I originally posted this in response to a question on the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo group and realize that it might be useful here, too.
Tri-string wands can be extremely primitive or elegant. I am using a very primitive wand and getting beautiful bubbles and tubes from just a couple of 48" dowels and some simple cotton twine. My first wand used 18-inch bamboo garden stakes and string. It is quite effective. Here it is:
Sterling laid it out nicely on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group. Here are step-by-step instructions for a really primitive wand (which will work nicely).
- Get your handles/poles. They can be anything from chopsticks for a small wand to garden stakes to dowels to .... well just about anything. For small wands, bamboo garden stakes are handy -- they are cheap and light.
- A metal washer may be handy. It may help keep the string straight and make dipping into the container easier. If the loop material is self-closing, a washer will help keep the loop open. If the loop holds a lot of juice, though, you may not need a washer. Read more about this topic here.
- Get your string. You can use simple cotton twine (sometimes called cooking twine or butcher's string) or something heavier. Cotton (but not polyester) shoelaces work okay. For a big wand, you could use cotton clothesline although I find a couple of strands of twisted twine to be sufficient when you have a wand where the top=string is in the 36 to 48-inch range. For smaller wands, a single strand of twine works just fine (it does for bigger wands, too but they will benefit from another strand or two).
- Decide how big you want your wand to be. The "loop" is going to be made from two lengths of string: the top-string and the bottom-string. (My first wand had an 18-inch top string -- and we had loads of fun with it and created some really beautiful bubbles.)
- Cut two lengths of string: a top-string and a bottom-string that is twice the top-strings length.
- Thread the longer string through the washer IF you have decided to use one.
- Tie the two strings together at both ends to make a loop.
- Connect the loop to your handles/poles. There are many ways to connect the loop to your handles. For my first wand, I cut two pieces of string a few inches long and tied one end tightly to the pole and the other end to place where the top string and bottom-string met. For later wands, I tied a short string to each pole and tied a swivel on the other and so that I can clip and unclip wand loops from the poles which makes swapping loops easy.
There are much more elegant designs that people have but this should get you started.
For more about wands, see the Wands article.