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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic - Magic Table (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ChristianR
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I was looking for inexpesive magic tables I could make. Is this a good one? I won't move it around too much so the bulkiness doesn't matter. I was wondering about the top fabric and a black art well for vanishes. Wouldn't you be able to see the "well" even with black velvet as a cover and bag or is there a better material out there to make the well inivisible?
Tarbell!
Cliffg37
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I have built this exact table, and to his specifications. The well is actually very visible to the audience. That is they see things on the table, and then it is gone. The only way this will work is if you are in a auditorium with ALL of the audience below you and looking up.

The rest of the table design is excellent, it folds well, is easy to decorate, and gives you more room to work with than you would imagine. It is also very inexpensive to build. If you are a good painter, or would cover it with fabric, you can use lower quality plywood. I used Birch for mine, not cheap, but nice and easy to work with.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
ChristianR
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I'll probably cover the sides with inexpensive felt. Whats a good surface material?
Tarbell!
Cameron Fisk
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I built this table a few years ago in school and I don't like the design very much. As for the well, I never built that into the table. But for the general usability of the table, I wouldn't recommend it very highly.

True, it folds flat and looks good if built correctly, but it is the most unstable table I have ever worked on. The reason for this is that it is shaped like a triangle at the base and this doesn't hold well for any force applied diagonally to the table top. If you can add a fourth point of contact and support to the floor or if you are just using the table to display or hold something, then it could work for you. As for a working table for a performance, I don't recommend it.

Cheers,

Cameron Fisk
Starrpower
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I, too, made this and found it to be unstable. However, the BA well was excellent; I used it for a bottle vanish and it killed. Still, I think you should consider something square or rectangular.
lancemagic
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I built a table that is simular to the table that Durane Lafflin uses with use shows. I got the idea from his video Greater Gospel Magic. He had a good section on using tables, what to look for in tables, and how to work around a table. I recommend the video set even if you do not do gospel magic. The table is an open top table, and I have two boards over the table to cover it in case I need to sit anything on the table.


Lance
Bill Hegbli
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As far as the Black Art well and material for the top. Re-read the instructions. It says in the book to use Velvet material. Then if you look at page 385 illustration H you will see how to conceal the Well.

Velvet absorbs light better then felt. The bright ribbon such as yellow maked the well disappear even at close range, say 6 feet or so.
Graduate of Chavez School of Prestidigitation and Showmanship
RayBanks
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The main problem I had with this table is it is quite small.

Someday I might take the design and make it a bit bigger by increasing the dimensions prportionately.

Also, it has to sit on a flat surface.
-------------
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wec1951
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I built the same table, but instead of the open black art well I installed a spring loaded trap door that I operate by a foot pedel behind the table. Works great.
kaytracy
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I built mine as the book instructs, added a base p[late, and some hook/eye bolts with a mini bungee to keep things in place and tight, I find it very stable with the bungee holding the mini shelf to the base, and the hooks holding the shelf into the upright!
Black Felt covering glued on the top, with a black velvet top cover for use, wtih 4 inch black bullion fringe (the thick upholstery stuff, not the swishy light flapper dress stuff)It lays on like a table cloth with a small bit for the BA that drops into the rear to make a smooth transition on the well. A servante catch to the rear, and I am all set!
The upright is painted with flat black borders and a red and yellow line pattern, and flat black for the base.
Fast and easy to make, minimal tools needed, the paint took the longest, patience between coats!
k
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PennyMagic4U
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Just a suggestion - try triple velvet fabric - it is the best thing for black art. Not heard of it - try it and you will never look back.

JCPENNY
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CharlaineC
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I would love to see photos if the spring loaded trapdoor. and of the base because I'm looking to build a new table. like Mark Wilson's but 3 sided not 2. with a built in trunk and draw and shelf as well as black art well or trap door and a flip up or down mirror hidden.
danielrannu
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Hello, speaking of magic folding table, have you ever guys heard mikame magic table? actually we have the table buit on our workshop, who knows you guys interested, please do not hessitate to contact me..if you guys happen to have extra time to visit my magic store here, would be glad to hear your comment..PS:sorry for the bad english Smile
AGMagic
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Mark's table should work fine. Keep the hooks & eyes tight so they hold the top on securely and be sure to add the shelf for stability. As suggested above, use Black Triple Velvet for the top and well and use a pattern of bright colored ribbon to camouflage the opening. Painting the base in bright colours will help to further disguise the well by distracting the eye.

If you want to research a variety of tables, look into "The Table Book" and "The Table Book II" By Gene Gloye and Jay Marshall, published by Ireland Magic Co. or Magic Inc. depending on the printing.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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AGMagic
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Just realized this post thead is 6 years old. Oh well. At least the information is still good.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
kazam65
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I just saw some of the tables that Mike, a fellow magish here on the Café' makes himself and they are GREAT! You can get ahold of him here, he goes by "The Magic Ref"
wizardofsorts
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My father made one of these for me when I first went pro 10 years ago. I used it weekly for 5 years. It is some what easy to knock over if you are not careful. I still have mine. I will probably keep it forever. It meant so much to me when he made it.

Edd
Chicago Magician Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
darylrogers
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I made the Mark Wilson table following the instructions in the book. I think it turned out pretty good. I made two tops, one with the BA well and one without. I used a bright yellow tape around the edge of both tops, and strips of the tape to disguise the well. I think you are get pretty close to the well without seeing it, though I haven't incorporated it into my show yet. I like the idea of adding a base, I think I'll do that to give it more stability.

My only complaint about the table is that there is hardly any room on the shelves to put props. The shelves are small and fill up really quickly. I ended up using a card table to hold the props for the show, I have it off to one side. I will eventually build a larger table with three sides, using the same construction ideas of the Wilson table, keeping it simple and easy to set up and tear down.

I was also thinking of building another table like the one I already have, and using the two small tables on each side of the stage with the large on in the middle. But then I would be dragging three tables around, and I don't know if I want to do that or not. One last comment about the triangular Wilson table, I think it is nice for a fast set-up and tear-down, almost like a portable close-up table, in the right setting.
Michael Baker
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I think the Mark Wilson table design is good as long as you understand how it is intended. Because it lacks room, it cannot be considered a main working table, except for very small acts. It is not the same as say, a niteclub or suitcase table. I would not consider doing an entire show from one.

It does however, make an excellent side table, or one to work a single routine from. You may have to carry around some extra equipment, but the added eye candy really adds to the audience's impression of your show. Study the older acts that would have used perhaps the Thayer or P&L tables. A couple of side tables added to an act can make your show look a lot bigger. If you don't want them onstage the entire time, maybe you can work with an assistant who can move them on and off easily, bringing the necessary props out as they are needed. This can often look better than you digging around inside a single table filled with the props for 8 or 10 different tricks.

Use the basic structural design as a starting point to give your show a special or personalized look. Don't overlook the fact that you can really play with the visual design on these things. They are so inexpensive to make that you can customize a special table for the client you are working for. The basic table should only cost you 20 or 30 bucks to make. I would also recommend using pin hinges instead of the hook and eye hardware. The advantage of the hook and eye is that they can't get lost, but they are not the greatest for a good, tight attachment. Make a ziplock bag full of pins made from coat hanger wire, and you'll have extras even if you lose some.

Spend a little extra time, and instead of just rectangular pieces, you can make rabbit tables, dragons, or just about anything else.

Image
~michael baker
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Ed_Millis
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I started with this table maybe 10 years ago - made two out of 3/8" plywood.
Had a few accidents and near-misses with kids leaning on the front corners!
I added a 12" flat front piece, and used window latches underneath to secure the top.
My next step is to mount a base onto a hand truck and secure this table to the truck.
Fold the sides into the 12" and strap shut with the top on the side, and I'm packed.
All my stuff fits inside in 12x12 boxes.
Roll it in, open up and secure the top, and attach the table cloth that hide the hand truck.

Ed
MikeHolbrook
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Even though I didn't start this thread, I want to thank everyone for the replies. I have the book and a shop and the materials, now maybe I will have the push to build the table.

Mike
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-06-03 06:35, MikeHolbrook wrote:
Even though I didn't start this thread, I want to thank everyone for the replies. I have the book and a shop and the materials, now maybe I will have the push to build the table.

Mike


If you can, please post some photos here. Good luck with the build! Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
darylrogers
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I have worked on my table after reading these posts and made a few modifications to the original design to make it sturdier. First I added pins (just nails with the heads trimmed off) to the shelf brackets and corresponding holes in the shelf bottoms so the shelves would be held in place and to keep the table legs tightly spread.
Image


Since the pin holes do not line up exactly each shelf has to go in the proper place, so I put a drop of white paint on the bottom of shelf one and two drops of paint on the bottom of shelf two, and corresponding marks on the shelf brackets.
Image


I made a base the same dimensions as the table top. I added a stop-piece on the top of the base to snug the corner of the legs into, and added a pin at that location as well.
Image


So the base is secured to the legs by two hook-and-eyes in the back and the pin going into the legs at the front.
Image


I added a pin to the table top as well.
Image


On the advice of my magician friend Kevin Wilson, I added a lip around the table top to keep things like
sponge balls and wands from rolling off.
Image


Image


I spray painted the exterior parts of the table gloss black and the interior parts flat black, and covered the table top and shelf tops with black felt. I realize the table is not very fancy looking but it is quite functional, easy to set up and tear down, not very heavy and inexpensive to build.

Image


Image
Michael Baker
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That'll do it! Good idea with the pins.

Just FYI - If you are the only person to ever see into the back of your table, you might want to consider painting it white... at least the shelves. It makes it a lot easier to see your props inside. If you are ever performing where the strong light comes from the front, a black interior will turn into a dark cave. Smile

~michael
~michael baker
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darylrogers
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Another excellent idea! I will do that.
darylrogers
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I also made the BA table top. Here are a few images of that. If you want to see the gimmick from the back and loaded with the cup, send me a PM with your email address and I will send you those.

Image


Image


Image


Image
Leland Stone
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Daryl, that's pretty cool! Smile

Michael, thanks for the tips, as always!
Dreadnought
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I built the table, it took a day and half. I wasn't too pleased with the way the BA well turned out. The crowd does have to be below you, since I am a stage magician;/mentalist this was no problem, but I was really wanting something for close up work. I made another top, minus the BA well, and just rolled with that. I do like the idea of the spring loaded trap door.
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Autumn Morning Star
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Dreadnought,
Did you try triple velvet? Use that with some bright colored ribbon and outline the BA well. This tricks the eyes very well. I will start a new thread and take some photos so you can see what I mean.

I have been using these tables for years, but with modifications to the original design. The airlines do not allow much in the way of weight, so if I am doing a solo show I have to keep that weight under 50 lbs per trunk or pay an extra $90. I don't really want to pass that along to the client, so I made my tables much lighter using 1/4" ply and covering the audience side with black Naugahyde. They are very stable, because I made detachable bases, tops and middle triangle shelves.

I Velcro these together instead of using a latch. So how do I hinge the body of the table together? I use something called a Chicago Sex Screw. (No, really, it IS called this. Geez, I bet they censor me and I work for The Café'!) It is a 1/4" barrel bolt. You can also use t-nuts. I will post a new topic with photos and show you what I mean!
A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Colin Powell
Michael Baker
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On another forum, some of us mentioned the book, "Black Art Well Tricks for the 80's". This has some info within that describes some ideas that tend to take the heat off the wells. By applying some of that info and a bit of lateral thinking, you can probably come up with a design that should work for your specific applications.

Spring loaded traps are cool, but each should be calibrated to the object to be used with it.

To be honest, it is better to view such a utility device (black art wells), as less utilitarian, and more specific to a need.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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