WARNING: Please use any and all precautions necessary when working with power tools. There is a significant amount of sanding involved in this project, so please make sure you have access to a dust mask or filter of some sort. Also, if you choose to replicate this project using cocobolo, be aware that many people are allergic to its dust and you might be one of them. If in doubt, go with a wood you've worked with and know is safe.
Step 1: Materials
- *Safety glasses
- *A dust mask
- A piece of material for the handle (3/4" in diameter, at least 3 inches or so long)
- A piece of 3/16" poplar dowel, 14" long or so
- A 3/16" drill bit
- *A lathe
Step 2: Some Prep Work and Drilling
Since I use the live center that came with my lathe, I thinned down the end of the blank a bit first so that, later on, I could still use the live center to steady the piece (this will make more sense in later pictures). If you have a cone center or your blank isn't all that long, you can skip this step.
Now, taking your 3/16" drill bit, measure how long you want your hole to be. Mark the end point with a piece of tape and start drilling.
Step 3: Shaping and Parting Off
Step 4: Finishing the Handle
Step 5: Making the Shaft
Cut off a length of 3/16" dowel (I'm using poplar here, birch would also work nicely. Don't try to use pine as it will most likely splinter.) and put it in the chuck. Using a coarse grit of sandpaper (I used 60, which is probably the lowest I'd suggest going), start sanding the heck out of the dowel. You should end up with a smooth taper, where the end is about 1/16" in diameter or so. Once you've got the taper roughed out, progress through the grits until 600 or so, then use your standard finishing routine.
When you do this step, ALWAYS make sure you're restraining the end of the shaft in some way, as it will start to whip around and probably snap off and hurt you if you leave it unattended.
Step 6: Fitting and Gluing
Congratulations, you're done! Now go conduct a symphony, use it as a wand, or give it to a chem teacher to stir solutions. I'm not kidding about that one.