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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Is it thumb ties? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JeffHall
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I've seen a trick where you tie the magician's thumbs together, it gets the thumbs linked and unlinked in the opening of a chair. What is this routine called and where I can I find some imformation regarding this subject.
thanks, Jeff
Paul
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The thumb tie routine is a bit of a classic.
There are various methods, some marketed. I am sure they can be found in the larger magic dealer catalogues.

For instance in Hank Lee's I found;
Jaspernese Thumb Tie - Jay Marshall - A booklet devoted to the clean, simple, sure-fire method of performing the thumb tie. No gimmicks. You just use two wire pipe cleaners. The thumbs are really joined together with the wire. Very clever. Comes with some pipe cleaners! $7.00

Tannens in New York stock The Art of Escape No 7, which is all about thumb tie methods.

A method is also described in The Tarbell Course in Magic. If memory serves me right there may be a method described in The Magic of Faucett Ross. It is in print elsewhere but the book titles do not come to mind.

Paul.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Who uses pipe cleaners anymore?

Personally, one of the best versions I've seen was when Harley Newman had the volunteers bind his thumbs together using a strip of duct tape.

Since everyone knows what duct tape is nowadays, it seemed completely innocent and fair.

And the method he used is straight from Tarbell's (or so he told me). Smile
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Harry Murphy
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Paul has given you some great leads, more than you need to learn and build yourself a strong thumb tie routine.

Philemon, it is very true that few people (outside of the arts and crafts crowd) use or even know what a pipe cleaner is anymore. However, the Jaspernese thumb tie (by Jay Marshall, the Great Jasper) can be performed using wire trash bag “twist ties”. Most people, in the USA at least, are familiar with the twist ties.

You are right about duct tape being easily recognizable. I use it in a blindfold routine in place of medical adhesive tape (which no one seems to use anymore either!)

I remember Irv Weiner using duct tape for a thumb tie as part of the act that he performed on college campuses in the late 70’s. He also published a version of the Thumb Tie (I think it was titled “The Red Tapes”, in 1976).
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Geoff Williams
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Harry Anderson took the thumb tie concept and ended up with his marvelous "Cuff Links" routine which uses handcuffs.

A wildly creative variant and a great piece of theater.
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Paul
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Hey Philemon, I was just quoting the advert! It was not a personal preference, I did give other references too y'know. Actually went out of my way to help by checking a couple of web sites! The booklet from Tannens details about 10 different methods, how more helpful can you get. Best for someone to study a few and decide which is best for them.

As for who uses pipe cleaners these days..
How about people still wanting to clean pipes? Smile Smile

Thumbcuffs are not really a good alternative for the thumb tie, not smooth enough or as well covered, so discount that method.

You can get a lot of fun from a thumb tie routine.
Paul
Geoff Williams
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Actually, pipe cleaners are still used by kids in grade school crafts today (just like they have been for 40 years or more).

Even though we may not use them on a day-to-day basis, almost everyone recognizes them.
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Andy Charlton
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I use the Jaspernese Thumb tie, (Pipe cleaners.) I explain that the tie originally used plain wire, but I will use these because I need my fingers to still work after the effect.

BTW. Once, after performing the thumb tie fairly early in a 1/2 hour show, I started to get "wind up" signals from the guys on after me, even though I still had 10 minutes left. It turned out that I had broken my watch on the ring as it was passed over my wrist. if the other guys hadn't been there I could have been on for hours!! Smile

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Hal Weaver
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[quote]On 2002-03-12 19:51, mumblepeas wrote:
"I remember Irv Weiner using duct tape for a thumb tie as part of the act that he performed on college campuses in the late 70’s. He also published a version of the Thumb Tie (I think it was titled “The Red Tapes”, in 1976)."

Yeah. This looks good. I saw it performed at the Magic Castle several years ago, and because I had been thinking about getting it anyway for some time, was prompted to order it. Since then I have found a method that fits me better, but Weiner's Red Tapes is [or is that "are"} good. Not really "duct tape", but deceptive.

Hal
alex cahill
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Hi guys. I am interested in the topic, can anyone help as there is a method, where the spectator binds the performers thumbs in the duct tape. where can I get the trick or instructive literature to do this trick from?? Smile
martyk
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One doesn't really need pipe cleaners, they'd look strange and are not easily obtained, but as one writer above mentioned, use the ties that come with plastic baggies. Can you imagine anything more common, more impromptu, and more impossible?
Alan Munro
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Quote:
On 2002-03-12 18:16, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
Who uses pipe cleaners anymore?

I think that Mac King still uses the Jaspernese Tie, but uses garbage bag twist ties, instead of pipecleaners.
DonB!
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When I was putting together my Thumb Tie routine, I also looked into a few differrent methods.

I first contacted Mac King, to inquire if he had tried any other routines with his tie other than the cards. My goal was to pick his brain and see if he could offer advice about how to incorporate the tie into another routine, other than the one he uses. Sadly, he hit upon the card revelation on his first try, and had no other ideas to offer.

I then came across a picture of Shintaro Fujiyama performing it at the SAM convention. So, I wrote to him asking for advice. What I received was a videotape of him performing it, along with a wonderful letter and some autographed literature. He was very encouraging, but I realized that his slower style of performance does not fit my manic hyperness. So the search went on...

The one I used for about two years was the Ten Ichi tie from Tarbell #4, page 264. However, getting the helper to tie the rope/string just right can be a little confusing, so I switched to the Jaspernese tie. As Geoff stated above, pipe cleaners are not as recognized today, but the ones used for craft projects are. So, when I am doing walk around, I sometimes have the two "cleaners" through the button hole in my top shirt pocket. When I am done with my set in that location, I take the cleaners out, do a few moves (through the spectator's arm, through a table knife), and then reach down to lift my folding table and penetrate right through the legs of it. The audience gets a mildly startled look on their face, so I "apologize for my mishap", pick up my close-up case and walk off. It's sad, but this way I do not have to "end" the thumb tie routine. I simply take my stuff, thank them for their time, and walk off. When I get near a wall or corner, I release myself, throw the cleaners away, set two new ones into my pocket, and head back out for another set.

That's the way I've been using it for about 7 years. Nothing mind blowing, but just thought I'd give my 2 cents.

DonB!
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Harley Newman
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I like using props that are either a bit outrageous, or that nobody questions. Duct tape is a thing that is understood by almost everybody. Therefore, there are no questions. People learn to see it, in only one way. Knowing the other ways is what makes the difference.
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Dick Oslund
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Ha! NO ONE had mentioned the "king of the thumb tiers" HARRY WILLARD!
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Yellowcustard
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I saw this a while back and made a note of it. Its the if I did perform the thumb tie this would be possible the version I would use. From memory the tape looks instance but there is something a bit special about. http://www.losander.me/epages/62364720.s......_Breaker
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Poof-Daddy
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Dai Vernon gives credit to both TEN ICHI and to PAUL ROSINI, it is the last effect (I'm pretty sure) in The Dai Vernon Book of Magic. I know it is an OLD thread but I was surprised Vernon and Rosini didn't get a "shout out" Smile

I am going to look further into this effect now though. I Always loved to perform a thumbcuffs routine for parties and parlor acts.
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Rook
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I rather like Kenton Knepper's Black Tie. It's a remarkably easy thumb tie using zip ties.
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jeffhobson
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I used to perform the thumb tie 35 years ago using the classic Ten Ichi method. I dropped it for a number of reasons. One, the person tying the cord can tie incorrectly if he's not sharp and focused. Two, there's some dead time at the end of the routine where you must get cut out of the cords (although Alan Shaxon has an interesting way of avoiding that). Also, it does take a good balance of skill and misdirection to do it correctly. It's difficult to practice alone (ya gotta get tied up by someone!).

I just started to perform it again this past year but I got rid of all of the negatives (for me) and it's the most logical way of getting in and out of the routine. I use special shoelaces. Everyone knows how to tie shoelaces thus it's easy for the person to tie correctly. Getting out is logical just by pulling on one end of one of the tied laces and you're out. For the penetrations, it's sefl-working. For those of you in-the-know about thumb ties, I'll tell you there's no in-and-out to worry about. It's now a regular part of my show and I find this is the one trick that just as strong as my egg bag. Yup, I'm bragging a bit but I'm very happy about it.

Here's a video if anyone is interested: https://youtu.be/Y4bASN8dLto
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tonsofquestions
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I'm curious to see your routine, but the video is listed as unavailable.
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