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Burrich
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Hey. I'm just creating this topic to see what material (width + colour) and what core (size) all you fellow monkey fist making magicians use when making these balls. It is also to get more people to make them as they are very cheap and don't take too long to make. If you get good at them you will be able to make any weight, size or colour ball you want.

Check out this site ( http://www.scoutxing.com/knots/monkeys_fist/monkeys_fist.htm ) and have a go. However I find it much easier to use just the index and middle fingers of my left hand instead of all four when tying the knot. Also I use four turns each side instead of three.

I usually use a glass marble for the core about 11/16 inch (1.5 cm).
I use lace which is 1/8 inch wide.

Overall it makes a ball which is 7/8 inch in diameter.

I used to make them with white lace for runners (trainers) which were perfectly round but were hollow. I think most sports laces for trainers are like this.

Now I am using material I got in the fabric shop in town. It looks like it is braided together. It is round but it goes much flatter than the sports laces. The only colour they had was green which is really nice as I live in Ireland.

This one turned out to be very successful. It bounces less than most balls that you buy (ie. crochet, Mike Rodger's baseballs) and handle really well.

So how do you make yours?

Non monkey fist ball making magicians are of course welcome to give their opinion.
sarcophilus
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For those that do currently make the Monkey Fist balls, where can I buy some? I would like a larger set for use in a set of Gazzo's and Cellini cups...
Burrich
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Well Frank Starsini makes some very nice one's
( http://www.theambitiouscard.com/balls/balls.cfm )

and so does James Riser
( http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/LeatherBalls/Info.html )

Those are the only two I know. Why not have a go at them yourself?
Dave V
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Magical_steve,
You've heard this before in PM's but I'm reposting it here for the rest of the members.

I used 1/8 in. burgundy lacing found at a local craft store. I chose these because they looked better for the "Ren Faire" show I was considering at the time.

I tie them around a simple kid's marble. One "fist" gives me something around 3/4 to 7/8 in. A second tie over the first brings it up to 1 1/4 which is perfect for larger cups. The only down side is the dark color. Lighter balls show up much better in most cases.

Check out my pictures here
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Thomas Wayne
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Research knot-tying groups on the internet. There are HUNDREDS of guys who will happily build you some "monkey-fist" balls for much cheaper than the above listed "magic suppliers".

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Robert Kohler
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Can you *prepare* these for chop cups?
We judge ourselves by our intentions - others judge us by our actions.....
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I suggest trying it yourself. See if you like doing it.
The first one might take you an hour.
Once you get better, maybe 15 minutes or so.

I use leather lace I buy from leather a leather shop.

Making chopped monkey-fist balls is a different story but
I eventually found a combo that works well.
It takes some playing around with the combo of the cup, the m- , the lace, etc.
That takes longer to figure out and will probably take some time
finding the right m-

The design that jim riser uses is quite nice.
I believe Eric Evans also used to make them using the same design.
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Bill Palmer
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I tried making monkey fist balls about 9 months ago. Now I leave that to people who have more time on their hands than I do. To get the best, you have to pay for it.

That's why van Dokkum charges what he does for his baseballs. You can get cheap baseballs in a number of places, but to get really precise ones, you have to pay.

It's a fact of life.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2005-03-09 16:01, Mr. Fitzwilly wrote:
Can you *prepare* these for chop cups?


I've finally had good luck with this. yes.
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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2005-03-09 18:21, Bill Palmer wrote:
I tried making monkey fist balls about 9 months ago. Now I leave that to people who have more time on their hands than I do. To get the best, you have to pay for it.

[...]


Actually, to get the best sometimes you simply have to research the subject a little.

Here is a link for anyone interested in the very BEST leather monkey-fist balls:

http://www.knotical-arts.com/

The guy's name is Dan Callahan, and he's a WORLD-RENOWN knot-tying expert. I have a number of different "spherical coverings" from him, but his monkey-fist knots are perfect for Cups and Balls and they are way, WAY nicer than anything I've seen from the guys mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Dan also can add the component needed for a Chop Cup; I have a set that works beautifully with my Coffee Chop. He may not have any current pictures of his monkey-fist balls on the website, so if anyone would like a picture, email me and I'll shoot a couple and email them back.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
TheAmbitiousCard
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Hey DaveV, I like the pictures of your monkey-fists. Well done. They look perfect.
I believe BillP has some nice ones that eric evans made. he should take some photos of those as well. Those are one's I'm jealous of.
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Dave V
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Thanks,
I just learned a new technique that makes these in the "Turks Head" style. It adds one more "side" to the knot making it not so squarish. I've done some practice knots in cotton cord but haven't tried it in leather... yet.

Click here for my first attempt at this new ball.
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Flying Magus
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I don't know why anyone would use a monkey's fist when a turk's head looks so good. They're not difficult to make at all.

The ones I use I made out of standard magicians rope (1/2"). I used the core for the regular balls and the outer for the load balls. These are fairly small load balls, but if you don't core the rope you can get much larger balls. I dye mine, but found the core takes the dye much more readily than the sheath, and so they end up slightly different colors.

Another option to make them larger is to alter the number of times you 'go around'. The usual number is 3 times, but you can see in Dave's pic that he has gone around 4 times. For standard balls 3 times should be enough. I made some for a friend who uses them with Gazzo's street cups and they sre really big cups.

Magically yours,

Michel Fouché

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Magically yours,

Michel Fouché
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Dave V
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Michel,
You'll notice my most recent attempt is indeed the "Turks Head." They're harder to make well, and take more time which is probably why nobody is selling them.

I think it's my knot of choice from now on.

For the Monkey Fist knot, the number of wraps depend on the size of the core and diameter of your cord. I stopped at three, and it was loose, there were gaps where the core would show, and didn't look much like a ball. On the other hand, too many wraps and the cord bunches up and you get overlapping strands. My large balls have five wraps, and from recent pictures I've seen (Thanks Thomas) some people can get away with six wraps. Above that, and I think the ball starts to lose it's "integrity," especially with the Monkey Fist style of knot. From what I've seen so far, the Turk's Head seems to be much more flexible in this regard as you can make as many loops as necessary for good coverage.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Anybody know what knot this one is specifically?

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/fotos/magic/

The balls in the first photo. I asked the person that makes them but have not
heard back. Either that, or they don't know. Or both, I guess.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2005-03-10 04:29, Thomas Wayne wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-03-09 18:21, Bill Palmer wrote:
I tried making monkey fist balls about 9 months ago. Now I leave that to people who have more time on their hands than I do. To get the best, you have to pay for it.

[...]


Actually, to get the best sometimes you simply have to research the subject a little.

Here is a link for anyone interested in the very BEST leather monkey-fist balls:

http://www.knotical-arts.com/

The guy's name is Dan Callahan, and he's a WORLD-RENOWN knot-tying expert. I have a number of different "spherical coverings" from him, but his monkey-fist knots are perfect for Cups and Balls and they are way, WAY nicer than anything I've seen from the guys mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Dan also can add the component needed for a Chop Cup; I have a set that works beautifully with my Coffee Chop. He may not have any current pictures of his monkey-fist balls on the website, so if anyone would like a picture, email me and I'll shoot a couple and email them back.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne



I don't know whether you are underestimating my skill as a researcher or overestimating the amount of time I am willing to waste learning how to do something that I would rather hire someone else to do.

That's one reason that when it comes to, for example, making wands, if it is any more complex than making a GoldenRod™. I turn it over to guys like you, Porper. Tabman or James Riser.

But I do have bookmarks at several sites giving instructions on how to make monkey's fist balls. I'd rather work on my routine.

Quote:
On 2005-03-11 17:31, Frank Starsini wrote:
Anybody know what knot this one is specifically?

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/fotos/magic/

The balls in the first photo. I asked the person that makes them but have not
heard back. Either that, or they don't know. Or both, I guess.


That looks like a pineapple knot. You can find them on that web site that Thomas posted above.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I thought it might be a pinapple knot but I cannot be sure.
The person who makes these directed me to a book so I could make them myself.


NOT!!!!

I bought it, looked it over and it's too much work. In fact the book is still sitting in the book basket in the bathroom where I first cracked it open.
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Bill Palmer
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Maybe Dan Callahan or one of the other "real" magic suppliers from Alaska could make them for you.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
I don't know whether you are underestimating my skill as a researcher or overestimating the amount of time I am willing to waste learning how to do something that I would rather hire someone else to do.


Neither, Bill. I posted Dan Callahan's link solely for those who would prefer to have someone else do the knot-tying for them.

Dan does offer some instruction on his site, but his primary business is creating decorative knotwork for his retail customers; as far as I know he is pretty much busy full-time doing just that.

As mentioned above, I've personally seen a lot of guy's efforts (including my own) at producing the various "spherical coverings" for C&B sets, but most are very amateurish compared to the work Callahan and a few of his peers produce.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Bill Palmer
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Mine were "off the page" when it came to amateurish. Between dropping the marbles on the floor, readjusting the loops, picking up the marbles, tightening the loops, I finally lost my marbles and decided to let guys like Eric Evans make them. Eric's monkey fists are really nice, and his "Fireballs" are similar to the Pineapple knot.

I wanted to stock them, but even at the prices he gets for them, he can't afford to discount them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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