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Rook
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I've used choppo for some time. It requires someone else to put their arm in, it isn't designed for self chopping,
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Dick Oslund
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I have used an Abbott made Disecto since 1946. It's 5 minutes of FUN, with a BIG MITT at the finish! I'm careful with props, but, I finally found it
necessary to replace it. I bought a new Abbott made prop, about ten years before I retired in '03. I only used it in high school and college shows.
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thomasR
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Quote:
On Aug 15, 2018, Rook wrote:
I've used choppo for some time. It requires someone else to put their arm in, it isn't designed for self chopping,


Thanks!
gimpy2
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Quote:
On Aug 16, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
I have used an Abbott made Disecto since 1946. It's 5 minutes of FUN, with a BIG MITT at the finish! I'm careful with props, but, I finally found it
necessary to replace it. I bought a new Abbott made prop, about ten years before I retired in '03. I only used it in high school and college shows.


Never liked the looks of this one. What is this thing supposed to be. Watching the food network the other day and a salami slicer over a hundred years old popped on the screen. A bit of a re finish job and you would have a close match. Of course it brings into question why anyone would travel around with a salami cutter.
Dick Oslund
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Gimpy!

"De gustibus, non est disputandum!" (That's Latin for: "We cannot argue over tastes!) heehee!!!

A bit of history: My first Abbott catalog (#7) in the spring of 1945, listed the DISECTO ($15.00! --I was 13, just starting to perform. Two months later, I cracked "with it", to the ticket taker at Charlie Fretz's Side Show at Skerbeck's Carnival. Inside, I SAW the "magician" present DISECTO.

Six months later, ("thanks to Santa Claus"--and my mom and dad!) I owned a DISECTO!

The mechanics were ultra simple, I had learned how it was DONE! (That's #1 in adding a new trick to your act.) I could DO it! (That's #2 in adding a new trick to your act.) The most difficult part was #3! THAT was the challenge. I read Percy's instructions, again. He covered #1, and, #2 was easy. BUT, I was too young and inexperienced to achieve #3! I read in a magic magazine, that it would be funny to have a container to place under the spectator's hand, to catch it. I painted a coffee can white, with a red cross. It did get a chuckle. Another magician in a magazine, suggested that a white cloth should be used to wipe off the blade, before starting. He wrote: "Some blobs of red ink, or paint, would add to the comedy. I got a rag, and painted it. It got a perfunctory chuckle. (I was still seeking #3!)

When, starting out, doing a few shows a month, it takes a lot of thinking, to develop a PRESENTATION!

FINALLY, I realized that my whole premise was wrong! I wanted the trick to be FUNNY, The can and rag, were just PROPS, and, they weren't "that funny"! (I had been depending on PROPS to make a trick funny (and, "therefore" entertaining. I did some more thinking. I had watched a pitchman at the fair, doing a "vegetable slicer pitch". I had found my PREMISE! I rewrote the whole darn routine.

I had a PRESENTATION! BINGO! I had learned #3! I could DO it, so that it ENTERTAINED!!!

I've been doing a "slicer pitch" ever since, and, it NEVER fails to get LAUGHS--BIG LAUGHS!!! (and a BIG MITT, at the finish!)

I wrote up my presentation in my book, 'cuz I'm retired, and, I wanted to share it. Yes...I've since learned that a "peeler pitch" has been done before, I wasn't ORIGINAL! (DARN!) But. some of my bits of business are. So. I'm proud of my Disecto routine, and, I (belatedly) thank Lester Lake, when I present it.

Yes! it's an "odd looking thing!" (IMO, THAT alone, gets laughs when I "unveil" it. The audience KNOWS that it's going to be funny. My "way" of getting the boy to put his hand into the prop is FUNNY. The "reason" for adding the carrots, is funny. All the lines, and, bits of business, are funny.When the boy drops the carrot he is holding, it's FUNNY.

That $15.00 for that first DISECTO, was an INVESTMENT, that paid dividends! (and, that routine "answered" ALL NINE OF MY CRITERIA!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
thomasR
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I was never interested in performing an arm chopper effect until reading Dick's routone in his book. I like the "pitch" idea.
I would want a chopper that doesn't look like a magic prop though, so a salami slicer would work! Ha.

I personally am not comfortable with doing that type of effect with an audience member, and I think it would be fun to perform it as a demonstration on myself, along with demonstrating it's vegetable cutting abilities. Could be fun!
Peter Loughran
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ThomasR, I turned a classic arm illusion into a paper slicer:
It’s called Any Way You Slice It:
https://youtu.be/FbN_YGPkE9Y

P.
Brand New: - SNAKE BITE ILLUSION
www.masterofillusions.ca

Follow me on Facebook:
https://m.facebook.com/peter.loughran.9

Check out my new movie:
www.plasterrockmovie.com
www.globaluniversal.com

Also visit: www.l2fireworks.com
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 17, 2018, thomasR wrote:
I was never interested in performing an arm chopper effect until reading Dick's routone in his book. I like the "pitch" idea.
I would want a chopper that doesn't look like a magic prop though, so a salami slicer would work! Ha.

I personally am not comfortable with doing that type of effect with an audience member, and I think it would be fun to perform it as a demonstration on myself, along with demonstrating it's vegetable cutting abilities. Could be fun!



Thank you! thonasR, for the "promo"! Yes the "stock" Abbott prop is a bit "1930s"! (I'm fairly sure that the late Howard Melson, "designed" the "art work". Melson did much--or most--of the Abbott prop "decoration", in those days! ) Back, then, you could identify a Gen Grant, Abbott, or Reidel made prop by the paint job!

My old friend, the late Don Lawton, REPAINTED his Disecto! It was a simple two colors. It didn't look like a "magic prop". He did an entirely different routine (I have a copy of it). Don used an adult lady, and, his humor was much different, but, it was ENTERTAINING! (No "bloody rags, etc.)

I think that using a "volunteer" from the audience, is a big factor in making the trick, ENTERTAINING. However, it's entirely possible that you could create a situation that would make the EFFECT, ENTERTAINING. Old pro'. Roy Mayer, and Joe Scott had an expression: "Woodshed it!" (Try it in a few shows, and "see" how it plays. Let the paying customer "tell" you!

I'm reminded of an old Al Baker line: "It's alright to do tricks that YOU like to do! --But, be sure that the audience likes them, too, or, you may enjoy them by yourself!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
hugmagic
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As Dick says the routine is everything. The implement of destructions does not matter all that much. A lot of the routines can be reworked using different implements. I.E. Head chopper, Sawing thru, dissect, sword through the neck etc. I am sure you get the idea. Don'e reinvent the wheel, just repaint the car and add new tires.

One of the most entertaining routines of Disecto I ever saw was the late Bob Jepson. He used a hand puppet and his vent skills to chop his own hand off. It was funny and totally original.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
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Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
charliemartin
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I would check out Smoky Mountain Magic. They have redesigned the look.
Wizard of Oz
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 17, 2018, thomasR wrote:
I was never interested in performing an arm chopper effect until reading Dick's routone in his book. I like the "pitch" idea.
I would want a chopper that doesn't look like a magic prop though, so a salami slicer would work! Ha.

I personally am not comfortable with doing that type of effect with an audience member, and I think it would be fun to perform it as a demonstration on myself, along with demonstrating it's vegetable cutting abilities. Could be fun!



Thank you! thonasR, for the "promo"! Yes the "stock" Abbott prop is a bit "1930s"! (I'm fairly sure that the late Howard Melson, "designed" the "art work". Melson did much--or most--of the Abbott prop "decoration", in those days! ) Back, then, you could identify a Gen Grant, Abbott, or Reidel made prop by the paint job!

My old friend, the late Don Lawton, REPAINTED his Disecto! It was a simple two colors. It didn't look like a "magic prop". He did an entirely different routine (I have a copy of it). Don used an adult lady, and, his humor was much different, but, it was ENTERTAINING! (No "bloody rags, etc.)

I think that using a "volunteer" from the audience, is a big factor in making the trick, ENTERTAINING. However, it's entirely possible that you could create a situation that would make the EFFECT, ENTERTAINING. Old pro'. Roy Mayer, and Joe Scott had an expression: "Woodshed it!" (Try it in a few shows, and "see" how it plays. Let the paying customer "tell" you!

I'm reminded of an old Al Baker line: "It's alright to do tricks that YOU like to do! --But, be sure that the audience likes them, too, or, you may enjoy them by yourself!"


Dick, how do you remember all of this stuff? It amazes me.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Wiz!

I must "confess"! About 30+ years ago, I was inhabiting the Charlie Miller Suite for a week. Whenever I didn't have a booking, I would help out behind the counter at Magic Inc. (no internet, yet, so brick & mortars were a lot busier!) I think it was a Saturday, and just before noon, a very distinguished looking gentleman came in. He was wearing a very elegant top coat. To an old carny like me, this was almost like "peeking the poke"!

He asked for Jay Marshall, who was in the "back room". I called Jay, who came, and with a big smile, exclaimed, "Harry! That's how I met Harry Lorayne! As you are well aware, Harry Lorayne is THE Memory Expert! So, now you know!

That's a nice story, but, I've always had a good memory. --Especially, about show business!!! Maybe it comes from breaking into the business in a carny side show! (Carnies love to have a jackpot session, over coffee at the "sit down" grab joint.)

Maybe it's inherited from my mother!

BTW, Who am I? and, what am I doing here?

I vividly remember Frank Morgan (the WIZARD, in the green palace of OZ) yelling, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" --I saw the movie when it first came out! A few years later, I met Meinhardt Raabe, the CORONER of the MUNCHKINS, who got the "job", 'cuz he was the only MUNCHKIN who could speak English without an ACCENT! Did you know that Mr. Baum picked the name of the story, from the front of a filing cabinet drawer? When Frank Morgan went to the costume department, to get fitted for wardrobe for his part in the movie, "Madame Stitch", the wardrobe mistress, handed him a frock coat to try on. Morgan glanced at the tailor's label, It "said", tailored for Mr. Frank Baum. Yup, it fit!

Oh! Al Baker was Jay Marshall's father-in-law.
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Rainboguy
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Dick:

I have your old Disecto, and it's still in great shape....but then.....I'm not doing 18-36 shows a week like you did for decades!
FrankFindley
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I've recently acquired an interesting variation of the French Arm Chopper. The mechanism is made in such a way that it minimizes the chance of premature activation. It also protects the assistant better than the UF Grant original from an impact should the blade be accidentally slammed hard. Though, ironically, there is a video on youtube where the performer forgot to set it up prior to assistant's hand being inserted!

Here is a picture (note, there should be a second block holding blade on top but it is missing):

Image


Here is a picture from a Ring report showing one being used:

Image


If anyone has more information on it, I would appreciate to hear it. There are quite a few improvements to the design that I haven't seen elsewhere. It is definitely worth picking up if one crosses your path.
David Todd
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That's a very nice looking version of Grant's French Arm Chopper. Someone put a lot of thought into the re-design on that.
This is probably the best looking version I've seen. Do you think it was a marketed version or a custom-made one off ?


Another nice looking version is by Café member CJRichard , who posted some photos of his refurbished MAK French Arm Chopper that looks very good. See this topic: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......c=513811

Maybe I can cross post the photos from that topic --

Image


Image



----

By the way, speaking of Disecto earlier in this topic , did anyone catch the recent Fool Us , Season 7, Episode 7 ? Comedy magician Clinton Gray performed Disecto !
Of course, he knew full well ahead of time he was not about to "fool" Penn and Teller with this well-known standard magic effect, but he got some good entertainment out of it. There is a reason certain tricks become classics. Although most magicians would just give a big yawn upon seeing him unveil the Disecto prop, the audience reaction was great (and the reaction of the "victim", host Alyson Hannigan, was also entertaining).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0l4Z-4O5Bw

David Todd
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Another good looking French Arm Chopper variation is by Magic Studio 2000 https://www.magicstudio2000.com/exclusiv......temIdx=0

(photo is of magician Richard Nedvěd performing with the Magic Studio 2000 version, with a customized paint job)

Click here to view attached image.
David Todd
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A couple of more French Arm Chopper variations, using a similar method as Grant's for the "drop" , but built like guillotines:

Chris Augustine's Monster Wrist Guillotine -- http://www.augustinemagic.com/For-the-Pros.html

Image


Image


https://youtu.be/zmAYfPBzUSE



-------

Hand Guillotine by Sao Craft Co. - https://www.etsy.com/shop/SaoCraftCo

Image


https://youtu.be/d2XjtSwmnSg



(not a great presentation -- I think he's a prop maker , not a performer -- but a very formidable looking prop ... formidable price , too , at $1000.00 !)
thomasR
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I’ve always wants to put together a “salesman” routine with an old disecto. It chops and dices it cuts and slices!

I kinda think it would be funny to slice through my arm while reaching for a vegetable and not even notice I was slicing my arm. Ha.
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2020, David Todd wrote:
That's a very nice looking version of Grant's French Arm Chopper. Someone put a lot of thought into the re-design on that.
This is probably the best looking version I've seen. Do you think it was a marketed version or a custom-made one off?


It definitely isn't a one off. What I have been able to find so far is that it was made by an illusion builder out of his home in the late 1970s. His name was either Mike or Mark Marsalis (sp?) and he was apparently active in SouthWest US area. In a video from an IBM Ring meeting it is mentioned that three members had one. I reached out to the secretary of that Ring and he provided the email of one of the mentioned owners. But my inquiry for more information didn't yield a response.
FrankFindley
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Was just looking in the archives. I wonder if a manufacturer made the French Arm Chopper in the style of the original and with the simple improvements in the mechanism if they would be a big hit again?

Image
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