(Close Window)
Topic: Foam Board Jap Box
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Mar 31, 2018 03:20PM)
I'm wanting to make a simple Jap box from black foam board, (I believe that's the name of it), but I'm having trouble figuring out how to disguise / hide the....secret when I lift the box at the end to show it's empty and has no bottom. I saw the idea from a Kevin James lecture but he didn't go into a lot of detail on how to make one. Any ideas? Has anyone done this before?
Message: Posted by: jdstewart (Mar 31, 2018 04:19PM)
I make mine. I trim the edges with black cloth tape. The inside painted black. When the bottom folds up it is the height of the box. That hide the bottom.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Mar 31, 2018 05:27PM)
Foamboard is fragile at the edges, and it is also thick. You might consider making your box from black chipboard : https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Accents-Chipboard-Extra-sheets/dp/B015P7MANW You can still cut it with a razor knife or sharp scissors. Another source of chipboard is at Dollar Tree - inside 3 ring binders - two pieces for a buck.
Spellbinder has several clever new ways to make and use the "Hank Box" as we politically correct wizards prefer to call it. You'll find them in our Mini-Mysteries Book 2. But the latest thing is to be able to secretly insert large solid objects into the box, and you'll find my version of that (It's still a "Hank Box" for all practical purposes) in the Wizards' Journal #36 under the ridiculous name of "Hearts and Flowers" because it was originally designed for Valentine's Day (but decorations are optional).
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Apr 1, 2018 06:19AM)
Try using coreplax. It is the vinyl covered sign board used in gas stations and supermarkets for signs on pop and such. If you cut only through one side of the vinyl, the opposite side can be used to hinge the side with. Cover with contact paper or fabric.
Message: Posted by: Magic_son (Apr 1, 2018 09:14PM)
Where do you find coreplax? it wasn't on a easy internet search
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Apr 1, 2018 10:17PM)
It's called coroplast. http://www.coroplast.com/ Not for the Dollar Store crowd.
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Apr 2, 2018 12:39AM)
Thanks for all the help! I decided to go with coroplast. I haven't heard it called that before, btw. Around here we call it fluted cardboard (even though it's not cardboard). I'm building my summer show for the state park I work at (I'm the Naturalist/activities director) and needed a specific design on a budget so the recommendations were great.

I'll contribute an idea I figured out in return: I made mine connect on one edge with magnets, so the whole thing can be opened up if you wish (and looks like a great applause cue!), but more importantly, it can fold flat for packing :)
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Apr 2, 2018 02:29AM)
Out of respect for Spellbinder's work on expanding the possibilities of the old Hank Box (as referenced above), and with a nod to the disgruntled magician who wrote in The Jinx (1941), “Maybe I am getting cranky on account of my arthritis, but it annoyed me to see a great big Jap Box used to vanish a single handkerchief” can I respectfully hope you are going to do more than make a silk handkerchief appear and disappear?
Message: Posted by: Anverdi-museum (Apr 2, 2018 07:13AM)
If you want a cool way to vanish scarfs or cards, etc. Try building Caucasian Box, I use it all of the time. You will have to google this to see it.
Message: Posted by: lnlver (Apr 2, 2018 08:21AM)
[quote]On Apr 2, 2018, Anverdi-museum wrote: If you want a cool way to vanish scarfs or cards, etc. Try building Caucasian Box, I use it all of the time. You will have to google this to see it.[/quote]

I did this and all I got were links to Jerry Quarry!
Message: Posted by: mroek (Apr 2, 2018 09:37AM)
I also tried googling it, but ended up none the wiser.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 2, 2018 12:19PM)
I believe the reference can be found on Jeff Hobson Choice website. He has a video of ideas he has used over the years. I believe Miracle Factory by Todd Karr still sells the DVD by Jeff Hobson.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A good Jap Box can be made collapsible by using cardboard and tape. From your description, you are trying to make it nice, but not going far enough. One long side should be only a cut out frame, then the outer side attach a wall now you have the Jap Box gimmick. On the inside the flap should be good double thickness stiff cardboard. Form poster board is a good choice. Only you have to put paper over the edges. I worked at a place that used a think paper tape, never found it on the consumer market. Contact paper should work nicely for your project.

For the latch, a simple swivel wire should work adequately, if you want to go that far with being close to a Jap Box.

They use to make for a very short time a cardboard Jap Box called the Korean Box, it works perfectly and gets good reaction. It is only double cardboard and cloth tap. What is hard is getting the spacing laid out correctly.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 2, 2018 04:39PM)
[quote]On Apr 2, 2018, jimgerrish wrote:
Out of respect for Spellbinder's work on expanding the possibilities of the old Hank Box (as referenced above), and with a nod to the disgruntled magician who wrote in The Jinx (1941), “Maybe I am getting cranky on account of my arthritis, but it annoyed me to see a great big Jap Box used to vanish a single handkerchief” can I respectfully hope you are going to do more than make a silk handkerchief appear and disappear? [/quote]

Well, here I am again, with another story. This time about Jap Boxes! I've never owned one, and, I doubt that I ever will, but Jim's quote from the guy who wrote about a Jap Box, in the Jinx, stimulated my dusty old brain, and I remembered the late Gene Eisenbarth's performance at the Naval Air Station, in Norfolk, VA, in 1952. Parenthetical note: (Gene's father owned, and operated a SHOWBOAT, called the "COTTON BLOSSOM".) Yes, there really was a showboat called Cotton Blossom! It sunk in the Ohio River, YEARS ago. Gene, obviously, had been "born in a trunk, just outside center door fancy on that boat! He was a SHOWMAN.

Gene was a showman, AND, a magician! (He didn't just do tricks.) He did a very entertaining hour, and, the 1,000 young sailors, were ENTERTAINED! He opened with a Jap Box, and, an 18" white silk. (Ho hum?) NO! He held those young sailors in the palm of his hand. Even knowing what a Jap Box was. I was entertained. It was the CLASSIC "Not WHAT ya do, but, HOW ya do it", and Gene knew "how"! For about 2 minutes, He would show the box, bottom in one hand, and the box in the other hand. Replacing the bottom, he reached in and produced an 18" white silk, then DROPPED it back into the box, and almost instantaneously, he removed the bottom, and showed the box empty. He must have done this a half dozen times or more, in those 2 minutes. I don't remember his lines, but, they were funny, and the young adult audience was FOOLED, and ENTERTAINED!

I've always had the motto: KIS MIF. (Keep It Simple Make It Fun), and, Gene DID! I wonder who that guy was, who wrote Ted Annemann!
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Apr 2, 2018 07:19PM)
Many magicians have done the same with a gimmick made from a ping pong ball, or even with their bare hands. A magician doesn't need a box of any type to make a single handkerchief appear and disappear, nor to make it entertaining. The box is superfluous.
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Apr 4, 2018 02:52PM)
[quote]On Apr 2, 2018, jimgerrish wrote:
Out of respect for Spellbinder's work on expanding the possibilities of the old Hank Box (as referenced above), and with a nod to the disgruntled magician who wrote in The Jinx (1941), “Maybe I am getting cranky on account of my arthritis, but it annoyed me to see a great big Jap Box used to vanish a single handkerchief” can I respectfully hope you are going to do more than make a silk handkerchief appear and disappear? [/quote]


Yes, haha, I'm using it for a salt pour routine I'm working on. From the audience's perspective, it will vanish all the salt, a salt shaker, and some other items I'm using in the routine.

Dick, thanks for the extra insight, I'll put it to good use.
Bill, thanks for the story!
Message: Posted by: admagic1 (Jan 20, 2021 12:06PM)
Hi there...late to the party as I am, there is also a big section on this prop (including plans for making a collapsible one) in my book "Real Secrets" from Stevens Magic