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Topic: Making a Chair Suspension - plans available?
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Apr 20, 2006 07:48PM)
I used to have a chair suspension, and I know what goes in to making them, and I think that most of them are way overpriced for what they are. Are there any decent plans available for making a chair suspension that won't wiggle and wobble, or am I better for liability reasons going with a Klamm or similar?
Message: Posted by: Keith Jozsef (Apr 21, 2006 08:17AM)

If you can afford it, buy the Harbin Chair Suspension from Bill Smith's Magic Ventures. It is the Rolls Royce of chair suspensions...no wiggle, no wobble, and barely any sag. I'm not sure anyone has put out blueprint-type plans for the chair suspension, but there may be a good description in The Magic of Robert Harbin book. Might be worth checking out.

Keith Jozsef
Message: Posted by: chicane (May 3, 2006 06:38AM)
I had my chair suspension built from the Harbin book. Everything you need is there.
Back then (about 25 years ago) we did not have suitable metal chairs in New Zealand and a magician friend built all the metal parts for me including the chairs!

When building the board, I hinged it in the opposite direction from Harbin's original plan which makes it easier to fold and pack after a show.

After a performance I fold the board in half around the works and place it straight into a large case. No need to touch anything until the next performance.

Properly built, the Harbin Chair Suspension will hold large adult. I use a tall lady. The illusion looks better with a tall person. This illusion takes quite a lot of spectator management, but the effect is worth the trouble.
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (May 14, 2006 12:11AM)
Mine from Klams magic. not bad...
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 16, 2006 08:28PM)
I have a Mak Magic version chair suspension I have performed for years. It has served me well and I do not have a problem with sagging or wiggling because of the way in which I set it up and my safety precautions I use when performing it.

Of course with the Mak Magic version, you do have a weight limitation on it. It says it can hold around 140-150 lbs. My rule of thumb is to never go near or exceed 100lbs and that has worked wonderfully for me. I usually always perform this with a child from the audience and so it works out well for me in this light.

If your intentions are to use your assistant on the chairs, then I would indeed look into getting the Bill Smith Magic venture's version as it can hold a lot more weight. However, keep in mind your investment will also be greater.

I also have a free e-book I wrote up that is about 15 pages on tips, suggestions, performance ideas and safety tips for routining and using the chair suspension. It started initially as a thread here and just answering people's questions. It turns out many folks were asking me the same questions so I felt putting them into an e-book format would benefit a lot of folks.

I give it to anyone who may like to read it or who feels that can gain some information from it. It would be my pleasure to share it with you or anyone else. just shoot me a PM with your e-mail address and I will get it right out to you. My pleasure.

Message: Posted by: eb02 (May 22, 2006 02:05AM)
The comment price is around $400 for a new one.
Do you really think you can build it for a lower price?
Would it hold the weight of the person?
I believe you can find at http://www.magicauction.com a used one for a good price.

Good luck
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (May 24, 2006 03:18PM)
I own a Bill Smith Magic Ventures version, it is a heavy duty professional illusion. I also have a version built by Sandy Rhodes based on Harbin's plans. This model has 2 gimmicks, one for smaller helpers and one that will hold a 200 lb assistant without sagging. The board needs some TLC, but otherwise the prop is in good shape.
Message: Posted by: jnrussell (Dec 16, 2011 11:03AM)
I also use MAK's, and it works just fine.

There are plans on ebay, but after looking at them, decided to buy one already made.

If anyone is interested in a brand new one, PM me.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Apr 5, 2014 10:22AM)
I cant afford the shipping cost so I have to build one chair suspension.Can someone tell me which plan is the best?Where can I find the Harbin Book.I have architect friends and I am gonna hire expert carpenters but I need a plan.Thanks.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Apr 11, 2015 05:28PM)
Can you roll steel?? If not, you're better off to buy one, even paying the shipping costs.
Message: Posted by: shomemagic (Apr 12, 2015 01:47PM)
Don't buy the instructions that show up on the big auction site every now and then..worthless
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 17, 2015 10:00PM)
I know of no plans for the metal chair suspension. Abbott's made theirs using wood, they built the folding chair from scratch.

You are buying the magic illusion as well as the props and the knowledge gone into it. If it was easy and cheap, why are people always asking for plans. If anyone can't afford it, then they don't need it.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Sep 24, 2015 12:11AM)
I've made at least 200 suspensions of different strengths.
The cheaper models might be OK if the kids are 60 pounds but it's just so much better paying for a finished product when you want a serious suspension.
I'm currently developing a adult model that looks just like normal patio chairs and after the cost of wood, metal, welding gas, wire, cloth and paint, I'm making about 25 dollars an hour.

Knowing what I know, a good model is probably one that's best bought rather then run around and put it together part by part.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 29, 2015 09:03AM)
Correction, I now see that Paul Osborne is publishing plans for a version of this trick. It looks like in the picture, it uses wooden chairs and therefore they are part of the construction of this illusion. I don't see it on Abbott's website currently. They sold a nice wooden model for years. I have one and it gets good responses.

Message: Posted by: markmagic (Nov 18, 2015 07:12PM)
I'll sell you a mak for 250.00
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (May 9, 2016 12:22AM)
If Im not wrong the plan is available in Paul Osborne
Message: Posted by: David_N (Jun 18, 2016 05:24PM)
There are basic instructions and drawings in the book 'Jack Hughes World of Magic Volume 1'. This is for the simple plank version of the illusion, not the Harbin removable board method. Copies crop up on Ebay from time to time.

What is rarely mentioned is the type of wood that the chair should be made of. Some years ago I was speaking to a British illusion dealer who constructed his Chair Suspensions out of beech wood chairs.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 22, 2016 12:35AM)
I have one from the 50s made in wood, and it ain't Beech.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 21, 2017 07:02AM)
Sometimes you can find a used Abbott's Chair Suspension for a bargain price. I bought a second one, as a backup, for $150, a few years ago.