tool when used correctly.


Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Apr 3, 2003 03:42PM)
As I see cups and ball mentioned many times in this topic. When doing c&b at a table I can let the people look at the cups, but on the street this would be impractable, banging on the cup shows that the cups are solid without handing them out.

I have heard that wands are as powerful as you say, however, having lived this long without one, I don't yet miss it. Still learning! :)
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 3, 2003 06:05PM)
I hand the cups out on the street. I also have a table.


Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Apr 3, 2003 11:22PM)
Hey Pokie,
I wasn't being flip or trying to big time you, it's just that until my woodturner has made a few and we find out how long it takes to turn a block of wood into a wand... and then beat the ^&*%$ out of a couple to see how they hold up, I just don't have a good idea on price or even if I'll sell any.

If they can't take the punishment I won't offer them to anyone. I can tell you the LV wood cost me about $15.00 per piece plus shipping. You can find it on Ebay or just contact the Ebay seller and tell him what your looking for.

If you're a Ren Fest guy maybe there's a woodturner on site as a crafter, that's how I met mine.


P.S. The wands from Dragonmother are pretty cool and way more than a stick from the yard, at least in my opinion, maybe you're more handy than me but I know I couldn't do that. :hmm:
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Apr 7, 2003 03:35PM)
Don't stain them... polish them .....by the way... Cellini gave me one of his. :) I used for a short period of time... then stashed it away to never see the light of day.... Here's a little Cellini bit.... he built me a table... and he painted my picture... KOZMO on the table... I used it for a bit then it started to wear so I retired it.... When I was taking the painting off the table I discovered that the wood underneath was...... his old table..... with the art and painting... it is very cool... so I'm framing that along with the art that he did for me... nice thing, I think ...it's that table top he used for years....