For those of you interested in the commercial prop Peter put out in the early 1990's it was called "Finger Impaler" and it is a scary looking thingie that will generate some gasps from your close-up audience. I can email a photo if anyone is interested. (Gamolo@aol.com
Here is the way the apparatus application is presented:
The performer shows a small solid blade and passes it for examination if desired. It is then set on the table on the brass round knurled base so the blade points straight up. Next, the performer takes a playing card and wraps it around his middle finger (okay, no tasteless jokes here.) He then holds his hand directly above the point of the blade. Suddenly, he slams his hand straight down onto the blade, impaling his finger! The blade is seen to visibly rip right through the card, yet the entire length of his finger remains in full view.
After a brief pause to let the audience catch its breath, the magician pulls his hand straight up off the blade. The card is removed and even though it now has a giant hole through it (where the blade pierced it), his finger is completely unharmed.
This is a shocker for the close-up table. It included a beautiful little brass blade and cards (which, of course, were not gimmicked).