After a couple years in the garage, the wood was good and dry. I used 36 grit sandpaper to remove the bark and rough spots (though you can still see where the thorns grew out of the shaft), then progressively finer grades to shape and smooth it. The only power tool I used was a drill to hollow out the tip so I could mount a crystal. Thanks to Ashley for talking me out of trying to attach the beautiful but way-too-big purple and green crystal.
The engravings are Oghams, from the Celtic tree alphabet. They were done with a wood burning tool (which I suppose is technically a power tool since it runs on electricity). I managed to do all the engraving with only one small burn (on my left index finger), but I think I may have it for a while.
The wand with the black handle is the one I’ve been using since I made it in 2004. It was made from an oak dowel, shaped with a knife then finished with sandpaper. You may notice the “button” on the base – that caps a hollow handle, allowing me to put a “core” in it. Yes, I stole the idea from Harry Potter, but it makes sense that placing a magical substance inside a wand would increase its effectiveness. This one contains a feather I found in the back yard as I was making the wand. It seemed like it appeared for a purpose… I’ve never had a reason to doubt what that purpose was.