Sunday, August 14, 2016

Project: Harry Potter Style Wand and Case

For my Harry-Potter-loving, soon-to-be sister-in-law's birthday, we decided to make a couple of magic wands.

I started with three pieces of 7/8" square walnut, each about 15" long.

That's a Glenlivet 16 year Scotch, if you're curious

I decided to try a couple of styles. I hand carved the first wand using the hatchet, chisel, and knife. The second wand was a bit more complicated. 


I don't own a lathe, but I do own a drill.

I drilled pilot holes in each end of the walnut, then drilled screws into each end. On the left side, I put a hex nut on the screw before driving it into the walnut. I tightened my bench vise on the hex nut, giving me a flexible, low friction rotation point. 

I clamped my drill to the bench at an angle so that the walnut would rotate smoothly. Then I tightened the chuck on the screw at the right end of the walnut. 

This worked surprisingly well. I didn't have a knife rest, so I opted to use a file for most of the work. I started with a rough file and gradually rounded out the piece.

After establishing the basic shape, I switched to a fine file and finalized the shape. Then I used 80, 120, and 320 grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish. 

Finally, I used a water-based protective finish to keep the wands in good condition but not detract from the natural color of the wood.


I wanted to make a case which felt like it could have been pulled from a thousand-year old shelf. I started by ripping 1/8 and 1/4 walnut planks.  

  • Sides: 1/4x2x14"
  • Top: 1/8x2.5x14"
  • Bottom: 1/8x2.5x13.5
  • Ends: 1/8x2x2.5
Using a table saw, I cut groves in the sides to accommodate the top, bottom, and ends.

I put Titebond wood glue in the grooves, then clamped it together (leaving out the top).

I sanded it with 80 grit sandpaper.

Finally, I used boiled linseed oil to protect it and give it a timeless look.


Copyright 2016 Tyler Smith

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