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Topic: Zig Zag Lady
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 4, 2006 09:58PM)
I recently purchased a ZZ Lady and was wondering if anyone has the same "problems" that mine has. I need to know if the construction was faulty, or if these issues are normal.

When the middle section is pulled out onto the tray, the middle box at maximum extension still has about 6 inches remaining in the center. As such, the audience still sees a blue part (3" into center) and a black part (3"into the center), making up the 6" into the center. Is this 6" into center normal, and are there 2 different colors used in those 6".

I ask this as in the video streams that I have seen, at maximum extension there only appears to be about 3" into center and there is only 1 color (black), giving a cleaner appearance in my opinion.

Lastly, when at full extension, there is a 1/2 inch gap between the blades on the upper and lower sides of the middle box, just above the blades. As such, you can see inside the middle box at the side view. I am not certain if this gap is normal, and as a result I have to make sure that assistant wears black, to accomodate the effect.

I hope that this makes sense. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for any assistance you can give! Bob.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Feb 4, 2006 10:26PM)

Here is a old photo of me with my Chalet Magic Zig-Zag. http://xs66.xs.to/pics/06050/Large-Zig-Zag.jpg

As the illusion is turned at an angle, it's hard to see exactly what you were asking but there is very little blue showing. In fact, if you were looking at it directly in front, you would only see black extending into the center. It is more than 3" though.

As you can see, the slots for the blades are just large enough for the blade to slide into and there is no visible gap.

It doesn't sound as though yours was built in the best fashion and the builder may not have not have understood some of the finer points of the design.

I hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 4, 2006 10:51PM)
There is a brush type weather striping that may help you cover some of this gap. But the real problem is just as Michael said. It is a design problem.

Distance may be your best friend!

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Feb 4, 2006 11:02PM)
I think it's a poor build. With mine, there is a vertical black stripe along each edge (at the left and right as you view the box head-on.) One of these is, of course, the support. The other is the matching symetrical "design." When the center box is pulled aside, the two butt against one another -- no color from the box is visible. Additionally, the sliding panel aids in the illusion of the box being pulled further to the side. Does your center box have a sliding gimmick? If not, it should; that's an integral part of the illusion. If it does have the sliding gimmick, paint the box beneath it black to help your problem. It won't be seen when in the "stacked" position, but when the sliding panel moves for the "zig zag" position the black will be revealed, and may blend in with the uprights.

As for seeing into the box, your roller shades should be covering that. If your box doesn't have them, I'll assume it's simply a matter of a poor build. There should be NO WAY anyone can see into the box.

Just curious, where did you get it? Online, "sight unseen"? I only ask because I don't think you should have these problems.
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 4, 2006 11:53PM)
Thanks guys for the responses! To answer some of your questions, I bought the prop from Doug Tillford, who apparently uses Jim Sommers either to build it all, or some aspect of it. I was unaware until yesterday that Doug was even using another person to be involved. There is only one roller on the outside to cover the middle box.

In order for me to paint the middle box black on that outside, so that it is flush (upon extension) with the uprights, I would have to paint the middle box only, as there is not room to paint a straight black line on the upper and lower boxes to match. That would basically mean that the middle box would have to be painted only, and about 2-3 inches of paint would be required.

It appears to me that if the "stop" on the tray were not there, and if I were to extend the middle box to a point that the black part of the middle box were flush with the upright upon extension, that my wife, while petite, would be crushed. As such, I am trying to figure whether the "defect" is in simply painting the middle box, as stated above, or some other design problem.

Also, is it your opinion(s) that there should be a roller internally, so that the gaps are covered?

What do you guys think is the possibility that I am able to complain about these problems and receive some sort of remedy, if in fact it is wrongly constructed? Both Doug and Jim seem like nice people, and I know that they are professionals. I do not know if perhaps Jim had someone else construct and it was an oversight, or what. Again, I am not sure whether these are defects or commonplace. Any further suggestions, would be greatly appreciated. The cost of this prop makes simply accepting defects untenable. Thank you all again. Bob
Message: Posted by: ricker (Feb 5, 2006 01:19AM)
I have rollers on all three places, but I built it myself and the feke support bar goes all the way to the door.

you can also paint the part under the S***E black and that will help.
Message: Posted by: tilford (Feb 5, 2006 06:07AM)
Dear Robert,

I have printed out your problems and am going to fax these to Jim. I am sure we can work something out to solve this situation.

I never had this happen before on Zig Zag Jim made. I will have him call you either today or tomorrow.

I am so sorry this happened.


Douglas Tilford
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 5, 2006 07:15AM)
Dear Doug:

I was waiting until Monday to call you, but first wanted to see that I was not crazy about what I was expierencing. I purchased from you due to your impeccable reputation, and am elated that you will take care of this situation. I have been reviewing numerous clips and photos of other ZZ performances, and there is definatley something wrong here. I will call you tommorow and discuss the matter further, but again thank you for your professionalism and action! Regards, Bob.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Feb 5, 2006 08:28AM)

The design errors you described are not commonplace with high quality builders so I'm not sure what occurred here. Also, just for the record, Doug Tilford isn't a magic builder. The props and illusions he sells are manufactured by others so anything you buy from him will be built by someone else. (Just like they would be from most magic shops.)

Message: Posted by: ricker (Feb 5, 2006 10:19AM)
It bothers me that the Osborne plans are so close to the Harbin plans, but not a lot of builders choose to use them, they come up with their own 'additions'.

For goodness sake, the Zig-Zag still KILLS if build by the Harbin/Osborne plans and if you present it with the HARBIN presentation.

Why do you need a stop on the tray? You can see where the end of the tray is, and 9 out of 10 times, the body will stop the middle box before the end of the tray. The tray should be no more than 15 inches long.

And if you don't have the rollers on the right side, there is no way you can do the Harbin presentation, with someone from the audience HELPING you and pushing the box to the left before you put the blades in.

See my video at http://www.putfile.com/yourmagicman for my ZigZag and the Harbin presentation.

The moral of the story, don't screw with Harbin's design of the Zig Zag. The design is still perfect, even afater 41 years.
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 5, 2006 11:45AM)
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

I was wondering if anybody knows how many inches of middle box remain in the center, upon full extension. I have 6" remaining with 3" of Blue and 3" of black remaining in the center. My tray is 15 inches, and if I were to move it another 3 inches over the lip of the tray (thereby making it 18 inches out, my assistant would be crushed, although the black parts would be flush. An irreconcilable problem I would think.

The boxes that I have seen on video and pictures seem to me to show black on the left and right facing that are equal. If I were to paint more black on the non-support side, I could only do it on the middle box, as to paint another 3 inches on that side on the upper and lower boxes, to ensure that upon full extension it is all black, I would be painting over the girl figure on the upper and lower boxes. Again, that would mean that the support side would have 3" of black and the non-support side would have 6" of black.

Any ideas as to where the design defect stems from, based upon what I have written.

On a side note, I have spoken to Doug this a.m. and he has expressed his concerns and is willing to make sure that the problem is corrected, in some fashion or another. Does anybody have suggestions as to a decent box, constructed in a workmen like manner, and a website for same. I will not be using the prop extensivly (part timer), wish to obviously have one that works well, but do not need the top of line model either.

On a side note, this website is AWESOME! I wish that I knew of it years ago. I appreciate all of your responses, as the situation is obviously disconcerting.

Regards, Bob Bianchi.
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Feb 5, 2006 11:48AM)
Are you sure that Jim built the ZigZag? He has an agreement with Klamm Magic to build only for them to resale. He cannot build for any other retailers. I know that Tilford was advertising some of Sommer's products with the pictures from Klamm's website, when infact someone else was building them.
Message: Posted by: ricker (Feb 5, 2006 12:00PM)
This is a pic of the zigzag I built from the Harbin/Osborn plans.


The boxes are 24" x 15", so you can see how much is hidden by my real and feke supports.

The tray is 15 inches wide, when my box is pulled to the left, I only use about 13 inches of the tray.

You're always going to have some space between the two supports, but because it doesn't LOOK like 6 inches. Again you can always paint the box behind the S***E black and that would make it 'look' flush'

It does have a S***E, doesn't it?
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 5, 2006 12:37PM)
My tray is 16"x15", and my middle box is 24"x 11.5".

Yes, it has a S***E, but it is very difficult and noisey to work.

I am confused by your suggestion to paint black behind the S***E, as the problem that I have needs black to be painted in areas that are not affected by the S***E. Using your picture (very impressive by the way), the black would need to be painted in the sideways v area of the woman's waist on the right side of the box (facing). In order to make black parts flush, I would have to paint black the sideways v portion of your ZZ on the middle portion only, by about 3".

As you can see from your picture, if I were to paint the upper and lower boxes by that 3", as well, I would be painting over the girls body. This leaves me with painting the middle only, which would then have 6" of black in the middle, and only 3" of black on the upper and bottom portions.

What do you think? Thanks for your help! Bob
Message: Posted by: tilford (Feb 5, 2006 12:40PM)
Dear Brian,

ALL of the Photos that of Sommers Products came from Sommers himself to me.

Infact, Bob talked to Jim Sommers himself.

I never had anyone build Sommer's illusions.

Thank You, Doug
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 5, 2006 12:55PM)
Dear Brian:

I agree with Doug. I was in contact with Jim to ask him some questions about putting the prop together, and to discuss some construction issues that I initially noted were strange to me. That was before the set-up was completed, and before I noticed the major issues.

In any event, it was clear to me that Jim was the person involved in getting me the box. Whether he actually made it himself or not, I do not know.

I just wanted to clear this up, as I know that Doug is very upset about what happened, and I do not want it to appear that I have a problem with Doug, as he has acted professionally in all my dealings with him, and in particular with regard to this problem. Doug is somewhat in the position that I am, in that we are both concerned that it did not turn out well, and Doug has given me his assurances that it will be rectified, for which I am greatful. Regards, Bob.
Message: Posted by: ricker (Feb 5, 2006 02:02PM)
What I meant is if you paint the box under the S***E back, then the space between the uprights looks smaller. doesn't have to be flush, it's 'illusion' of flush.

If the s***e is noisy and difficult to work, then it's not built right. It should S***e with one hand as the box is pulled to the left with no noise and almost no effort.
Message: Posted by: robert bianchi (Feb 5, 2006 02:10PM)
I see your point about the painting. Thanks, Bob.