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Topic: JP Cup Tragedy. SOS
Message: Posted by: elgranmago (Dec 16, 2006 08:53AM)
The other evening I was practicing the cups and balls and my close up table accidentally tipped over. Tragedy befell my Johnson Products cups when the table landed on one of them!!! The mouth is now slightly oval shaped. :bawl: Cup enthusiasts will understand that it´s painful to see such a beautiful cup deformed. Is there any hope for repair? Bill?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


PS: Yes, I do know the Williamson two-cup routine.
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Dec 16, 2006 09:38AM)
Easy fix on JP cups - if you have a vise. Insert jaw liners to prevent scratching the mouth bead. Thin wood, rubber, plastic, etc. will work fine - even thick paper folded over. Using a marker, mark where the "high spots" are. Gently squeeze the cup rim in the vise with the high spots in contact with the vise jaws. With a little patience and gentle work you can remove the oval shape.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 16, 2006 11:30AM)
There you go. That's exactly what I would have suggested, but I'm glad to hear that Jim has the same solution. If it's really bad, and you can't fix it, then get a Johnson chop cup. It's exactly the same dimensions as their normal cup, you will have a combo set, and if you use the regular balls, they will function as a normal set.

Just be glad they weren't the copper cups. You would have been even more unhappy.
Message: Posted by: elgranmago (Dec 17, 2006 12:03AM)
Thank you Jim and Bill for your expert advice.

I knew I could find some hope here at the Café.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: thoughtsexplorer (Dec 17, 2006 05:18AM)
(after the above mentioned procedure) you should try to cover the bottom of one of the cups with a soft yet strong but thin cloth and then nest and twist this slightly into the "oval" one. That should get the opening perfectly round again.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 23, 2006 06:04PM)
Well, did it work?

Incidentally, would the little suction cups that are used to pull little dents out a car be worth a try to get one or two small dents out of a chrome plated copper cup?

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 26, 2006 10:49AM)
The little suction cups that you use to get dents out of cars won't work on cups unless they are very large and made of very thin metal. To get the dents out of a chrome plated copper cup, take them to a person who repairs band instruments. They have tools that will allow them to do what you need to do.

I had a set of Michael Kaminskas cups that were really nice, except that one had three dents in it. I sent it to a friend of mine who is a retired band teacher. He took the cup to a band instrument repairman. I had it back in a couple of weeks. It cost about $70 for the work, but you couldn't see that the cup had ever been dented.
Message: Posted by: CJRichard (Dec 26, 2006 10:54AM)
As a kid, I dropped my trumpet so many times that Dad became something of an expert at hammering the bell out again.

Still always looked like a dropped, dented, hammered out trumpet, though.
Message: Posted by: kenjones (Jan 2, 2007 12:41AM)
I did the same thing... sort of... with my Johnson Cups. I was tossing them when I had a spectacular crash. I did not go to the tool room. My JCs are already dinged and worn... the way I prefer my cups to look (I mean, the're not Sherwoods or anything). I used the other cups in the set to bang out the dings. Nest the cups, over and over, banging them together until the nest right again. THIS WILL DING AND SCRATCH YOUR CUPS!!! But they will nest correctly again. If you like the worn, used look, this will work for you.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 2, 2007 02:16PM)
I would have called Johnson products and asked if you could buy a single replacement cup. I did drop and screw up an original Danny Dew/Fox Jumbo Chick Cup and Jim Riser did the repair work on it for me.
Message: Posted by: JESmagic (Jan 3, 2007 10:35PM)
With regard to the dings in the cups--I have a solution:

Since I started having the JESmagic cups made, I have had to do several repairs to my own sets to keep them in good working order. Removing dings from cups is tedious, but it is possible. What I did was purchase tooling used to repair dents and dings from brass musical instruments. The company I purchased the tools from is called Votaw Tools--and their website is http://www.votawtool.com and look under dent removal. I spoke with one of their repair specialists, and he recommended the following tools:
1. Set of tear drop dent balls
2. Set of dent mushrooms
3. A straight dent rod--angle attachment optional
4. Dent hammer
I think I purchased the tear drop dent ball, rod, and hammer for just around $100.00
The removal is an art in and of itself--and if you need help, simply calling and talking to someone from votawtools will be extremely helpful.

The basic principle is to attach the ball to the dent rod, and then place the rod in a vise. Put the cup over the dent ball, and slowly and forcefully rub back and forth over the dent--essentially rolling it out. You will need to experiment with the different sizes/shapes of dent ball. You will notice that the dent will slowly rub out. Then using the dent hammer, gently tap the surface until the raised portion is flush with the remaining part of the cup. It may take several passes, and several taps. What you will notice is that there will be small dings where you use the dent hammer--don't worry-- your goal is to get the main dent removed. Once this is accomplished, you will either need to take the cup to a professional polisher-- or polish it yourself if you have the equipment. You will need to use a rather abrasive compound to remove the fine dings from the hammer, then a tripoli compound to remove the sanding marks, and finally a rouge of some kind to give the mirror finish. Polishing in and of itself is an art--so you may be best to get a professional to do it. Jake at RNT2 is a master polisher--and you may want to ask him if he'd be willing to do it for you.

All in all, you can expect to spend about $200-$300 to get the equipment needed to remove the dents. It may seem like alot, but some sets of cups are priceless, and cannot be replaced. I purchased the equipment because I needed it when I started making the JESmagic Cups. Fortunately, RNT2 has taken over the work, so I don't have to do it myself anymore (on the original sets, I did all of the polishing work myself). But, I've kept it around...and now can repair my cups as needed.

Anyhow, I know this is a long post...I hope it was helpful. It is one way I have been able to circumvent scrapping really badly dented cups. Another great source of info is Jake at RNT2. He has been working with cups/metal for a very long time, and he may have some additional ideas--not to mention, he is where I turn when I have questions or need advice.

Hope this helps. Happy holidays to all!
Jonathan Schweid, M.D.
President, JESmagic
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Feb 8, 2007 06:37PM)
Years ago, I skwooshed one of my cups. I was gonna fix it; I was a jeweler at the time and had great tools. But instead, I bent it even more and used it as a gag intro for my two cup routine. I would count the cups onto the table - the third is obviously damaged - "We'll just use two cups." I would look kind of embarrassed, then chuck the cup on the floor. It gets a laugh, and many people think you're improvising at this point. I did the routine for 10 years, and it never failed to please.
Message: Posted by: elgranmago (Jul 29, 2007 10:16AM)

A short update on my JP cups tragedy.

I tried to no avail to fix the deformed cup.

I went with Bill´s advice and bought the JP Chop Cup. I am very happy.

Thanks for all the advice and empathy.


Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 29, 2007 11:17AM)
I'm glad it worked out. All of us felt your pain.

If there is a cup worker anywhere who says he has never damaged a cup, he is either lying or he hasn't done the cups for very long!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 29, 2007 11:59AM)
...or the cup worker is using those old Adams plastic cups and/or carrying around a plush carpet to perform on!


Posted: Jul 29, 2007 1:04pm
BTW, Bill, of all the "Cups of the Greats" in the museum which set seems to have been dropped and banged up the most?

Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jul 29, 2007 12:12PM)
Fortasse, have you looked closely at Gary Animal's cups? Unless Bill has a retired set from Tom Frank, I think they'd qualify nicely for that award.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 29, 2007 12:39PM)
Dave : Yes, based on the photos, I'd have to agree with you but since Bill has seen them all "up close and personal", he may have a different view.

Incidentally, it amazes me that those Gary Animals can still stack after all that punishment. Are all those dents just from wand-striking, you think?

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 29, 2007 12:49PM)
It would be a three way tie. Gazzo's chick cups, Richard Turner's Monti cups and Marshall Brodien's P&L cups.

Gary's still stack very well. Gazzo's don't. Marshall's do, and Richard's will stack as well.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 29, 2007 01:47PM)
Bill :

Is most of the damage simply from wand-striking or from the accidental/or intentional dropping or throwing of the cups onto a floor, against a wall or other hard surface.

Incidentally, why this fascination that some performers seem to have with beating their cups to death with a wand? Is it based on some misdirection principle? Is is it some vicarious form of violence, or what? I've seen some really over-the-top performances that make me cringe when I see the wanton damage inflicted on cups that someone took a lot of loving care to make........but then again cups like the Cellini's and van Dokkum's seem to be made with precisely this sort of mayhem in mind.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 29, 2007 02:08PM)
Part of the busking tradition is to use the cups as a noisemaker. This was, of course, not advisable with the French street cups. They won't take that kind of abuse. But the Animals and the Phoenix cups were designed with that in mind.

A lot of damage is done to spun cups when doing the wand through cup bit.

In other cases, it's just because they have led a hard life!

I don't bang my cups around.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 29, 2007 02:24PM)
Neither do I!

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 29, 2007 03:31PM)
Well, just the smooth silver Sherwoods.

Just kidding!!!