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Topic: Wood White Billiard Balls for Shimada's Routines
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 16, 2011 04:37AM)
Does anyone have any informtion on where to obtain White Multiplying Billiad Balls made out of wood with a flat type finish. I believe a flat finish would be easier in palming the balls. Only my thoughts on this of course. I am interested in 4 balls and 2 gimmicks for the Shamada Billiard Ball routines. Perfer a size from 1.5" to 1.75".

I am afraid Shamada's manipulations cannot be accomplished with any of the silicone type balls currently available on the market.

All the wood Billiard Balls I have found are in Red.

Especially interested in members from Japan that may know of a source for these types of magician's Multiplying Billiard Balls.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hT0xygGww0&NR=1
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (May 16, 2011 06:56AM)
Bill you might want to contact Levent since it looks as if he has every type on BB under the sun.
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (May 16, 2011 10:06AM)
Bill,

Fakini billards work perfectly (for me) but as you know, silicone billards are not for everyone. Mikame (sp) has a white set as does Viking. If you are having a problem with grip, an old school solution is a lacquer.
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (May 16, 2011 10:12AM)
Bill,

The Shimada moves are covered in the post-graduate course at the Chavez Studio of Magic in the mid-west(www.ChavezCollegeofMagic.com). There seems to be a little bit more than just the "straight" Shimada move going on here. But hey, what do I know - LOL I am interested in what others have to say.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 16, 2011 10:34AM)
Signor Blitz, I checked Viking Site and did not find anything except their new deluxes set of red balls.

Mikame Billiard Balls have not been available for several years, last record I found was 1989.

As for my choice of wood, it more has to do with double gimmick work, as I feel with silicone with 2 gimmicks will not be successful.

I do suffer from dry hands, that is okay except when it comes to ball manipulation.

[quote]
On 2011-05-16 11:12, Signor Blitz wrote:
Bill,

The Shimada moves are covered in the post-graduate course at the Chavez Studio of Magic in the mid-west(www.ChavezCollegeofMagic.com). There seems to be a little bit more than just the "straight" Shimada move going on here. But hey, what do I know - LOL I am interested in what others have to say.
[/quote]
Yes, Shamida has 2 ways to accomplish the flash 4. If you have his video check it out. It is a version of exchanging balls and gimmicks and placement in a flash. As I said it is a knuckle buster.
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (May 16, 2011 12:02PM)
Bill!

You lucky dog you! Dry hands isn't a problem, it is an advantage!! I know of 3 acts that use the Fakini's with the double shelling - not a problem (that being said, they are stage acts not close quarters shows). If your hands are on the smaller side and cannot handle the 1 3/4 inch with the added shells - you may want to drop down to the 1 5/8 inch. Fakini golf balls don't work well (it is the nature of the golf ball and the dimples)

I see set of Mikame's for sale every so often - most people I know use Fakini so I am unawair of the wooden market. I do know the German ones won't work - you need a shell that is even thickness at all points. There is always Owens and if push comes to shove, you can always use a white lacquer to creat your own white set out of Viking - or even give him a call - he might make a white set for you, you never know.

Good stretching is key. If you remember the "stick" exercise in the Chavez course and the extra moves that Neil added to the exercise, that will help. Also, warm up with a billard larger than what you work with (ie if you use 1 3/4 warm up with a 2 inch)

Once you get the touch of going from 1 to 3 down - adding the fourth is a piece of cake. So in the begining, work on the 1 to 3 at all different angles, it will make it a lot easier. Shimada's full routine is a wonderful example of skill and pratice. The hard work is to make it look not mechanical but magical.

I hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 16, 2011 12:21PM)
Signor Blitz, I did contact Viking and they plan to make more sets in the fall of this year. So I must wait till then to request special paint work. Owen price list was $275.00 in 2005, so I am sure they are more expensive now, that is for 3 balls and a gimmick only.

I may have to settle on the German/India balls if nothing turns up. Yes, the size is in question. Dry hands are good, don't leave many finger prints. LOL When it come to palming round objects, it shoots out. So I do have to find which size would work the best for my hands.

Thanks for all your comments it is appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Levent (May 16, 2011 12:55PM)
Hi Guys:

I just saw this post. As mentioned above, Owens makes the sets in 1 3/4" and 2" in white and red and they are pricey. But if you call them perhaps tell will sell it to you a two ball and two shell set?

Another thought I had was that I remember a while back Shimada's ex-wife Deanna was selling some of the spare balls that Shimada had used in the past. I might be worth contacting her to see if she still had them for sale.

Levent
http://www.LeventMagic.com
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 16, 2011 01:28PM)
Bill,

See if you can locate the German balls and just repaint them. I used the 50mm balls for the eight ball flash finish, although I left them red. I did however repaint many balls for color changes, etc. My hands are not large, nor are my fingers long, and the 50mm worked fine for me. I also have some 40mm, but they seem to cramp my fingers down too much. Your mileage may vary.

Use gloss, not flat for a better cling. (Watch a kid try to slide his face along a clean window if you don't believe a slick finish has more grip. :) ) But you'll also probably need to work your hands with some lotion to restore some moisture. It is a balance between too dry and too moist. Dry hands offer no resistance, and sweaty hands are over-lubricated, like trying to pick up wet pumpkin seeds.

Think of this analogy... Have you ever seen how to make a glass of water sing by stroking the rim with your fingertip? If the rim and/or your hands are too dry, nothing happens. If your fingertip and/or the rim is too wet, there is too much lubrication and again, nothing happens. But, find that magicial point somewhere between and you have music!

Painting the balls is easy enough. Just take a large sewing needle and carefully hammer it into the ball. Painted balls will already have a spot where this was done originally. You can also start from scratch and find some plain wood balls, although this doesn't solve the issue of the gimmicks.

The needle gives you something to hang the ball from so it can dry without resting upon something else. Some people swear by lacquer, others use enamel. I have had reasonably good success with both, but in either case, be sure to use a few coats. The real key is to have that last coat go on wet, so that it dries with a hard slick finish, and not peppered with fine grains, as happens with a drier spray. Think of how nice the finish is on a Milson Worth prop, and this is what you are shooting for.

If on the other hand, you want to leave the work to someone else, you might want to contact Angelo Iafrate (angeloturn here on the Café). His wood turning is some of the best I have ever seen, and he has made ball sets for other magicians.

~michael
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 18, 2011 11:35AM)
I just finished watching Jeff McBride's take on the Shamida four ball production. I did note he was in error on the last part of the moves.

I did note it looked like he was using silicon balls. So this make me wonder if the balls release from the gimmick easily. I have never owned a set of smooth silicon balls, only a golf ball set.

I would very much like to hear from owners of silicon multiplying balls and if the balls tend to stick in the gimmick as with the golf balls. Are the gimmicks smooth and easy fitting, meaning do they roll out easily with the break action 1st. In other words you would not be able to perform the ball through silk gag effect, because the ball would fall out.

Any silicon ball workers care to comment? If so thanks!
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (May 18, 2011 02:28PM)
Bill,
My 2 inch fakinis come out of their shell easily enough. No sticking. If you put a piece of felt inside of course, they'd come out even more readily.
As for the ball through silk: I have tried it but the 2 inch balls are too heavy to support themselves with the silk between the sh*ll and ball. It does work okay with 1.75 inch fakinis.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (May 19, 2011 01:08AM)
Bill!

Not to sound like a funny man - you have got to keep you balls clean! (let the one liners begin! - LOL)

I use witch hazel to clean the billards and the inside of the shell (the inside of the shell junks up over time) then I use a little bit of Zinc Sterate (fanning powder) on the inside of the sell (after it is totally dry)

The McBride tapes are not the best in learning this - If you are able to get the Shimada tape (the later lecture, not the Stevens Magic tapes produced in the 80's - they are good but the new lecture is better)

Or goto http://www.ChavezCollegeofMagic.com and give Larry a call, he will help you through everything.

Hope this is of some help!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 19, 2011 09:21AM)
Would these work?:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Multiplying-Balls-White-Gorilla-Grip-/370477110855?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D10%26pmod%3D180645661169%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D38838017044053141
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 19, 2011 09:44AM)
I also believe that Viking is made a good set of wood right now.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 19, 2011 03:41PM)
It is truely disappointing that I cannot get any actual help on the Café. So I decided to get this version of the Shimada Flash 4 ball production. http://www.trickproduction.com/stage/three-stroke-ball-production.html Only have to add one of there other ball effects.

I can only assume there are no billiard ball manipulators on the Café. As one cannot get a simple question answered.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 19, 2011 04:15PM)
Are we reading the same thread??
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 19, 2011 05:15PM)
Okay, I took rainboguy recommendation and bought the Gorilla Grip balls. If they don't work, I will be very sad with the Café members.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 19, 2011 05:31PM)
Aren’t the “Gorilla Grip” balls silicone balls that were manufactured by the now defunct (at least I believe it to be defunct) Arlen Studios?

No matter the formula silicone balls are silicone balls. They all share the same issue (difficulty in standard droppers, stick to the gimmick unless the gimmick is modified, etc.).

I think that Michael Baker’s suggestion of buying red wooden balls of the size needed and repainting them was a killer solution. There are a number of very inexpensive red wooden sets with gimmicks available that would meet the need. A can of flat white primer spray paint would do the trick for a few bucks more.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 19, 2011 05:42PM)
Harry, thanks for your post, but as I mentioned, the gimmicks do not [b]meet together[/b] which it has to do, to perform the Shimada Flash Four or one to Four moves.

This is the red ball set at the local magic store. They are like 1/2" apart. Not good!

I have not checked out the India red high gloss wood balls, but being they copy, I am afraid they will be the same. I have asked Daytona Magic to check, if they will I don't know how helpful a dealer they are on potential customers requests.
Message: Posted by: GrahamFishman (May 19, 2011 06:03PM)
Fakini balls work fine with a double shell, been doing it for years..
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 19, 2011 06:27PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-19 18:42, wmhegbli wrote:
Harry, thanks for your post, but as I mentioned, the gimmicks do not [b]meet together[/b] which it has to do, to perform the Shimada Flash Four or one to Four moves.

This is the red ball set at the local magic store. They are like 1/2" apart. Not good!

I have not checked out the India red high gloss wood balls, but being they copy, I am afraid they will be the same. I have asked Daytona Magic to check, if they will I don't know how helpful a dealer they are on potential customers requests.
[/quote]

They don't need to meet in the middle, as fingers cover the gaps. (Bill, I know I sent you the same info in a PM, but this is for anyone else reading here).

Further, it is a moot point for the one to four... you only need the standard set to do that move (one gimmick). (2 different versions of the one to four, as I recall). I only have the old VHS tape from Stevens.

The earlier sets of German balls probably had a thinner shell... not at the edge, but the thickness in the very center. I would still contact Angelo, as I'd bet his shells have a better fit.

Nothing screams cut corners like mass production, so go with a real craftsman.

You might also want to contact Levent to see what info he can offer.

~michael
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 19, 2011 07:28PM)
Oh boy, more problems, I did not know Shimada and Deanna split.

My email was not returned, but no response either.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (May 20, 2011 10:20PM)
The India balls from Daytona are crap. At least the sh*lls are. The sh*ll is unuseable. The edge is so thick you cannot even hold the ball in it while trying to do the basic move.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 20, 2011 10:33PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-20 23:20, JamesinLA wrote:
The India balls from Daytona are crap. At least the sh*lls are. The sh*ll is unuseable. The edge is so thick you cannot even hold the ball in it while trying to do the basic move.

Jim
[/quote]
Jim, not to worry, I emailed Daytona and requested some info, they took the India billiard balls off their site, I guess they are sold out. Thanks for the input, as I almost ordered them.

I will just have to save my money and have a custom set made by Antonio.

[quote]
On 2011-05-19 10:21, Rainboguy wrote:
Would these work?:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Multiplying-Balls-White-Gorilla-Grip-/370477110855?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D10%26pmod%3D180645661169%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D38838017044053141
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2011-05-19 18:15, wmhegbli wrote:
Okay, I took rainboguy recommendation and bought the Gorilla Grip balls. If they don't work, I will be very sad with the Café members.
[/quote]
The balls just arrived and these are most likely from China. The gimmicks are not metal, but plastic. They do not have the cling feature in either one. The balls are about 1-5/8" and the gimmicks set loose on them. They have a inner ridge that will prevent the cling of the gimmick and do not have the same material on them as the balls. The advertising on the site is false information.

Isn't buying from the internet just wonderful. It is really sad when you cannot trust dealers to check their products. I thought it use to be against the law to false advertise, but I guess congress took that law off the books also.