Martin Takeup Reel for Vanishing Birdcage

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Postby MagicalJohn » 05/23/08 10:32 PM

so I have Tommy Wonder's video concerning the birdcage, and I want to use a takeup reel identical to his. Any suggestions for where I might find a take up reel? or plans to make a take up reel? And yes, I understand the purpose of the reel, and all that.
Thanks in advance!
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Postby Jim Riser » 05/23/08 11:07 PM

Tommy Wonder, as I understand it, made his own take-up reel. It was based on the Martin/Hammerton design. He modified the design to suit his needs, machinery at hand, and skills. Drawings to illustrate his version are in The Books of Wonder (volume 2). These are drawings not really plans; but enough info is there to build your own. I've been playing with take-up reel design again for the past two years. Each maker seems to experiment with the design. On such items there must always be decisions concerning things such as metal alloys to be used, spring thickness/width/length, bullet size/shape, type of cording, arm connections, cord guides, lock type, etc.

Martin's background in watch/clock making is very evident when the insides of a take-up reel are studied.
Jim

BTW The reels show up on auctions. The past two Martinka auctions each had a reel.
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Reason: To add info
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/25/08 01:20 AM

Tommy Wonder bought MY Martin take-up reel and based his on it. I still have the Hammerton, which in some ways is superior to the orignal Martin.
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Postby hugmagic » 05/25/08 09:45 AM

Chris Reisman (Encore Magic) had the permission of Tommy to make a couple of units. Unfortunately, Chris has other obligations and is not making much in the way of magic for a time.

Pete is correct. The Hammerton reel is superior to Martin's. Ken Brooke sold this model. Billy added a couple of minor improvements. The Encore cage reel is functionally the same but about 1/3 larger than the original Hammerton reel. It was funny because Chris never realized the size difference until I showed him. He had taken measurements on Billy's reel but somehow the measurements were slightly enlarged when converted from metric.
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Postby Jim Riser » 05/25/08 08:50 PM

The last thing a performer would want in a take-up reel is more bulk. Tommy Wonder's modifications were aimed at reducing the bulk of the Martin/Hammerton unit. A comparison between the Wonder and the Martin/Hammerton model will clearly show where he worked at trimming off any unnecessary metal. Unfortunately, some of his modifications created compromises with the internal parts. His design worked well for him; but might not work as well for the next performer.

It really should be noted that Tommy Wonder worked the effect with his sleeves partially rolled up AND that he did not hold his cage like most performers. In addition, he used a small cage rather than a standard sized cage. Thus his modifided take-up reel worked fine for him.

I had a web page up showing some mods I made to an Owen version of the Hammerton take-up reel (BTW - the Owen model is nicely made). I took the page down to move it to a different server; but got caught up in other projects and never got it moved. I'm at our east coast facility for the next couple of weeks. When I return to Tucson, I'll get it up again so that you can see what I did to the Owen model. If I forget, remind me.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 05/27/08 10:32 AM

may i sugest contacting Granvile Taylor ( Faust) who seems to have a great working knolwedge on all things Martin.
he may even be able to supply a take up reel.

http://www.taylormademagic.co.uk/
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/04/08 10:12 AM

OK, guys;
I got back to Tucson late last night. As promised, here are the mods I did recently on an Owen take-up reel.

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/TakeUpR ... /Info.html

These mods were done to improve reliability and security of the original product while making virtually no alterations to the Owen item.

A better way to improve things is to redesign the reel itself to do what is needed. This is what has been done with the arm reel that will come with the updated Martin/Frakson Vanishing cage system (cylindrical with dome top) that David Alexander and I will be introducing - hopefully early next year.

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Postby Pete Biro » 06/04/08 02:14 PM

It looks like the Owen is more a copy of the Hammerton version. Martin's was smaller. Matter of fact, the Martin one that Tommy Wonder had he got from me. Unfortunately, following a divorce I had to sell all of my Martin items!!! argh....
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Postby Donal Chayce » 06/04/08 03:00 PM

Jim Riser wrote:OK, guys;
I got back to Tucson late last night. As promised, here are the mods I did recently on an Owen take-up reel.

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/TakeUpR ... /Info.html

...



Wow--wonderful work! Thanks for sharing the photos with all of us on the forum.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/04/08 10:12 PM

When I've been shown Martin cages with reels attached I've always been able to recognize outfits that Frakson had used by the tape on the back of the arm reel.

Jim's solution is quite elegant.

I'm looking forward to the many improvements he will make in the cage and operating system. It won't be cheap, but the few buyers who will have the money and time to work this up will have something that less than a handful of performers have had before.
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