(Close Window)
Topic: What is a good close up mat?
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 15, 2014 08:37PM)
What close up mat would you recommend? What should I look for in a good close-up mat? Is there a good one that is also not to expensive?
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (May 15, 2014 08:58PM)
I love my Dean Dill matt. It may be too big for some performers, but it's incredibly well made and has just the right amount of give, and a perfect surface texture for cards and cups. Not inexpensive, but I feel Dean's products are always worth the price.

http://www.deandill.com/pads.html
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 15, 2014 09:05PM)
I might have to work up to that one Oz. Dean's is a little out of my budget right now. Thanks for the advice though! :)
Message: Posted by: Magic from A to Z (May 15, 2014 10:28PM)
Greg~

I've got two of Pattrick's mats... Great mats at a reasonable price and a good guy to work with......

http://www.pattricksmagic.com/


allen
Message: Posted by: pepka (May 16, 2014 12:12AM)
Pattrick's pads are the best. I also have the aluminum backed pad from Dan and Dave and I love it.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 16, 2014 06:58AM)
Would you recommend a certain color? Or is it really just personal preference?
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (May 16, 2014 07:28AM)
Color often depends on what you will be doing with your mat. You want the color of the mat to contrast (but not clash) with the props you will be using on it. For example, if you plan to do the Cups & Balls and your balls are blue (no jokes here), you do not want a blue mat. Seems obvious, but there are folks who miss this idea and make their magic unintentionally invisible to the spectator. (Personally I also do not want a mat the same color as my costume/clothing; I want the performance surface to stand alone.)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 16, 2014 07:29AM)
In the days (long ago)before close up pads became a "status symbol" (hee hee!!!!!

We all went to a store that sold carpets. They always had a pile of samples, which they would GIVE us (or sell very cheap!)

Jay Marshall called them "P****h Close Up Pads"!!! They worked just fine! (The performer is more important than the pad (or props)!
Message: Posted by: BCS (May 16, 2014 09:34AM)
Here is an old posting I listed to make a close up stage... http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=278431&forum=26

Similar to what Dick posted; if you sear on google there are some pretty cool small prayer type rugs available with a short nap to them that works well as a close up mat.

Good luck,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 16, 2014 09:44AM)
That's really cool Bruce! Thanks for the advice. I will definitely check out possibly making my own mat. Love the look!
Message: Posted by: BCS (May 16, 2014 09:58AM)
Greg... Glad to share, if you have any questions please ask.

Bruce
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (May 16, 2014 04:28PM)
I personally mounted a small kitchen rug from Walmart ($5) about 18"x30" to 1/4" plywood for my travelling table. A search on Google for "mousepad material" turned up a plain grey pad roughly 17"x13x" (about the same size as Patrick's Pro series) for $7 that could easily be covered in felt or velvet using spray adhesive. Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 16, 2014 04:37PM)
Motley - Thanks for that tip! I will check that out. I didn't know that they made mousepads that big.
Message: Posted by: BCS (May 16, 2014 04:39PM)
Every once and a while Office Depot will have them in their stores... usually in black.

Take care,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (May 16, 2014 04:46PM)
Another vote for Pattricks. I have bought three custom mats and love them all!

http://www.pattricksmagic.com/
Message: Posted by: Greg_Magic (May 16, 2014 05:09PM)
So I'm thinking on the affordable end...Patrick it is!
Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (May 21, 2014 06:58PM)
I have them all. In addition to Pattrick's pads, I have a few of Dean's and I also have jumbo size custom made Production Pad from Dean, and do love them dearly. I really prefer a little loft for purse palming, so I like them over soft backed pads.

Recently I just bought both of these pads from RNTII and I think I have a new favorite! I have another on the way. If you look at the features, you really can't ask for more...period! The surface is like a baby's bottom, and I love the raised feature and the ability to raise up the back even higher. AND FINALLY a pad that holds halfs and dollars alike! I was going to design my own honestly but Donnie beat me to it and I'm glad. The "Servante"/case is so deceptive it makes me giggle to myself. Even my wife who's pretty well "in the know" asked if that was supposed to open like that. I explained to her that it's to keep my coins and balls from hitting the floor (which isn't a lie if you think about it... lol). She bought it!

Until now, I never dreamed of using a servante in strolling (who would?)...but I'm going to be trying it at my next gig.

Tell Donnie Christian sent ya!

http://www.rnt2.com/tables/
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (May 21, 2014 07:36PM)
Man, Donnie is on a roll with RNT2. Those pads look great. Not inexpensive, but think about it this way...you are buying a stage for your magic.
Message: Posted by: Zaprig1 (May 22, 2014 06:46PM)
If you think they look great, wait until you see them first hand and feel the micro velvet. They are also very solid and substantial. My small one is PERFECT for practicing on your lap while watching TV etc. The ease of access on the slots is a dream and so natural looking for switching and stealing. And that fargin' Servante/Case is even very elegant looking and made to open as wide or as tight as you want simply by scooting the pad further/closer.

You made a great point Wiz, and that's exactly how I see it. 90% of my props (minus cards) cost more than these pads. Many of my single coin gaffs, and sets cost much more than even both of them combined, and I don't even need to get into cups and balls and and and...

So....you've invested in your props...why not showcase them accordingly?

To each their own, but my props and performance deserve more than a glorified mouse pad. I've always felt strongly about that.

These catch the eye of folks that of come over and don't even know what a close up pad is, so they ask and have commented on how nice it looks. Naturally, I then tell them "Let me show you what it's used for..."
Message: Posted by: Sanderr (Jun 2, 2014 04:26PM)
I only have ever had a mat from Pattrick's, but it's a nice quality for a reasonable price. He has loads of different sizes/colors available, and you can even get stuff embroidered on there I believe.
Message: Posted by: orion4211 (Jun 4, 2014 01:07PM)
I have a "gaming" mouse pad that works great for a close up mat to practice on when I'm not using my computer.
Message: Posted by: TKF (Jun 4, 2014 05:07PM)
[quote]On Jun 4, 2014, orion4211 wrote:
I have a "gaming" mouse pad that works great for a close up mat to practice on when I'm not using my computer. [/quote]

Funny, I have a large close-up pad that I ended up using with my computer for designing and games! I noticed a funny similarity when buying this "oversized" mousepad at a local shop, but it turned out to be very good material for working with a laser mouse!

Worked good with cards, coins & shells too... :)
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Jun 11, 2014 10:49PM)
It seems that mousepad fans have not had the chance to work with a premium close up pad - to me, they are night and day - but I am always reminded that preference is subjective.
Message: Posted by: Greg755 (Jul 11, 2014 05:10PM)
Zaprig1 can you tell us a little more about how large the servante is and what kind of loads it can handle? Thanks
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Jul 11, 2014 05:55PM)
Pattrick's.

And the service and speed of delivery is great!
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jul 15, 2014 07:29PM)
I'm with everyone else on this, I love Pattrick's mats. http://www.cupsandballsmagic.com/Pattrick-Przysiecki-Custom-Close-Up-Mat.html
Bri
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jul 18, 2014 08:17PM)
There is quality concern wich friends above covered kindly. Now the size is not secondary either, we tend to buy
Another concern when you become really good at card effects is the hair direction (the hair should really be vertical and not tilted): for example it's impossible to do a perfect one handed Mexican Turnover against the grain or a tabled spread force "against the grain"...
So you could wait to purchase one of these later but you may unduly discard some very valuable tabled sleights without realizing that the sleight is not to blame but the surface used.
Message: Posted by: motown (Jul 20, 2014 09:00AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2014, Zaprig1 wrote:
I have them all. In addition to Pattrick's pads, I have a few of Dean's and I also have jumbo size custom made Production Pad from Dean, and do love them dearly. I really prefer a little loft for purse palming, so I like them over soft backed pads.

Recently I just bought both of these pads from RNTII and I think I have a new favorite! I have another on the way. If you look at the features, you really can't ask for more...period! The surface is like a baby's bottom, and I love the raised feature and the ability to raise up the back even higher. AND FINALLY a pad that holds halfs and dollars alike! I was going to design my own honestly but Donnie beat me to it and I'm glad. The "Servante"/case is so deceptive it makes me giggle to myself. Even my wife who's pretty well "in the know" asked if that was supposed to open like that. I explained to her that it's to keep my coins and balls from hitting the floor (which isn't a lie if you think about it... lol). She bought it!

Until now, I never dreamed of using a servante in strolling (who would?)...but I'm going to be trying it at my next gig.

Tell Donnie Christian sent ya!

http://www.rnt2.com/tables/ [/quote]Those are great.
Message: Posted by: motown (Jul 20, 2014 09:03AM)
These are nice as well:

http://shop.dananddave.com/victorian-close-up-pad.html
Message: Posted by: Greg755 (Jul 20, 2014 11:14AM)
I have never had a servante attached to a close up pad. I am really interested in the size of it and how well it opens and closes, can one of you fill us in? The only servante I have "strolled" with is either a topit or a belt servante that goes inside the waistband. Never strolled with a hard board/pad before. I doubt I would use this for a party/bar/strolling but It would be great at the restaurant or small gatherings at friends home's.
Message: Posted by: kekoa1 (Aug 9, 2014 09:19AM)
A great inexpensive close-up mat that I've been using are the Apollo's.
Message: Posted by: MagicSensei (Sep 12, 2014 10:22AM)
I just received a Pattrick's pad with embroidery on it. Great Workmanship, terrific feel to it, and the service was both personal and excellent. I paid $60 for it, and it is well worth it. When I put that pad down and start with a killer trick on it, there is going to be no question in my clients' eyes that they hired a pro.
Message: Posted by: tomsk192 (Sep 12, 2014 08:52PM)
RNT2.
Message: Posted by: Holistic Magic (Oct 16, 2014 11:30AM)
I need a new mat, thanks for the good info.
Message: Posted by: Jamie-boy (Oct 23, 2014 12:27PM)
If you are on a super-tight budget, you might try a "glass drying pad" sold in the housewares or kitchen department of a certain major department store chain. They are firm enough to lay flat, with just enough give to allow for pick ups, and silent laydowns. I haven't tried the heel slide yet, so I can't comment on the resistance.

Of course, these are more for practice than for shows. Plus, I am well aware that quality is comparative to price, for the most part.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 24, 2014 04:16PM)
MY standard, go-to closeup pad for paid close-up performances is the Mikame Hopping Table top shown here: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S10892

It's NOT cheap, but it's great and impressive.

For more informal performances, I just ordered a Trevor Duffy 14 x 18 Magic Pad in black.

For what it's worth, I have found that the Mikame Hopping Table Top, or any other similar-style close-up "stage" helps set you apart from "the rest of the crowd" and helps you get the "big bucks" when performing Close-up Magic.

Just my 2 cents worth.
Message: Posted by: john oleson (Nov 3, 2014 04:08PM)
Pattrick's are unbelievably great ... the texture, style, and selection.

john oleson from the Land of Luka (Michigan)
Message: Posted by: Trentonmatthew (May 4, 2018 02:30PM)
Does Dan and Dave’s Aluminum close up pad have enough space for tricks like McDonald’s aces where you need to lay stacks of cards out?
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (May 6, 2018 09:02PM)
Https://jmauthentics.com/
Highly recommended for a hard backed pad. I have 3 of them and they are great.

http://www.pattricksmagic.com/pattrick-s-magical-mats/
I also use Patricks pads and have for years. I have not had one of Patrick's fall apart yet. Been using them for 10yrs.

https://www.rnt2.com/tables/
I also have the close-up stage from R-N-T 2 and cannot say enough good things about the craftsmanship of that pad. I do not think it is currently available though. His "tables" are top notch and will last a lifetime. They have some nice built in features and are for the pro for sure as they are built to last with continued use.


I do not like using the Rat Pad / Giant Mouse pads for magic for several reasons, the padding is not really that good for magic for one. They also show marks after a few uses and that is with black, blue and red mouse pad materials. They will also delaminate/ split when used for magic due to the rigors of performing and practicing. They are not designed for that.

Shop around and see what will work best for you.
Message: Posted by: Why.So.Serious? (May 28, 2018 10:02PM)
Pattrick's mats at the are nice and very durable.
Message: Posted by: Tom G (May 29, 2018 07:29AM)
As for the jmauthentics site, worth looking for another thread that deals with this guy. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=654921&forum=218
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 9, 2019 10:36PM)
Do any of you have suggestions for how big a mat should be? I know it depends on the circumstances. Right now I'm performing for family and friends at my place at the table. I want to have enough room to do ribbon spreads without being cramped; on the other hand, smaller mats are less expensive.



Thanks,


Bob
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 10, 2019 03:09PM)
Bob G,

I made a closeup stage that is 36” x 24” that I use on the dinning room table and on a gaming table in the family room. It’s not lacking for space for card work and the Cups and Balls. Total cost for everything less than $25 a and an hour to make.

Take care,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 10, 2019 04:01PM)
Hi Bruce,


That sounds like a great mat. I'm not handy, so I doubt your solution would work for me.


Bob
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Jul 11, 2019 10:20PM)
Bob, with card work go as big as your budget will allow.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 12, 2019 05:02PM)
If I'm strolling, I don't use a close-up mat most of the time. The reason is this. If I'm performing at a restaurant, I will have to clear part of the table in order to put the mat down. This also restricts the size of mat I can use. So I do things that happen in the spectators' hands. This is also true of corporate parties where I'm working with spectators who are standing up.

If the situation allows for it, I'll carry a small piece of automobile headliner material, usually black, that I can lay out on a table. This will be about 9 inches by 12 inches. I can perform my chop cup rouine on a piece of mat this big and get excellent results.

The size of your close-up mat is actually determined by where you are performing.

There are some alternatives. For example, if you are performing in a stand-up corporate party context, you can also carry a small stand, such as a "side table" with a proper surface for your magic. The main thing is to be flexible.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 12, 2019 07:08PM)
Thanks, Bill. I'm far from being able to perform (except occasionally for friends and family) ,but it's still useful to hear your experience. May I should hold off on the mat till I know where I'm going with magic!
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 12, 2019 07:39PM)
Bob G,

Don’t hold off getting a mat... you will enjoy performing with one. Whatever you get won’t be the last you ever purchase.

Good luck... take care,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 12, 2019 09:26PM)
Thanks, Bruce -- I very much appreciate your encouragement.


Best Regards,



Bob
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Jul 13, 2019 09:48AM)
Here's one of Pattrick's Mats. I used it to make my table top.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Jul 13, 2019 09:52AM)
And here's a picture of the table. I put it together out of available parts. The base is an Xfinity keyboard stand (8.4 lbs), and the top is a framed piece of plywood with one of Pattrick's mats (4.1 lbs). (Plywood from Home Depot; framing courtesy of Michael's.) The height is easily adjustable so you can either sit or stand.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 13, 2019 10:29AM)
Barry,


This is very helpful. I saw these posts of yours after I saw the one on the other thread. I like the way you ingeniously used parts from various places, and didn't have to do the work yourself. That would fit my style well. I'm curious: how low does the Xfinity stand adjust to? Having a lower table (maybe card table height) for sit-down magic might make it easier for me to show the the tops of cards rather than their fronts. Also, where did you buy the stand?


Thanks again,


Bob
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Jul 13, 2019 11:23AM)
I bought the stand for $30.00 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/RockJam-Heavy-Duty-Pre-Assembled-Infinitely-Adjustable/dp/B01B15JPCQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Xfinity+stand&qid=1563034423&s=gateway&sr=8-1

The height is easy to adjust. When I'm using the table for my stand-up cups and balls routine, I set the top to be 33.5" from the floor. (You could adjust it to be higher, up to 38".) The picture shows the table at the height I use for seated performance, about 29.5" from the floor. I can adjust it to be 27.5" from the floor, but to go lower, I'd need a wider table top.

The stand is designed so that it won't slip. I put marks on the teeth in the middle so I can quickly set the stand to the desired height. (1 = 33.5" high, 2 = 29.5" high)
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 13, 2019 12:07PM)
Thanks, Barry!