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Topic: Balls for Cups and Balls
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 22, 2002 12:11PM)
What kind of balls do you prefer in your cups and balls routine and why do you like 'em?
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Mar 22, 2002 03:51PM)
I like the common red crocheted balls... they're easy to handle and quite visible from a distance.

Although, a friend who works in the computer field has given me a set of those black rubber mouseballs if I ever decide I want something that looks "period" (medieval).

I just have to make sure they stay visible somehow... (Do the routine on a white cloth perhaps?)
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 22, 2002 08:32PM)
The problem with rubber balls is friction--they tend to hang up in many moves, and if you try to move a cup across the table with a rubber ball in it, you might end up unintentionally doing a shell routine steal!

A good choice is the little mini "hackysack" balls, because they don't roll as much.
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Mar 22, 2002 09:23PM)
It's a trick bit to do, but if you want something "in period", try small stones. It's very convincing. (Just make sure you find similiar stones) ;)

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Message: Posted by: Bernard Sim (Mar 23, 2002 12:45AM)
Mike Roger's baseball is very good. Don't know whether you can still get them :pout:
Message: Posted by: cataquet (Mar 23, 2002 03:18AM)
For the cups and balls, I have used all of the following: dice, rubber balls, mini-baseballs, crocheted balls, and ball bearings. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and my routines with each of them is different. The biggest advantage of dice is that they don't roll away. In this regard, Sable's advice to use stones is a good one (especially if the final load is a large stone). However, stones will be harder to palm than dice.

My least favorite version is the crocheted balls. They tend to get dirty very quickly and they get bobbled and frayed. Rubber balls also tend to get dirty with handling (although it depends on the type of rubber). So, if you want to use balls, I would everywhere prefer the mini-baseballs. Betty (Mike's wife) is still making the mini-baseballs, but you'll have to look around for the chop balls, and she no longer makes these.

Bye for now

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 23, 2002 10:16AM)
I use a “Monkey’s Fist” knot for a ball. Mine a shave under 1 inch and made of strands of red and black leather (leather laces). I have made some final load balls that are about 3 inches in diameter out of red and black rope, but don’t use them much as I favor fruit loads for the finale.

The Monkey Fist knot is an old sailing ship decorative knot. While it is a ball in a general sense it has “edges” that help keep it from rolling.

This knot makes a pretty ball and is easy to tie. There is an instruction page with illustrations at http://www.realknots.com/knots/faqknot.htm#monkey
Message: Posted by: Bernard Sim (Mar 23, 2002 06:08PM)
Great Post Mumblepeas! Very interesting site.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 23, 2002 11:38PM)
You're in good company MP. Ray Grismer uses the same thing.
Message: Posted by: Aedryan Methyus (Mar 25, 2002 01:24PM)
I prefer using sponge balls and coffee cups using a lemon, lime and a turnip for the final loads.

For close-up in restaurant situations I use the crocheted balls and use the sponge balls as the final loads with my spun aluminum cups.

Message: Posted by: variable75 (Mar 28, 2002 10:30AM)

Where on earth did you find those little hackysack balls? I have checked everywhere without luck. I agree, I always thought those would be the best. Any help you can give me would be great!!

Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Mar 28, 2002 10:51AM)
For those who would like to use the mini baseballs, try looking in the doll-furnishing section of an arts and crafts supply store. I found a mini-baseball in a package for about $2.50. They are about 3/4".
So, for $10.00 an entire set can be had.

Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Mar 28, 2002 12:01PM)
For the hacky-sack type balls try Oriental Trading


Look in Toys

They have so much stuff your eyes water thinking about how you can get some of them into your act.

Don't work for them, just trade (no pun intended) with them.
Message: Posted by: DarryltheWizard (Mar 31, 2002 03:04PM)
I too, prefer the miniature baseballs made by Mike Rogers and now his wife from what I've heard. For the final load, I use baseballs from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In my routine I throw away the wand early in the routine and use a miniature baseball bat and glove. As I sing
"Take Me Out to the Ball Field" I produce the final load baseballs and my rolled up wand unfurls as a Blue Jay banner.

Darryl the Wizard :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Apr 1, 2002 03:44AM)
Denny and Lees is running a special on those little balls.
Message: Posted by: MattSedlak (Apr 2, 2002 04:32PM)
My favorite balls to use are the tayade (sp?) balls. They are beautiful and elegant and they also don't roll very far.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 3, 2002 12:34PM)
Just spoke to Denny at Denny and Lee’s and he does not have any Mike Rogers cup and ball mini-baseballs. He is selling a leather “Monkey Fist” ball in several colors.
Message: Posted by: mambra (Apr 8, 2002 06:56AM)

As I am very bad in doing magic, I always think about the sleight I am going to use.

In my routine, I use the elevator move. I cannot do it with mini-baseball leather ball, so I prefer crocheted balls.

Also problems with the tip-off move.

I use aluminum cups.

Anyhow, I see Ammar uses mini-baseballs and can perform all that moves... so it might be only MY problem!!!


Stefano Mambretti
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ed (Apr 8, 2002 12:33PM)
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Message: Posted by: Gawin (Apr 11, 2002 07:43AM)
Say I´m crazy but sometimes I use common sponges - you can go from one routine to the other
Message: Posted by: Brad Jeffers (Apr 11, 2002 03:16PM)
o.k. - your crazy! :bg: Actually, I think using sponges is not a bad idea. Vernon advised against the use of sponges - people being aware of the compressable nature of sponge balls, might suspect that you use that factor in some devious way. But the good thing about sponges is their compressability. You can use that factor in some very devious ways! :bwink:
Message: Posted by: Gawin (Apr 12, 2002 03:27AM)
A friend showed me a nice ending for C&B with mini-sponges. Regular sponges than switiching to big ones and after that as a final load he produces about five to six mini ones - really great effect! But he will not tell me how to get the final load in the cup - any ideas out there???

And to Brad - Yea I´m mad man!!HIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHI :wow:

P.S. My idea was to use a littel bag - but there seemed not to be one. :confused:
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Apr 12, 2002 09:30AM)
I use ¾th inch ball bearings with melamine coffee cups. They make a typical sound when the steel ball is stuck on the outside of the cup. After completing the cups & ball routine, do a chop cup routine with the same set along with the OMEGA Ring. It bowls them over.

:xmas: Ustaad
Message: Posted by: Bradley Morgan (May 18, 2002 08:22PM)
You can get Mike Rogers mini-baseballs at
You can get everything for cups and balls there. loads, wands, cups and how to videos on the cups and balls trick.
I bought all the cups and ball stuff and I recommend everything there.
All of the products at ammarmagic.com
is very professional, and good quality.

Message: Posted by: thimblerig (May 19, 2002 06:13PM)
Just searched Michael's web site and found nothing on the Mike Rogers baseballs. I think your info may be out of date.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (May 20, 2002 11:51AM)
Steven's Magic Emporium is carrying them again:

[url=http://www.stevensmagic.com/summertext/miraclesinyourhands.asp]Click Here[/url]
Message: Posted by: kellser121 (May 21, 2002 01:41PM)
Ok, this time call me mad!!
But when I was playing around with the mouse, the ball dropped up and I picked it up. Surprisingly enough it was a great weight to perform fake transfers etc with.
I have cosidered using it in my cups and balls routine but haven't yet!
Message: Posted by: Tony (May 21, 2002 03:06PM)
Thanks, Philemon. I've been looking for those.

Message: Posted by: Conus (Jun 23, 2002 02:40PM)
Mumblepeas ...

Thanks for passing along the monkey fist details. Tied a set in no time large enough to use for a 3 ball routine.

No talk, no bounce, and makes for a good pop-up move.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Sep 5, 2002 08:45PM)
Thanks to Mumblepeas for monkey fist idea. I found the proper rope that comes in nice colors. I am using a bright yellow for rehearsal as it is easy to see it flash :cry: , but will be great to figure out where I do flash :goof:
Message: Posted by: shawlie (Sep 8, 2002 10:17AM)
I like the monkey fist idea, but I can't seem to tie it; I can't get all the pieces tight. I've made my own balls out of the "traditional" cork. They're about 3/4 inch in diameter. Once blackened over a flame and wiped clean, they're very easy to work with.
Message: Posted by: Magic Tim (Sep 8, 2002 10:51PM)
I like the Mike Rogers baseballs. They are definitely still available from Michael Ammar (I just bought some) at [url=http://store.yahoo.com/ammarmagic/cupandbalpro.html]this link[/url].

Both sizes (7/8" and 1") grip more reliably in a finger palm than crocheted balls, are easier to keep clean, and they have an authentic baseball look.

Some audiences may well be unimpressed -- or even turned off -- by the baseball motif, and it seems prudent to take that into account in planning a routine and its performance. But for baseball fans in particular, the Rogers balls, plus the larger final load balls, should be well received.

These and other final load sports-related balls might be found at [url=http://www.oriental.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=9968&prmenbr=991&PRICEQTY=1&PREFIX=IN&CURRENCY=USD&merchant_rn=991&KIT=I&GROUP=N&cgrfnbr=1376&shop=&CASE=0]this link[/url].

Tim :->
Message: Posted by: Payne (Sep 9, 2002 01:02AM)
For several years I used black rubber mouse balls as they had a perfect size and weight to them and great inherant "tackyness" which made some of the sleights much easier. They also looked like the traditional burnt cork balls of olde. I finally stopped using these as they were difficult for the audience to see clearly. I then used a set of red felt balls that I had a wool vendor at a Ren fair make for me. I udsed these until I got a set of cups on E-Bay thay came with a marvelous set of crochet balls that instead of the traditional cork had dense fabric centers which makes them not quite round so they don't roll real well which is a plus as I rarely get to perform on level ground. I once saw a French documentary on Robert Houdin which re-enacted a scene from his ghildhood where he encountered a cups and balls worker using nutmegs as balls.
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Sep 9, 2002 09:04AM)
For the last 13 or so years I've been using some balls I made myself. They are the ones Tommy Wonder describes in his cups and Balls routine. They are basically small dense Pom Poms. mine are bright Orange. I'm surprised how long they've held up.

I'm always on the search for the perfect ball. I recently found a supplier of the 1-3/8" baseballs that I plan on switching to. they come on pull chains for ceiling fans, along with several other types of balls. You can get the, in Home Depots.

Mumblepeas: I like the Monkeysfist, thanks for the link. At TAOM some of the Street Performers had these. I like them because it looks like you can make them in any size you want.

Message: Posted by: hbenod (Sep 9, 2002 04:55PM)
Even though I haven't tried them. I heard a tip by Alexander de Cova of using the no-bounce ball from the well known trick as the small balls for the Cups and Balls. This is the like traditional ball color used by European performers in the Middle Ages. I agree with one of the previous posts that if you are not careful you may end up with a shell like move when making some of your displays. But then again, its tackiness makes it easier to handle.


Message: Posted by: COINAMGIC (Sep 9, 2002 05:11PM)
There is a good book written by Jack Channin, who past away a few years back, that has an excellent routine for cups and balls using waste paper baskets for cups and small wads of toilet paper for the balls.

I do my cups and balls with the chop cups and knitted balls. As a final load, I say "Well right now there are six balls on the table, but if I add one it's seven." Then I turn over the center cup and show a sponge ball which leads me into my next routine.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Sep 10, 2002 07:19PM)
The trick to the Monkey's Fist knot is in the tightening -- so it is with any complex knot.

I'm glad you all seemed to enjoy the Monkey's Fist Balls, I think they're the best I've ever used for street work. I spent many days researching the knot and then seeking the best materials to make them from. One notable finding was colored parachute cord, it made a very seviceable, economical ball; something that I'd planned on marketing as an entry level set -- but if you learn the knot, they're easily enough made.

You should see the ones I'm making now they're even prettier than the monkey's fists and most of the sets are chopped for you Chop Cup guys.
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Sep 11, 2002 04:24PM)
Eric, were you one of the performers at Taom this year?
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Sep 12, 2002 01:12AM)
Yep, I was there in the Water Gardens, what a beautiful setting.

Why? I didn't flash any did I?
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Sep 12, 2002 02:08PM)
I really enjoyed your act. It was like being entertained by an friend, very enjoyable, Two Thumbs up. I was also wondering where you got your Poachers Pouch.

Thanks Ronnie
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Sep 12, 2002 10:20PM)
Hi Ronnie,

I made the pouch (waiste servante, gibeciére, whatever) that I was wearing as I made what has become known as the Monkey's Fist balls. Of note, the pouch I was wearing is identical to the pouches shown in Cellini's DVD -- "The Art of Street Performance" because I made those too. At one time Cellini and I were going to market some custom made items for magicians. At this point, I'm not sure what the future will hold in that regard.

Thank you very much for your kind words regarding my act. It was and always is an honor to perform for fellow magicians. What an awesome weekend, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

all the best,

Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Sep 13, 2002 10:43PM)
I use the crocheted balls. They are light therefore they do not talk! They also won't roll very far. I only use heavy objects for final loads. There is too much chance of talk with many cups and balls moves. Tip off move for instance.
Baseball are good too. I would like to try the monkey fists.
Message: Posted by: COINAMGIC (Sep 14, 2002 09:42AM)
I've tried using wood balls. It's really hard but if you can do it well without making them talk then it looks good.
Message: Posted by: BrendanK (May 20, 2003 04:59PM)
A friend at the Blackpool convention (UK) said US dealer was selling "clones" of Mike Rogers Mini baseballs - only not quite so miniature - he reckoned about one and a quarter inches in size.

The dealer was possibly Bob Little...can anyone confirm this?

Message: Posted by: MxJoKeR (Jun 6, 2003 12:44AM)
What would you suggest to use to make the monkey ball thing knot doodad with a chop cup feature? That is something that I might look into if someone could help me because I can't yet do the monkey tie. Thanks

Ok I just had an idea. What if you put marbles in the middle of the knot and a ball bearing it the chop ball? I don't have the material, but if somebody wants to try this out with me and see what you get.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jun 6, 2003 06:01AM)
The Monkey Paw Chop Cup ball has been done by a number of magicians who post here on the Café. The steel ball bearing idea has been used and usually proves too heavy to be held by the Chop Cup gimmick. The four balls that I am now using have one-inch steel ball bearings at the core. They don’t work in any of my chop cups due to a combination of thickish leather lace for the tied covering and the weight of the ball.

I have used silicone balls for the center to the Paw. One silicone ball was drilled and a gimmick put into the hole before the Paw knot was tied around it. It made a very workable Chop Cup ball.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 6, 2003 01:14PM)
I call my balls "Testicles from a Rhesis Monkey" and they are "covered to keep 'em warm in the winter."

I say, "I use 1.5 sets" (3)

Also, if you get the Stevens video on cups and balls you will find out almost all you need to know.

The Johnny Paul routine, with sponge balls is maybe the most overlooked, fantastic routine of all time for intimate settings.

Blatant Plug: I still have some sets for sale, as does Stevens Magic. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jun 6, 2003 02:43PM)
On 2003-06-06 14:14, Pete Biro wrote:

The Johnny Paul routine, with sponge balls is maybe the most overlooked, fantastic routine of all time for intimate settings.

Most likely it was overlooked for so long because until you started manufacturing your marvelous recreations of Johnny's cups they were totally unobtainable, thus making much of the routine nearly impossible to do.

Many years ago I found an odd little aluminium set in England (therefore made of al-you-miny-um) that work for the Paul routine. but this is the only set I have run across that were shaped correctly.
Message: Posted by: thimblerig (Jun 6, 2003 03:39PM)
Pete & Payne,
I agree with you both. I had always heard the adage about not using collapsible <sponge> balls for the cups and balls because everyone would think the compressibility was what allowed the magic to happen. The Johnny Paul routine on the Stevens tape changed my mind. I'm not sure I would incorporate so many hand-to-hand cup tosses as he did, but he sure drove home the fact(!) that the cups and his hands were empty. If I didn't see it I would have predicted that it wouldn't work due to reflections and angles and so forth. That routine was a surprise "hit" for me on that tape.

I *almost* want to PayPal Pete for a set of those cups right now. Pete- what's your MagicCafe price on a set of those babies? Also, do they come with a bag and a set of the correct size/texture balls?


:cool: :cups:
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 6, 2003 09:56PM)
Paypal is fine. No bags no balls. The standard Goshman 1.5-inch do it. Retail $155, TODAY $125 plus postage (5 bux).
Message: Posted by: thimblerig (Jun 6, 2003 11:50PM)
Done! See my PayPal message...
What a guy!
:cool: :cups:
Message: Posted by: mastermagician91 (Jun 7, 2003 12:18PM)
I like using super soft sponge balls, because with cotton, when putting them under the cups, the cups seem to pop up so the spectators know the ball is still under. With the sponge balls...they are very squishy and flexible.
Message: Posted by: Joe Keppel (Jun 8, 2003 12:08AM)
I have an original set of Mendosa cups and balls with the "Chopped cup". The balls that came with it were beautifully knit with a tight weave. Over the years they have worn out and I have tried to replace them. All the balls I find today are crap with loose weave!! Does ANYONE still make a nice set of tightly woven ones? A dealer told me that those original ones came from India and dealers here have tried to shut them out of the market and refuse to import them. Is this true? Joe Keppel
Message: Posted by: cataquet (Jun 9, 2003 07:02AM)
If you contact a local sewing shop, you can probably get someone to crochet you covers for your balls. Make sure to ask them to use a cotton cover rather than a wool cover as the cotton cover will give you a better finish and handling.

Bye for now

Message: Posted by: thimblerig (Jun 18, 2003 04:34PM)
Joe - I believe your informants are incorrect. I was in touch with Mr. Mendoza recently and he informed me that the tightly crocheted balls were produced by a lady in Texas and they are no longer available from her.

Also, I have read somewhere - I thought here, but now can't find the reference - about a "Muscade" style ball. Supposedly it is referred to in C. Lang Neil's "Modern Conjurer" but I have searched that reference with no luck. Does anyone have any info or sources on a "muscade" style ball <or knot??>. I know that muscade is a term for a nutmeg, which may have been used as a "ball" for the C&B by earlier performers. Not sure what the current muscade concept is...

Also, I read with interest the posts by Mr. Murphy and Mr. Evans concerning the Monkey's Fist knots. Have been interested in this idea for awhile myself, but have not successfully made a leather monkey's fist knot that I would want to use in a performance. Here is another link on the knot which may be of some use:

This tying seems a bit different from the directions given at the link in Mr. Murphy's post...

Do you folks use more than three turns in each direction when wrapping the knot around another object as opposed to just tying an empty knot? It seems that the leather laces can get twisted as the knot is tied and tightened. The use of parachute or other nylon cord would obviate the problem. Nylon would also be readily washable and perhaps more durable, I would think, plus the ends can be sealed with heat.

Finally, you can get the Tayade style balls from, among others, Tom Frank at Seattle Magic: 206 622-2757

Thanks in advance for any help on muscades and tying the monkey's fist knot.

Message: Posted by: Sean (Jul 21, 2003 06:56PM)
Inspired by Martin Lewis, I'm experimenting right now with chop cup/cups and balls with small foam lemons I got at a craft store. One has been converted into a chop lemon that I can use with an old lemonade container. My goal, with lots and lots of practice, is to use real lemons as penultimate loads then go to a final load of lemonade. "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade."

I'm still taking baby steps with cups and balls, but I'll get there some day. My creativity out-paces my skill sometime.
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jul 23, 2003 09:39AM)
I, Like Ronnie,am using the pom poms as per the Tommy Wonder routine. I have about four sets now, Blue, light blue, orange, and now Hot pink. They are really awesome and durable. I will be making smaller sets for three cup routines as well.

Making the bigger pom pom for the bag attachment is a chore and a half--but worth it.
Message: Posted by: cataquet (Jul 23, 2003 12:25PM)
OK, for years, I used crochetted balls, but they tended to wear out (get dirty or covered in pils). Then I switched to rubber balls. These worked well (I painted them to get the colors I needed), but then I discovered the mini-baseballs. I highly recommend these. The best ones are made by Auke at http://www.cupsandballs.nl However, the price will be beyond the budgets of most casual magicians. If you're a pro, these are the best. He will customise everything, and even make your cups. Highly recommended! :bigdance:

However, if you're on a budget and want to use miniature baseballs, you can get 1-1/8" balls from Jedinat Zaubershop. They can do minimal customisation, and their products can be viewed at http://www.jedinat-zaubershop.de/shop/show/show_pr/en/~tplprodukt_1/~prid400.htm

Bye for now

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 24, 2003 07:06PM)
The van Dokkum cups are nothing short of wonderful. I have a set of his stainless steel jumbo cups. They will probably last a lifetime.

For completed monkey's fist balls, check out James Riser's web site http://www.jamesriser.com

His jumbo cups are also quite nice.
Message: Posted by: jmm1303 (Jul 31, 2003 08:35PM)
I use the crochet balls
Message: Posted by: markyeager (Jul 31, 2003 10:49PM)
My first cups & balls were water glasses covered with brown shopping bags, and $1 dollar bills crumpled tightly into balls. This idea is right from "Stars of Magic"
Dai Vernon Chapter. Years later, I got a set of Danny Dew " Paul Fox Cups". For them I liked the red knited balls 1/2 inch. I do this so I can nest the 3 balls togeather in the center cup. The small balls are a better contrast to the final load balls. The final loads are so strong, every one forgets about the size of the smaller balls. At least this is my opinion, and ...
Message: Posted by: Magicmike1949 (Aug 2, 2003 06:18PM)
Mike Rogers baseballs, but they'll be getting rare.
Message: Posted by: Jordan Piper (Aug 8, 2003 09:50PM)
I like to use those little fuzz balls you can buy at craft stores. They are cheap, come in different sizes and colours, and have the ability to squish like sponge balls.
Message: Posted by: Alessandro Scotti (Aug 10, 2003 09:27AM)
I have found an interesting ball that is just fine for the cups and balls, and extremely cheap to boot! It is sold as "ice balls" and it is a reusable ice "cube" that comes in assorted colors. I just bought 15 for 0.10 euros each, look at them at:

Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Aug 11, 2003 08:39PM)
1. rolled dollar bills (Stars of Magic, Daryl)
2. sugar packets with McDonald's styrofoam coffee cups
3. mini corks or corks from wine bottles
4. rolled foil with plastic cups (Penn and Teller)
5. rolled napkins, newspaper clippings, or other paper

these are some ideas for impromptu balls

Message: Posted by: Kenn Capman (Aug 20, 2003 10:56AM)
I still stand by my Fakini 1" silicone balls for general use. I haven't experienced any problems or hang ups with them and they make the moves almost effortless because of the 'grip' they provide.

I find them easier to handle than the crocheted balls that come with most sets.

Thanks for all the ideas on impromptu ball substitutes though. Now you have all gotten my brain into a different gear to rethink my current routine. :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Aug 21, 2003 11:38AM)
I prefer the 3/4" red crocheted balls because I use red sponge balls as my final loads including a sponge ball that don't fit into the cups.

I have used the colorful striped balls you can get in the cat department at about any store. They are nice but more than one won't fit on a cup so they don't fit my routine any more.
Message: Posted by: M Pitcher (Aug 22, 2003 05:36PM)
the best balls I ever have seen are the one from Auke van Dokkum from the Netherlands

I ordered them today ,
there is a little waitinglist , but I tell you , it's worth wile
Message: Posted by: Jim Davis (Aug 24, 2003 02:44AM)
Balls? I use bullets.. .38 special to be exact. With silver casings.

I admit that I used a Morrissey set for practice until I came up with the dummy loaded rounds.
Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Aug 24, 2003 07:38PM)
I use red crocheted balls for my routine. I like them for reasons others have listed: they don't talk, they are quite visible (especially against my dark green close-up mat), and they handle easily.

However, I've heard a lot of good things about the Mike Rogers mini baseballs, and I'm considering using them, if they are still available and they aren't too expensive.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 25, 2003 11:26PM)
Emily B.,

The Mike Rogers balls are still available. Check with http://www.ammarmagic.com for details.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Emily Belleranti (Aug 26, 2003 05:05PM)
Thanks for the info, Robert!

I've been hearing comments about their lack of availability (in this thread, actually) and I wasn't sure.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 26, 2003 06:05PM)

After Mike passed there was some time that they weren't being made at all.

I purchased the last set of 7/8" that Michael Ammar had in his shop.

Not long ago they began offering them again.

If you can't get a set, you can also get baseballs from Gary Animal & Gazzo over at Magicpitch.com

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 26, 2003 06:15PM)
Jim Riser makes a great set of balls that don't roll away... check http://www.jamesriser.com
Message: Posted by: Danny Magic (Sep 6, 2003 10:53PM)
I use the mini baseballs when strolling, and chili peppers in my close-up show. Both work well for the wand spin and they are easy to load. Use your immagination and you can come up with many items to use for loads to make your C&B routine unique.
Message: Posted by: B-MAN (Sep 15, 2003 04:37AM)
I just did a show for my kids birthday party and after reading all the posts I deceided to use kumquats( look like oranges but the size of a grape ) used big oranges for the final loads.
Message: Posted by: Leeman (Sep 17, 2003 02:31AM)
i want to use a tennis ball as my final load and thought that using tinny tennis balls, similar to the baseballs for the routine would be neat. but the smallest i have been able to find are 2", has anybody seen smaller ones, 1" at most, anywhere?
Message: Posted by: shane_delon (Sep 24, 2003 05:06PM)
I use homemade monkey-fist balls made of thin suade strips. Made them about a year ago. The core is a very small - 3/8ths or 5/8ths inch - crocheted cork ball.

You can practically throw these things into the cup and they won't talk. They are also a little heavier than standard cork balls.

Couldn't ask for anything better...takes a little bit of time to make them though. Mine have 4 rounds of leather strip and are right at 1".

Message: Posted by: Tom G (Oct 25, 2003 08:35PM)
I searched and found some 7/8" balls. Problem was they were black, slightly tacky, and resistant to paint. After much trial and error I found a paint that not only adhered but wasn't tacky. I found that silicone Fakini included was too tacky for stacking routines.
Message: Posted by: David Le (Oct 25, 2003 11:35PM)
I use my home-made sponge balls. :bg:

because the only storage case for the sponge balls that I use for the cups and balls or individual sponge ball magic are the cups ;)

hope that wasn't too confusing.
Message: Posted by: videoman (Nov 10, 2003 07:28PM)
Hey Pete,

You almost got me sold on the Johnny Paul C&B routine. I think I'm off now to order the Stevens tape.

Any Johnny Paul cups left in your possession? If so, what's the price?
Saw you mention $125.00 in another post but I won't hold you to that, you can make it even cheaper if you like. ;-)

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael. (Nov 12, 2003 12:17AM)
In my kid's show I use marshmallows and a single cup. It's a funny bit when I put the produced marshmallow into the kid helper's mouth and have them say a magic word like "hocus pocus" with a mouth full of marshmallow. Then produce another and another and another. They quickly can't put any more in their mouth so I start eating them too, also talking with my mouth full.

Lots of fun. I finish the routine with a call back to the rock I used in "Rock in Shoe."

(Reading over what I've just written, I see how that seems discontinuous but it makes sense with the patter I use.)

Other times I use crochet balls, foil balls, or soft foam rubber balls.
Message: Posted by: wcb39 (Nov 12, 2003 05:00PM)
If you want the best I suggest contacting Auke van Dokkum at http://www.cupsandballs.nl/. His ball are the finest I have seen and you can get custom colors. Mike Rogers made wonderful balls and these are about two steps up in quality. The bad news is they are also two steps up in price.
Message: Posted by: thatmagicguy (Nov 13, 2003 11:50AM)
Kind of suprised that with the talk of using mouse balls, no one thought of using them in chop cups...the have a metal core that works well with magnets....
They appear and sound very solid when you drop them on the table...just paint them whatever color you need.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Muggle (Nov 15, 2003 08:31PM)
On 2003-11-12 18:00, wcb39 wrote:
If you want the best I suggest contacting Auke van Dokkum at http://www.cupsandballs.nl/. His ball are the finest I have seen and you can get custom colors. Mike Rogers made wonderful balls and these are about two steps up in quality. The bad news is they are also two steps up in price.

Are they heavy in weight though? I use a few different styles, some of which have been made in leather, others in rope. Nothing has any weight though.

That's why I like the Gertner routine. The props have weight, thus (IMO) making the spectator believe that they are harder to manipulate or hide.

Message: Posted by: BeThePlunk (Jan 8, 2014 09:13AM)
I'm joining this forum about 11 years late, but I'm hoping someone out there can help. After trying lots of ball types, I most favor the Rogers baseballs, and I use them happily in a baseball theme routine. BUT the baseball look is not right for all occasions. SO, where can I find the same stitched leather construction but in solid colors (matched leather and stitching) -- red for sure and maybe other colors?

I see the Auke van Dokkum has something like that, but $40 + shipping is more than I want to pay. Can they be found cheaper?

Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Jan 8, 2014 02:37PM)
David many that use the Mike Rogers Baseballs have routines that don't relate to baseballs at all. Michael Ammar uses them. his routine is not baseball nor sports related at all. If you favor Mike Roger's baseballs over other types use them. Don't worry them looking out of place to your audiences. They won't
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Jan 8, 2014 02:38PM)
David many that use the Mike Rogers Baseballs have routines that don't relate to baseballs at all. Michael Ammar uses them. his routine is not baseball nor sports related at all. If you favor Mike Roger's baseballs over other types use them. Don't worry them looking out of place to your audiences. They won't
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Jan 8, 2014 07:51PM)
Donnie of Rings and Things II sells great sets of crochet balls in a variety of colors. The balls have some weight to them and the stitching on the crochet balls is tight, not fuzzy. Brett Sherwood also sells great crochet balls, but be aware that they are 1 and a quarter inch in size.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jan 9, 2014 02:18PM)
I have yet to find some leather balls in bright colors, plain leather balls look like you know what... LOL.

If you look there are "Monkey Fist/Knot" balls out there in colors.

I am another that recommends balls from RNT2, there are many sizes and again the quality is great. Frank from the Ambitious Card also sells some great balls... I have a set that are felt covered mouse balls; I use them with some Traditional styled Cups. They are very heavy and will not roll around. He also has some with the "Monkey Fist" coverings, I also use those with no complaints.

Good luck finding what you need.

Message: Posted by: Nate The Magician (Jan 9, 2014 05:51PM)
For my first set of cups (finders), I used some carved cork balls that were wrapped in tee shirt fabric and sewed- but I don't recommend it- it makes you look homeless.
I've gotten good results either making my own mini-baseballs from pleather and cork or by using a set of red knit balls that I got with my first proper set.
For final loads, I've found that billiard balls are oh-so-satisfying because 1: everyone knows what they are 2: they're heavy and they "Thud!"
However, I'd also say that billiard balls tend to talk when you put them in the cup so... Caveat discipulus.
Message: Posted by: BeThePlunk (Jan 10, 2014 08:11AM)
It finally dawned on me that there must be on-line patterns and instructions for creating baseball covers of any size. A quick search locates several places to get the information. So, having already created three sets of monkey fist balls, I could have just found myself a new evening pastime.
Message: Posted by: Nate The Magician (Jan 10, 2014 07:56PM)
On 2014-01-10 09:11, BeThePlunk wrote:
It finally dawned on me that there must be on-line patterns and instructions for creating baseball covers of any size. A quick search locates several places to get the information. So, having already created three sets of monkey fist balls, I could have just found myself a new evening pastime.

Rock on, dude! Nothing like building your own props.

There's a blog called "The Suitcase Machine" that has a tutorial on making baseballs. (ish)
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (Sep 17, 2014 04:42PM)
What about the balls from ringsnthings and theambitiouscard.com?

Does anyone have experience with these two brands?

How much do they weigh?
Which colors are most visible?
Which size is best for cups with a baseball final load?
Message: Posted by: BCS (Sep 17, 2014 05:07PM)

I own many RNT2 Balls, all I am very pleased with, especially their balls for Chop Cups and Combo Cups. The Ambitious Card balls are good too… a different look than RNT2.

As to weight, I have never weighed them… however in my opinion you don’t want them so heavy… or you can hear them go plop as you do your moves. The set of Ambitious Card “Mouse Balls” I have are heavy and on some working surfaces the working surface is like a drum head. They are great at staying put.

Regarding color… consider the color of Cups, working surface and your clothes (background)… you want them to be visible with contrast.

RNT2 has some great Cups and if you can find some, Gary Animal spun some Cups that will hold a baseball. They come up for sale every now and then.

Good luck,
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (Sep 17, 2014 05:13PM)
Thanks Bruce.

I already have cups, one set is copper one set is brass.

I perform on a black surface or a green surface. I most often wear a white shirt with a dark vest or coat, black or grey. I thought the red or yellow or white would be most visible. What would you say?
Message: Posted by: BCS (Sep 18, 2014 09:21AM)

You pretty much hit the colors that show up with the backgrounds that you listed. Use the largest balls that you feel the most comfortable with and work well with the Cups that you have. I mostly use 7/8" size balls with my Paul Fox and Squatty 2 Cups.

Good luck,
Message: Posted by: wwhokie1 (Sep 18, 2014 03:27PM)
I have heard some suggest reversing the colors, using the darker colors for the balls and a contrasting color for the surface. So the ball color would be black, navy, dark red like a maroon etc. the idea being that if there is any slip in your handling then you are less likely to flash the ball. A red ball will flash easily, the darker colors are more forgiving. Of course you have to have the appropriate contrasting colors for the surface and clothing. I believe that suggestion came from the Bob White dvd,
Message: Posted by: BCS (Sep 18, 2014 03:36PM)
Others have mentioned that they have been called out with the ball flashing from their shinny Cups... long story short, I have let my Cups turn brown and have never had the problem.

Call me old school... I am partial to the RNT2 red balls.

Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Sep 18, 2014 05:31PM)
It's also worth looking at the viewing angle. If people are sitting or standing and what they will see. Think of your clothing as the cyclorama and proscenium arch and what will show up best.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Sep 25, 2014 08:00AM)
I tried and enjoyed using small round sea shells, tea bags, pompoms, bounce no-bounce balls, hazelnuts, nutmegs, cork balls painted with metallic paint mixed with steel balls painted the same way, plastic fake grapes, fragile looking button mushrooms, make-up sponges (by the way Sephora came out with very convenient conical ones), small artificial flowers, pebbles (real or fake or a mix of both), cherry tomatoes, fake raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, cranberries, acrylic Ice Chips, marshmallows, almonds, even Brüssel sprouts, boiled quail eggs, small Chili peppers (red, yellow or green), black olives, green olives, pimento-stuffed green olives, cauliflowers pieces, small sausages (Lebanese or French), small madeleines...
I like "balls" that people can relate to and that convey a feel of impromptu. I don't like crumpled up dollar bill that, in my eyes, look wrong and clumbsy (god knows why) but used many times crumpled up aluminum foil.
I even used Jay Sankey giant sponge ear plugs when training for Fred Kaps routine.
I tried putty and silly putty as well as medical gells and pearls (with some Rezvani ideas) when practicing on a variant of René Lavand's Bread Crumbs

I never tried thimbles but I know that Ross Bertram did use theem from time to time.... and Albert Goshman was using Salt shakers as cups and coins as balls.

So is the nature of the ball that important (even though hard ones have noise constraints) or is it the feel, joy and energy that our magic conveys ?
Because some people did ask me to see again "your trick with the cups and the [large load they had seen]", changing the nature of the small balls and the large loads did add to the feeling of magic every time they would see it (and I made a point to remember what balls or load had seen handled before by marking it in my mobile phone after performing).
Message: Posted by: Bluesman (Sep 28, 2014 12:15PM)
[quote]On Mar 23, 2002, Harry Murphy wrote:
I use a “Monkey’s Fist” knot for a ball. Mine a shave under 1 inch and made of strands of red and black leather (leather laces). I have made some final load balls that are about 3 inches in diameter out of red and black rope, but don’t use them much as I favor fruit loads for the finale.

The Monkey Fist knot is an old sailing ship decorative knot. While it is a ball in a general sense it has “edges” that help keep it from rolling.

This knot makes a pretty ball and is easy to tie. There is an instruction page with illustrations at http://www.realknots.com/knots/faqknot.htm#monkey [/quote]

Thanks for this web site!

Emmett :cups: