Crochet Balls

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Postby Pete Biro » 05/30/03 09:51 AM

Find the hard rubber balls the weight you like. Find out if any ladies in your family can crochet (if not visit a nursing home) and ask them to crochet covers for the balls.

My mother did this for me in no time at all. Even had a crochet cover put on a mechanical ball to silk.

This is a simple job. :genii:
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Postby Guest » 05/30/03 11:21 AM

If memory serves correctly, back in the Forties when Frank Garcia worked in a magic shop his mother crocheted covers for cork balls.
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Postby George Olson » 05/30/03 02:24 PM

Now that Paul Gertner :cool: guy has the best idea...

Steel balls, they're certainly heavy enough! and show up well...

GO
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/30/03 03:08 PM

Last time I used steel balls I had the cups crochet covered... :D :D :D
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Postby Guest » 05/30/03 03:45 PM

Light balls, heavy balls, cups...I feel like I'm in the locker room of the Red Sox here. Throw in "monkeyfist" on top of everything and all kinds of pictures come to mind...

:rolleyes:
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/30/03 04:26 PM

about rubber balls,

I got a set together for a cups routine and had some problems.

First, they like to roll. Much more so than the crocheted balls.

Second, though easier to palm and do 'moves' with, they are more NOISY in the cups.

Lastly, since I do 'that old load' move where the cup drops to the table... let me tell you that from experience, you don't want the ball(s) bouncing off the cup or the cup landing on the balls and rolling off them.

Well Harold, that was my experience. Perhaps others have better to report.
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Postby Michael Kamen » 05/30/03 10:06 PM

I used to use a set of rubber balls with my copper stubbies, that had about the same resilience as the old fashioned brown sponge balls (before the super soft ones came on the market), except that they had a yellow-ish rubber skin covering the surface. They did not bounce or roll excessively and handled wonderfully. I got them at Tannen's in maybe 1961 or so. Wish I could get a set of those today. Now using the 1" Mike (and Betty, thank you) Rogers baseballs (which are great but unfortunately the chop ones are no longer being made). Crocheted balls would be ok if the 1" ones were really 1" -- in fact all the ones I have seen that are supposed to be 1" are 1 1/8" -- too large for my JPs. The only one advertising honestly about this seems to be Brett Sherwood, whose cups are apparently large enough to take the larger balls. The 7/8" crochets are way too small. I would say the ready availability of the chopped crochets is the main reason they continue to be given more than a second look by anyone. It is certainly not the choice of colors.
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Postby cataquet » 05/31/03 02:34 AM

Mike, you can acheive the same ol' finish on a sponge ball if you use latex paint on it. You'll get a skin, and the paint will seep into the pores of the sponge ball so you should get a smooth finish. However, I haven't tried this.

Has anyone used the cork ball with the body armour :D ? I can't remember who makes these balls, but they seem to be covered in a purple plastic spiders web.

Bye for now

Harold
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Postby Michael Kamen » 05/31/03 08:26 AM

I seem to recall that T. Frank Mint has a spider web-looking cover on what appear to be rubber but could be cork balls; sells them with his cups on the internet. I almost bought the cups just to get those.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/03 08:32 AM

El Duco seems to be the only one who supplies rubber-core crocheted balls with his cups. I almost bought a set just to get those. I don't know what size those are, though.

Why is this so difficult? Arrgh.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/31/03 11:04 AM

T. Frank Mint balls look like the Tayade Indian balls, so designed to "not" roll.

Hey, a thought just occurred... do Impromptu(?) routine with coffee cups and suger lumps (still wrapped)... then a final load could be SUGAR...

Make a drum head type load filled with sugar (or salt--popcorn salt is best) then hold cup up and tear open with fingertip and let salt pour out.

Taste and say, "Hmmmm good sugar..." let someone else wet finger and get some to taste... HAHAHAH salt... :p
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Postby Michael Kamen » 05/31/03 01:24 PM

The drum head idea is very good. Is Jim Riser listening?
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Postby Jim Riser » 05/31/03 02:02 PM

Michael;
No, I'm reading ;)

OK, so I modify the coffee cup shape slightly to allow for the drum head ring....

You know, what I like is that I can actually go out to my shop and make a set of these whenever all of you guys finish telling me what I need to add. So far we have a Brahma type coffee cup set with a drum head sugar load extra. What's next - cream? All ideas will be considered.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/03 02:15 PM

One should have coffee, one cream, one sugar.

Now all we need is a sponge jelly donut for a kicker.
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Postby Michael Kamen » 05/31/03 02:28 PM

I like mine black so it doesn't make any difference :) .
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Postby Guest » 05/31/03 03:01 PM

Then you'll have to do a chop cup.
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Postby Conus » 05/31/03 04:20 PM

Leather Monkey Fists? Check these out ...

http://newmagic.home.att.net
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Postby Jim Riser » 05/31/03 05:47 PM

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Postby cataquet » 06/01/03 05:10 AM

First off, it will probably be easier to buy the monkey fist balls than try and make them (especially if you are looking for a specific size). However, for those of you who want to try and make your own, here are two (virtually identical) references for making the monkey fist knot:
Monkey First Knot (Reference #1)
Monkey Fist Knot (Reference #2)
You'll have a lot of searching to do (eg, getting the right thickness of center core and leather wrap), and in the end, you'll probably be better off getting them from Jim Riser (or others who sell the balls).

However, the benefit of making your own is that you can make a matching jumbo ball. As far as I have seen, only the 1" (or thereabouts) balls are made. I have yet to see a Jumbo (2") or magnetic version of these being advertised.

Bye for now

Harold
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Postby Guest » 06/01/03 05:19 AM

Jim,

You sell crocheted balls on your site, but it doesn't say what the cores are. Cork? Rubber?

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/01/03 05:55 AM

Geoff;
Believe it or not, getting cork balls is not as easy as it used to be. Also, cork is not necessarily any better than something else for a core. The first balls were cork and people seem to think that is what must be used.

I needed something more durable than cork for the tiny balls for our Riser/Loomis Micro Chop Cup. So I went with wooden balls for the cores. They are easily available in a wide variety of sizes and will hold up to virtually any abuse. I stuck with wood cores on the other sizes.

Rubber balls, though heavier, are very limited in available sizes. Steel ball bearings are nice; but get expensive to ship.

The gimmick balls for my experimental large chop cup are hollow steel and therefore have advantages.

As you can see, the cores in the balls I supply will vary at times with specific needs.

BTW - The monkeyfist bals are knotted around marbles.

I would like to use the small silicone rubber balls for cores (for the weight); but their sizes are limited and after a period of time they become brittle and will crumble. Since I try to provide durable products, I mainly use wooden cores.
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Postby cataquet » 06/01/03 07:07 AM

Silicon balls are available (from McMaster-Carr) in 5/8", 7/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-3/8", and 2". You can get neoprene and gum rubber balls in 5/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-3/8" and 2". I prefer neoprene to silicon as the rubber is slightly harder, also you can get white and black neoprene in these sizes. However, you do need to take a scalpel to the balls to trim the seam... Incidentally, when you buy your bounce/no bounce, the bounce ball is made of neoprene. However, the balls that McMaster-Carr sell are slightly harder.

Bye for now

Harold
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Postby Michael Kamen » 06/01/03 09:12 AM

Harold, you are a fount of knowledge. Thank you.
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/01/03 12:25 PM

Harold;
Notably missing is a 3/4" size which makes a 7/8" ball when covered with crochet work. Neos are not offered in the 7/8" size to use directly without covers. It can all be rather frustrating when trying to get the largest size of ball possible with a particular set of cups.
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Postby Conus » 06/01/03 01:36 PM

You are so right. It is frustrating getting a crocheted ball of the right size & weight.

Monkey fists can be fine-tuned in size, shape & weight by using different cores or thicknesses of leather. You have flexibility in the final shape and feel -- they can be made boxy or round.

(Plus, I think they look like something a magician would actually carry around.)
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Postby cataquet » 06/01/03 04:57 PM

Marketed crocheted balls are always covered in wool. If you now stick a piece of velcro hook under your jacket, you've got a holder that will never fail. OK, it does tend to pull at the yarn a bit over time. But these balls do have a tendency to go fuzzy.

If you go to the trouble of having the balls crocheted, I would suggest you use cotton and not wool. The grip is better than wool, and the balls never go fuzzy. However, now the velcro holder doesn't work.

It's all swings and roundabouts.

Bye for now

Harold

P.S. Jim, if you're ever looking for cork balls, you can get 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-1/2", 1-5/8", 1-3/4", 1-7/8", and 2" balls from The Cork Store
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Postby Guest » 06/01/03 06:05 PM

I have to be honest guys and gals. Think about it. We have unbelivable cups on the market today. Super high quality like Mr. Risers, Brett Sherwood, Paul Fox, etc. Many of us are willing to pay $300 to ???? But our balls suck, that's a technical term (;-).

You have all seen the leather juggling balls; small seams, easy to handle, great colors. Why can't we in the magic kingdom create some elegant balls using their techniques?
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Postby Bill Duncan » 06/01/03 06:44 PM

Jim Cellini sells beautiful hand made leather balls. They're rather expensive but if you're shelling out $300+ for cups it's the only way to go.

Sadly I haven't been able to find a link for you as a Google search doesn't find anyone selling them and I've only seen them at Cellini's lecture.

Can anyone post a link to a website that sells them or post Cellini's contact information?
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/01/03 09:08 PM

Originally posted by wcb39:
<snip> But our balls suck, that's a technical term (;-).

You have all seen the leather juggling balls; small seams, easy to handle, great colors. Why can't we in the magic kingdom create some elegant balls using their techniques?
OK,guys;
Describe to me what would make the "ideal" ball. If it is doable without slave labor from the far east, I'll certainly consider it.
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Postby Michael Kamen » 06/01/03 09:18 PM

I do not mean to be unimaginative here, but Fakini balls are rather peerless I think for manipulation. For cups and balls something similar, 1" silicone (or whatever), perhaps with a silk or cotton large mesh covering (no sweaters thank you) for better interaction between ball, cup, and table -- but -- must have perfect (standard) chop counterpart. That will probably be a challenge.
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Postby cataquet » 06/02/03 04:36 AM

If you want a rubber ball with less roll, Kenton had some balls that were faceted, considerably reducing the roll. Unfortunately, the balls were too big to use for normal balls, but at 1-7/8" they would make interesting final loads. They are currently sold out, but if you want a peak at what they look like, click on Kenton\'s Krystals

Bye for now

Harold

P.S. Jim, I second the comments that Michael made, but I'd like a matching jumbo ball.
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Postby Guest » 06/02/03 06:55 AM

Jim,

My guess would be crocheted or leather covered mouse balls. They have a steel core for weight, with a rubber covering, but don't really bounce.

Am I right in guessing that a 1 inch ball becomes 1-1/8 inch after crocheting? And, as I believe Harold said, cotton thread instead of wool. I have one set in a hard-finished kind of cotton, and it's lasted much longer than the wool variety.

Here's a link for the balls:

http://www.mouseballz.com/

Looks like LMB01 would be right for 1-1/8 inchers and SMB078 would work for a hair over 7/8 inchers. Good colors would be white, deep red or deep blue.

If you decide to make these, I'd certainly take at least a few sets off of your hands.

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/02/03 09:11 AM

Harold;
Kenton's Krystal Balls are cool. A final load ball of real Austrian cystal would be a knock out!

Geoff, yes a 1" ball becomes 1 1/8" with a crocheted covering. Mouse balls would make good cores. I love the weight. They might work well with no covering at all. BTW - all of the crochet coverings on the balls I provide are cotton thread to avoid "pilling" - and moth problems :eek:

We need to remember that Harold wants to avoid sweaters on the balls.

Speaking of different balls for the cups...a couple years ago I ran across "rubber" dice which would work well. They looked exactly like normal hard dice; but would not talk. I'll have to see if I can locate them again.

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Postby Guest » 06/02/03 09:54 AM

I made some large monkey's fist balls for the final loads using a golf ball for the core and some colorful rope from an outdoors store. I thought they were great. My wife likes tennis balls better.

... and an off-topic remark, I just got a set of James Riser's standard cups and they are absolutely beautiful.
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Postby cataquet » 06/02/03 09:57 AM

Geoff, the weight of the mouseballs will create a sound problem. I haven't tried it, but I would guess that secretly dropping a mouseball into a cup will make much more noise than dropping the equivalent rubber ball.

Also, while they may still be great if you only want to use non-magnetic balls, a problem arises once you start thinking about the magnetic balls for chop cup routines. Specifically, a mouse ball weighs in at FOUR times the equivalent rubber ball. Given you won't have a magnet in the mouseball, the magnet in the chop cup would have to be around EIGHT to TEN times more powerful. So, mouseball cored balls would be virtually useless for any existing chop cup.

Jim, I don't know if these are the dice that you were thinking of, but they do make dice erasers that might work. There is very little quality control with these dice and they will range in size from 3/4" to 1", and aren't quite cubes. If anyone wants to buy some of these, have a look at Northeast Imports . The dice are available in orange, blue, pink and a few other colours.

Although I haven't used them, Mike Roger's baseballs had the right idea. They had the right size and feel, but I don't know what the weight was like. The problem was that if you didn't want to use little baseballs, they did not come in the right colors combinations(ie, stitching color matching ball cover). Also, the balls didn't come in enough colors (like Geoff said, you need at least three). Finally, the chop balls didn't have the right configuration (two half-sized magnets to maintain a single external pole opposite to the magnet in the cup).

Bye for now

Harold
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Postby Jim Riser » 06/02/03 10:26 AM

Harold;
The dice were clear silicone(?) (in colors) and looked exactly like the hard plastic dice normally seen. I ran across them at a gift trade show; but got distracted and never got around to ordering a gross or so. I have not seen them since.
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Postby Guest » 06/02/03 11:08 AM

Harold,

I'm not worried about the noise; between the rubber and crocheting, combined with a shallow angle on the load I think they'd be quiet enough. I agree about the chop cup situation, but for straight cups, I think the mouse balls have the most potential.

If they aren't covered, though, they have to be painted or colored in some way, as they are a really dull, ugly grey color. Maybe latex paint?

I have the Rogers baseballs, and the weight is ok, but still not as heavy as I'd like. I'm going to try an experiment on them soon; I bought some leather prep and dyes of various colours and I'm going to try to strip and redye them. I'll follow that up with a good coat of polish worked in and see what they look like.

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Bill Mullins » 06/02/03 11:31 AM

Hackey Sacks
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/02/03 12:19 PM

"Bollocks (balls) said the Queen, if I had 'em, I'd be King."

I must say the best of the lot are a set of balls made for my by my late pal Mike Rogers. He did them with the baseball leather "inside out" so they are rough textured.

More thinking... why not use cherries or fake olives or toy socker balls? A visit to hardware and/or toy stores might solve your problems.

Keep on lookin... :eek:
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Postby Guest » 06/02/03 01:28 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
"Bollocks (balls) said the Queen, if I had 'em, I'd be King."

I must say the best of the lot are a set of balls made for my by my late pal Mike Rogers. He did them with the baseball leather "inside out" so they are rough textured.

More thinking... why not use cherries or fake olives or toy socker balls? A visit to hardware and/or toy stores might solve your problems.

Keep on lookin... :eek:
"Nay," said the King, "for it takes twelve inches to make a Ruler!"

Mr. Biro, you are MY kind of rogue! And your taste in poetry is as low as mine. I gotta respect a guy who can quote "The Night of the King's Castration!"

Kind regards,

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http://www.leedarrow.com
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