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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Ivory (resin actually) cups and balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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oldmagic009
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A few years ago I purchased a miniature cups and balls set that was made of solid brass and measured 1 1/2" tall by 1 1/4" at the mouth. One of the cups was a chop cup ... they fit in coat or pants pocket easily but the problem with them is that they weigh too much and don't handle well (top heavy).

In recent years I've learned to produce things in a process called cold casting. This is actually plastic that has extremely small particles (powders) of various metals mixed in with the plastic (brass or silver or bronze or aluminum) so they resemble metal ... they are much lighter. Also I'm playing with no metal powders added, using an ivory toned plastic only with embossed designs on the cups to give them some "grip".

These faux ivory cups are lighter and can be decorated to look old. I'd very much like to have a couple of you test these cups to see if you like the handling and look ... I'm not sure they'd survive the "cup penetrating cup routine" but I'm hoping they feel and look good ... any volunteers? just need a few of you with experience handling different types and sizes of cups.
I'll give you the cups to keep as a thank you (you'll have to provide the balls i.e. sponge, knit or steel) ... also they would be just regular cups not chop cups. Would the size I mentioned above appeal to you or would a larger size be preferred for a "walk around" set.
Thanks for your help. Bob Campbell
shellgame-al
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I have done both process for many years. A real metal cup is always going to be better. But,being they are so small they can work.
The biggest thing is not having any air pockets in your castings. As you most likely are working with a thin wall and any air pockets under the surface is a weak area for them to break. A metal cup dropped will dent, not break. A metal cold casting well not dent, it will break. Same with plastic and having that hollowed out area inside the cup makes it easier to break if dropped. If the person using them knows that they can break if drop, then your fine. I think plastic would work better, as they will be lighter in weight hitting something if dropped. Hope this helped and good luck!
Manufacture of 3 Shell Game Sets & 3 Disk Monte Sets
3shells.com and magicswindles.com
jerome96114
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Well, I like the idea, especially as I am looking for a nice set of cups, and if you do not get enough volunteers (or even if you do - lol.) I'd be more than willing to test your cups.
I would do a review (even video, if wanted) and test them really intense in performance (well - they would be my only set of small carryable cups so far Smile )

The real, tough, question however is, wether you want ME to test them, as I do magic only for a bit more than one year. Besides of my cheap aluminium cups I have never used metal cups so far.
however I did - in this one year use lether-dice cups, wooden drinking cups, normal ceramic coffee cups, and asian ceramic tee cups (them the most as they are best fitting in hand.
Lol. (On the other hand I - for beeing allowed to keep it afterwards - did take part in a printer testing programm by HP ... so I am used to testing stuff ... ^^)

But - as I am quite sure these are most likely arguments not to impress you: Please do not take this Posting as an offenisive one. It shall not be :-D


---


To contribute to the material discussion: I'd prefer the one that has also the metal particles, and not only is clear plastic, as at least a BIT of weight might be usefull when performing outside (one does not want his cups to be blown away, does he? ^^) as well as needed for the one or the other technique ...

However embossed designs might be nice on those cups as well ...
Bapu
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Greetings Bob

I am intrigued by your idea for cups made from a non-traditional material and I would like to be added to your list of possible candidates for the test trials of your new cold-cast cups.

My principal interest in magic is sleight of hand, much of it involving balls of some sort, such as:

Cups and balls
Chop Cup
Multiplying Billiard Balls
Silk & Ball Vase
Sponge Balls

The diminutive size of your prototype cups is not an issue for me. I do not have any cups & balls cups so small, but I do use the so-called Collector's Chop Cup from Magic Makers. I like it because its size makes it so portable. It has two drawbacks however: The requirement for some sort of close-up pad and its weight. It is a hefty little beast to tote around in a suit-coat pocket. I assume you know the reason for a pad, if even only a folded napkin.

Your resin cups & balls cups may solve both issues. Small enough to tote around anywhere but without the necessity of a close-up pad if used with "non-talking" balls such as sponge balls or crocheted cork balls.

I am wondering though if the size you mention is indeed a bit too small. The aforementioned cup from Magic Makers is a full one inch taller. I suppose I could try freeze dried peas or some such thing as balls, with red radishes for final loads. I'm certainly willing to experiment.

My principal qualifications for participating in your trials are:

- Abundance of enthusiasm
- Paucity of experience

Yes Bob, you read that last qualification correctly. Like many (most?) members of this forum I am an amateur magician, not a professional one. Ultimately, if you go to production with your cups the lion's share of them will be bought by people like me.

Of course you will need testimonials from some of the well known gods of escamotage, but a few from mere mortals wouldn't hurt. After all, we all aspire to greatness, but alas we identify with Joe Schmuck.

Be reassured however that my lack of "years of experience in the trenches of street performing" brings with it that most desirable of all traits in a cup tester, namely, beginner's mind.

(WAIT...THIS JUST IN: My clairvoyance suggests that shortly this thread may become populated with posts explaining why your new cups cannot possibly work.)

I’m willing to give ‘em an open minded shot. Smile

One last thing, before I go home to dinner, be assured that if I am fortunate enough to try out your cups, they will not end up on a shelf. I am not a "collector" of cups. If I do not care to keep them for performing with I will return them to you, or pass them on to whoever you designate.

Thanks for posting in this forum.

Sincerely,

David Case "Bapu"
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
jerome96114
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Quote:
On 2012-02-27 16:59, Bapu wrote:
(...)
I am wondering though if the size you mention is indeed a bit too small. The aforementioned cup from Magic Makers is a full one inch taller. I suppose I could try freeze dried peas or some such thing as balls, with red radishes for final loads. I'm certainly willing to experiment.
(...)


I have to say Bapu pointed out something really important here ... If your cups get to small, they will get nearly un-usable with standart C&B balls,
wich would be quite sad ...

I think at least two standard balls should fit under one cup (better: three. But if not doable for size reasons at least two) to make some simple
"one ball walks invisble two the other one, in the other cup" type of routines possible ...

I would not like to see it SO small one had to use peas for it. It than would be more of a 3 shell game, than cups and balls, and the normal C&B
moves probably would be so difficult that most people would just go with shell-sleights ...
s.freeman
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Well I was thinking about investing in a new cup set, and I'd be quite happy to try those out they sound incredible. I was planning to make new balls too so the size wouldn't bother me at all.
Tom Fenton
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Hi Bob,

I sent you a PM yesterday.
Hope you got it.

Tom
"But there isn't a door"
cupsandballsmagic
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I've used the material and process to make any number of things from cups, shells and wand tips to custom gimmicks. As already mentioned it does have its drawbacks but can have its uses. I've also tested ideas that way before going to the expense of 3d printing etc.
oldmagic009
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Thanks to all for your comments ... I was away from the forum yesterday, so for those interested, if you have not done so already, please PM me with your name and mailing address so I can pick a couple of you to be my "testers".

I'm currently experimenting and working with a new 3d printer that I purchased (as well as my old CNC mill) and using one or both of these processes I will produce a wax model cup with "engravings" on it to use as a pattern for making a master mold. From there I'll decide on a couple different sizes (very small and medium) and then make the cups for you to test.

In terms of engraving designs, I'm likely to do 3 cards fanned out or perhaps a cup and ball or perhaps a magicians hat with bunny ... so many possibilities ... my old degree in design will likely kick in and help me decide. If any of you have suggestions here as well (about cup shape and engravings) please let me know that as well. Thanks to all ... got my work cut out for me and will get back to those of you who have expressed an interest in testing ... again, whoever gets chosen will get to keep the samples I produce as a thank you for your time. Thanks again, Bob Campbell
oldmagic009
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Quote:
On 2012-02-27 14:36, shellgame-al wrote:
I have done both process for many years. A real metal cup is always going to be better. But,being they are so small they can work.
The biggest thing is not having any air pockets in your castings. As you most likely are working with a thin wall and any air pockets under the surface is a weak area for them to break. A metal cup dropped will dent, not break. A metal cold casting well not dent, it will break. Same with plastic and having that hollowed out area inside the cup makes it easier to break if dropped. If the person using them knows that they can break if drop, then your fine. I think plastic would work better, as they will be lighter in weight hitting something if dropped. Hope this helped and good luck!


To prevent air pockets (bubbles) in the finished plastic parts I use a low viscosity silicone for my molds and a low viscosity plastic for my parts which do not reguire vacuuming. Also one technique is to brush on the liquid plastic into the mold first, particularly in areas where air is likely to be trapped and then pour in the remaining plastic ... works well at eliminating bubbles. Also I sometimes put the mold with plastic in it into an air tank and apply pressure which squeezes out the air ... works well too. Mold making and part making is an art unto itself ... just like magic. Thanks again. Bob Campbell
oldmagic009
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On 2012-02-28 07:35, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
I've used the material and process to make any number of things from cups, shells and wand tips to custom gimmicks. As already mentioned it does have its drawbacks but can have its uses. I've also tested ideas that way before going to the expense of 3d printing etc.


You mention gimmicks ... besides a chop cup and its gimmick, are there any other gimmicks used with cups and balls (or sponge ball effects) that you use ... I've used a gimmick in the palm of my hand for sponge ball work but have never seen anything related to cups and balls ... if you have some other "secrets" please PM me with details offlist. Also if you have an idea in mind, please let me know that as well ... would be fun to invent a new gimmick or modify an old idea using modern materials and techniques ... thanks again. Bob Campbell
cupsandballsmagic
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Sure! Do you want me to do the prototyping and send you the tooling too Smile
oldmagic009
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On 2012-02-28 11:01, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
Sure! Do you want me to do the prototyping and send you the tooling too Smile


If you want too, it would be fine.
oldmagic009
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Thanks everyone ... I've gotten feedback from a number of you and I've now got my list of testers ... as soon as I come up with a couple different versions I'll be sending them to you. I'm going to make a set or two as small as I mentioned in my first message and I'm also going to produce a slightly larger version based on your feedback as well.

I really wasn't joking about possible cups and balls gimmicks ... I'm not aware of any (except for a very special chop cup that will be very cool if I can get it to work) so please let me know about any old C&B gimmicks you're aware of, if you'd like to share ... we'll split the royalties. (LOL)

Thanks again
Bob Campbell in Crab Cake country (Maryland of course)
JESmagic
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Would you be willing to post some photos? I've seen the 3D printing technology and always thought that would be a cool way to make a set of cups.
oldmagic009
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On 2012-02-28 18:15, JESmagic wrote:
Would you be willing to post some photos? I've seen the 3D printing technology and always thought that would be a cool way to make a set of cups.


Will do when I get the designs done.
Bapu
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Gimmicks?

Something allowing for a liquid pour as a final effect. Think Brahmin Rice Bowls, Foo Can, comedy funnel. Handling could be tricky! Probably would only want to have one such cup per set.

Consider the possibility of "cup as shell", and/or containing a shell for some purpose. Don't ask me for what, I'm just "typing" out loud without filtering my thoughts. Been working with my ball vase lately, which is a very old effect (300 plus years), and musing on how long it took before the basic shell principal in that effect was applied to billiard balls.

Hmmm...fire bowl...fire cup? Naaa...too mechanical.

Small cups you say? How about not only the balls come and go but so do the cups. Vanish one with a pull, steal another from a "cup dropper". Need cups small enough to palm of course, but just barely...otherwise too small.

Ooops...gotta get back to work.

Poof! Smile
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
oldmagic009
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I'm just thinking as well (can't you smell the wood burning in this old brain?) ... how about rubber cups? These would be easy to make and if I used very soft rubber then instead of a chop cup with the gimmick, you would just squeeze the cup to trap the ball in the inside top of the cup ... like I said, these would be easy to produce and depending how soft they are (called Shore D hardness) they would fit easily in a pants pocket and collapse easily with little bulge. This might work with a rubber band routine since I could make them resemble the same color as rubber bands (or any color for that matter)

I like the idea of a small foo can variation ... in effect you'd have 3 regular cups and then a 4th foo can that you'd switch during the performance (since the cups are small it would be easy on one of your visits to your pant pocket to pick it up) ... what do you all think of that ... a Foo Can Cup? or how about a disappearing salt Cup? or a cup for disappearing a silk by means of a pull attached. What do you all think? I'm ready to make these ... more ideas?
cupsandballsmagic
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Then it would be wise to do the R&D first and look into others work first, Tim Star Mark Burger Et al.
Bapu
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Quote:
On 2012-02-29 12:13, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
Then it would be wise to do the R&D first and look into others work first, Tim Star Mark Burger Et al.


Tim Star and Mark Burger were new to me so I googled em.

Very cool stuff by Tim Star here: http://creationsbystar.com/index.html

Love Mark Burger’s BUMA line including Buma’s Monkey Business: http://www.houseofmagic.com/page2/page5/......199.html

Thanks for the heads up on these. Now who are some of the et al's we should be checking out?

:)
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
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