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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Best Close Up Mat (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gandolf
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Hillsborough,NC
236 Posts

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I am going to purchase a close up mat, and was wondering which ones are recommended by the members. I've seen Apollo's, Ronjo's and Gibsons on some sites, but it's hard to discern quality when looking at a photo.
I would also appreciate your posting a site where one might be available. I know Gibson is available from magicianssupply.com. Any suggestions for other sites?
Smile
Brian Proctor
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Somewhere
2317 Posts

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Hey Gandolf. I have myself a Trevor Duffy close up pad. Smile They are washable, portable, you can take them anywhere. They don't get wrinkled and are perfect all around. They are one of the best low priced mats out there in my opinion. Smile
Jonatan B
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Gothenburg, Sweden
342 Posts

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I have no idea if mine even got a product-name, lime green is it, thin and large surface. Very good...though I haven't heard of washing it before.

the price were little less than 20$ Smile
Jonatan Bank
rrubin98
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Atlanta (USA)
277 Posts

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I've heard that the very best -- and most expensive -- are made by Dean Dill. I bought a large Ronjo or Apollo pad (not sure which now) and find it to be quite good.

- Richard
gandolf
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Hillsborough,NC
236 Posts

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Thank you for the replies. I found a thread over in "where to put it all". Found out you can spend $400 on a mat/table from a guy named Keith Lack (wheee, past my budget). Dean Dill was also recommended. He's got a pricey one too, running around $110. WOW!!
John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
749 Posts

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gandolf,

Both Keith's and Dean's mats go far beyond a simple foam pad plopped down to muffle a shuffle or keep your coins from clanking. They are well worth the money, but may, in fact, be more than you need or want. Keith offers a money-back guarantee on his products.

As far as a generic close-up pad, without pockets, trap doors, etc., I've always been happy with Gibson brand. It's just a bit more expensive than Apollo, but feels better to me. I've never tried Trevor's, but if you do restaurant work, Í think the idea of its being washable (and, apparently, stain resistant) is important.

If you are conservative, go with the Gibson. You'll be happy. If you are more adventuresome, try the Trevor Duffy mat to see if you like it. I think you're only risking less than $25.00 bucks no matter which you buy.

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Fabio P
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Rome - ITALY
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The best are made by Dean Dill
Donnay
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N. Ireland
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It depends what you are using it for. If you want the mat to take away from your tricks go for a nice one with fancy edges but I think it doesn't really matter. (please correct me if I'm wrong) as long as you can get ahold of your cards and keep them clean or keep the noise down when using coins it will work fine.
GeorgeG
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Thousand Oaks, CA
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The best close-up "pad" I have seen is the one I bought from the Camirand Academy years ago. I believe Guy called it the Ouellet Close-Up Stage. Sturdy workmanship and, if you turned it over, you had a hard smooth surface for dice stacking. Very classy prop. It was delivered with it's own carrying case. I think I paid $200 at the time, but well worth it.
Peter Marucci
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Gandolf,
First of all, it would help if we knew why you needed a close-up mat.
Is it for restaurant work, bar work, practice, what?
Because there's no point in spending a small fortune on a mat for practice when a mouse pad, for example, would do just fine (actually, that's what I use in performance, too!).
Art foam is also available in large sheets and can be cut and gimmicked to meet your specific needs.
Or you could use tight-weave carpet samples; carpet and home-furnishing stores are only too happy to have you haul away a box of their old samples.
Or you could spend a small fortune and get a "super-duper" pad from a magic dealer, that has all sorts of "bells and whistles" on it -- but, in the final analysis, won't do anything more than a dollar-store mouse pad will do!
gandolf
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Hillsborough,NC
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Peter,
Valid question, I should have stated I'll use the mat primarily for practice, and second for bar work.

Aactually, the more I have researched this, the more I am interested in building my own practice pad and presentation table. I found a thread in "where to put it all", and am going to post this question there too:

Being fairly handy, and am doing woodworking as a hobby, I would like to build a practice mat, and presentation mat/table. What materials work the best for a surface (felt, etc.), and as a pad (carpet padding, etc.)?

This will keep me in the garage and out of my wife's hair for awhile.
Smile
Turk
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Portland, OR
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Have any of you ever used high quality velvet for a pad outer surface. If so, what, if anything, do you use for "padding" underneath the velvet? High Qality felt? Dense foam? Dense rubber matting?

If you are using velvet, is it for a "fre-standing" pad or only for a constructed "portable" stage like the Camirand Academy's, Dean Dill's or Keith Lack's?

How does velvet hold up under repeated performances?

Thanks for any info.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Peter Marucci
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Gandolf,
For bar work, I would suggest something that will take the abuse of hard use and wetness that you will encounter (that is, not an expensive, foam pad).

Tony Slydini used to have, in his apartment for teaching, practice, and general close-up,
a heavy metal-base table with a foam top upholstered with a canvas-type of cloth. The whole top was about two feet long by a foot and a half deep.

Even with careful use, he had to have it re-upholstered every few months.
Stanyon
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Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
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Gandolf,

Don Alan used to use nothing more than pool table felt (the premier top of the line grade) around thin foam rubber for his close up pads.

I prefer the Apollo pad myself, neoprene base and wonderfully textured nylon surface. These pads don't degrade as quickly as the regular felt pads.

Cheers!
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
stevehw
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Collinsville, Mississippi
303 Posts

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Do these mouse pads really work well for a close-up mat?
Most I have used for my computer don't work well, for example when you try to spread the cards across the mat, or when you need to pick up the deck during tabled riffle shuffles, etc.
Are there certain brand mouse pads you find work well for this? Maybe I have been testing the wrong ones.

Thanks
Steve
MyTurnPlzAA
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NC
288 Posts

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Hi,

I got mine from Alakazam, Gibson 14x18 inch AWESOME!!!

IT'S HUGE..

j Smile
Symmatrix
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Smile
What We See Is Mainly Depend On What We Look For.
Only Those Who Can See The Invisible Can Do The Impossible.

Symmatrix Magic
Devin Knight
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V.I.P.
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Apollo is my favorite, I have them in all the colors and all sizes. Whew what an investment!
Brad Burt
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For an inexpensive and many times a GREAT Close-up Pad, I used to go to the local carpet store and buy a sample piece of indoor/outdoor carpet. Generally the selection is great and you simply cannot wear out the top! Not only that, but spill something on the thing and it is easy to clean, etc. The back of indoor/outdoor carpet has a rubbery backing that lasts quite awhile.

Brad Burt
Brad Burt
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
1990 Posts

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Because there was no talk about Gibson products, I had to do a search and insure their pads are still available.

Gibson still offers the huge variety of sizes and colors. Consider their "Close-Up Pad - Table Hopping" sold for under $10.00 US. You'll find many suppliers online.
Other sizes within the Gibson line include standard and Jumbo.
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