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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Beginner Escape Artist Introducation and Help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

brock2621
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New user
Kentucky
22 Posts

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Hello Everyone,

Let me start off my introducing myself. My name is Brock Smith and I live in Lexington Kentucky (the horse manure capitol of the world). I am 20 years old and am currently studying film at Asbury College. I have always been captivated by escape artists and magicians my entire life, but I wasn't until I recieved a book for my birthday entitled "the secrets of Houdini" that I became really interested in the art of escape. I want to learn how to escape eventually from almost anything. But right now I'm stuck with not being able to get out of simple ASP handcuffs. I love the idea that people exist that can't be held down. A man or woman with the ability to be unrestrained, escaping from everything represents a true freedom that no one can take away. I want to learn how to be one of those people. So I am asking for help. I was kind of uncertain as whether to post or not because I know some poeple's livelihood depends on the secrets of the trade therefore making it a touchy subject. But if there is anyone that would like to help me to start it would be greatly appreciated. It was reccomended to me to start with some Peerless 700 handcuffs to learn so I'm stopping by Galls today to pick some up. Do I need to order picks like "houdini's secret key" or gimmick x etc to be successful or can I make my own picks from household objects. (I have a machine shop so I can make a lot of things if I knew what to make). I greatly appreciate any help or direction. Thank you for your time.
freefallillusion1
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Elite user
Cincinnati, OH
447 Posts

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Welcome Brock!

Back when I first got into escapes, I did some basic rope ties (Kellar tie, etc.) and shortly thereafter got a straitjacket. These two items will teach you a lot about PERFORMING with escapes (remember, you're an entertainer, not a locksmith). As for handcuffs, I read something long ago in a book by Prynce E. Wheeler that made perfect sense. He said that first, you'll have to become a collector, and that "examining the cuffs will teach you ways of opening them far better than any I can show you". Good luck!
brock2621
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New user
Kentucky
22 Posts

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Thank you freefall.

I am going today to the local police store to pick up some S&W, and Peerless 700's. I've been studying the ASP's and they are very basic. Basically I am just trying to find out what to use to get out of them. I was actually wondering if I should use something like "gimmick x" or "houdini's secret key" or something that I should order offline. Or if I should make my own picks. I also plan on ordering the Novack series tonight to learn more about the locks.
Tony Chapparo
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Special user
Albuquerque, NM
705 Posts

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Welcome Brock,

Personaly, I think the best way to defeat a pair of hancuffs is...drumroll please... the correct KEY for that cuff. If you have to conceal something anyway you might as well conceal the key.

Full view escapes would be the exception to the rule.

Underwater escapes... G***ed cuffs! Too many things can go wrong.

Best of luck! Be safe!
Tony Chapparo
Riley
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Special user
Darlington UK
939 Posts

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Hi Brock

Tony's advice is good. Use a key. A key can be altered to make it more useful for more than one style of cuff.

Houdini's "secret key/device" is really for older Derby style cuffs, and the "gimmick X" will not open some of the more modern cuffs (such as Speedcuffs) without a little modification to the gimmick. There are threads on these topics with more info.

A good book I ALWAYS recommend is "Modern Handcuff Secrets for Magicians" by Dick Norman. As you have your own machine shop, this book will tell you a lot of what you need to know about making your own gimmicks. Another really good book is "Gimmicked Handcuffs and Restraints" by Ian McColl.

Regards

Riley
brock2621
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Kentucky
22 Posts

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Thank you guys for your help. Right now I'm basically just getting comfortable with the cuffs on. I'm putting myself into awkward positions and getting out of them with the key. I have some thumbcuffs, Hiatts, Peerless 700, and of course my ASP's. I went down to my shop today and ground the side of the key so basically when looking head on it look like a semi circle. I then cut the circular loop off the back and flatenned the end of an L shaped allen wrench and put a pit through it with the other half of the key so it would swivel down into a compact flat peice. So far I've been able to undo all of my cuffs nomatter what size the key hole is. Let me know if I'm on the right track or not. Thanks for all your input guys.
Riley
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Darlington UK
939 Posts

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