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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Crystal Casket in Science and Mechanics Magic Handbook (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

docguitarman
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Hello all,

After many years I decided to build the topic prop. I purchased a "crystal case" from Joann already with 5 sides of clear acrylic. I sawed the wood bottom out and replaced it with an acrylic panel. All of this was easy, painted inside framing black.

For the fake I used craft mirror stock from Jim Holtz. Final prop without final painting / decoration of exterior frame is pretty good. But...

Original plans in the Handbook called for polish aluminum or steel for the "fake." ... The mirror is too reflective, you see the virtual image of the interior behind the back "glass." That makes the prop worthless. I experimented with ways to display the "empty" box bu exploring angles and locations of the box, held high, held low, etc., etc.. none were satisfactory.

Any ideas on how to alter my build would be appreciated.

Phil
Satire
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Not quite following. Do you have pictures of the issue?
docguitarman
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Quote:
On Sep 28, 2021, Satire wrote:
Not quite following. Do you have pictures of the issue?


I'll try to take some photos and post tomorrow.
docguitarman
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On Sep 28, 2021, Satire wrote:
Not quite following. Do you have pictures of the issue?


Here's a photo. It's the box behind the box. Obviously a mirror on back panel.

Click here to view attached image.
Julie
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How about moving the mirror to the bottom panel AND spraying it with a clear semi-gloss (therefore semi-reflective?) lacquer?

Julie
docguitarman
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On Sep 29, 2021, Julie wrote:
How about moving the mirror to the bottom panel AND spraying it with a clear semi-gloss (therefore semi-reflective?) lacquer?

Julie


Great idea Julie,

Holding the box closed and heeding viewing angles the illusion is almost perfect as the bottom mirror reflects the pattern in my shirt and when held about chest height the reflection appears to be my shirt seen through the bottom "glass." It would be nice to be able to "pan" the box slightly left and right to see through the ends but that exposes too much I think. Yet glass is reflective and with the mirror on the bottom panning left and right the apparent reflection of the sides in the bottom appears about correct but a tad too clear. So, as you suggest...

Spraying the mirror with a semi transparent finish might do the trick (!) I just need to lower the reflectivity just a little. Time for experimenting with different "clear" coats on scrap mirror card!

A big thank you Julie!

Phil
Russo
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I had one once - mirrors kept flashing- so - I took some Black Velvet, glue - and made a Black Art Box - My White Bunnie sure stood out when I had it appear. Just an idea.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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In stage play productions, were mirrors reflect the glaring stage lights into the audience, they very carefully cover the mirror with a film of soap. If it is evenly and carefully applied even a bit of water and Ivory soap should work well enough. Then you could spray it with clear-coat to seal the soap film on. This should approximate the same sheen of the aluminum gimmick. Good luck, Walt
Satire
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We used hairspray for a (more temporary) solution to mirror-glare on stage.
docguitarman
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Thank you Walt and Satire,

The soap film sounds interesting but I'm a little fearful of a successful application. If I have no success with using a matte clear or semi-gloss sealer I'll give it a try.

Satire, wondering if the matte clear sealer would be similar to hair spray?

Thanks
Phil
Satire
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That might work, I'd say give it a test! Mirrors behave very unusually thanks to their finish, so I feel like I wouldn't stand a chance of guessing what that particular spray would do. Good news is that if it doesn't work it probably just means you can wipe it off.
docguitarman
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On Sep 29, 2021, Satire wrote:
That might work, I'd say give it a test! Mirrors behave very unusually thanks to their finish, so I feel like I wouldn't stand a chance of guessing what that particular spray would do. Good news is that if it doesn't work it probably just means you can wipe it off.


The mirror is a Tim Holtz mirror card stock. Not very expensive so if it doesn't work, I'll just toss it. Probably can't be wiped off. I think I'll go with matte finish, I'll need to lower the reflectivity a lot for low incidence angles.

I'll report back !
docguitarman
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Hello all,

I think the casket is now pretty good. The matte spray on the clear mirror card has dulled it to a shine very similar to aluminum. Putting the mirror on the bottom works great. Mirror on the back also looks good now. I had noticed with mirror on the bottom that even the back panel has a pretty good reflection of the interior of the box. The dulled mirror on back panel imitates the clear panel reflection pretty close.

I'll evaluate moving the casket about for presentation during the routine and check angles and effectiveness of the illusion.

I'll post pictures when I get a chance.

Thanks to all again!
Phil
docguitarman
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Here's the casket with treated mirror. Casket is shot below level of room lights.

Phil

Click here to view attached image.
docguitarman
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Another shot. Clear panels also have some reflectance. I'll need to work on angles with box in hands. Wearing a black shirt ought to "seal the deal"

Click here to view attached image.
Julie
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Looks GREAT!

Julie
Michael Baker
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For anyone else needing an alternative, I used to make these for a magic shop in Birmingham. The mirror fakes were made from shiny aluminum from a trophy company.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
docguitarman
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A further poll question!

In the photos the box is still unpainted. What color should I paint it?? I'm considering antique gold. Makes it different than the typical silver frame, and gold should still contrast with the black interior and not blend in with typical silk colors, red, blue, white....

Phil
David Todd
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If it was me I'd try just a natural wood stain first. If that didn't have the required "pop" , paint the wood frame gold.
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