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Topic: Lightweight suitcase table/trunk alternatives
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 23, 2015 09:27AM)
I have a small Lefler suitcase table and a large Showtime Cube table and base, I use them all for most shows. They are very nice, but they are heavy because they are made of wood. I'd like to find alternatives that are about the same size and function the same, but are light weight. In addition, I do a lot of soft puppet stuff, and I'd like a separate foot locker or cube table for them also - but it should have a lid on top that stays open so I can get the puppet on my hand and get puppet props out without being seen, but that one doesn't have to be sturdy because it's for soft puppets. I know I can make a lightweight table like a Barry Mitchell duh table, but you cant carry your stuff in with those and stack/separate props like with what I already have, or can you? I did contact Cabbage cases about a custom lightweight one, but it would still be heavier than what I have. I hate carrying those heavy things up long driveways and down stairwells. DO NOT SUGGEST packing small/light! That is not the purpose of this thread! Do not brag about how you carry your entire show in a matchbox! Do not say it's not the props, it's the entertainer, we all know that. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 23, 2015 02:26PM)
I have a Punch & Judy booth that's made of wood. The booth itself becomes the case that holds all of its parts as well as the figures. It's heavy, but there is no reason that it couldn't be made of aluminum.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 23, 2015 02:33PM)
I can think of a couple of options that might work for you.

There are some fiber salesmen cases that open up on the top. Fiberbilt is one company that makes them. You want something with caster at least on two edges.

The other option is an extruded case. You don't want a Pelican case as they are too heavy and really do give a lot of room. There are some made by the Speciality Case company of California that I have used that I like. Now, here is the key...watch eBay for case for trade show displays or at a cases. There are some made by Hybrid cases that are on sale quite a bit.

Now if if you can't find and lid that opens on the end. You may have to make one by cutting the end and then making a hinge for it. Kind of hard to explain but drop me a line if you need more clarification.

As some one who has hunted for the perfect table or case, I can tell you it does not exist.

Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 25, 2015 12:00AM)

You can start doing what my friend does, he shows up at the home of the show, whines about the distance he has to carry his cases and complains about his operations, his aches and his pains and then talks the dads in the room into carrying his show into and out of the house. :rotf:
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 25, 2015 12:14AM)
Thanks for the tips guys. Here are some places I've found that may have what I need, I need to go over it some more. A lot of the stuff I find is as heavy or heavier than the stuff made for magicians, but I think some of it might work. And I can put nice fabric and signage over it if I want.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 25, 2015 05:40AM)
I gave up on my suitcase/table a long time ago. I found a light suitcase big enough to hold my props, an aluminum tray stand to put it on, and I use a side table. I've been thinking about getting a small fold up aluminum table from Walmart to substitute for the side table. With some flash, it can dress up the stage as well.
Dick O suggested partitioning off the suitcase to hold the props for easy grabbing, which I'm going to do. A pillow case style flash cover for the lid of the case, with shoe bag style pockets on the back of the case, and Bob's your uncle, (at least my uncle.)
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 26, 2015 09:50PM)
I carry 90% of my show in two of theses cases. I can roll them both together into the home; I carry the snake basket and the rabbit in a separate trip.

Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 27, 2015 12:06AM)
Howie, there is just a link to 1 case, worth checking out, but it looks very thin. I did a snake basket a few times, but I didn't figure out a good presentation for it and kind of forgot about it. Also, it doesn't fit into my cases so I didn't have too much interest in messing with it. What age range are you doing the basket for, and how is it working out?
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Dec 27, 2015 04:14AM)
Is it worth asking SHOWTIME Tables to quote you for one made from 9mm plastic instead of pine? that might be lighter

but to be honest I use a sack barrow (others use a four wheel trolley) to move my large boxes - this saves the wheels for the actual performance area
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 27, 2015 12:16PM)
[quote]On Dec 25, 2015, jakeg wrote:
I gave up on my suitcase/table a long time ago. I found a light suitcase big enough to hold my props, an aluminum tray stand to put it on, and I use a side table. I've been thinking about getting a small fold up aluminum table from Walmart to substitute for the side table. With some flash, it can dress up the stage as well.
Dick O suggested partitioning off the suitcase to hold the props for easy grabbing, which I'm going to do. A pillow case style flash cover for the lid of the case, with shoe bag style pockets on the back of the case, and Bob's your uncle, (at least my uncle.) [/quote]

Heqq Bob was my father (well, his middle name was Robert!)

I don't remember if I mentioned the details of my "pigeon holes" in my prop case. They're just cardboard cartons from simple things like 1 pound butter cartons, "Efferdent" cartons, etc. Except for a "square" cigar box (THAT's an "antique"!)which holds the golf balls,dye tube and 2 18" silks. The lid keeps them from "roaming around" the case. The other cartons contain, for example, 2 polyesters for the "Slydini Silk Knots, serp. silk, silk for silk thru mike stand, egg bag and deck of cards, balloons for needle thru balloon, rope, etc. One long carton holds a couple of wands, brakawa fan, boomerang sticks, pom pom stick, rope scissors, and long needle. The three rings (in bag) lie on top of the cartons, (rings are hung, via a bull dog clip, on upstage side of the case, during the show. The coin pail contains the 20th Century silks. The pillow case style flash cover (from Ireland 1944 Yearbook. is folded loosely and lies on top of the cigar bos. Instead of the shoe bag pockets, I made a stiff cardboard pocket out of a candy box lid, and taped it to the inside of the case lid. It contains FRESH FISH SOLD HERE TODAY papers, the 6 spot, 3 spot (TENYO) CARD, and 2 extra silks for the Cords of Fantasia. (The Slydini "silks" double, in the Cords of Fantasia. One of the Slydini "silks" doubles in the 20 C Silks.

Paper clipped to the external side of the candy box pocket is my "cheat sheet". It has cue words for the routines. (On a 4 show day, it's nice to have a "cheat sheet"! If I have a deadline, I often clip a 3 x 5 index card on the pocket, too.

If I'm doing mutilated parasol, it travels in a 27" long, zippered nylon case that I found at a yard sale for fifty cents. (I don't use the "hokey" purse, I use a flat ("tote") change bag. --packs easier, and looks like an old fashioned kid's marble bag. (marble bag "fits" the presetation.)

I can carry the parasol under one arm, the prop case in the hand, and "drag" the wheeled "tray stand" on parking lot. Inside, I can open the tray stand, and put the prop case on top, and push it down the corridor to the gym or auditorium. ONE TRIP! (On a school tour, two trips could mean an extra five or even ten minutes to load in.

It did take some PLANNING to achieve this, but, it was WORTH IT1!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 27, 2015 02:29PM)
Showtime Magic Products makes a lighter Lefler table (different materials). It was introduced a short while ago. Christopher Weed has been promoting them on the Facebook page.

- Donald

P.S. Here's [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=34&topic=542540]a link[/url] to a different thread on lighter table options. It's from the "Where to put it all..." area of the Magic Café, where there are lots of threads about tables, storage of tricks, etc.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 25, 2017 08:32AM)
I love my Lefler table and it can be a pain to carry but well worth it for me. To make it easier I use a hand truck instead of trying to wheel it around on those little wheels that catch or turn, or putting all the weight on the handle. With a hand truck from Walmart it is breeze, and you can throw more on top also. You can also get a folding hand truck as well but then takes time to always unfold and refold it. So for me the hand truck works great and is faster, and relatively flat to load into the car. I would never give the table up as I love using it too much in the show, and have uses suitcase tables for almost 40 years now. I also use folding GoBar Portable tables as well with the black skirt, for prop storage, or behind a backdrop if I use one. Sometimes for performing too as they are nice and high, perfect to use with servante. All of them pack flat and are light weight.

Message: Posted by: 1KJ (May 21, 2017 12:23AM)
This is an old thread, but I'm hearing ya. I like my props. Some of them are home-made, like mini chairs, home-made cigar box style juggling props, some old-timey props combined with some newer props, some pack-flat stuff, but other stuff that definitely doesn't "pack flat".

I use a rolling case I built out of thin plywood. It opens to make a performance table. I then have separate plastic bins that fit into the case to keep the weight down. I remove the case empty and put the bins into it, roll it into the show and off we go.

Message: Posted by: equivoque (Aug 22, 2018 11:45AM)
The real answer, which no one wants to hear, is get a table for each type of show that you do. I have a Hank Moorehouse cube and ultimate table base for small shows and strolling, a 10 Second Table for medium size shows and a Lefler Suitcase table that can be used in combination with the other two for larger shows.

For the Life of me, I cannot understand why anyone carries a table that does not hold props. (unless you have a large stage show.) The cube table can be adjusted to table height at restaurants for strolling. I consider putting your props next to someone's food to be bad form. (This is just an opinion.) Once I had my mind power deck ruined by a spectator who was so excited, she split her water and I learned a valuable lesson.

I live in a COOP in Brooklyn and next week, any props that do not fit into these tables is going into my basement storage unit!
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Aug 23, 2018 12:29PM)
I put larger Castors on my Lefler Table and also my Dancing Springs table.

I tricked out my table so it's more usable for me.

I saw a picture of a special suitcase table and had my magic maker guy
make mine just like it.

The nick name for my Lefler Table is the Hernia Box Five Thousand.
Pretty heavy to lift in and out of my SUV.

Life is much easier with the Large Castors on each of my tables.
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Aug 30, 2018 10:43PM)
For birthday kids shows I always used my chair suspension as my table.i would set up the chair suspension and all my stuff was under the cloth of the two chairs. As I finished I would puty items on rocker rolling car that held my cloth bag for my chair suspension. Last trick was the chair suspension and I was already cleaned up ready to go