I recently decided to make a magic wand with my son as a small project. He's been showing it off a bit (despite being very simple/basic), and now we've been asked to make a bunch more for family/friends.
Before I do, I'd like to know if there's an easier or more effective way to do this. They're being made from 1/2" oak dowels (straight from a big box store), about a foot or so long:
I didn't want to use a lathe, mainly because it's so thin in some areas. So, I ended up using the outer edge of a disc sander to shape most of it. It was somewhat tedious, and it's not as symmetrical and "smooth" as I'd like. There's also a limit on the angle/shape of "cuts", since I can only hold it to the sander at so much of an angle.
They would all be a bit differently shaped, with varying handle sizes, groove locations, etc. So I'm guessing anything that uses some sort of shaped jig wouldn't work.
So, my main questions are: Would it be safe on a lathe to go down to about half diameter? If not, what would the best tool for the job be?