Introduction: Mystical Wizard Wand
I love making stuff. Mostly for my family and myself. I have made many pens on the lathe with resin and other materials.
One day, a family friend asked if I could make a Wizard Wand for their son's birthday. Their son is a VERY big fan of the the famous wizardry novels by the author J.K. Rowling. I honestly doubted my own abilities at the time and decided to give it a try. Before this particular wand, I actually made 2 other prototypes (just to see if I could do it). The first I kept for myself and it makes a wonderful pointer in the classroom where I teach. The second was much nicer and I gave it to the mother who asked me to make one for her son. All three of them had acrylic resin in them.
I had no idea, getting into this project, that there is so much information one needs to know about wand making. Every aspect of a wand has a meaning, a power, and attribute. In this particular instance there was also the consideration of which "house" the new owner was affiliated with. So without further ado, I would like you to enjoy this hybrid custom wand I made with Epoxy, Oak, and Embellishments.
- Material to make a Resin Mold
- Embellishments (to set into the resin)
- Oak (or any wood you prefer)
- Velvet fabric material
- Quilting Padding
- Hot Glue
- Wood Glue
- Cyanoacrylate adhesive
- 5 minute epoxy (oops)
- Spray lacquer
- favorite color of stain
- sharp razor knife
- straight edge
- Lathe with chisels
- Hot Glue Gun
- Wood burning tool (Pyrography)
- Screw driver
Step 1: Gather You Ideas
When you make a wand and want it to be personalized you may want to consider what you want in it.
Wand enthusiasts call this the "Wand Core"
This is what contributes the the powers and focus of the wand.
For my young wizard there was a need for feathers and the colors of canary yellow and black. If you are familiar with the books written by J.K. Rowling, you are able to deduce the "house" our young wizard is affiliated with. As far as anything else was concerned, I was given the freedom to create whatever I felt looked good or worked.
Okay so the feather was easy. The family spends a good amount of time at a local pet store. The pet store has one parrot in particular who is, for the most part, the store mascot. I was able to get some of the feathers that were naturally shed for free.
The colors of canary yellow and black, that started to present a challenge. I did a fair amount or searching and found a Swarovski crystal set made specifically and marketed for the J.K. Rowling books. Can you say Wand Bling?
Step 2: Making the Resin Mold & Breaking Something
First we need to start with a piece of wood, some measurements, and a material to make something that is able to form and hold the resin while it is in a liquid state. This is where everything will sit while is hardens (cures).
My desire for this wand was to have a broken piece of wood separated and then stretched apart. Between the broken pieces is where the Wand Core would be suspended.The wood I chose was oak. I had to break a piece of oak? Really? Yes, really. The oak piece was placed two bricks in the driveway and proceeded to hit it with a B.F.H. (Big Freaking Hammer). After several attempts the oak piece is now in two pieces.
For the mold I literally used a discarded plastic sign used for advertising a Texas Lottery ticket. Perfect! its rigid, cuttable, and semi-pliable. Not that these attributes were needed, but they did make the task much easier. The sign was cut to dimension around my broken piece of oak and all the seams were sealed with hot glue.
Now that the two pieces of oak and custom lottery sign mold have been made it is time to get those three things together and start some acrylic magic!
Step 3: Acrylic Wand Layers
When I made this wand, making an Instructable was not my focus. So there were so many missed opportunities for photos. The wand was anything but fast. There was a need to maintain a 3 dimensional aspect within the wand core. That meant multiple resin pours to create multiple levels. The wait time for each layer was a minimum of 48 hours. After the final pour the manufacture of my resin suggested a 7 to 10 day wait for a full cure of the resin before any tooling should be done.
The entire wait time before I could start turning the wand on the lathe was 2 weeks. The suspense was horrible.
This wand was poured in 5 layers all of which welded seamlessly together.
- The first layer was the outside of the wand
- The second layer was a few of the gemmed crystals and the feather's root (setting it so it could transition into the other layers).
- The third layer was more of the gemmed crystals.
- The fourth layer was more of the gemmed crystals.
- The fifth and final layer was the other outside of the wand.
Step 4: FINALLY! 14 Days Later
It was time to get this thing on the lathe.
Before we get too much into this, I would like to explain to anyone considering a lathe project that the raw piece we want to shape on a lathe is called a "Blank."
I took the new hybrid blank made from oak, acrylic, and stuff and mounted it on the lathe between centers.
I have to apologize to all of you at this point. I am alone in my shop and unless you have the proper equipment to hold cameras, it is frowned upon by the Safety Police to hold a camera and chisel while working a lathe. So these are my images as I started to get the wand closer to my vision.
All together at this point has been about 3 hours of slow careful love put into the turning of the wand.
The shine you see here is from sanding and polishing. To refine acrylic on the lathe, Cyanoacrylate adhesive makes an wonderful finish. However, even with the Cyanoacrylate adhesive placed sometimes more tooling may be necessary. Sometimes it is a matter of tooling, finishing, tooling again, and finishing again.
Step 5: AH F@$&!!!!
I went back to tool one area that just wasn't quite right for me.
As I was turning the wand, my chisel caught the acrylic just right and... SNAP!
Sometimes your heart can just drop..
The wand broke and my sadness was just immeasurable.
I took some time to ponder my options and considered just quitting for the day.
And then it dawned on me, 5 minute epoxy to the rescue
I collected my broken pieces, mixed some epoxy, and place everything back on the lathe. As everything was pieced back together and glued, I wrapped it in simple blue painters' tape to hold everything in place. I then pressed the pieces together with the lathe. Not wanting to chance anything I let the wand sit there for for 3 days.
Upon my return I smoothed the fracture site with more sand paper and Cyanoacrylate adhesive.
Step 6: My Bonus Gift!
So we are dealing with a kid whose love for the story just goes far beyond any fandom. I decided to look at my scraps of wood because I love working with wood and I have scraps. I decided that NO WAND CAN GO WITHOUT A CASE!
As I was rooting around in my scraps I found some old (and I mean really old) aromatic cedar left over from a dining room chair refurbishment I did many years ago.
The box was simple enough but who could resist making it even better. Pyrography is not something I have done much of, and the thought of doing this was so nerve racking. I set out one Saturday morning around 6:00 am to make this happen. Armed with coffee and a inkjet stencil, I started working. I must have totally gotten lost in the details because when I had finished it was around 3:00 in the afternoon
But it was nothing less than AWESOME!
A light sanding to the box, a few coats of spray lacquer later, and a wand case was born.
The next morning I lined the wand case with quilted padding and red velvet, and added the box hardware.
Step 7: The Grand Presentation
The wand and it's case were finished.
The time had come for it to go to a new home. The mother and father arrived to see what I had created and everyone was excited (even me).
I unveiled the wand. Needless to say they absolutely loved it.
After all the "thank you's" and "you did a great job" comments were completed they started to leave our home with the wand. It was at that exact moment I felt a pit in my gut. As if some one had just taken my child away from me. I am pleased that the wand is in a loving home but there is a big part of me that did not want to let it go.
It is hard to let go of something you made with such love and care.
And I know the question is; Would you do it again?
The answer pure and simple is, YES.
In fact, the fourth wand I have ever made is on the lathe right now and it's owner won't stop pestering me for a sneak peak.
Thank you so much for taking the time to let me show you my creation. I hope that this Instructable has inspired you to try creating something that is outside of your comfort zone. I did and it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Second Prize in the
Epoxy Speed Challenge