Begleri, this is a really cool toy we discovered recently from Kostas Annikas Deftereos and Shogun-Jimi on YouTube. This toy is both fun and nerve-wracking to play with at the same time. Our begleri is made from two small wood beads that we made using a sander and drill that had a coarse-thread bolt insert. Oh, and we used some fancy red string.
If you are the video watching type, here is a short video showing how we did it. If you’d rather read and look at some pretty pictures, there are details and images below the video as well.
What You’ll Need
- Scrap Wood Dowel – we used a 1.5″ dowel
- String (shoelace, thin rope, etc)
- Bolt (coarse-thread is best)
- Preferred Finish (we used paste wax)
Choosing Your Wood
You could make these out of any wood really. If you watched the video then you know that we opted for using a dowel or rather, pieces of dowel, because of a mishap with our belt sander. Dowel pieces seem to work well for making begleri beads because they’re already half way to being a bead. The dowel we used was 1.5″ in diameter and we cut off pieces that were roughly 1 – 1.5″ thick.
Drilling The Holes
There are plenty of precise ways to drill a centered hole in these pieces. We used a pair of calipers that were set to half the diameter of the dowel and marked a light line both ways to make an “X”. This gave us our center point. We drilled through both pieces of dowel at the same time so they were close to being the same. Were our holes perfectly centered? Probably not, but it all worked out in the end.
Shaping and Sanding the Begleri Beads
Since we don’t currently own a lathe, we opted for shaping the beads on the sander; much like Shogun-Jimi, just a slightly different approach. To do this, we inserted a coarse-thread bolt into the holes we had drilled into the dowels. We had removed the head from the bolt so we could slide the un-threaded side of the bolt into the drill chuck. The head was easily removed with an angle grinder. After getting the bolt threaded into the dowel it was as easy as turning on the sander (belt or strip sander) and running the drill at the same time while pressing the pieces of dowel against the grain. We just kept shaping and sanding until we were happy with the size and shape.
Note – running the drill in such a way that the dowel spins against the movement of the belt will remove material very fast. To slow this process down, you can spin the dowel in the same direction as the belt. We did both.
Finishing the Beads
There are plenty of ways that you could finish the beads. We opted for paste wax and applied it using a piece of 1,000-grit sandpaper. It worked pretty well.
Threading the String Through the Beads
After looking at a ton of different resources on how long the string should be, we decided to go with the concept of having the string as long as the width of your palm. It seems that there are many different views on what this should be, but we preferred this method, since it looked a bit easier to learn.
We tied a knot in one end of the string, ran one bead onto it and then measured out the width of our hand, plus an inch for the knot. Then we ran the second bead onto the string, tied it off at our desired length and cut the excess. Then, we had a begleri. A novice begleri, but a begleri nonetheless.
So the final result is basically just two beads on a string. It doesn’t seem all that fascinating until you see what can be done with them. We are incredibly horrible at playing with them, since we are still learning. So instead of watching us fail miserably at it, below are some links to some videos of people that actually know how to use them.
Check out these videos to see a begleri in a professionals hands
We hope this project inspired you to try something new or that it was helpful to you in some way. If it was, let us know in the comments below or share your project with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Also, if you would like to help support more DIY projects, like this one, please share this with your friends and family or consider subscribing on YouTube. You can also support us on Patreon.