Instructables

EL Levitation Wand

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What's a levitation wand, you ask? Only the niftiest magic trick out there. If you've ever seen the magician's dancing cane trick, the wand follows pretty much the same principles. All credit for the levitation wand's proliferation as a flow tool goes to Prisna of Flowtoys, who made the first (I think) commercially available wands and who produces super rad LED flow-wands, as well as holographic ones. I strongly encourage you to support these guys and buy a holographic wand if you're interested in trying it out--they are super well-made and fun
So..

What do I want? An LED flow-wand.
Why can't I have one? They're $200, and I'm underemployed.
What to do? Make my own from EL Wire of course!




 
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Step 1: Supplies


Lots! Let's see...

1x 27" length of 3/4" acrylic tubing from TAP Plastics (I want to use polycarbonate and will replace the acrylic with it, but I can't find 3/4" polycarbonate tubing... any ideas?)
1x 1/4" acrylic rod, also from TAP, color of your choice
2x 3/4" caps for your tubes, also from TAP
1-2x 3' 2.2mm EL Wire Kit, color of your choice (kits include wire, connectors and drivers which take one AA battery)
2x AA Batteries
Electrical wires, solder, solder wick
Electrical tape
Exacto knife
Dremel or Saw, if you're cutting your own tubing
Soldering iron
Spraypaint/paint
Jewels/decorations (optional)
Hot Glue Gun
Strong nylon upholstery thread (black)
Small swivel
Strip of bike tube, leather, ring or shoelace


Step 2: Cut everything to size

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Cut your tubes to 27" (or anywhere between 25-30", depending how you like your wand.)

Cut your colored rods to 18.5" (or the length of your tube, minus 4x the length of your driver.)

If you're using an acrylic cutter, score and break the acrylic. Or use a saw or dremel. Sand the ends. Might be a good idea to wear gloves and eyewear, acrylic is sharp when you break it and plastic dust is probably not so good to breathe!

Quester551 year ago
Another great idea, and as never worked with EL-Wire before I have little to add, Except in your power supply, You might try Stacking coin size 3V. Lithium Battery's so the power remains the same 3 Volts, but your wand will be lighter. also you can reduce your switch by gutting an old Game-boy and using it's Micro Switches. Radio Shake use to sell Micro circuits that allowed the builder to get the same results at a fraction of the size. One more hint, Try adding a neon ribbon to change color on the fly.
izzyinsf (author)  Quester551 year ago
Awesome ideas! I actually like the heavier weight of the two AA batteries as it helps keep the wand steady--wands need to be as dense as possible or have weight at the ends to remain upright. Plus I can use rechargeables!

Gameboy microswitch idea is so good! I will try that on the next one I make :)
jayjayn2 years ago
great info, could you provide info where you got the small swivel? thx.
nav_lexy3 years ago
So what did it cost to make?
yes, how much did it cost? (I want to make one, so just trying to figure some things out, and VERRY good instructable!
izzyinsf (author)  salomon19963 years ago
assuming you have all the tools you need and can scrounge batteries, bike tube for the handle, and electrical supplies (solder, etc.), the base supplies cost me $20 and the EL wire costs $13 or $26 for a one or two-color wand. so, one color wand: roughly $33 two-color wand: roughly $46 if you make one I would love to see a picture!!
Cool! could you give me a link to where you found your el wire? I looked for it on the site that you said before, but coldent find any, THANKS!
izzyinsf (author)  salomon19963 years ago
If the link I posted earlier doesn't work, the kit I used is the second to last one on this page: http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/subcategory.asp?SubCategoryID=119. It's 2.2mm, 3 feet long, and has a driver with a single AA battery.
Thank you VERY MUCH! for all your help! :D You have been MOST helpful! :D
salomon19963 years ago
on the acrylic tubing, how thick was the wall? 1/16 in. or 1/8 in. ? thanks!
izzyinsf (author)  salomon19963 years ago
1/16".
thanks
CyborgGold3 years ago
http://www.amazon.com/Polycarbonate-Tubing-Wall-Clear-Color/dp/B000OMJ4VU Gotta Love the Interwebz. This came up after a quick Google search. It's the 3/4 Polycarb tubing you want.
DabeAltis3 years ago
McMaster Carr carries a wide variety of polycarbonate and other plastics. I'm reasonably sure they would have the 3/4" tubing you want. How about listing some sources for the EL wire and driver kits. Thanks
izzyinsf (author)  DabeAltis3 years ago
EL wire kit is here: http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=168&SubCategoryID=119&GroupID=&SKU=WY-NH-LZ-3V From That's Cool Wire: 2.2mm, 3' length with a single AA driver.
xman3 years ago
That is the coolest thing I've seen in a while. I've wanted one of these since I saw 'em on flowtoys, but it never occurred to me to make one! McMaster has 3/4" ID, 1" OD polycarb tubing. Part # 8585K35. It's kind of expensive ($4.56/ft), but that's polycarb for ya. It also has 3/4" OD, 5/8" ID polycarb (8585K13) and 1/4" ID (8585K54), but by the choice of 1/4" acrylic rod for the core, I assume you want the 3/4" ID stuff.
tdetde3 years ago
Nice instructable! You might try http://www.smallparts.com for polycarbonate tubing.
izzyinsf (author)  tdetde3 years ago
Awesome, thank you. I knew someone would know where to find it!
Adum243 years ago
AWESOME!!! Just totally amazing! This is a great instructable! Keep it comin'!!!
Going to make one fer meself. Great instructable, and i have to know what song that was in the video, its great, my kiddo made me play it over and over.
izzyinsf (author)  metalman11383 years ago
ha thanks! the song is Roustabout (Bassnectar remix) by Beats Antique.
godofal3 years ago
it's amazing! you ask for constructive critism, but i honestly can't think of any, it's well-written, good photo's, great project, just great!
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