Genii Experiment #1

Discuss the tricks and sleights which appear in Genii.

Postby Jim Riser » 07/19/09 09:07 PM

I'm not certain where to post this topic; but I'll try it here.

I am curious as to just where hard copy magazines will go in the future so I put together this little experiment to determine if extending an article in Genii with additional digital information might be useful.

I put this set of web pages together to extend the latest Tom Stone feature article. There are probably a number of magicians who would like to give a version of the Cylinder and Coins effect a trial but do not want to invest a lot in the apparatus until they decide if they can get the effect to fit their style.

These web pages show a way to make all of the required apparatus for the Cylinder and Coins routine as described by Tom. The methods shown will allow those without fancy/expensive machinery to make the required items. These methods will create useable items but are not the very best methods for creating the apparatus.

I would like feedback on the idea of extending a hard copy article with extra digital items - not necessarily on the methods described. Please respond here on The Genii Forum so that we might get some sort of discussion going on this topic.

The link: ... ent_1.html

I thank you in advance for your interest and cooperation in this experiment.
Jim Riser
Posts: 1019
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ

Postby Evan Shuster » 07/19/09 09:29 PM

Nice job, Jim! The idea of extending a hard copy article with additional digital material was also very successfully explored in David Goodsell and Larry White's "Oracle" magazine. I'd love to see this "experiment" continued.
Evan Shuster
Posts: 815
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Seattle

Postby Joe Pecore » 07/19/09 09:44 PM

Great idea!
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1854
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Northern Virginia

Postby Jim Martin » 07/19/09 10:24 PM

Thanks very much Jim for such an generous and informative post - a post based on experience.

Would you be able to offer some advice on toning ('chemically aging') the soft coins? I just acquired some soft Morgans, but the toning varies tremendously.

P.S. I like the idea of this 'experiment'.
Jim Martin
St. Louis MO
Jim Martin
Posts: 485
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis

Postby Tom Stone » 07/19/09 11:40 PM

Jim Riser wrote:There are probably a number of magicians who would like to give a version of the Cylinder and Coins effect a trial but do not want to invest a lot in the apparatus until they decide if they can get the effect to fit their style.

This is a wonderful idea, Jim! :)

Before making my props, I played around a bit with what I already had access to at home.
For the stack, I rummaged around in the kitchen, and found that a small vial of spice had a green plastic cap with almost the same diameter as the coins I used. So I used that cap at first, pretending it was a "proper" coin stack.
And I made the cylinder out of a piece of rolled up paper.

For the first attempt to actually perform the trick, I used a stack where I had put double-stick tape between four coins, and where the bottom one was an expanded shell. Instead of a slices of cork, I used small squares of thick cardboard (almost as thick as a coin).

There's always a way! :)
User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1169
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby Matthew Field » 07/20/09 05:34 AM

Fantastic, Jim! Your idea is perfet for a age in which webspace is reletively cheap, and scanning relatively easy.

Many thanks for this.

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
Posts: 2646
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby mrgoat » 07/20/09 10:17 AM

Now *THIS* is an idea!

What a fantastic, brilliant concept.

Giveaway the workings for free, but offer the option to have the stuff made for you by the best in the market.

Some people will want the cheapo version, and Ramsey's legend lives on. Some people will want the Riser version and pay you accordingly.

I applaud you.
User avatar
Posts: 4257
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby George Olson » 07/20/09 06:16 PM

Not to be indelicate, but the cylinder for my Tabman Chip Stack is a toilet paper tube. A copy of a hundred dollar bill fits perfectly, and it plays well about my "experience" during my last trip to Las Vegas,,,

Once again Mr. Riser provides us with but another example of the depth of his wealth of thinking and knowledge>

Thank you

George Olson
Posts: 980
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tigard, OR

Postby Jeremy Greystoke » 07/20/09 07:15 PM

Many thanks for this, Jim. I've been working through some of Tom's ideas regarding the Ball & Cone effect from his ebook Deserting the Legion, and I've wanted to experiment with some different cones. The cylinder info will be a great help in making up some decent quality practice cones.

And let me add my vote to those who say that this experiment should definitely be continued.

Jeremy Greystoke
Posts: 126
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Dublin, Virginia

Postby Jim Riser » 07/20/09 09:52 PM

Thanks for the kind words. The idea of this experiment is to see if the value of Genii print magazine can be enhanced with additional digital information to supplement the magazine content.

Virtually all printed mags are going through tough times and digital format may end up as the only alternative for magazines. I like Genii magazine and would prefer to see it remain profitable and in print. To counter the current trend in magazine publishing, this means that something must be done to enhance the Genii magazine experience in the near future. This experiment is an attempt to try something new and possibly improve the perceived value of subscribing to the printed magazine. Do any of you have specific suggestions or comments with this goal in mind? I'm looking for any input - no matter how wild it may sound. Thanks.

To Jim Martin;
To get coins to match, I put them in a vibratory tumbler for a few days to get them all at the same level of polish without the damage that can be done by using a regular buffer and compound. When they all come out of the vibratory polisher, they have a rather high degree of polish.

This gives all coins a common starting point. I use diluted commercial oxidizing solutions to very slightly darken the coins all to the same level. As a final step, all coins are buffed by hand very lightly to remove part of the oxidizing. This highlighting is done until all coins match. Very little oxidation is removed during this process.

To Jeremy;
If you wrap a paper sheet around a wooden, plastic, or cardboard cone, you can use it as a pattern for cutting a leather cone. The leather can be baseball stitched to hold it together and appearance.
Jim Riser
Posts: 1019
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ

Postby Dylan Gelinas » 07/21/09 03:41 AM

I think it would be nice to have videos available. They could be password protected and show something like an effect in magicana. Sometimes I can not visualize the movements so a short performance link would be cool.

I also enjoy the prop building thing you have going on. I think it is a great idea but what if others could do the same. Say there was this pom pom trick in genii that you would not make but someone else could and put up a step by step. Eventually we would have a bunch of prop how-tos (password protected of course).

As always,
Dylan Gelinas
Posts: 8
Joined: 07/16/09 02:08 PM

Postby Frank Dudgeon » 07/21/09 08:46 AM

Very nice idea, Mr. Riser. Thank you.

One extra I always enjoy are the DVD's that accompany several isues of Genii a year. The current issue has a nice one from Franz Harary. I thought at first there would be a few tracks, but there's a lot of interesting material there. Many of the DVD's are promotional, advertising a dealer or products, but they always have some material that is not promotional and definitely worth collecting. Loved that one from Fantasma Magic a while back, and the Palingensia illusion DVD.
Frank Dudgeon
Posts: 156
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon

Postby Jeff.Prace » 07/22/09 09:55 PM

What a fantastic idea!

Does anyone have a resource to get the needed leather for the "Radiator Hose" cylinder? I tried a few fabric stores but they did not have what I was looking for.
See the trailer!
Posts: 167
Joined: 01/13/09 06:30 PM

Postby Jim Riser » 07/22/09 10:16 PM

You may find the strapping in black or burgundy at a Tandy Leather store. You can use it in the thickness it normally comes in or split it thinner to make a more flexible "radiator hose". Splitters are expensive but the store will probably have a demo splitter and let you split it on their splitter. For a one-off job it is not worth buying a splitter.

P.S. If you do not have a local leather supply shop, let me know.
Jim Riser
Posts: 1019
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ

Postby David Alexander » 07/22/09 10:42 PM

This is typical of Jim's generosity. I'm not surprised he's done this.

Jim is one of the good guys.
David Alexander
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Jeff.Prace » 07/23/09 12:15 AM

I hate to ask another question so soon but I couldn't find a leather shop near me. Maybe is the needed leather online at the Tandy Leather store? ... ation=left

So many don't know even where to begin.
See the trailer!
Posts: 167
Joined: 01/13/09 06:30 PM

Postby Pete McCabe » 07/23/09 03:30 AM

I love Tom Stone's thinking, but something bumped me about this routine. When I read it, it seemed as though, there's a point where you've made three of the four coins turn into fog, and at that point you pick up the cylinder and show the cork. And I thought, shouldn't the first three coins be there already?

I reread it, and I am guessing that Tom meant that you turn the first three coins into fog but do not waft the fog towards the cylinder until all four coins are fogged.

But it got me thinking.

Hollow out two coins and glue them together, then glue a shell on top; this mini stack appears two coins high but should be big enough to hold a piece of cork.

By the way, what the hell is a piece of cork doing in this trick? But I digress.

Anyway make another mini-stack, with another cork. Stack them together and they should act, more or less, the same as a regular stack. They'll require a more delicate touch, not to talk, but maybe some tape on the bottom of the top stack would help.

Now you need a leather cone that if you squeeze at the top of the stack will pick off just the top mini-stack, or if you squeeze at the bottom it will take both.

Now the routine changes slightly. Say you vanish a coin (turn it to fog, smoke, etc.) and make a throwing gesture towards the cylinder. You say the coin has traveled inside the cylinder. No one believes you. Repeat: vanish, gesture. You say two coins have traveled inside the cylinder. No one believes you. You lift the cylinder to reveal two coins under the cork. People start to believe. Replace the cylinder, vanish both coins at once, and immediately lift the cylinder to reveal four coins under the cork. People will believe.

I am not an expert on this trick and have no idea if this will work, but I can't see why not. Mostly, thanks again to Tom for another inspiring column.
Pete McCabe
Posts: 2151
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/23/09 09:04 AM

The marker can be anything small - even a postage stamp or folded postit. I read that someone made quiet pennies to use in this trick :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7330
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby John Carney » 07/25/09 08:03 PM

Don Alan used a single die in his stack of quarters through hand routine. This makes sense with his Las Vegas patter.

The cork doesn't make sense but I haven't thought of anything better. It must be quiet so it doesn't make noise when you drop it in the tube.

Ramsay had a grocery store and would sometimes visibly cut a piece of cork (corked bottles being much more common then) to match a duplicate.
John Carney
Posts: 226
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Jim Riser » 07/26/09 03:00 AM

Do a search for "Saddle strings" on the Tandy web site. I use the black 1/2" wide strap.

Back when I made quite a number of coin stacks, I experimented with the cork problem. Initially I supplied the neatly made replacement corks for metal military canteens. They looked good and held up nicely; but still no reason for them.

Later on I supplied punched rubber discs with stick on labels - calling them game markers. I also used punched out leather discs as substitutes for the corks. A number of the leather discs were with tooled designs and referred to as "dealer markers". I still consider all of these better than corks.
Jim Riser
Posts: 1019
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ

Return to Magicana