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Topic: Escape artist starting out
Message: Posted by: Swift wolf (Dec 18, 2012 06:18PM)
Hey guys
I am an Australian who lives in NSW and I am wanting to get into escapology.
It's not to easy to get your hands on a set of handcuffs due to laws I was wondering if anyone has gone through the same process of getting your hands on a set of handcuffs and the correct licence to carry a pair as an escape artist

Thanks any help is greatly appriciated
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Dec 18, 2012 06:40PM)
Please go into your profile and add your Email & Website if you have one. Ian will be along shortly to answer some question directly Please remember that he's a professional builder so you might be tempted to purchase his goods. (this is a good thing)

Welcome to the Café.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 19, 2012 04:56AM)
Jay I wouldn’t hold your breath over Ian chiming in any time soon I think he has pulled out as it just isn’t worth it! On many fronts!
Swift where about in Australia do you live? It may be worth looking Ian up for yourself. It’s not hard to get in touch and buy from him; he will be well up on the laws!
Regards handcuffs being imported I don’t know how strict Ausie import rules are on handcuffs (well on the TV program we watch they don’t let ANYTHING in if they can help it – especially biological). You may be able to find someone in the USA or elsewhere that is prepared to send on with a note saying something like “for entertainment purposes only” or “made for magicians” – not saying it would work but it might. I would suggest a cheap pair first just in case it doesn’t. Also you should look at the import tax laws – you can end up paying a load on top of the purchase price due to import duties.
His kit is very well made and sought after by the professional and part time EAs around the world. It lasts and will never let you down – rarely will you need to replace kit – which in a way is bad business sense – but he “isn’t in it” for the money alone. If you can get any of his publications as well they are well worth it.
Message: Posted by: tyler_stevo (Dec 19, 2012 06:46AM)
Hi, I sent the Australian Customs a message about a week ago about importing handcuffs.
This is what he said;
Hand cuffs are not restricted by customs but you need to check with state police as possession of these goods in some states are restricted.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 19, 2012 09:55AM)
Then check with your state police ...... I would say that you can get away with a lot, if it is for theatrical reasons - if you are performing in a theatre, someone’s home, a non-public place then I suspect it will be OK – as long as you don’t assault anyone with them. They have been used as knuckle dusters I hear. Doesn’t mean you should test my theory – just pop in and see the police. If you are a law abiding Australian (avoiding the jokes about you all being a bunch ………well at least the decedents of a load of convicts ……) then why would the police come and search your house. I suspect you can get away with owning stuff as long as no one is any the wiser. But there is always the risk of them being found somehow.

So all in all it is probably best to drop them an email or give them a ring. In my experiences over here the police have always been very good and want to take part in stuff –very much “up for it”.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 19, 2012 10:44AM)
Dave spot on regards Ian,,,what a pity to lose a good one over a couple of bad ones. As you can see on other threads here its a matter of the blind teaching the blind!!

Ians input will be missed.

Ken.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 19, 2012 11:44AM)
I think a lot can be learnt from the other thread swift wolf ..... But you will need to think about what you are seeing and how you utilise that knowledge to guide you.

But I really would get in touch quickly with Ian if I were you!

Ken ...... Wondered if you could do some teaching at UKEA next year?
Message: Posted by: james_unlimited (Dec 19, 2012 11:59AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:44, dave_matkin wrote:
I think a lot can be learnt from the other thread swift wolf ..... But you will need to think about what you are seeing and how you utilise that knowledge to guide you.

But I really would get in touch quickly with Ian if I were you!

Ken ...... Wondered if you could do some teaching at UKEA next year?
[/quote]

Swift wolf- ever thought about chains and padlocks? Ropes zip ties? Are you going to use gimmicked or standard locks?
I started with a set of smith abd wesson 100's cluld be worth contacting isn for a pair of those? Any one can but a prop. But few will use the real deal
Message: Posted by: james_unlimited (Dec 19, 2012 11:59AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:44, dave_matkin wrote:
I think a lot can be learnt from the other thread swift wolf ..... But you will need to think about what you are seeing and how you utilise that knowledge to guide you.

But I really would get in touch quickly with Ian if I were you!

Ken ...... Wondered if you could do some teaching at UKEA next year?
[/quote]

Swift wolf- ever thought about chains and padlocks? Ropes zip ties? Are you going to use gimmicked or standard locks?
I started with a set of smith abd wesson 100's cluld be worth contacting isn for a pair of those? Any one can but a prop. But few will use the real deal

Dave/ken -awesome idea. I would try to make that meeting! If we could get a mix of generations and experience it would be well worth it!
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Dec 19, 2012 12:47PM)
Yes, been productive on the Café in other forms without a few people stealing the topics with off remarks!
Anyways,

Swift wolf, there are lots of other stuff for escapes besides cuffs - james_unlimited stated a few good ones.

Find a few videos and books on escapees to learn more. Also, join http://tiesociety.webs.com for free monthly newsletter on variety of escape topics and some interesting info as well.

Jay Lesley has some items for sell too!
Message: Posted by: james_unlimited (Dec 19, 2012 01:33PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:59, james_unlimited wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:44, dave_matkin wrote:
I think a lot can be learnt from the other thread swift wolf ..... But you will need to think about what you are seeing and how you utilise that knowledge to guide you.

But I really would get in touch quickly with Ian if I were you!

Ken ...... Wondered if you could do some teaching at UKEA next year?
[/quote]

Swift Wolf- Have you ever thought about chains and padlocks? Ropes, zip ties? Are you going to use gimmicked or standard locks?
I started with a set of Smith and Wesson model 100's could be worth contacting Ian McColl for a pair of those? But remember any one can buy a prop. But few will use the real deal, and be able to escape.

Dave/Ken -Awesome idea. I would try to make that meeting! If we could get a mix of generations and experience it would be well worth it!
[/quote]

Apologies for all the typo's (Dam iPhone)
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 19, 2012 04:22PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 14:33, james_unlimited wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:59, james_unlimited wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 12:44, dave_matkin wrote:
I think a lot can be learnt from the other thread swift wolf ..... But you will need to think about what you are seeing and how you utilise that knowledge to guide you.

But I really would get in touch quickly with Ian if I were you!

Ken ...... Wondered if you could do some teaching at UKEA next year?
[/quote]

Swift Wolf- Have you ever thought about chains and padlocks? Ropes, zip ties? Are you going to use gimmicked or standard locks?
I started with a set of Smith and Wesson model 100's could be worth contacting Ian McColl for a pair of those? But remember any one can buy a prop. But few will use the real deal, and be able to escape.

Dave/Ken -Awesome idea. I would try to make that meeting! If we could get a mix of generations and experience it would be well worth it!
[/quote]

Apologies for all the typo's (Dam iPhone)
[/quote]

James here is my standard dyslexia joke for such times.....

What smelling errors? It looked fine to me!
Message: Posted by: Swift wolf (Dec 20, 2012 02:16PM)
Hey thanks for all the help and sorry for the late reply.
I defiantly will try and get in touch with Ian sounds like he could help. I do believe that handcuffs are restricted in some way shape of form. I was thinking about popping in to the police station to see if I can get some answers and define what I can and can't get and stuff.

Different types of escapes have slipped my mind oddly enough, but I think it is defiantly something I will look into now that I have had a nudge in the direction. I would much prefer to use standard locks and cuffs and only if I really need to use gimmicked ones.

will defiantly sign up for the tie society newsletters they sound like they could groovie.
Thanks for all the wicked help!!
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 20, 2012 03:42PM)
Hi Swift Wolf,

As I see it, you have two ways to go to learn escapes these days. You can but books/videos on the subject. Many of us can recommend good escape books, and the above posted Jay Leslie sells very useful and strong videos on a couple of different escapes. That is one way to go, but there is a problem. Like magic, if you study on your own you can develop bad habits that may prove hard to break later.

So the second is to find an escape artist and have him train you. Getting trained will allow to correct errors quickly, and not develop the bad habits in the first place.

How did I learn? A bit of both. I had teachers for a few things and books and video for some others.

Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 20, 2012 04:43PM)
There is also a great DVD by Harley Newman but he isn't get paid for it so I won't recommend it! But if you see it and have a brain you will (hopefully- not everyone will) 'get it'. No methods as such but great content. Shame Harley was not properly remunerated for it!
Message: Posted by: Swift wolf (Dec 22, 2012 03:43AM)
Hey Guys got in touch with Ian (or he got in touch with me -legend) and we are consorting through email.

I talked to him about the regulations with handcuffs in Australia NSW he was spot on I also popped into the local police station and asked them. the Aus NSW laws depict that that a a civilian can not posses a pair of cuffs without a security licence and you usually need a job that requires them. unless they are gimmicked.

So it looks like I will have to settle for gimmicked cuffs. What are your guys opinion on a set of Smith and Wesson 100 gimmicked cuffs as a first set of cuff's?

Thanks cliff that is helpful I might have a look around see if I can find someone on the area that might be able to teach me a bit. everything I have learnt so far has been through books or DVD's.

Thanks for all the help guys!
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 22, 2012 08:37AM)
If you get your cuffs from Ian, the S&W 100's are fine. I have had his cuffs examined on stage and proclaimed real. You do need to exercise some degree of audience control, but it does work. I have no clue what the local Australian police use, but here in California, S&W 100's are very common among cops, and so people get to see what they expect to see.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 26, 2012 05:08AM)
And if you're "cheeky" enough and get a pair of Hiatt "speedcuffs" with 4 screws you can remove the plastic central piece and put them over the S&W and they will pass as Hiatt Speedcuffs - (unless your audience member looking at them can read! - but it’s worth the risk in my mind). Or you could get a pair of Hiatts and S&W then you can use the Hiatts in the casing and the S&W separate!
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Dec 26, 2012 11:32AM)
How many audience members either know or care about a make or style of cuffs? I've never run into it, in about 40 years. Never.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Dec 26, 2012 12:00PM)
Agreed Harley!
Message: Posted by: james_unlimited (Dec 26, 2012 12:52PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-26 06:08, dave_matkin wrote:
And if you're "cheeky" enough and get a pair of Hiatt "speedcuffs" with 4 screws you can remove the plastic central piece and put them over the S&W and they will pass as Hiatt Speedcuffs - (unless your audience member looking at them can read! - but it’s worth the risk in my mind). Or you could get a pair of Hiatts and S&W then you can use the Hiatts in the casing and the S&W separate!
[/quote]

Not a bad idea... But:
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00368.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00370.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00369.jpg[/img]
Double lock isn't accessible.

Older Smith and Wesson cuffs could work... But they would need the plastics packing a bit to make them rigid or appear rigid..
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00372.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00371.jpg[/img]

[quote]
On 2012-12-26 12:32, Harley Newman wrote:
How many audience members either know or care about a make or style of cuffs? I've never run into it, in about 40 years. Never.
[/quote]

Law Enforcement ? Collectors, Curious Audience members...
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Dec 26, 2012 03:50PM)
I suggest that the need to prove cuffs may have been appropriate for some EAs, a hundred years ago, simply because they were known as Handcuff Kings. Now, however, such proofs are a non-essential myth.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Dec 26, 2012 05:09PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-26 16:50, Harley Newman wrote:
I suggest that the need to prove cuffs may have been appropriate for some EAs, a hundred years ago, simply because they were known as Handcuff Kings. Now, however, such proofs are a non-essential myth.
[/quote]

Hi Harley, one hundred years ago, smuggling keys was the trend. So many of the cuffs were real I don't think proving the cuff was an issue back then. Even now it's not an issue!!!!! It's not a myth, it's not a legend, it is not a fact, and no-one has to prove their escape. On youtube there are all forms of escapes, only about 20% I see as escapes, the rest are "just watch me!! things! I am in, now I am out. No thought, no skill, no practice. However, I feel an escape is more believable if you can by virtue of any equipment, allow it to be handled and in a manner which is plausible.
I make 4 variations of a swing thru "G" cuff and only one is truly examinable. But it's like driving a car; if you are trained with a manual (stick shift) you can drive all, if you only know how to drive an auto, that's it. It is a choice which broadens the capabilities.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Dec 26, 2012 08:18PM)
That's the first thing I check when I travel to other countries... the little legal things. Did you know in the British WVI it is illegal to wear camo print, even if it's pink?
Message: Posted by: DavisG (Dec 26, 2012 08:44PM)
"Double lock isn't accessible."

Wouldn't take much work with a drill and a file to make a slot for the double lock.

Handcuffs are taboo in the UAE (United Arab Emirites). I took some there on the way to Afghanistan (I was an international police officer at the time). My cuffs were held at the airport until I left.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 27, 2012 04:34AM)
Go with all of you on this one but for entertainment use I have found that Cuffs very seldom find their way into the show!! Reason being peeps tend to view things which are not common to them with some suspicion,,this was pointed out to me by Deval moons ago when he used to have to supply his own cuffs (In the guise that they were specky borrowed !!!!) To do his challenge escapes. The full whys and wherefores are put clearly in his littler papers and still apply today.

On the other hand Nick Jansen made a feature out of borrowing just cuffs alone, but he knew cuffs in and out and had a secret device which could get him out of every cuff !!! (This device was known as a C Gower !!!!).

When I have and do use any cuffs at all they are always gimmed or have keys hidden,,,ever since Halton Show when the local boys in Blue tried to kill me off. don't take chances with anything made of metal cos its tougher than flesh and bones.

Like Harley I have always worked the simple direct way, less complicated and safe (Cos its a job,,,right).

Ken
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 27, 2012 06:21AM)
A wonk can help with that James.

The pair I am thinking about are the ones with 4 screws. Cunningly enough I haven't bought my cuff collection and screwdrivers with me visiting relatives. Sure my ADAs are in the car and a chain and padlock .... But it all my cuffs. I will do some photos when I get home.

Double lock not activated ...... What a shame ;)

Also I just realised I have a Hiatt chain Ada not S&W.

Any how have a good whatever!
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (Mar 16, 2019 03:44PM)
I am wondering what types of gaffed handcuffs which a volunteer would be unable to open but which I could quickly escape from are available and recommended. I have been doing some research and Ian McColl cuffs are clearly highly thought of but no longer available. Any suggestions and or sources of handcuffs would be appreciated. Thank you.
Eric.
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (Mar 19, 2019 06:52PM)
I purchased a pair of Smith & Wesson 100 handcuffs today and am awaiting the arrival of a clear cuff I purchased before experimenting with them in term of picking the locks. I have viewed several YouTube videos on escaping from double locked handcuffs using items such as bobby pins and paper clips. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions about the best item to use to open the S&W handcuffs, other than the key or a commercial pick, as I don’t want to damage the cuffs by breaking something off in the lock mechanism. Helpful tips or suggestions would be appreciated by this novice escapologist. Thank you.
Eric.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Mar 19, 2019 08:44PM)
This is only my own opinion.

Be VERY careful with paper clips. When pressure is applied, they break and broken pieces can fall out (no problem) or get jammed up inside anywhere. (big problem) Almost any other pick mechanism will work out fine as it emulates the key. I do not know how many standard key openings a pair of handcuffs is manufactured to be able to handle, but it is a lot. My personal favorite pick is made from a safety pin.
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (Mar 20, 2019 07:08AM)
Thank you for the advice Cliffg37. I will exercise caution and avoid the paper clips.
Eric.
Message: Posted by: Nem (Apr 8, 2019 04:37PM)
Erichoudini, Cliffg37 is correct. Be careful with paper clips, they do break.
Try spring steel wire like piano wire.
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (Apr 8, 2019 06:08PM)
Thanks for the tip Nem.
Eric.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 27, 2019 09:00AM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2012, james_unlimited wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-26 06:08, dave_matkin wrote:
And if you're "cheeky" enough and get a pair of Hiatt "speedcuffs" with 4 screws you can remove the plastic central piece and put them over the S&W and they will pass as Hiatt Speedcuffs - (unless your audience member looking at them can read! - but it’s worth the risk in my mind). Or you could get a pair of Hiatts and S&W then you can use the Hiatts in the casing and the S&W separate!
[/quote]

Not a bad idea... But:
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00368.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00370.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00369.jpg[/img]
Double lock isn't accessible.

Older Smith and Wesson cuffs could work... But they would need the plastics packing a bit to make them rigid or appear rigid..
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00372.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i56/bourkejames/private/DSC00371.jpg[/img]

[quote]
On 2012-12-26 12:32, Harley Newman wrote:
How many audience members either know or care about a make or style of cuffs? I've never run into it, in about 40 years. Never.
[/quote]

Law Enforcement ? Collectors, Curious Audience members... [/quote]

Hi, James_unlimited if you read my original post I did make it clear that you needed the Speedcuffs with the FOUR (4) screws and not the ones with 2. They have a different plastic piece - it fits the chain snugly and holds it tight. If you put the ADA cuffs (or similar) in a Speedcuff plastic surround with 2 screws it won't work. The holes don't align and the cuff wobbles.


So feel free to get yourself a pair with 4 screws and enjoy the change to use "police issue" Speedcuffs that are actually ADAs in disguise. :)

It works really well

Have a great weekend everyone.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 16, 2019 02:30AM)
[quote]On Mar 19, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
This is only my own opinion.

Be VERY careful with paper clips. When pressure is applied, they break and broken pieces can fall out (no problem) or get jammed up inside anywhere. (big problem) Almost any other pick mechanism will work out fine as it emulates the key. I do not know how many standard key openings a pair of handcuffs is manufactured to be able to handle, but it is a lot. My personal favorite pick is made from a safety pin. [/quote]


For me it is the little wire loop to bind the keys from cheap key rings. Most are strong enough, bend well, shape well and conveniently have a nice loop to slip onto your little finger to stop the dropsies. LOL I have always struggled with paperclips, I think we just have really cheap, bad ones here in South Africa.

As to having gimmicked over normal. I don't think it is a problem unless you have someone in the audience who truly knows their stuff and calls you out on it. You ca still deal with gimmicked in the same way as normal ones and at least have an out if things go wrong. In all my shows, I have had 2 people who actually knew handcuffs. Most have no clue. The closest the audience gets to handcuffs is movies (and fluffy ones. LOL).

As someone pointed out on here, try Ropes and Chains too. It is something that the audience knows and likes to work with. In some of my shows I gave a choice of Straitjacket, cuffs or Chains. Around 80% of the time the audience chose chains with locks.

You have more than enough people here who you can ask for help. There are great people here who know their Shizzle (as some youngsters would say).
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (May 16, 2019 07:12AM)
Thank you Wolflock. I appreciate all your advice. All the best.
Eric.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (May 16, 2019 01:50PM)
[quote]On May 16, 2019, Wolflock wrote:
[quote]On Mar 19, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
This is only my own opinion.

Be VERY careful with paper clips. When pressure is applied, they break and broken pieces can fall out (no problem) or get jammed up inside anywhere. (big problem) Almost any other pick mechanism will work out fine as it emulates the key. I do not know how many standard key openings a pair of handcuffs is manufactured to be able to handle, but it is a lot. My personal favorite pick is made from a safety pin. [/quote]

Most have no clue. The closest the audience gets to handcuffs is movies (and fluffy ones. LOL).[/quote]


You say that and I agree about the movies.... SO I am re-watching The Walking Dead. I've just finished season 6 and what did I see? Well Season 6 Ep 16 at the 28min and 28 seconds (ish) mark is a group of "walkers" chained together across a road. I am 99% sure that they have used a pair of "Electronic release" oval cuffs between two walkers. Made me smile..... nice to know they have zombie welfare at heart when filming this sort of program.

It really is good to see you here Wolf. Take care my friend and thanks for the advice about your (well South Africa's) weak and flimsy paper clips. :)
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 17, 2019 01:35AM)
[quote]On May 16, 2019, dave_matkin wrote:

You say that and I agree about the movies.... SO I am re-watching The Walking Dead. I've just finished season 6 and what did I see? Well Season 6 Ep 16 at the 28min and 28 seconds (ish) mark is a group of "walkers" chained together across a road. I am 99% sure that they have used a pair of "Electronic release" oval cuffs between two walkers. Made me smile..... nice to know they have zombie welfare at heart when filming this sort of program.

[/quote]

Oh Dude! Good Eye. I never noticed that before. Just went and watched that episode and section. Brilliant. That was funny as hell!
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 17, 2019 01:52AM)
[quote]On May 16, 2019, erichoudini wrote:
Thank you Wolflock. I appreciate all your advice. All the best.
Eric. [/quote]

You are most welcome.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (May 17, 2019 02:13AM)
[quote]On May 17, 2019, Wolflock wrote:
[quote]On May 16, 2019, dave_matkin wrote:

You say that and I agree about the movies.... SO I am re-watching The Walking Dead. I've just finished season 6 and what did I see? Well Season 6 Ep 16 at the 28min and 28 seconds (ish) mark is a group of "walkers" chained together across a road. I am 99% sure that they have used a pair of "Electronic release" oval cuffs between two walkers. Made me smile..... nice to know they have zombie welfare at heart when filming this sort of program.

[/quote]

Oh Dude! Good Eye. I never noticed that before. Just went and watched that episode and section. Brilliant. That was funny as hell! [/quote]

I wonder why they did it? I've watched and re-watched and cant see them between any of the other zombies. I am wondering if it was down to the actors not wanting to get stuck on each other?

Speculation welcome... or do I need to start a new topic.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 17, 2019 02:51AM)
[quote]On May 17, 2019, dave_matkin wrote:

I wonder why they did it? I've watched and re-watched and cant see them between any of the other zombies. I am wondering if it was down to the actors not wanting to get stuck on each other?

Speculation welcome... or do I need to start a new topic. [/quote]

Maybe the Zombies were a Magic Duo act and the captors decided to just leave the shackles on instead of wasting chain. :crazydude:
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (May 19, 2019 11:09AM)
[quote]On May 17, 2019, Wolflock wrote:
[quote]On May 17, 2019, dave_matkin wrote:

I wonder why they did it? I've watched and re-watched and cant see them between any of the other zombies. I am wondering if it was down to the actors not wanting to get stuck on each other?

Speculation welcome... or do I need to start a new topic. [/quote]

Maybe the Zombies were a Magic Duo act and the captors decided to just leave the shackles on instead of wasting chain. :crazydude: [/quote]

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: