We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Building your own table (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
Chris Becker
View Profile
Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
Hi, this is a progress report in two steps. I'm not quite done with this yet, but will hopefully be able to finish next time I get three hours off work. (urgh!)

For a long time, I've been looking for a busker's table and was appauled by "official" offerings. I mean how can you ask for $250 or more for a tabletop? Without a stand? My marble/glass dinner table with four chairs cost $270! It's not that I or many others of you can't afford that - I'm fortunate enough to be able to. But others maybe aren't and I, personally, am also furious if I see these prices.

Anyways, this project is not novel in any way and just build on a great post by Mario from last year or so. I only want to add a few more ideas. Basically, Mario suggested to get a picture frame. I got a very sturdy and nice-looking one (that's obviously your personal preference) from IKEA for $14. It comes with a wooden board that is absolutely usable as the basis of the tabletop. The next question is what to use for a surface. I've been trying vinyl in different colors from Ebay for $8 per square yard. It's a great material although not ideal for card spreads (but who does those on the street). It is very easy to clean and nice-looking. Another idea obviously is felt. Doesn't cost any money either and is obviously a classic for magic tables. With both vinyl and felt you have to get some rubber foam ($2 per square yard), about 1/4 inch thick, so the surface is not too hard.

Last weekend I went to Canal Rubber (SUCH a fun store on Canal Street here in Manhattan. There's also a plastic store next to it, where you can get all sorts of foil etc.) and got "mouse pad material". It was also very cheap, like $20 for 4 square yards (they wouldn't cut it for me) and pretty much ideal if you get one of those with a silky cover. At the office, I practice my magic on the mouse pad all the time, so why not use something similar for a table? Plus, you can very easily replace the surface if you don't like it anymore.

The whole thing shouldn't cost more than $30 or so (especially if you shop more efficiently than me). And the table will be absolutely professional-looking.

As for stands, just google restaurant tray stands, you get a variety of nice stands for $30.

Ok, will report back when done.

C.
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
CJRichard
View Profile
Special user
Massachusetts
542 Posts

Profile of CJRichard
Quote:
On 2007-02-13 17:08, Christof wrote:
I'm not quite done with this yet, but will hopefully be able to finish next time I get three hours off work. (urgh!)
C.


How much is your professional time worth?

I just got a brochure from a pair of juggler here in the northeast. For a three hour walk-around or a parade, they get $700. That's more than a table top an hour. . .

If you're taking "another" three hours to assemble your table after the shopping around, buying the supplies, etc., how much is your $30 table really costing you?
"You know some of you are laughin', but there's people here tryin' to learn. . ." -Pop Haydn

"I know of no other art that proclaims itself 'easy to do.'" -Master Payne

Ezekiel the Green
scody
View Profile
Loyal user
232 Posts

Profile of scody
Adding to cjs point...

I am trying to see why you are furious.
As a busker... this is your livelihood. It's what you DO. Even if you aren't a busker...

One fricking gig will pay for this. One day on the street. One library gig (one hour, max?)

Honestly...
It is the focal point of your show. It's in front of your audience the whole time... I say... if you can make one as nice as the commercial tops for under 30 bucks... go for it. Most people cannot... I definitely wouldn't knock the price though. I think pro tables are worth their weight in Gold...
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
There is nothing wrong with a $30 table top. There is also nothing appalling about a $230 one either. Good equipment is expensive a professional who depends on his equipment will spend the money, or if he's a craftsman build it himself. I used a crap table for years when I was just banging around on the weekends. When I went full time I dropped $350 on a table and didn't bat an eyelid. You need to compare apples to apples there is no need to put down anybody because of the price they charge when you've never seen or used the product.

Let's keep it friendly. Smile

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Chris Becker
View Profile
Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
Thanks, Danny, I think friendliness is the most important thing and I apologize if my words in my earlier post were too strong. I do agree that we come from different sides. First, unlike you guys I really don't busk regularly AT ALL. I have a 14 hours a day/seven days a week job - that would also pay for Frank's tables.

However, just because magic is my hobby and not my business, I thoroughly enjoy dragging my g/f through Chinatown and tracking down what I honestly consider very good materials. To me, that is time when I relax, to a full-time magician, that might be work.

On a different note, I do think that the market for magic supplies is inefficient and that most products are considerably overpriced. The margins for someone along the line from manufacturer to retailer seem just a tad bit too steep sometimes.

All that said, some vinyl makes a great surface and the elasticity of mouse pad material is practicable. I'm sticking to it.
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
cfrye
View Profile
Special user
Portland, Oregon, USA
941 Posts

Profile of cfrye
The market is inefficient because there are too few suppliers of quality goods and production runs are too small to introduce significant economies of scale. I mean, what competes with Chance Wolf's Blow Yer Stack? The pool of potential customers is also relatively small, so originators, distributors, and retailers have to price and mark up their products to make the effort viable.

Yes, you can find plenty of companies that mass produce rip-off pen through anythings or color changing whatevers and compete on price for the slum magic purchases, but the really good stuff is made by artisans in small batches. Not to mention that creating magic effects requires relatively rare skills (in terms of the population with those skills), so there's a supply premium as well. We ain't bakin' bread, here!



Curt
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13382 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Christof,
There is not a huge demand for custom made magic props. Period.
You might call that inefficient but there just is not a large demand.
That is why they end up being made one-by-one and made by hand by people that enjoy the work and are willing to do it at a small profit.

Of course people could set up a factory and produde 200,000 busking tables pretty efficiently and cheaply an sell them for maybe $79 or so.

But there's not enough market for that. That does not mean the hand-made products are overpriced. They are priced as they need to be given the number of buyers in the market and the time involved in actually making one.

If I told you what my profit was on those tables you'd call me one or both of the following::
1. a liar
2. stupid for making them for such a low profit.

There's nothing wrong with making your own stuff. I think it's a great idea that everyone should do from time to time. I've made a few tables and used them. But when I really wanted something nice I went to a pro.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
johnnymystic
View Profile
Inner circle
North Adams Ma.
1576 Posts

Profile of johnnymystic
Frank, your table tops are for want of a better word...TOP'S, the best I've seen and boy I've searched high and low, even made my own and still use it.

I WILL be purchasing a large buskers table from you...it might not be until the end of summer or next tax season, but I WILL get one from you...and why?

'cuz I like to think I know quality and from what I've seen you got it in spades brother, in spades!

For those that are interested in this artform the price you ask is just fine, of course it can be paid for in one show, that's a small price to pay for something that will last for ages.

Tom Frank seems to like to beat the heck outta his equipment and look at his table, still there and still holding up strong man and you folks at the Ambitious Card made that table for him, kudo's bro!

I want one.

johnny
I drink cheap tequila and vomit
<BR>I cannot eat hot wings...acid reflux
<BR>I never inhale Smile
<BR>I can put a field dress on a deer
RobertBloor
View Profile
Inner circle
The Socialist Republic of the USA.
1051 Posts

Profile of RobertBloor
Quote:
Christof: I have a 14 hours a day/seven days a week job - that would also pay for Frank's tables.


Is that the same job that you said...

Quote:
Christof: At the office, I practice my magic on the mouse pad all the time


Listen, Frank's product is spot on. The table I built myself has lasted me 7 years to the tune of about $75. I built the table to last.

However I had the resources at my disposal to make a high quality table (thanks to my dads ShopSmith and abundant collection of power tools, drills, sanders, etc.) Assuming I had to buy all that equipment on my own, then build the table, you're talking about a $4,500.00 table. If you don't have those resources then at $250 or so bucks, Frank's table is a steal - that is - for those who can afford, and desire that level of quality in their props.

-Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3149 Posts

Profile of gaddy
I posted this a while ago in "the workshop"

this table has been serving me well for a while now, and I feel no pressing need to upgrade. It cost about 60 bux US.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......26&0
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3149 Posts

Profile of gaddy
Quote:
On 2007-02-13 17:08, Christof wrote:
Last weekend I went to Canal Rubber (SUCH a fun store on Canal Street here in Manhattan. There's also a plastic store next to it, where you can get all sorts of foil etc.) and got "mouse pad material". It was also very cheap, like $20 for 4 square yards (they wouldn't cut it for me) and pretty much ideal if you get one of those with a silky cover. At the office, I practice my magic on the mouse pad all the time, so why not use something similar for a table? Plus, you can very easily replace the surface if you don't like it anymore.


C.


Awesome resource on Mouse Pad Material! thanks! I've been having trouble finding it in bulk and uncut.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13382 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Tabman tables also makes great tables and Jim Zee used to make them. SFS has a table with legs built into it as well.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Chris Becker
View Profile
Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
Quote:
On 2007-02-13 21:50, RobertBloor wrote:
Quote:
Christof: I have a 14 hours a day/seven days a week job - that would also pay for Frank's tables.


Is that the same job that you said...

Quote:
Christof: At the office, I practice my magic on the mouse pad all the time



Yes - during calls ... I'd like to think. I defer to Simon Aronson if people hold it against me. ;-)
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13382 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
We don't hold it against you Christof. If it wasn't for business calls, I would not be as good as I am at several slight-of-hand maneuvers.

:)

frank
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Gazzo
View Profile
Regular user
145 Posts

Profile of Gazzo
Quote:


If you want and like IKEA quality go for it. Make something that looks professional but don't come here comparing your $30 table to things that people actually put a lot of thought and money into making that needs to last a long time for their customers.


HA HA HA
MagiUlysses
View Profile
Special user
Kansas City
504 Posts

Profile of MagiUlysses
Greetings and Salutations,

I, too, have built a $30 table, and a $60 table, a couple of times each. Adding in my time, I could have dropped $250 on Frank or one of the other table builder's tables and came out money, and time, ahead. I'm very pleased with all of my tables, I still have three of them, my worker, my backup, and a practice table in my office. There's nothing "wrong" with any of them, but I still want, eventually, a better table.

When, not if, I get more faires and street work, I'll make the investment in a good, quality table like those noted above. My current worker is good looking and very serviceable, but I don't have the skills, the tools, or the talents to turn out a table like Frank's or Tabman's. And, if you're going to be asking for top dollar, your act better look like it deserves top dollar.

Just my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV.

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
Mario Morris
View Profile
Inner circle
Mario Morris
2044 Posts

Profile of Mario Morris
I just noticed my name was mentioned so I thought I would dip in.

I don't bother with picter frames any more I simply use 2 ply board one 3ml the other 1ml, cut them the same size. Wrap good velvet around the thicker board, screw thin board into the back of thick board.

Their you have it 2 surface table top, light and easy to carry. As far as I am concerned the best table money can buy. Beleave me I don't like cheap ****e looking props.
Mario
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13382 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Dean Dill also makes some fantastic stuff but they are really deluxe close-up pads. They are made sort of like how Mario is describing his construction and man are those nice. but not for street work.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Al Angello
View Profile
Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
Christof
Is that Canal street store the one near Mullberry street? If you wanted to build your own table, why are you furious with Frank? I don't think you'de be interested in Franks table if he offered it to you for $100.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Amon
View Profile
Regular user
Chicago, IL
134 Posts

Profile of Amon
Kudos to Frank! (although I abosolutely support D.I.Y.) ..but seriously I can't wait to get me a new buskers pouch, and table top from Frank. Frank I'll be looking you up (hopefully soon.. after a couple more hats)..cheerio
here and now
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Building your own table (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL