Balls for the cups and balls

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 11/27/02 06:30 AM

Does anyone know where to get a set of crocheted balls with rubber cores, or any other kind of ball that is heavier than the cork sets? The cork sets are just too light for me. Leather-covered would be fine, too (I know about the Mike Rogers sets, any others?). Thanks in advance.

Geoff
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 08:01 AM

Denny Haney's recent email flier mentions a couple new types of leather balls he has available. The material used for the core is not mentioned, but he does state they have a "good weight."

You might want to give him a call or check them out by searching on 'leather balls' at www.dennymagic.com.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 08:14 AM

The balls Denny sells are great. They are "monkey's fist" leather balls with ball bearing cores. Expensive, but very cool.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 08:22 AM

Thanks for the tips. On the dennymagic site he's also selling "muscade" leather balls, but there's no picture and the description doesn't really describe them except to say look in "The Modern Conjuror" which I don't have. Anyone know anything about these?
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 08:30 AM

Call Denny and ask him about the muscade balls. Then tell us what you find out. I'm curious too.
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Postby Kendrix » 11/27/02 03:33 PM

The muscade balls I got from Denny are Red and Yellow and perfect for my Riser Mini Cups. They are too small for work with Paul Fox regular cups . They are just slightly lighter than I would like them to be. They are extremely visible. Talk with Denny, he may have others availible.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 03:46 PM

Thanks for the info. It seems the only set of cups that come with rubber-core crocheted balls are El Duco's cups. Why everyone makes them with cork I don't know. Way too light for me, especially with the wand spin. I have a great set that was made for me years ago (superball core) but they're too big for the Johnson cups, which I've decided to use for the time being. And, ha ha, they were made by an ex-girlfriend, so there's no chance in hell I'll get another set from THAT supplier. Maybe it'll be the monkey fist balls. Could you tell me what the diameter of the muscade balls is? Thanks again to all of you for your help.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/27/02 03:51 PM

Check the collectibles for sale section here as they have just been listed for $25 each. Argh...

Use rocks?
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 04:02 PM

For my cups and balls, I have been using the little balls that come in your computer mouse. They are rubber wrapped around a ball bearing. Take one out and check it out. They have a nice heft to them and the rubberized coating make them a dream to handle. They are a little smaller than 7/8 of an inch. If someone could add crochet or even a leather wrap around them they would be perfect. I should have kept the idea to myself and marketed it.
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Postby luigimar » 11/27/02 04:27 PM

I have a friend who uses roll-on deodorant and when he is finished with it, takes the little white ball out of the deodorant's 'tube' and he uses them for a cups and balls routine. The nice thing about this is that some people may not like this effect but his magic sure 'smells' good!

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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 06:23 PM

Yeah, I've considered using mouse balls and painting them with something to make them bright and eliminate drag, but paint wears off and doesn't age well.

Calling all C&B experts: What do YOU use, and who makes them for you.

Funny thing about magic; 6,000 guys want to sell you the same damn inadequate stuff; but try and find the simplest things; a decent copper/silver coin, a Tally-Ho double backer, or, in this case, a ball that fits Vernon's spec for C&B and you're s*** out of luck. What's up with that?
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 06:52 PM

Hit up Eric Evans I'm sure he can make you the balls you want, I believe he hand makes each one.

I've been on a never-ending search for the perfect balls, (I prefer big ones with weight yet quiet) anyway, at your local Home Depot or Lowes you can find small baseballs, basketballs etc... in the ceiling fan section. They sell them for use on pull chains.

Ronnie
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 08:26 PM

"No-bounce" balls (from bounce/no-bounce sets) have a good weight to them and don't bounce/roll away.

Harley
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Postby Kendrix » 11/27/02 08:33 PM

I use the Mike Rogers Baseballs for "standard" size cups and find them to be nearly perfect. Good visibility, don't roll, adequate weight. With Mike no longer with us, I don't know if they are still being made.
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Postby Jim Riser » 11/27/02 09:24 PM

Geoff;
Just out of curiosity, what, in your opinion, makes a "decent Copper/silver coin" and exactly what are you looking for in balls for cups? Thanks.
Jim

BTW - I believe Mike's widow is still supplying the baseballs through Joe Stevens.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/02 09:45 PM

I have two sets of the monkey's fist balls that Denny sells, brown leather, and black and white leather. If you search on Google for "monkey's fist" you can figure out how to make them yourself. If you use a golfball for the core, and some 1/2" rope you can make big monkey's fists for the final loads.
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Postby cataquet » 11/28/02 03:17 AM

Geoff, the solution to this problem is pretty straight forward. All I did was get the rubber balls and give them to my wife to crochet covers. If an immediate female with crochetting skills is not available, just go to one of these sewing shops. Not the big Hobby Craft shops, the small ones in town that are family run. Tell them that you want someone to make crochet covers for your balls (as these are little old ladies, I suggest you show them your balls first), and they'll be able to source you someone pretty much straight away. It should cost you almost nothing.

If you're looking for balls to form the core, have a look at http://www.mcmaster.com/ They have loads of balls, ranging from steel ball bearings to neoprene (the bounce balls in the bounce-nobounce set) to copper balls. A great supply house, but they don't have mouse balls.

Some time before Mike died, I was talking to him about making a set of chop cup baseballs. I wanted 2 x 1" white magnetic balls and 2 x 1" red magnetic balls, but I wanted the outside polarity of the balls to be the same (ie, N on both sides). [Thus, when the two balls are on the table, they don't attract!] This was easy given the two half magnets, but sadly he never made them, and I don't think Betty makes the chop balls any more. If anyone out there knows of someone who could make these balls (like Geoff, I can provide the core, I just need the covers sewing on), please contact me via private message.

Bye for now

Harold
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Postby Alpen » 11/28/02 11:29 AM

Originally posted by Harold Cataquet:
(as these are little old ladies, I suggest you show them your balls first)
I know that I'm gonna get pooped on for this one, but....
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Postby Bill Mullins » 11/28/02 01:02 PM

Originally posted by Harold Cataquet:
This was easy given the two half magnets, but sadly he never made them,
Half magnets? I thought if you break a magnet in half, you get two smaller magnets, each with a north and a south pole. If you've invented a magnetic monopole, the Nobel Committee would like to speak with you.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/28/02 01:53 PM

Originally posted by ecphora:
monkey's fists for the final loads.
Hey!

Are you folks considering using the O. Henry story as the premise for a cups and balls or chop cup routine? That would be SO COOL. The story is very strong on both suspense and magic. If it works out let me know. Kudos.

Jon
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/28/02 02:01 PM

Originally posted by Geoff Latta:
...rubber cores
Geoff et al. I worked for some time with the no-bounce balls from the bounce/no-bounce sets. Then gave it up for the Ramsay routine once Haggen Dazs produced the single serving cups. It makes quite an impression to turn those over to show they are full of ice cream again. Or a selected card. or borrowed watch or whatever.

Were I to succumb to using the lathe turned heavy (non drinkable, awkward and dribble prone) cups again, I would explore a glue spray/flocking process to get something workable. Also might have a look at fake martini olives or cherries.

Anyone out there teaching the pen or wand/spin stuff? Funny how some things come easy and others just don't.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Postby Bill Duncan » 11/28/02 02:05 PM

Originally posted by Geoff Latta:
...but try and find the simplest things; a decent copper/silver coin, a Tally-Ho double backer
You can get the Tally Ho DB from Cards By Martin Neil is very accomodating. I had a very odd order and he was just great. We traded a dozen emails back and forth to make sure I got everything I wanted (including that the pack be made up of only non-pointer spot cards).

I have seen wonderful gaffed coins made by Todd Larson whose website is full of pretty pictures and he has a reputation as a perfectionist and a nice guy.

My off the shelf C/S coin is very good. The one I have is (I think) Johnson's and it can lay silver side up right next to a half dollar and you can't tell them apart. I recall paying more than the price of a "normal" C/S coin but it was well worth it. Perhaps that version is no longer available?

I'd love to know what you believe are the qualities of a good C/S coin. Given what David Roth had to say about your use of one (in COINMAGIC) I don't think anyone is more qualified to set the standard.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/28/02 02:08 PM

Originally posted by bill mullins:
re half magnets...
The author of that post has been retrieved. It serves no purpose to produce monopoles at this time.

Perhaps you might get the same effect with bar magnets taking care to glue the like poles together so the outward facing poles are all of the same N or S polarity. Do take care not to use solder as this may diminish the overal Gaussian field.
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/28/02 03:22 PM

Hi Jonathan. What's the title of that O'Henry story. Did I miss anything?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/28/02 03:33 PM

Originally posted by Rafael Benatar:
that O'Henry story. Did I miss anything?
I believe it is titled 'The Monkey's Paw'
It's the story about the artifact that grants wishes. It ends with the knocking on the door...

spooky
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/28/02 03:42 PM

Thanks, Jonathan. I'll look it up.
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Postby Kendrix » 11/28/02 04:23 PM

Harold: I did just what you said and they threw me out of their sewing shop.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/28/02 04:35 PM

So, how do you get "ice cream" back into the cups?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/28/02 04:58 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
So, how do you get "ice cream" back into the cups?
Pete, you just hold the monkey's paw and wish. :p
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Postby Bill Duncan » 11/28/02 10:18 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Anyone out there teaching the pen or wand/spin stuff?
Happy Thanksgiving. Click here for pen spinning video and how-to information.

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Postby Pete Biro » 11/29/02 01:03 AM

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp! :D :p :D
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 02:47 PM

This is not the O Henry version.
The Monkey\'s Paw
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 04:22 PM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
Geoff;
Just out of curiosity, what, in your opinion, makes a "decent Copper/silver coin" and exactly what are you looking for in balls for cups? Thanks.
Jim

BTW - I believe Mike's widow is still supplying the baseballs through Joe Stevens.
The C/S coin should look good either copper or silver side up next to real copper and silver coins, and should "ring" authentically. The problem is that english pennies are noticeably thinner than many half dollars. An unfortunate trend years ago was to take the silver coin down just a tiny bit and then apply the thinnest sliver of a copper coin to it. These looked great silver side up next to a silver coin, but ridiculous copper side up next to a copper coin. Laymen could tag these. Also, many makers trim the circumference of the copper coin too much, and again, the reduced diameter is obvious next to a real copper. The perfect C/S coin should probably be half and half, carefully machined to avoid overtrimming the copper side, and should be silver soldered to ring true. Clad halves tend to be thicker than silver halves, and need to be taken down more. Irish pennies seem to be thicker than english pennies, and might be a better choice for use with clad halves. At any rate, the C/S coin should be no thicker than a silver half, and probably slightly less, somewhere between the thickness of a half and a penny. If I were to go a step farther, I might try beveling the edges on both sides the tiniest amount so that the side facing away from the spectators receded from view slightly, but have not tried this and it might not be worth it.

As for balls for the cups and balls, I'm looking for heavy, quiet and with enough grip to be reliable, but not so much that they'll hang during loads. Silicon or superballs are out for this reason. Also, three should fit in what you call "the attic" without binding or fussing. For the Johnson cups, which is what I'm using, that means a maximum of 1 inch, including stitching. As for materials, rubber or silicon are ok (rubber or silicon with a steel core like mouse balls even better) with a tightly sewn leather cover or a tightly crocheted cover in either bright red or bright blue. The yarn should be a hard-finished kind of yarn, not that soft fuzzy stuff on the Johnson balls.

I have a set of the Rogers baseballs, and am about to try dying them red with some leather dye. I don't know if I'll have to deglaze them first (I don't even know if they're real leather) but I guess I'll find out.
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Postby Kendrix » 12/02/02 05:37 PM

I have gotten Mike Roger's baseballs already dyed red. I don't know if they are still availible. I think I got them from Michael/Hannah Ammar.
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 05:58 PM

Bill -

Pentix is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time - which probably says as much about me as it does about the site.

-David L.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/02/02 07:44 PM

The dyed Mike Rogers balls are made with the leather inside out from the white kind. Make made me several sets, which have a nice "roughish" feel to them.
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 08:18 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
The dyed Mike Rogers balls are made with the leather inside out from the white kind. Make made me several sets, which have a nice "roughish" feel to them.
Hmmnnn. I wonder if they found the dye won't take without deglazing the old finish, had already bought x amount of the white, and decided to use the unfinished side. Probably.

Heck. I'm going to try it anyway. Worse comes to worse, I'll either deglaze them myself or get another set and try something else. Anyone here know how to get in touch with Eric Evans? Does he do custom orders?
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 10:08 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Rafael Benatar:
[b]that O'Henry story. Did I miss anything?
I believe it is titled 'The Monkey's Paw'
It's the story about the artifact that grants wishes. It ends with the knocking on the door...

spooky[/b]
The title is The Monkey's Paw, however it is by W. W. Jacobs. If you do a Google search you will be able to read it online.
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/02/02 10:31 PM

Geoff;
Thanks for the thinking behind your wishes on a C/S and the ball sets.

BTW - Eric Evans posted this:
Eric Evans Post on Balls
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Postby Guest » 12/02/02 11:01 PM

Jim,

Thanks for the pointer to Mr. Evans. BTW yourself, I found your website about choosing a set of cups both helpful and fascinating from a historical and technical perspective, as well as very entertaining. Have you ever considered making a "medium" size cup? Say, closer to the size of the Dew cups, but with your own improvements?

Best,

Geoff
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