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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Chinese sticks mechanism (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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marty.sasaki
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I looked at the General Grant sticks at the SAM 104 Assembly's convention. There were very smooth and good looking. He has two versions, one with square cross section tube, the other circular. Both were machined from brass. The cost was around $275 otherwise I might have walked out with a set of them.

The weights were machined brass with rings of plastic on the ends. I'm not sure whether the plastic was teflon or delrin or nylon. In any case it was simple and a great idea, if you put the slippery stuff on the weight you don't have to put it on the tube.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
John Martin
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Get a hold of the Roy Benson book. Excellent book to start with, but has a great chaptrer on his Chinese sticks and their construction.

John
raywitko
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western Pa
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You might want to taper both ends of the weights slightly, 45 degrees. You can just sand them so they have a slight taper so that there aren't any 90 degree angles on weights. If your using a dark cord you can use a little graphite as a lubricant. Sometimes a bit messy but it works.
Ray
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magicdmv
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joseph
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Quote:
On 2006-09-02 11:35, tropicalpenguin wrote:
Martin Lewis has some good ideas in his Making Magic videos
His are made from paper and at the end, he tears it up and throws the pieces into the crowd to show that there is nothing inside.


I agree....You need to get this video.....excellent material...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
marty.sasaki
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Any suggestions for do-it-yourself construction besides the Martin Lewis variety? I like the idea of ripping them up at the end, but want something "easier to reset" than that. I want something a little more classy than the $10 Adams version but the more expensive versions that I've seen locally require a rather severe tilt. I don't want to spend a lot so I'm looking to make a set.

I was thinking of thin walled aluminum tubing, maybe conduit, that could be painted. Any suggestions for the end caps? I don't have access to any machining equipment.

Thanks in advance.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Just discovered this thread.

OK, the Teflon sheeting rolled into a tube and stuck inside the main barrell tube is very important. I gave this info to Kovari, who makes the best sticks available. Then you need to ELIMINATE any friction on the weights. Brass tubing filled with lead is good.

Another IMPORTANT item is the weight of the tassels. I take yarn and wrap a piece around it about an inch below where it is tied to the string, then cut off the lower ends so they are even looking. This gives you a FAT looking tassle that weighs very little.

Good white nylong or silk fishing line is important and if you can use little pulleys instead of screw eyes at the end of the weights you get less friction.

One of the problems is with round tubes and weights you get occasional tangles when travelling, so extend the cords and tie them off.

For looks I thin Owen makes the best fake bamboo sets. Nice and fat and painted bright for good visibility.

I use little tabs of velcro to hold the sticks together before I start so when you pick them up they are lined up nicely.

Square tubes are what Kaps used and I believe Benson as well. These were the top pro's doing the sticks and if square was good enough for them.... well...

Adantage? No tangles from rotating weights.

Get the Stevens teach in video on the trick... worth its weight in gold.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
marty.sasaki
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Don't make the paper tubes using rubber cement. I don't know whether things bled through but a little rubber cement made it's way on the inside of the tube making a really good surface for gripping the weights. I guess the flour paste is probably the best.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
m.ruetz
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Peoria Arizona, USA
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To add to Pete Biro's post, I used copper pipe in short lengths for the weights. Using a metal funnel, I filled them with molten lead melted with a blow torch. Easy to do.
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Acecardician
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I recommend the Ping and Pong Chinese Sticks as the best new set you can readily get. They work very well. The weights are square and the sticks are square so it cannot tangle.

Here is my Chinese Stick Scrapbook:

http://s474.photobucket.com/albums/rr110......lideshow

I have them all except the 3 or 4 I am looking for, and help would be appreciated.

ACE
Joe(JOJO)Strauch
Acecardician
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Pete Biro
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Rjenkins... what did you wind up doing? I have been stalled due to other pressures, but will soon be back working to make up the replica Benson sticks but with my NO TILT SYSTEM. Keep your eyes peeled at http://www.petebiro.com
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Quote:
On 2006-11-29 15:32, marty.sasaki wrote:
Any suggestions for do-it-yourself construction besides the Martin Lewis variety? I like the idea of ripping them up at the end, but want something "easier to reset" than that. I want something a little more classy than the $10 Adams version but the more expensive versions that I've seen locally require a rather severe tilt. I don't want to spend a lot so I'm looking to make a set.

I was thinking of thin walled aluminum tubing, maybe conduit, that could be painted. Any suggestions for the end caps? I don't have access to any machining equipment.

Thanks in advance.



If you are looking for a nice inexpensive set already made and look nice, check out the Chinese Sticks from Loftus/Empire Company. They are like bamboo and work really great. The only poor thing is the string will wear out and needs replacing. Simple enough, get the string from a knitting department or use the nylon braid string used in making encased edges on furniture cushions or throw pillows that can be purchased at sewing departments and craft stores.
Acecardician
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Quote:
On 2009-10-10 23:27, wmhegbli wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-11-29 15:32, marty.sasaki wrote:
Any suggestions for do-it-yourself construction besides the Martin Lewis variety? I like the idea of ripping them up at the end, but want something "easier to reset" than that. I want something a little more classy than the $10 Adams version but the more expensive versions that I've seen locally require a rather severe tilt. I don't want to spend a lot so I'm looking to make a set.

I was thinking of thin walled aluminum tubing, maybe conduit, that could be painted. Any suggestions for the end caps? I don't have access to any machining equipment.

Thanks in advance.



If you are looking for a nice inexpensive set already made and look nice, check out the Chinese Sticks from Loftus/Empire Company. They are like bamboo and work really great. The only poor thing is the string will wear out and needs replacing. Simple enough, get the string from a knitting department or use the nylon braid string used in making encased edges on furniture cushions or throw pillows that can be purchased at sewing departments and craft stores.


I also recommend taking off those red plastic ends and putting corks in the sticks instead. You will like them a lot better. You have to cut or break away part of the inside tube to do that, but it is easy enough. After I did mine, they look great! I also put better tassels on them. There is a picture of them in my colleciton I listed a few posts up.

ACE
Pete Biro
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The best, easiest to find, cord is the woven string used by contractors to snap chalk lines. Any Ace Hardware has it in white or yellow. Make sure you DO NOT get twisted string, it untwists and frays.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
jolyonjenkins
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Quote:
On 2009-10-10 16:30, Pete Biro wrote:
Rjenkins... what did you wind up doing?


I gave up and bought some! I made a Geoffrey Durham prediction box instead.
Jolyon Jenkins
Christopher Rinaldi
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Do any of you look inside of kids toys to find stuff that would work for you in circumstances such as this? Keep an eye out ya know.

I'm looking for weights.

I bought a trick that was a string and ring routine, Doug Henning did it on national t.v. it rocked, well the weight that came with it seems to work with what I have howvever I only bought one of these tricks long ago and do not now have an extra weight for the two one would need for decent chinese stick rouitne.
snushy
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Christopher:
The trick you're thinking of is Doug Benett's brilliant "Bewilder-ring."
I've seen them for sale from time to time. Henning did it on The Tonight Show.
Larry Zaslow
YOU KNOW WHY YOU DON'T SEE? BECAUSE YOU DON'T WATCH! - SLYDINI
Alexander Wells
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I realise I'm opening up an old thread here but it's right on topic and has some great info so far from Pete and others.
I'm curious about where to source small pulley wheels for attaching the string to the weights. What sort of store (online or otherwise) would have such small pulleys?
I've also been looking at weights and there are good lead weights for sash windows which come in square sections of 25mm (approx 1 inch) across. This is a bit larger than the tube I'd like to use. I wonder how easy these would be to shave down with a saw? I'm a bit wary about grinding and sawing lead due to the toxicity.

I'm definitely thinking that I'd prefer to make the stick square, partially to avoid twisting but mainly as I like the idea of the stick appearing to be a wooden block. I think round stick may read as "tube" whereas square stick reads as "solid block"


Thanks, Alexander
jimgerrish
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East Orange, NJ
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Pulleys aren't usually used; a smooth metal screw eye does the trick. The advantage to square sticks is you can use a square weight which will not turn over in the stick. I made my own weights using flat metal bars and octagonal nuts with epoxy putty holding them all together. The other advantage for square sticks is to call them chair legs from a three legged child's stool, which gives you a reason to perform the Benson routine with three sticks. You'll find it all written up in my e-Book on "Making Roy Benson-Style String Sticks" in The Wizards' Journal #27 if you want more ideas or if you plan to build the sticks yourself.
Alexander Wells
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Thanks Jim.
The metal screw eyes were my first thought. The pulleys were something that Pete Biro mentioned and it sounded like a sensible idea, even though they may be more difficult to find. I've some square sectioned fishing weights and am experimenting with them at the moment. I need to lubricate the inside of the tube or the weight though. Trying to find some teflon and thinking about how to put it inside the tube.
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