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Topic: Fakini golf ball through silk?
Message: Posted by: kris attard (Jan 20, 2016 11:39AM)
Way back I used to perform a routine where a golf ball penetrates a silk, getting 'stuck' half way so that you could hold the silk open from two corners, and the ball is seen lodged half way on both sides. Billy McComb used to deo this effect, and it is one I always enjoyed. I am now practicing a multiplying routine with Fakini golf balls and wish to integrate the penetration into the routine with a green silk. Problem though is that the hard silicone Fakini balls are too heavy, and raising the silk to show the lodged 'ball' will usually rersult in the whole thing coming apart.

I was wondering if anyone performs this effect with the Fakini balls, and what solution could work to prevent the dislodge due to the weight, other than of course switching the ball and fake to a lighter plastic set.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jan 20, 2016 01:32PM)
It's not the weight, it's the architecture of the gimmick.

Any thing between the ball and gimmick will not allow the gimmick to seat.
I just tried folding a silk in half and then into 4ths, thinking thicker material would give the gimmick something to grab onto but the more material between the two the further the gimmick is separated... and therefore not able to lodge itself on the centerline of the ball..
I tried this on 4 sets of various sizes and nogo on any of them.

Note: A gimmick is usually something that is not seen by an audience but in this case I'm using that terminology.

Anyone else?
Message: Posted by: kris attard (Jan 20, 2016 02:11PM)
You have a point Jay as the Ball Through Silk gimmick was not only lighter (plastic) it also had an edge which may have helped grip the silk. The weight definitely has a bearing though as the effect works momentarily with the Fakini (keep in mind I'm using golf balls which have added friction due to the 'holes') but the movement involved in turning to show the silk on both sides then dislodges it.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jan 20, 2016 03:12PM)
It might be possible without double stick tape or a real hole at which point it becomes a comedy bit for other magicians.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 21, 2016 02:01PM)
Hey youse guys!

AHEM...Dat t'ing dat yer callin' a g*mm*ck, is reely a f*k*. (F*k*s are visible. G*mm*cks, generally, are not.

I've been doing that ball penetration since 1953. I've had no problems. I paid Wilfred Syltten (dealer in Philadelphia--professional name:SATAN) a dollar for the "work" in '53. Later, I found the biz in print in a little booklet titled "CIGAM", published in '31 (maybe 32). The late Bill Williston contributed it. Laurie Ireland Ireland Marshall later added the information in Ireland's Golf Ball Instructions. Frances thought that Laurie had originated it.

I bought Laurie's "xxxing" balls in '47. When Frank Radtke (FAKINI) brought out his silicone balls about '70, I bought one of the first sets. When I tried tried the Williston bit, I had the same problem you have. I phoned Frank, and, together, we solved the problem. "Aint had no more problems".

I've kept this fairly tight for years. The only others doing it, that I know of, were the late Neil Foster, Lou Lancaster, and Billy McComb. Oh! And, ME!

I printed my whole ball routine in my book. It's "technical stuff", so I wont print it here! (Besides, maybe I'll sell more books that way!) --I may be crazy, but, I'm not stupid!

So, if YOU TWO will PM me, I will "consider" tipping the gaff. It's so easy, even I can do it.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 21, 2016 07:28PM)
I think the "foster"children know the work too.
But get the book guys, it's worth the money just for the jackpots (if you don't know what a jackpot is, I am sure you don't know what an Annie Oakley is?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 22, 2016 05:04AM)
Jay has PMd me, and, I tipped what I knew.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jan 22, 2016 07:21AM)
IIRC, Neil Foster did the "Ball Through Silk" bit in his multiplying billiard ball routine when he was the guest magician on Don Alan's "Magic Ranch"--I'm guessing with wooden billiard balls.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: kris attard (Jan 22, 2016 03:06PM)
Dick, you have a point. So yes what I was referring to was not a g*****k but a f*k*. (Does that make what I said a f*k* g*****k?)

PMing you...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 22, 2016 03:27PM)
I believe Neil Foster used the Ireland Multiplying Golf Balls with metal shell, they were available before Magic Inc. changed the location address and name. Neil Foster even worked at Magic Inc. for a time, before transferring to Abbott's. He invented at least 2 tricks while he was there and designed a nice case box table. I have the mini catalog they use to send out of new items.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jan 22, 2016 04:03PM)
It was Henry Hay who wrote that a gimmick is something they don't see, and a fake is something they see... but don't understand what it really is (eg;a bottomless glass).
Which caused him to ponder...what is a thumb tip?
(I guess it depends on if they see it or not?)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 22, 2016 05:02PM)
I always thought a gimmick was a secret device to assist the magician in performing something that cannot be accomplished without the aid of a secret device, as in coin and deck droppers. Something that you can buy or make yourself, that has some action or moving part to the gimmick. I would call the X-Ball a mechanical Fake ball, similar to the mechanical silk to ball. The TT I would call a dealer's item to replace a aluminum cigar tube. :rotf:

Gimmicks can be seen older magic books.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jan 22, 2016 07:01PM)
The question about whether a visible aid like a TT is a gimmick or a fake can be applied to the question of whether a billiard ball s---- is a gimmick or a fake. It is an aid to magic that is visible but at the same time invisible.

----- Amado "Sonny "Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 22, 2016 08:14PM)
My thoughts...

A gimmick is never seen by the audience. Period. Consider the numerous clips and holders that hold objects secretly in a variety of hidden locations. Others would include r--ls, p--ls, d-- t-b-s, etc.

A fake is seen openly (or that possibility exists), but it's true nature is different than that assumed by the audience. It mimics something else. A billiard ball s---- is such an example. TTs fall easily into this category.

A h--k b--l could be either, depending upon whether it is intended to remain hidden (typically painted a certain way that magicians often do with such things), or at times displayed openly as one might in a manner similar to Silk to Egg.

How's that for beating around the bush?? Ha!
Message: Posted by: Quentin (Jan 24, 2016 04:28AM)
On one of the Steven's Greater Magic DVDs, Billy McComb gives his full handling along with hints and tips on the Golf Ball Thru Silk.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 24, 2016 06:53AM)
Hey Quentin!

Thanks for THAT info.! I'll check it out. Either I missed that one, or somehow forgot it.

Billy and I shared many things, but, I don't remember discussing what I call "my" HOLE IN ONE trick!

Now that my DVD is "out", many will see the bit, and, may want to put it "in".
Message: Posted by: jamesmwood (Mar 22, 2019 11:41PM)

I want to learn the "Ball Through Silk" -- the version in Dick Oslund's book that he calls his "Hole in One Trick."

However, I'm having trouble finding a set of multiplying balls that will work with this trick.

1. The Laurie Ireland Multiplying Golf balls apparently worked, but are unavailable anymore.

2. The Fakini Multiplying Golf Balls worked, but have been discontinued.

3. The Vernet Multiplying Balls do NOT work. These are the hollow plastic balls with raised knobs on their surface. Even though these balls are very light, I have been unable to get them to work. I press the ball into the shell with the silk in between and then hold up the silk by the corners to display the ball "penetrating" the silk. At that point, the ball always falls out of the shell. I have experimented with various work-arounds, but without success.

4. I'm not sure if the JIELI silicone balls work with this trick.

Has anyone found a set of balls, other than the Laurie Ireland and Fakini balls, that work with the Ball Through Silk? Or is the only solution to find someone who has an old Fakini set and is willing to sell it?

Jim Wood
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 23, 2019 02:49AM)
I have a JIELI set and while they handle great, I could not get them to work for the ball thru silk. I even tried some thick sponge tape on the inside of the feke to create a bit of a wedge but that did not work. I have an old wooden set that works well for the ball thru silk. I think it works well because the feke is more than a snug fit. When pressed together even without the silk everything gets a little stuck together or wedged. Add the silk and things get even more stuck.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 23, 2019 06:26AM)
James M Wood, thank you for your PM. I did read your post earlier, and did not tried several ball sets I have. I found the Fakini did not work well, as you had to be very careful when lifting the silk out of the palm of the hand. As it was very "chancy" I never did it in a show, as I did not think to try a men's pocket hanky until many years later. So it was never tested by me.

The only current set that works with a magician's silk, is a rubber ball set found on eBay, with plastic gaff, as the ball fits very snug. These balls come in Red, Green, White, and I think another color. Smooth surface, and from a distance cannot distinguish from any ball. I will say they are easiest learn the billiard balls with, as they say but. They come in several sizes, including 1 3/4 and 2 inch. They list them as Billiard Balls rubber. They are inexpensive as well. Get them in about 3 weeks from China. They compress as well and recover nicely. So they stay between the fingers. I recommend then in the 50 mm (2 inch) size.

I tried the Jiele, and it did not work. I even tried a men's silk pocket handkerchief, but the shell is just a little to loose.

I have a set of the new Ireland Yellow balls, but I cannot locate them currently. All the places they should be, they were not. So, form memory, they might work.

If I were you, I would get a men's pocket handkerchief found usually at men's stores, and Burlington Coat Factory. It is thicker opaque silk, or try eBay. From your comment for the Vernet, it might work do to the finger grips built in.

Hope this information helps you, thanks for your request.
Message: Posted by: jamesmwood (Mar 23, 2019 10:57AM)

Thank you very much for providing information on the (un)suitability of the JIELI balls for the Ball Through Silk trick.
You have saved me (and probably many other magicians in the future) a lot of unnecessary experimentation, expense and frustration.

I also appreciate your advice that the Ball Through Silk trick seems to work best when the ball already fits super-snug into the shell *even without the silk." Bill Hegbli and Jay Leslie seem to be saying something similar.

best wishes,

Jim Wood
Message: Posted by: jamesmwood (Mar 23, 2019 11:17AM)
Bill Hegbli,

Thanks so much for your advice. I was knew you would provide useful guidance. First, it is very helpful to learn that neither the Fakini nor the JIELI balls work well with Ball in Silk. I won't search any further in that direction.

Second, I much appreciate your advice to use the soft rubber Billiard Balls that can be purchased on Ebay. I found a set there for $10.23 that is described as "Multiplying Billiard Balls 50mm (Soft Rubber) Yellow Magic" and ordered it, because it seems to be the closest to what you describe. At present, I couldn't find the red or white sets -- only yellow -- but yellow will serve my purpose, because I'm looking for a color that contrasts with a red or dark blue silk.

I will report back later on my experience with these balls. Thanks again for saving me weeks of useless experimentation and pointing me in the right direction.

Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Mar 23, 2019 09:50PM)
Hi Jim, I hope Iím not derailing the thread. In addition to searching for a set that will allow you to do the ball thru silk and hold the silk by the ends, you got me thinking of whether there could be alternative handlings for sets that donít cooperate? Hereís some handling I came up with. Iím using the JIELI set that I purchased after Bill Hegbli made me aware of it a few years back. The silks I purchased years ago from Duane Laflin. There is a gag in there about the fake rabbit that I got from Duaneís great routine with the silks but I adapted and changed the gag a bit. While trying to put something together I was influenced by thoughts concerning the multiplying balls that Dick Oslund expressed and has shared in his great book ďRoad Scholar.Ē I was also influenced by Fred Kapsí performance of the Homing Card when I was thinking of this! Anyway, itís a rough idea that needs some work but I wanted to share it in case it could be of interest to others: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=odrkhBtlNEw
Message: Posted by: jamesmwood (Apr 4, 2019 05:06PM)
Hi John,

Thank you for sharing your very charming routine. I particularly liked the ending, which was a complete surprise -- and funny! I also thought that your method of tugging the ball through the silk, with great effort, was very effective. And it was clever how you managed to do the Ball Through Silk with a ball that won't stick firmly into the shell. I hope Dick Oslund sees this routine because it borrows some of his good ideas and adds much that is creative.

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 22, 2019 05:37AM)
John, another very nice, fun, and magical routine! Your creative juices are flowing for sure!! I really enjoy your work.

I've nothing to add to the main topic. I am still using the metal (and grip tight) gaffs/gimmicks (Dick which is proper?) of the old Ireland set. I am down to only six original Ireland balls left and several of those are starting to either harden or split. I just paint them and carry on. At some point they will be gone and I'll just have the gaffus things. I keep buying any set in decent shape that comes up for sale. I pretty much use the Billy McComb and Dick Oslund handlings. I agree with John (Kanawati) that Dick's book is a treasure. Good philosophy, tips, and routines therein.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 2, 2019 06:25AM)
Thanks, Harry, for your kind words! Jon Racherbaumer twisted my arm until I agreed to write "the" book! It's selling all over the world. (I never dreamed, when I was 16, that someday I would write q book that would be of interest to so many magicians!