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Thread: Conductor Baton

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Martinsville, Indiana
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    81

    Conductor Baton

    A friend of mine is a music conductor. She has admired my woodturning in many projects. She has requested that I make her a conductor baton and I would like to do so for her for a Christmas gift. I will have no problem making the handle. However, I have no idea where to get the wand portion (it's a long thin piece of plastic ranging from 12-20"). I have searched the web and found several companies that sell completed batons, but not parts. Does anyone have any suggestions?


  2. #2
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    Aug 2004
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    Dayton, TX
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    3,173
    I wish I could help. Sounds like a good project.

    Ernie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    California
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    277
    I just did a quick search on Google. I found a few sites that use Birch as the shaft. Natural or painted. I also saw a few that were fiberglass. How about buying a cheap wand with a plastic or fiberglass shaft. Then cut off the handle and mount your own.
    Last edited by Loy Hawes; 10-17-2005 at 12:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
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    Jean, I just did a google search on plastic rods and got a few hits. There were several diferent colors including black and white. Here is one of the sites. modernplastics.com had some black ones 1/4" x 5' for about $4.00. Hope it helps.

    Ernie

  5. #5

    Baton

    I suggest a fishing store that custom makes fishing rods - The top end of a fishing rod blank may work well.

    How about a high tech graphite piece: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...equestid=79047
    Last edited by John Gornall; 10-17-2005 at 1:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    W'burg, VA
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    442

    baton

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Holland
    A friend of mine is a music conductor. She has admired my woodturning in many projects. She has requested that I make her a conductor baton and I would like to do so for her for a Christmas gift. I will have no problem making the handle. However, I have no idea where to get the wand portion (it's a long thin piece of plastic ranging from 12-20"). I have searched the web and found several companies that sell completed batons, but not parts. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Why buy it when you can turn it on the lathe? I have done little bitty turnings for things like 8in hair pins for ladies and don't see a problem with the baton challenge. All you have to do is start at the tip and work your way back to the handle. Use dry and tight grained wood with straight grain and little or no figure. Good luck! Phil
    Philip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    418

    Baton

    Hello Jean,
    I'm with Philip. Why buy something cheap when you can turn something exotic. I've been turning some magic wands and they are'nt too bad, some vibration, but not too much. Might try getting some corian and match it up with a nice piece of exotic wood, maybe ebony or cocobola. I know you can do it.

    Bobby
    Louisiana

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Nashville, Georgia
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    1,909
    Jean, I know your problem. Some batons get some pretty rough treatment betting banged up pretty bad by a conductor in the heat of an excieted movement in a piece of a music selection or by someone playing poorly. Wood will not stand up to this as good as fiberglass or some tough plastic. Some of the guys have given good suggestions. I like the idea of yard sale fishing rods. These things are tapered, but I would think the solid ones would be the best for a heavy handed conductor. Come to think of it in the years before they were made from plastic, I can remember seeing a conductor beating a wooden one all to pieces.
    Glenn Hodges
    Nashville, Georgia

    "Would you believe the only time I ever make mistakes is when someone is watching?"

  9. #9
    I was in the high school choir and our conductor broke his wooden baton 3 times during the year. (We goofed off a lot)!

  10. #10

    Try McMaster-Carr

    I actually do some work for a company that makes batons. I supply them with wooden baton cases. If you want to see my work go to www.premierbatons.com. Click on "go to store. There you will find their batons and my baton cases. Their batons are a turned handle with a fiberglass wand. I am also a band director as well so I know a little bit about batons.

    McMaster-Carr (www.mcmaster.com) has just what you need. Go to their sight and serach for item # 8543K27. Shipping will cost you more than the actual rod.

    One thing to keep an eye on is the balance of the baton. The baton should balance right in front of the handle. The heavier the handle, the longer the wand needs to be. If your friend wants a short baton then you need to use a lighter wood. If they want a longer baton you can use a heavier wood. Or if the combination of wood type and length won't let you get the balance you want you can also bore a hole in the butt end of the handle, add some weight and plug the hole.
    Last edited by Royce Meritt; 10-19-2005 at 12:42 PM.
    If fishing is a sport I MUST be an athlete!"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    105
    Actually try macmastercarr.com

  12. #12
    This is what I made for my sons band director when I noticed his baton was broken. It's 11 1/2" long because I didn't have a steady rest and it started flexing and bowing while it was spinning and it scared the heck out'ta me. It's made from curly maple and I dyed the head on it.

    Hope this helps for an idea.

    Joe
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Joe
    ------------------------------------------------


    Experience...is simply the name we give our mistakes.

    Oscar Wilde
    .................................................. ..................

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    70

    Batons

    Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show, but I have turned two batons, both made entirely of wood.

    The shaft should be a light colored wood. I used a piece of dogwood (storm felled), but holly would work as well.

    Spinning a 14" turning that thin is a delicate trick, but then you aren't risking a great amount of lumber. Use a chuck on the headstock end rather than a center; you won't have much structure to squeeze against. When it comes time to part off the tailstock end, use a saw. Don't try to cut all the way through with your chisel - too much chance of whip.

    Both the batons I have made were for my daughter's teachers, and will probably not get much use, so I did not consider plastic shafts. the handles were walnut with pieces of maple laminated in to make some contrast.

    The cases are walnut tubes with press fit between the ends, sort of like extra long cigar cases.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Martinsville, Indiana
    Posts
    81
    Thank you all for your input and suggestions. I will give the wooden one a try and also make one with fiberglass or plastic. Unfortunately, it's going to be a little while before I can attempt this. I am currently out of town on business. If all goes well, I'll post the results....look for them sometime around Christmas.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Winter Springs Fl
    Posts
    194

    Red face

    A spindle steady might help.
    Jim

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