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Topic: Wooden Cups
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 13, 2010 10:12AM)
I have just taken delivery of a set of Cocobolo cups and matching wand made by Joe
Porper. Aside from very nice single chop cups and a nasty little set of cups made in India, these are the first decent set of wood cups I have gotten my grubby little paws on and they are very nicely made.

Obviously wooden cups handle very differently to metal ones and they have certain restrictions and limitations but I really like these and the wand is beautiful.

You can read more of my thoughts and see pictures here:

http://tinyurl.com/yk8jkgv

Bri
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Mar 13, 2010 10:39AM)
Great looking set of cups Bri, congrats!
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 13, 2010 10:43AM)
Thanks! I was just saying to someone that I would really like a set of dark wooden cups with polished copper or brass beads and mouth beads...
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Mar 13, 2010 11:58AM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-13 11:43, mindyourmagic wrote:
Thanks! I was just saying to someone that I would really like a set of dark wooden cups with polished copper or brass beads and mouth beads...
[/quote]

Congrats Bri!

I really like your idea about the copper or brass and wood cups... Might be a trick to produce though I am sure that they would be beautiful.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 13, 2010 12:07PM)
Sshhh Doug, I'm happy in my bubble! If someone were to make them, I bet they would look and handle nicely though...
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Mar 15, 2010 10:36AM)
CoCoBolo is a beautiful wood and Joe did a beautiful job turning those. Congrats on a nice addition to your evergrowing collection Bri! I wonder how some hand carved designs would look on those Coco cups?
Enjoy them!

Cupamagically,
Dom :) ;)
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 15, 2010 11:29AM)
Thanks Dom. You've done it now! My mind is turning over with carved wooden cups!
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Mar 15, 2010 11:35AM)
Nice cups Bri!
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 15, 2010 12:11PM)
Hey thanks Tom :)
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Mar 15, 2010 01:51PM)
Always a pleasure Bri...

...tinged with just a hint of jealousy.

;)
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Mar 22, 2010 09:46PM)
The contrast of the the cups with the lemon loads is really, REALLY, nice.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 23, 2010 04:27AM)
Yeah, thanks, I think so too Chessmann. I think that fruit suits wooden cups anyway... I like to use lemons and limes with my Eric Hansen chop cups too...

Bri
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 18, 2011 05:59PM)
Attached is a photo of my first set of cups. The materials are cocobolo and gabon ebony

Now owned by Bill Palmer

A
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 18, 2011 06:01PM)
In addition to the Cocobolo Cups. My first ever set of Feathered Combo Cups

These too belong to Bill Palmer

A
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Jan 18, 2011 07:52PM)
Angeloturn, those Cocobolo cups are very beautiful and I wish I had set like those. Cannot image a set of Feathered cups though, it's the first time I have ever heard of this.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Jan 18, 2011 08:06PM)
Just visited the Joe Porper web site and got a closer look at the cups. One thing I noticed about each cup is that they are not turned from a single piece of wood, they are turned from two pieces of wood glued together, and therefore half of the cup is different from the other half.

I have a birds-eye maple wood chop cup from Eric Hansen that is turned from a single piece of wood which is very pleasing to the eye. So, when I saw that close-up photo from Porper's web site I feel somewhat let down.

I am convinced that Joe Porper's craftmanship is top notch, but I just wish that his cups had been turned from a single piece of wood.
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jan 18, 2011 09:07PM)
Cups turned from many pieces of wood can be beautiful.

[img]http://www.dakotajmagic.com/images/img_0420.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jan 18, 2011 09:08PM)
Agreed. Nice cup!
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jan 18, 2011 09:13PM)
[quote]

I have a birds-eye maple wood chop cup from Eric Hansen that is turned from a single piece of wood which is very pleasing to the eye.

[/quote]

I have a birds eye maple chop cup from Eric as well. Until you look closely, it looks like one piece of wood, but it's really two. At least in my cup, that's how the gaff is incorporated into the cup. I am a big fan of Eric's work. Maybe he will post a message here to clarify.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Jan 18, 2011 10:34PM)
Dale Houck, your cup shown in the photo is meant to stand out with multi pieces of wood. Joe Porper's cup is one type of wood, cocobolo, and from one type of wood at first thought I would assume it would be a solid block of wood. It does not make sense to me that a cup would be put together like this and I am not exactly sure how to explain this. Again, this is just my opinion.

I do not know much about cocobolo wood, is it difficult wood to turn, or is it difficult to find big enough solid cocobolo wood to turn it as one solid piece?

My Eric Hansen's cup is mostly birds eye with a darker wood on the lip of the cup that enhances the over all design of the cup. The big piece of birds eye is one solid piece of wood. Anyone looking at this cup in their hands would never spot anything suspicious!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 18, 2011 10:35PM)
The Porper Cocobolo cups are truly excellent. He also made some in Alder, which is a very popular wood for electric guitar bodies.

One of the problems with wooden cups is overcoming wood's natural tendency to change its shape when new surfaces are exposed to the atmosphere. Joe's solution for this was to use two pieces of wood that were assembled in such a way that the grain basically counteracted its own tendency to move.

I have to say, though, that Angelo got it right on these first cups right off the bat. That first set in cocobolo and ebony has been here for a few weeks. These are rather large cups. They could be difficult to handle except for the way the rings are installed. The rings are at just the right point to make picking up the cups and putting them down a matter of ease instead of a task. The first time I picked them up at NEMCA last year, I could feel that they would work very well.

They do.

These feathered cups have given me some really odd ideas. I believe Angelo is approaching cup creation and design from a new point of view. This is quite refreshing.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 19, 2011 01:39AM)
I didn't see Keith's post about the two-piece Porper cups when I posted that information.

I'm not a skilled wood turner (nor did I ever play one on television!); however, I do have a wood lathe in my garage, and I have been known to make rather large pieces of wood into small pieces of wood surrounded by immense quantities of sawdust. If you think that sawing through a board makes a mess, try turning a bowl or a cup.

One of the big considerations when turning something from a piece of wood is how the wood is going to react once the new surfaces are exposed to the atmosphere. With some woods, you may have to finish a piece over a period of weeks, just to make sure that the wood has a chance to recover.

One of my alternate vocations is as a banjo player and set-up man. About 20 years ago, divers began recovering logs from the bottom of the Great Lakes, where they had been resting for a couple of centuries -- the result of the large flotillas of logs that were floated down the river from the old forests in Canada and the Northern US. This wood had aged anaerobically, producing a type of wood that was radically different from the wood that came from the same type of wood that had aged in the actual atmosphere. The wood, itself, was not waterlogged. The lake water only penetrated an inch or so into the logs, which were usually several feet in diameter.

The tonal qualities of this wood were amazing. Banjo companies started making the wooden rims that form the bodies of the banjos from this old growth "submerged" wood. Two basic methods were used. The rims, themselves are turned from a piece of wood that is basically a circle slightly over 11 inches OD and about 9 3/8 inches ID. This circle can either be laminated from three pieces of wood that are a little over 1/4 inch thick, bent under steam pressure, or it can be made from blocks of wood. I have some of these rims on instruments in my collection.

The rims that were made from the wooden blocks generally warped less and remained truer than the ones that were laminated, which tended to become oval. The biggest problem was that if the wood was not aged correctly over a period of approximately two years, it could collapse if subjected to sudden extreme dryness. You can't force this wood to dry.

If you have ever gone to a market where they sold pecan wood bowls, you will probably recall seeing bowls that were made of wood that was about a half inch thick, but they were oval. They weren't oval when they were turned. This happened after they had aged a few weeks.

This two-piece construction allows the wood to expand and contract proportionately, so the cups do not become oval over time.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jan 19, 2011 03:30AM)
[quote]
On 2011-01-18 21:06, Keith Mitchell wrote:
Just visited the Joe Porper web site and got a closer look at the cups. One thing I noticed about each cup is that they are not turned from a single piece of wood, they are turned from two pieces of wood glued together, and therefore half of the cup is different from the other half.
[/quote]

Keith, I can see what you mean form the photo on the site, however the cups I have are not jointed but a single piece. Maybe it depends on the pieces of wood Joe gets?

Angelo, lovely cups! The leaf covered ones bring to my mind the Green Man, there's lots of possible presentational ideas there loosely based around Pagan, Wicca, Solstice etc.

Bri
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jan 19, 2011 12:04PM)
My cup pictured above was made by Angelo Iafrate and is very similar to one pictured in the Cups and Balls Museum. I bought a set of Mike Rogers chopped manipulation balls and a load ball for it, being inspired by Bill's photo of his Museum cup. I bought my cup on the Café Let's Make a Deal section and it's one of my prized possessions.

I used to do some wood turning, but not even in my dreams did my skill approach Angelo's. I found a source of air dried black walnut that I used as my stock. Even with naturally cured wood, it can warp overnight if you put a finish on only one side.
Message: Posted by: lint (Jan 19, 2011 12:13PM)
Wow those feathered cups are bizarre! They look really cool.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 19, 2011 02:39PM)
You need to see them "in person."

The join in my Porper cocobolo cups is almost unnoticeable. You can't feel it when you run your fingers over the wood. That's the sign of a great joint.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 19, 2011 02:44PM)
My favorite sign of a "great joint" is FREE BEER :kermit:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 19, 2011 06:51PM)
TANSTAAFB!
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 19, 2011 07:04PM)
Cocobolo is very hard and "flinty" to turn. You don't get shavings from cocobolo you get bits and pieces and lots of dust. Most people who work lotsa cocobolo may not be allergic to it when they start but have to stop using it because they have developed an allergy to it over time. So far I'm still able to work with it

So far the bodies of my cups is made from one piece of wood. the beads are added onto the cup. the single bead is set into a recess and the double n=bead rim has a mortice and tenon joint so that they will stand up to any routine. I have, waiting in the wings, Bocote, Padauk, several sets of cocobolo, walnut and maple burl

A
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jan 19, 2011 07:08PM)
Stop teasing! :P

Bri
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Jan 20, 2011 08:22PM)
Bill, I had to look that an-acronym up. Shame on you for using internet talk :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 21, 2011 01:51AM)
There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Beer == a take-off from TAANSTAFL, which had to do with a free lunch.

@angelo -- If you want to see something gross, turn ebony without a repirator, then blow your nose. :(
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 21, 2011 12:35PM)
The feathered cups arrived this morning. They passed "the wife test" with a "WOW! Those are beautiful!"

They are on the photo table right now, awaiting photography.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 21, 2011 12:37PM)
Don't get the [b]HOT[/b] lights too close!
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 21, 2011 02:09PM)
Hah!

Bill. I have turned ebony WITH a mask then blew my nose! Still ain't pretty

A
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 21, 2011 02:10PM)
Glad to hear the cups made the winter migration in good order

A
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 21, 2011 04:24PM)
[quote]
On 2011-01-21 13:37, Pete Biro wrote:
Don't get the [b]HOT[/b] lights too close!
[/quote]

I did and one of the eggs hatched!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 21, 2011 04:24PM)
Very fine work, Angelo!
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Jan 21, 2011 07:08PM)
Can't wait to see the pics Bill, how soon do you think it will be until they are up?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 21, 2011 09:39PM)
They should be in the database tonight, and maybe on the regular pages as well.

I'm working on that right now. I have four sets to add tonight.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Jan 22, 2011 10:10AM)
Just visited Angelo's web site and I have always loved his pill boxes. Only wish I could see someone perform with those pill boxes. I really love his cocobolo cups, they are awesome.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 22, 2011 02:20PM)
That they are!
Message: Posted by: angeloturn (Jan 23, 2011 07:22AM)
Thanks for the compliments!

Dale Houck that's a really nice photo of your Dahms/Angelo Takagi cup. Would you be kind enough to send a copy to me at ajiafrate@me.com? It's one of the cups that have escaped from my shop without a "mug" shot (pun intended)

My best

Angelo
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jan 23, 2011 10:29PM)
Photos have been sent. You are a true artist!
Message: Posted by: plungerman (Feb 25, 2011 01:16PM)
Bri;

In light of your Porper Cocobola cups, I thought they looked great and should be a pleasure to own and use. But as with all cups that get dark with age, I can't help but think of our enjoymnet of darker cups as being a bit misguided. It's rare to see video or performances where the cups are lit very well and I keep thinking that dark props are harder to see and recognize that bright ones. I know we start by telling them they are cups and showing them fairly but I'm sure the darkness that we enjoy cannot make it across the footlights to the specs. I know a real pro who uses very dark dirty copper cups cuz he likes the look, but to a new audience they can't tell them from wads of dark paper, never mind right side up or down, no matter how he presents them. without crystal clear simple moves the routine can get to be just a muddle waiting for the climax. My two cents.

E
Message: Posted by: plungerman (Feb 25, 2011 01:18PM)
In addition, for wooden cups I've got to go with the Mikame cups, double bead (chopped) or single bead.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 25, 2011 01:20PM)
E… Maybe it goes back to preparing for the performance… lighter color balls that contrast with the Cups the same could be said about the working surface.

Thanks,
Bruce