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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Which cups not to buy....... (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheAmbitiousCard
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As long as they are balanced properly, I like heavier cups because they are better at doing what you expect them to do (inertia).

I don't like horrible design flaws:
cups that jam together
cups that are so thin they dent if dropped gently
cups that are so narrow that 3 balls cannot fit underneath on the surface
cups that are so short that they are difficult to handle while holding a ball
cups that are just plain ugly

design flaws I can live with:
saddle cannot hold 3 balls
cups wobble
cups are not exactly the same height
gaping mouth bead
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Woland
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Thank you, Mr. Starsini, I think the right amount of intertia is highly to be desired. I think it would impart a degree of intention and seriousness to the moves.

Meteorites are mostly iron and nickel. The incorporation of meteorite metal into a forging is apparently difficult, and meteorites are rather scarce. Forging a keris is done with iron and nickel, anyway, to create either random or intentional patterns that are akin to Damascus or wootz work. Tibetan bells are cast and not spun. Since meteorite metal is so scarce, the Tibetan bells available today are made of a bronze alloy containing copper, tin, zinc, iron, and sometimes gold & silver. Antimony, bismuth, arsenic, cobalt, and lead may also be present. (I'm not sure I'd want to handle those bells every day . . .)

I don't know enough about metal spinning to know if such alloys would be workable, or it the damascene patterns of iron & nickel would survive the spinning process.
Dale Houck
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Dakota J Magic at Saint Cloud, FL
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Thanks Woland. It sounds like maybe someone would have to start a thread about what bells not to buy if they're hazardous to your health. Fascinating possibilities though, just to think about cups made from a meteorite. I'm going to have to look for a Tibetan bell now.

I tried to go to Tibet last summer. I spent two months with my wife in her home city of Chongqing. We bought plane tickets to Tibet, but at the airport they wouldn't let me board. Non-Chinese need to get special permission to go there apparently.
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fortasse
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Given the concerns about lead poisoning, is there a quick way to tell whether any cups in one's collection might have lead in them and should therefore be handled with care, if at all?
Woland
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Fortasse,

In the United States at least, test kits for lead are available on the market. They are inexpensive. I think they are reasonably accurate, most of the negative concerns about using them in the home have to do with inadequate sampling.
Bill Palmer
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I don't think there is much danger from handling cups with a bronze alloy that contains a small amount of lead. There is probably about as much danger from those as there is from drinking out of "lead" crystal.

Sometimes environmental groups go out of their way to put blanket bans on things they simply don't understand.

A certain banjo company that I know well was having problems deciding whether to disclose the trace amount of lead in their rather heavily plated tone rings. There is no way the lead can leach into the atmosphere. There is no way that a child can put this into his mouth. So it should be a non-issue.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Woland
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There should be no danger from handling lead at all, unless you bring your hands to your mouth. (That's what children do, which sometimes causes problems, if their hands are coated with lead-paint dust . . .)
fortasse
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Woland, Bill : thanks for your responses.
Bill Palmer
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There are still lead-based paints available on the open market. They are used for very specialized applications. These are applications in which there is no danger of paint chips coming off or of children putting the object in their mouths, namely signs.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dale Houck
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Dakota J Magic at Saint Cloud, FL
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Lead used to be used in pewter as well. Sometime in the not to distant past, it was eliminated as part of the alloy, at least in the US. I'm not aware of any research that found it hazardous, but perhaps such data exists. I wonder if it no longer used in pewter out of an abundance of caution. Lead in the pewter made it oxidize faster so that patina which is so characteristic of items made with it develops pretty quickly. Lead in pewter also makes it heavier. I have some pretty heavy pewter goblets that I have never used for drinking because I suspected lead in the alloy. The only magic cups that I'm aware of that use pewter are from The Burger House of Magic. They are pretty new to the market, so I'm sure they don't contain any lead. However, many "found" cups, such as the Kirk Stieff Jefferson cups I like to use are made from pewter.
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Payne
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Quote:
On 2010-06-07 10:19, Bill Palmer wrote:

It could have been prevented if the fellow had known about watching your props like a hawk and not placing them where people can do that to them.



Sometimes even watching them like a hawk doesn't work. In a backroom session at Teatro Zin Zanni with their house magician Veronin I watched in horror as he inadvertently snapped the top off my $1250.00 Losander Table (he was trying out my version of the add on box). I thought sure I'd score a complimentary set of tickets to the show. but he just shrugged it off and handed me back my topless table.

Fortunately it Gorilla Glued right back up.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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Remind me not to let him handle anything delicate, such as a three inch ball bearing.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Woland
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I'm sure you know what General Abrams used to say about an anvil . . .
houdini
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I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.
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fortasse
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Speaking of lead and how far we've come in understanding its health dangers, I was just reading a book on Indian Conjuring called "Supplementary Magic" (1917) which, incidentally, has an extensive chapter on Indian Cups & Balls. One of the tricks featured in the book involves the use of balls of lead that are "slipped into the mouth" of the magician and kept there until needed. Definitely not recommended!
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-06-12 14:51, houdini wrote:
I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.


These are not bad cups for the money.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dale Houck
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Dakota J Magic at Saint Cloud, FL
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Quote:
On 2010-06-12 14:51, houdini wrote:
I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.


Houdini: I think any cups you're happy with are fine. As I said in one of my posts, there are exceptions to the suggestions, even for me. I think the old Adams cups from the 1950's are cool. I have a set for every different color box I could find, and I still buy a set once in awhile. They're cute, they're cheap and they will hold a golf ball. Ninety percent+ of the people reading this thread wouldn't like the cups I use the most because they aren't even magician's cups. I don't own a set of the cups you mentioned, but I looked them up and I think they look fine. You like them and that's all that matters.

fortasse: I like lead in its natural form. Southeast Missouri had/has the nation's largest galena (ore from which lead is smeltered) deposits. It its purest form, the lead forms in near perfect cubes. I have a dozen or so galena specimens with the cubed formations, quartz crystals, and copper pyrite/iron pyrite deposits known as fool's gold. I don't use them for loads in cups and balls, but they're very interesting to see. I do keep them well out of reach of my grandchildren. In southeast Missouri, you can actually find galena outcroppings on the surface, but the huge deposits are underground.
Magic is where you find it.....
Woland
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Fortasse,

On the frontier, in the XVIIIth century, at least if contemporary accounts are reliable, it was not unusual for hunters to carry a lead ball in the mouth, in order to be ready to load a second shot as quickly as possible. Quite a useful skill when running from hostile forces, too . . .

Those men, not to mention the Indian conjurors you describe, probably didn't expect to live as long as we hope to do. But there is probably very little if any acute toxicity associated with either practice.

As you say, however, definitely not recommended . . . .

Dhouck,

Those tri-color aluminum cups are definitely a good buy, although a bit gaudy to my taste. The advertising copy on the page you linked, reminded me of how magic tricks used to disappoint me as a child:

"Balls jump around in and out of the empty Cups AND MORE:

* APPEAR
* VANISH PENETRATE
* TRANSPOSE ASSEMBLE

Then CHANGE to a larger ball or a lemon etc. "

I would have expected those effects to actually happen, not "merely" to have the tools with which a skilled and practiced performer could make them appear to take place . . .

I think that psychology still affects many of us through our adulthood . . .

Woland
Bill Palmer
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Part of being a magician is learning to handle the inevitable disappointments of seeing what is actually inside the box. Another part is being surprised when the things that are actually inside the box will do the things they are supposed to do.

Being surprised at genuine high quality and excellence is an experience that seldom happens, but when it does happen, it is greatly appreciated.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Woland
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Yes, it's part of growing up. For a scientist, perhaps, the excitement is in understanding how simple something really can be.
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