Harry Potter Light Up Wand?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by potterfan93, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. potterfan93

    potterfan93 New Member

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    Dear forum,
    I am a begginer prop maker with almost no knowledge of prop-making. However I'm a die hard Harry Potter fan.
    Since the only light up wands from WB collection are too fat and fragile, I was thinking of making my own light up wand, with my own custom design. (Possibly with an RGB LED and 3 Buttons)
    I want this wand to be a play thing, not a collectors item that sits on the shelf, so I want it to be DURABLE (for LARPing).


    For the material of the wand itself I was thinking of making it from epoxy putty, because it doesn't require baking, so I can just wrap it around the pre-soldered LED circuit. (instead of running the wires through a hollow wand which is not a good solution IMHO, because it will create a rattling noise inside the wand)
    I'm just a bit worried that epoxy putty might be a bit too fragile, since I want the wand to be quite thin and long.


    Does anybody have an idea for such a durable material? I'm talking about a material that I will be able to drop as many times as I want without it breaking. I want the material to be so strong that if I wanted to I could use the wand as a drumstick. Preferably I want a material that weighs the same as wood.


    Also, I'll be happy for any kinds of tips about this kind of project.


    Thanks in advance,
    Potterfan93
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  2. potterfan93

    potterfan93 New Member

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    Re: Light Up Wand?

    *polite bump*
     
  3. Gamera68

    Gamera68 Active Member

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  4. potterfan93

    potterfan93 New Member

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    Re: Light Up Wand?

    I have looked at several guides. My main concern is choosing the right material for the wand and I have yet to find a good solution anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  5. Gamera68

    Gamera68 Active Member

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  6. Philly

    Philly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I would use brass tube as the base. It's strong, comes in multiples lengths/thickness and a bit of tissue would stop any ratttles. Then you can build around with with most materials without worrying about damage.
     
  7. potterfan93

    potterfan93 New Member

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    Intresting solution. Although wouldn't putty-like materials detach from the brass the first time it's dropped?
    Isn't there any kind of non-baking putty that can be used for the entire wand?
     
  8. Miker

    Miker Well-Known Member

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    One quick thought...how about using a drumstick like you mentioned as your base, and bondo as the material to build up your thickness/tapers etc.

    You could put a slot in the stick to put your wires and once in, bondo them in.

    If you are using led's, a watch/hearing aid battery enclosure at the bottom could also be put in where you house enough power for your light with access from the very bottom of the wand.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. ATL Kenobi

    ATL Kenobi Well-Known Member

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    potterfan93,

    I've made 2 illuminating HP wands; a Prof. McGonagall and a Prof. Snape (post #14). Both of these wands use a combination of brass tube and wood dowel. Although I wouldn't try it, the Prof. Snape wand could probably be used as a "drum stick", the Prof McGonagall one, not so much. I believe I have drawings for these somewhere. If you'd like, I can try to find them and I'll post them here.

    I also used a similar approach for the Hagrid's umbrella I'm still working on. The batteries and LED are in the tip covered by a brass ferrule. The switch is near the handle (white dot), with a pair wires running in a trough to connect them. If you zoom-in on the picture you can see the wood filler used to cover the wires. I'd be hesitant to hit a drum with this approach as well.

    Miker's approach using an actual drum stick is a good suggestion I believe. You're still faced with the major problem of being able to change the batteries. Probably a brass tube in the handle end would make a good battery holder. Access to a drill press would make this easier.

    As for the the RGB LED wand, I've been contemplating a design for years. Adafruit has a real good tutorial. Although the gist of the tutorial is using an Arduino processor for Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control, there's adequate info presented for the 3 switch approach you mentioned. Of course you'll be limited to 7 colors - red, blue, green, yellow, cyan, magenta, and white. A subtlety with designing this type wand is how to arrange and mount 3 switches in the handle that can easily be pushed with thumb and/or fore finger without being obtrusive? Also, the batteries have to go in the handle (as opposed to the shaft), otherwise you'll have four wires to contend with when you change the batteries.

    Hope this helps.

    ATL
     
  10. Pocko

    Pocko Active Member

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    Hi, just a quick thought. I think a putty-type material over brass tube would be a very good solution. It just depends on the type of putty. The "Green Stuff" that Games Workshop sells would be ideal. It's quite sticky, and sets with a slight flex to it, so it wouldn't shatter on impact when dropped etc. Any wires rattling inside the tube could, as above, be muffled somehow.
     
    potterfan93 likes this.
  11. potterfan93

    potterfan93 New Member

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    First of all, all three look impeccable. Well done!
    I would VERY much be interested in the McGonagall wand schematics, as I need to fashion some kind of battary compartment. Did the large screw function as a lid for the battery compartment?
    I did some thinking about where should I place the 3 buttons, although it's the least of my problems IMHO. The Arduino tutorial is nice, although I won't use an Arduino unit; just a simple 3-button setup.

    Thanks, that sounds good. Could I use Green stuff for the entire wand body? If not, why? Will it be too heavy?
     

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