Corner Shorts

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 05/29/03 06:32 AM

Beyond rolling my own with toenail clippers, does anyone have a resource for a nice corner short cutter? I've seen the ads for the one in May's Genii, has anyone personally used it?

Thanks,

-Tim
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Postby George Olson » 05/29/03 07:26 AM

Yes, I have.

It's worth it. The corner short cutter is not something you will use everyday, but it's one of those items you'll be glad you have around.

GO
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/29/03 08:15 AM

Before you buy the relatively expensive package currently being advertised, be aware that you can buy "corner rounders" at any good craft/hobby supply store (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, ebay, even Walmart) for $5 or so, and there are many effects that use the key card principle already available in any good magic library.

Not to criticize good marketing, but the package I saw at the Winter Carnival in Gatliburg ($25 for a corner rounder and a booklet of effects) was not a bargain.
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Postby Guest » 05/29/03 08:48 AM

Thanks for the help gents, I think I'll stop into my local Michael's first. I was interested in the device more than the effects really.

-Tim
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Postby Guest » 05/29/03 09:10 AM

You can find corner rounders at craft stores, but they aren't usually the correct radius. I have a machine shop, so I made my own card cutter that does do a number of cutting jobs perfectly. I have no idea if the $25 rounder sold with a booklet has the right radius or not, but I feel that knocking a product that the inventor/owner/distributor is trying to sell to feed his family is not very nice.

I was taught years ago that if all I have to say about a piece of magic or a book is bad, then I'll just not say it. I make more friends that way and zero enemies. If a truly bad piece of magic or book comes along I might change my rules a little, but as a businessman, the thought that is constantly running through my mind is how would I feel if somebody were to knock my products and services, without even using them?

If you look through my posts and many others, they will favorably 'review' a product that they truly like, and never (or rarely) write something negative about something they don't even own. The more famous a person is, the less chance of them writing anything negative, because all it hurts is their reputation by making them look like a fool. Look for negativity in Whit Haydn's posts, or Eugene Burger, or Pete Biro. It just doesn't happen. "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it"

Even the magazine reviews of products that are negative have at least one or two nice things to say, for example (an extreme example): "If you have only one finger on each hand and already have a show for dalmations or newborns, then this trick might be ideal to add to your repetoire.

Or, maybe I'm just over reacting and having a bad day.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/29/03 12:38 PM

Originally posted by Mark Johnson:
You can find corner rounders at craft stores, but they aren't usually the correct radius. I have no idea if the $25 rounder sold with a booklet has the right radius or not, but I feel that knocking a product that the inventor/owner/distributor is trying to sell to feed his family is not very nice.
Mark raises an interesting point, and since I am the "knocker", let me respond.

First, the package I saw for sale at the Gatlinburg convention, which I think is the same as that advertised in Genii (don't have the magazine handy, which is one reason I haven't mentioned names or product brands here), was simply a hobby store corner rounder and a booklet of effects. I don't recall if the booklet was newly written for this product, or was one of the booklets already in print (for example, "On the Corner Short" by Jerry Mentzer, available new for about $10, used for less; I think there is one by George Schindler as well. Plus many other effects in Greater Magic, Hugard & Braue, etc.)
In other words, a $5 gimmick you can easily obtain and a booklet worth maybe $10 if you don't already have the information. But many magicians do have a basic grasp of the principle, and the basic effects that can be done with a corner shorted card are available are so common as to almost be "public domain". So, I don't think I'm being unfair if I say that a package consisting of the above is no bargain at $25.

Second, while I am sympathetic to the plight of anyone trying to earn a buck, I feel no special obligation to be silent if that person is a magician. Once he enters commerce, he should be subject to the same standards that I hold anyone else to -- good value, honest business practices, etc. It's not fair to those magicians who produce products that are a good value, for everyone to tacitly agree to not (honestly) criticize the products which aren't such a good value.
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 05/29/03 04:09 PM

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Postby Guest » 05/29/03 06:12 PM

Bill, I understand your position and I hope that our little disagreement is a democratic sharing of views and not anything more. Maybe I was bit ruffled from a horrible experience with a certain mail order retailer today.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/03 09:42 AM

I was taught years ago that if all I have to say about a piece of magic or a book is bad, then I'll just not say it. I make more friends that way and zero enemies. If a truly bad piece of magic or book comes along I might change my rules a little, but as a businessman, the thought that is constantly running through my mind is how would I feel if somebody were to knock my products and services, without even using them?

If you look through my posts and many others, they will favorably 'review' a product that they truly like, and never (or rarely) write something negative about something they don't even own. --Mark Johnson posted May 29, 2003 09:10 AM
Bill, I understand your position and I hope that our little disagreement is a democratic sharing of views and not anything more. Maybe I was bit ruffled from a horrible experience with Magic Max today. Hopefully my first conversation with Verne McCarthy just a few hours ago will be my very last. --Mark Johnson, posted May 29, 2003 06:12 PM
Wow, that was one quick conversion!

I've purchased a number of the hobby store/office supply store corner rounders, for myself and others, and they work great (here's a picture of the tool .) Now if I can only find an equally inexpensive belly stripping tool.

Craig: I'm holding out for the blue model.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby CHRIS » 05/30/03 10:39 AM

Interesting discussion. Several things come to my mind. Reselling an item into a different market for a higher price happens all the time in all kinds of markets. That is a large part of business and I don't find anything wrong with that. But I also don't have a problem if someone then points out that this very item can be purchased cheaper somewhere else. That is just being a smart customer and sharing this information with your friends.

Such arbitrage opportunities typically do not exist for a long time. Efficient market theory postulates that such arbitrage opportunities are quickly eliminated. A fact of live and businesses have to deal with it.

On the critical review issue, I think a good business values these and uses them to become better. You all know what I am selling (but I am not going to mention it to keep tempers low), and I have had various flavors of complaints and critical feedback. However, in retrospect, these people have done me a great service and are to some degree more valuable than the silent happy customer. Critical comments help one to improve. Of course, there are sometimes the mean spirited attackes which are easily weeded out, but even those can teach you something.

So my point is, I think critical comments and negative reviews are very healthy, particularly if the complaint is clearly articulated and solid reasoning and argumentation is applied. Constructive criticism would even be better. Customers who do this can often change things to the better. I like such customers. Go ahead, if you have some beef with my business, bring it on ;)

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/03 06:11 PM

Hi Tim, Just wanted to let you know that www.wizardcraft.com carries a "corner short card trimmer" for $15. Hope this helps you out. Tom
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Postby Guest » 05/31/03 07:30 PM

I bought a corner short trimmer but still had to do the finishing touches with a nail file. (I use a metal one.) I actually find it easier to do the whole operation with the file. And since there is usually one laying around the house you don't have to spend a nickle (;-)

BTW I love using a corner short card and a regular card with a loop around both for a great rising card.
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Postby Ravi » 06/06/03 02:37 PM

concerning "corner short"

You can find great routines and handlings in Kaplan`s book "the fine art of magic"

It is a great book that everyone should have.

It is no wonder that Tamariz and Giobbi call it one of their "all time favorite " magic books.

R.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 02:39 PM

I read that the corner rounder currently being marketed in the magazines right now is a Carl Corner Rounding Punch Item #CP-6A. You can find one, minus the expensive magic label, for $5 or $6 at Staples or any other major office supply store.

Ray
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Postby Guest » 06/08/03 05:17 AM

I tried a cutter my wife bought for our photos and, while it cut a nice corner, it cut too deeply for my use. I'll keep using a nail clipper until I find one that doesn't cut as deeply.
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Postby Guest » 06/27/03 09:36 AM

Originally posted by Randy Campbell:

Now if I can only find an equally inexpensive belly stripping tool.


-Randy Campbell
I'd like to find one of those, too. However, I'm using an ordinary nail file right now and it works pretty well. Not a METAL file, but one of those soft, nail boards. I like the spongy thick ones that have a coarse side and a smooth side.

I just firmly grip the card right near the end with one hand, and rub the nail board back and forth across the narrow end with the other. Stopping about a half inch from either side. Because you're rubbing the center twice as often, this produces a thin crescent cut in the end of the card. Stop from time to time and put the card into the deck and see if it's deep enough for your use. When you first start working with a belly cut card, you'll probably want the cut fairly deep. As you continue to use it, you'll find you can get along with a finer cut.

I put a belly into both of the SHORT ends of the Jack of Spades, because that's the top card in the Aronson Stack. When I'm using it, I can easilly cut the Jack back to the top to restore the order of the stack after its been cut.The nice thing about using this with a memorized deck, is that you always know about where your belly locator card is. For example, if I glimpse the bottom card and see the King of Hearts, I immediatly know that it's the 30th card in the Aronson stack. And, I know that my belly card will be 30 cards up from the bottom. To cut to it, I don't have to run my thumb all through the cards searching. I know it's four cards above center, so it's very fast to find it and cut it back to the top.

Mike Close pointed out one big advantage of using a belly locator instead of a corner short. Corner shorts will mess up Faro shuffles, because the corner is not there to mesh properly. But the belly locator card works just fine.

Dennis Loomis
www.loomismagic.com
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/27/03 11:16 AM

For those interested in making belly strippers. This link shows how I do it:
http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/Card/Trimmer.html
:)
Jim
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Postby Bill Mullins » 06/27/03 04:36 PM

Jim's method is great if you have either:

1. a collection of expensive gambling equipment or

2. A well-stocked machine shop and the skills to make your own.

He's got both, I've got neither. Where did my wife leave her nail files????
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Postby Guest » 07/02/03 05:13 PM

Dennis:

Thank you for the real-world, low-rent solution. James Riser -- you need to start mass producing those puppies to get the unit cost down!

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/03/03 10:45 PM

Two awesome card trimmers, one a Will and Finck, just got 'stolen' on ebay for about 900 bucks apiece... they're worth over 1500... I just sold one for over 1000... :whack:
Stay tooned.
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Postby Jim Riser » 07/03/03 11:57 PM

Pete;
Someone really cleaned those up. I doubt if they were that shiny when new! Yours was nicer! People ask where to get such trimmers...they show up on ebay about 3-4 times per year.
Jim
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Postby Pete McCabe » 07/04/03 01:00 AM

By the way in the new Al Baker book there's a great trick that is written up using a short deck but which works just great with a deck that's had the non-index corners rounded. I use the $5 corner rounder I got at Office Depot and it is perfectly effective.
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