22

We see a fair number of wands in Ollivander's shop. When Harry visits to be chosen by his first wand, he sees "thousands of narrow boxes". In another answer it is estimated that Ollivander sells about 160 wands each year. It appears he has a great surplus in his shop.

How long does it take Ollivander to make a wand? Or, how many wands can he make in a year?

  • 29
    You can't trust any number JKR puts in a book or statement. She doesn't know how numbers relate to each other. – Jack B Nimble Jun 30 '17 at 16:03
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    The wand shop was established in 382 BC some of the wands could be very old, waiting patiently for the right owner. So there is no calculation that can be made to the number of wands in the shop and length of time to make one – Jeremy French Jun 30 '17 at 16:17
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    Maybe he has some house elves helping him round the back. Stuffing a unicorn hair in a stick can't be that difficult, after all. – The Dark Lord Jun 30 '17 at 17:45
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    @JackBNimble or else it's just the rest of us that don't understand Arithmancy. ;) – Wildcard Jun 30 '17 at 22:45
21

Not very long at all.

Ollivander makes Luna Lovegood a new wand in a matter of weeks in Deathly Hallows.

Mr Ollivander had sent Luna a new wand that morning. She was out on the back lawn at that moment, testing its capabilities in the late afternoon sun.
(Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26, Gringotts).

This occurs the day before the raid on Gringotts. Based on the dates which JKR uses in the documentary J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life, the Battle of Hogwarts took place on 2nd May 1998. This is backed up by her tweets - she has taken to tweeting on 2nd May each year to apologise for killing off characters in the battle. Using this timeline, the Gringotts break-in took place on 1st May and Luna received her new wand on 30th April.

Ollivander can't have started making the wand until after he left Shell Cottage. Unfortunately, we don't know when exactly this was. However, it can't have taken him more than a month. We know that it was already April by the time he left.

"I'm sorry," he told Fleur, one blustery April evening as he helped her prepare dinner. "I never meant for you to have to deal with all this."
(Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25, The Wandmaker).

So making her wand could've taken him a couple of hours or it could've taken him several weeks. But it took him no more than one month.

I would expect him to be able to produce more than one wand a month. As the question says, he owns thousands of wands at any given moment. Given that he sells hundreds of wands every year he must be able to make a dozen or so every month to make sure his supplies don't get depleted. Although, as Jeremy French says, some of the wands may have been on the shelves for a very long time.

  • 5
    @NKCampbell It wouldn't be a case of having another one of those same wands on the shelf, since no two Ollivander wands are the same, but it's possible that somewhere in stock was another wand suited to Luna. However, given his personal relationship with Luna and all the good points The Dark Lord makes, I've always assumed it was custom built. But I'm willing to admit up here and down there it is an assumption I've never really questioned, but I don't think you're gonna get any better clues in cannon and The Dark Lord is currently doing a great job of showing why the assumption is pretty – Au101 Jun 30 '17 at 20:17
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    reasonable, which is why I'm quite glad they left their answer up cause I think they deserve the points more =) – Au101 Jun 30 '17 at 20:17
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    @NKCampbell Not to mention (as I write below) not only does Hermione not get a wand either, but she actually says "'I wish Mr Ollivander could have made me another one too.'" Now maybe Hermione's under a misapprehension about just how Luna got her wand, but it seems like the author's hinting at something there – Au101 Jun 30 '17 at 20:44
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    @Au101 I agree, Hermione's statement is really as good as an authorial confirmation that Luna's wand was custom-made. – The Dark Lord Jun 30 '17 at 21:10
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    I'd say the Hermione quote is the most definite answer - good catch! – NKCampbell Jun 30 '17 at 21:28
13

According to JKR's Twitter, as quoted in this article, The Battle of Hogwarts took place on 2nd May, which means that the Gringotts break-in was on the morning of 1st May. Luna is shown playing with a new wand the day before:

Mr Ollivander had sent Luna a new wand that morning. She was out on the back lawn at that moment, testing its capabilities in the late afternoon sun.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.420 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 26, Gringotts

So that's the 30th April.

Mr Ollivander is shown returning home just a few pages earlier (p.414) on the very day of Teddy Lupin's birth. Unfortunately, I can't find an exact date but it can only be a few days, weeks at the most. Teddy Lupin is frequently referred to in Google search results as having been born in April, so a weak Ollivander made Luna's wand in less than a month. This is obviously after having been tortured and imprisoned in shocking conditions for over a year and in amongst settling back in at home. So I'd say at full capacity, the answer to your question is: not that long. It's hard to get the upper bound to be more precise than a month, but I should have thought it was a lot less than that especially as, as your question points to, he probably needs to average 3 a week just to keep up with demand.

  • Haha, great minds... – The Dark Lord Jun 30 '17 at 18:37
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    How do we know that Olivander made that wand rather than just sending her one that he had in stock? – Dave Johnson Jun 30 '17 at 18:49
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    @TheDarkLord But he went somewhere because he had to send the wand. Do we know he didn't have a stock somewhere else? What evidence do we have that he actually made that wand right then and there? – Dave Johnson Jun 30 '17 at 19:46
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    @DaveJohnson Another thing to consider is that Dean is explicitly shown as not having been sent a wand. You'd've thought that if it was as simple as getting one out of storage Dean might've got one too. Now again it's not 100%, he spent time in captivity with Luna so maybe he'd know her and what wand would suit her better than he would know Dean, but then he does 'remember every wand he ever sold' so you'd've thought he'd know what wand Dean favoured last time – Au101 Jun 30 '17 at 20:38
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    @DaveJohnson Not to mention (feeling a little bit thick now) not only does Hermione not get a wand either, but she actually says "'I wish Mr Ollivander could have made me another one too.'" Now maybe Hermione's under a misapprehension about just how Luna got her wand, but it seems like the author's hinting at something there – Au101 Jun 30 '17 at 20:43

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