This article provides the steps for making a multi-loop style bubble wand whose central hoop is made from PEX tubing. It features an exclusive bridge and handle design. It makes use of a central hoop to which mini-wands are attached. The design can be adapted (as shown in other articles) to allow for zip ties or other materials to be used in place of the mini-wands.
It can be made with materials that are generally easy to find and uses ordinary tools. It requires a bit of precision. Though it can be tedious and repetitious to make, the result is awesome. You will have to invest some time and patience, but you will be well rewarded. Note: It is a very good idea to dab some silicone into the open ends of any straw pieces as a sealer and to prevent them from filling up with bubble juice.
You can use this method for making any size wand desired--you just have to make adjustments according to the size you want. Recommended sizes are 60 loop and 100 loop (100 loop uses a 40 1/2" long PEX tube and is 19" in diameter when finished (hoop diameter without loops is 15").
To begin, start by drilling holes 3/4" from the end at each end of a length of PEX tubing, I secure it with screws to a long piece of wood plank to hold it secure (as shown).' Note: If you are using Pi (3.14) to determine either the length or radius make sure you include 5 1/2" for the bridge in your calculation.
...it is important to have the PEX tubing secure at each end and very straight. For a 100 loop wand you will be drilling 50 holes.
Your PEX tubing must be 40 1/2" long. A wand with 60 loops will be 33 1/2" long (40 holes--the inside ring of loops will only utilize every other hole since it is a smaller diameter). Mark the PEX tubing every 20mm--make your marks as close to 20mm exactly as you can. Use the Sharkbite markings as a guide as these are perfectly down the center.
To ensure as much precision as possible, and lacking the proper tools such as a small drill press, I take a soldering iron and burn a starting point at each mark for my drill. Be as precise as you can.
Cut a 1/2"- 1" piece of wooden dowel that wil fit inside the PEX tubr.
Before you permanently attach the bridge to the hoop, you need to ensure your bubble sticks (loops) will point to the exact center of the hoop AND that they are level. Take a long straw(s) and insert it (them) into the hoop holes at various points to make sure the loops will not be pointing up too high or too low--they need to be level after attaching the hoop to the bridge. This is critical.
You can twist the PEX and get the straws in the right position.
...as shown. Notice that the straws all meet at the center of the hoop.
You can see here the straws are equally level after adjusting the PEX tubing and attaching the bridge.
...fitted snugly into the end(s) of the hoop piece. This will reinforce the connection with the bridge piece.
Most people do not have a small drill press so it becomes very important to try and drill every hole as straight up and down as possible so that each bubble stick points to the exact center of the hoop when it curved onto the bridge assembly. This is very critical. I use a 13/64" drill bit to accommodate the size of straw I am using. This makes a very tight fit.
Making the bridge for the handle. The bridge design is important as it will keep a large film from formaing in the center of the hoop after dipping. The pieces shown are all CPVC 1/2". In order to connect each fitting to the other you need to cut 3/4" long pieces from a 1/2"pice of CPVC tubing (as shown).
CRITICAL--The bottom fittings are at a slight angle to coincide with the circular shape of your hoop. The angle will vary according to the size of your hoop.
...a closer look
Secure the hoop to the bridge. Note that the handle screws onto the bridge to make it more compact for travel.
You can start snipping off the figure 8 end of the bubble sticks.....
...and cutting your straw pieces. I cut my straw pieces 2" and 2 1/2". NOTE: Your straws have to be a very sturdy straw type. I use the kind that balloons are attached to when they are sold.
Part of the tedium finished
In order to secure the loops without using glue or adhesive you need to pinch the side of the stick.....
....as shown. This will create a snug fit for the loop inside the straw piece.
...or you can cut the end of the straw to an angle to make it easier to fit inside the hole(s).
Stagger the loops as shown to maximize the use of available space. NOTE: For smaller diameter hoops you may have to eliminate every other loop on the inside diameter to allow for adequate space betwen loops.
If you drill a hole that is bit oblong and loose you can sleeve the straw piece to make a snug fit by cutting a short piece of straw in half lengthwise and inserting both together as shown.
A 60 loop wand with a 15 1/2" outside diameter (hoop is 11 1/2"-12") Notice that on every wand, each bubble stick points to the exact center of the hoop--this is absolutely necessary so the spacing between loops is uniform. Also note that every other loop on the inside diamter has been eliminated to allow for adequate space between each loop since this hoop has a smaller overall diamter.
60 loop wands with a slight variation in design including cord covered zip tie loops in the center.