The Longest Long Salt Pour. . .

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Ray Eden » 07/14/04 12:57 PM

Hello all,

I recently got a vernet Insta-Salt gimmick, and I'm having some fun playing with it, but I'd really like a prop that will allow for a longer 'pour' What is the best prop on the market for this effect?

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Postby Bill Palmer » 07/14/04 10:14 PM

There are a number of them, but I really like James Riser's long salt pour gimmick. It takes some practice to learn to use it, but it's a dandy. It holds a LOT of salt.

You may have difficulty finding one, though. Check http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/JamesRiserMagic.html
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/14/04 11:19 PM

To get a longer pour, use POPCORN salt. That's what Fred Kaps used. And the way you grip the gimmick and allow a flat, toward the audience, shaped flow helps too. Kaps used a standard Paul Fox gimmick, and I believe Riser's has about the same capacity.
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/14/04 11:52 PM

Thanks Bill and Pete,

Mr. Riser is 'out of the office'. I'll have to catch up with him in a few weeks. Is the Paul Fox gimmick still available. I've done a web search, but can't seem to find viable links.

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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 07/15/04 12:45 AM

Its interesting about the popcorn salt, I always asumed that silver sand was a suitable substitute to salt, as it's not affected by damp. .
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/15/04 01:49 AM

Stupid question, but . . . what exactly is popcorn salt. I'm in Finland, and it probably won't go under the same name.

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Postby Steve Hook » 07/15/04 04:20 PM

Ray:

It's "table salt" that has been ground more finely.

If you pour regular table salt on fresh popcorn, it adheres differently than if it's ground very fine.

The finer particles work better with the salt pour routine. Being finer, they appear more powder-like. They float just a little better through the air. And there are more particles, so you can slow the pour.

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/15/04 09:43 PM

Sorry Steve, but popcorn salt is considered "ultra-fine" (and consistent in size--usually a flake) while table salt is "granular" (and inconsistent in size and shape). 26oz of table salt costs about 50 while 4oz of popcorn salt pushes the $2 mark.

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/15/04 10:37 PM

Thanks for the popcorn salt insight. I figured it must be finer 'cystals', just wanted to make sure that it was what it sounded like. Now the hard part is going to be finding it in Finland.

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/16/04 01:38 PM

Any opinions on Rick Anderson's Solid State Salt Pour?

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Postby Frank Yuen » 07/16/04 06:30 PM

From what I've heard, it looks good. It is/was sold commercially but is also written up in the book, Spectacle .

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/16/04 06:38 PM

Contact dkmagic@planet.nl (Dick Koornwinder in Amsterdam) he was close to Kaps and maybe knew what/where he got the salt.
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Postby Steve Hook » 07/16/04 07:55 PM

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
Sorry Steve, but popcorn salt is considered "ultra-fine" (and consistent in size--usually a flake) ...
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(Hmm; 25 years in the food industry turns out to be useful after all.)
But, Dustin, that's what I said:

"It's 'table salt' that has been ground more finely."

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/16/04 08:58 PM

I'm sorry, I guess I'm confused. :confused: (What else is new?) I had read that sentence to say that table salt is finer than popcorn salt which is not the case. I got it now (I'd use a stronger word than confused, but I'm trying to tone things down around here...).

Hey Ray: use popcorn salt if you can find it: Like Pete & Steve said, its particles are much smaller (finer) than regular table salt!

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Postby Steve Hook » 07/16/04 09:24 PM

Dustin and Ray:

Back in my old poverty days, my ex- and I used to put salt in the blender and smaller-ize it. As you mentioned, Dustin, popcorn salt is (unjustifiably) more expensive.

Unfortunately, I don't remember if that worked or not on popcorn, but it should make a difference in the Salt Pour, yes? Worth an experiment...

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/17/04 12:35 AM

Pete: Thanks for Dick Koornwinder's contact info. Amsterdam's just across the pond, so I hope it is available here.

Frank: Thanks for your imput on Rick Anderson's Solid State Salt Pour. It is quite cheap ($8.00), so I'm wondering about its quality. Perhaps it although the lines of the Vernet Insta-Salt in quality. For the price, there is no reason not to order it and test it.

And finally . . . I need to repeat a question . . . Is the Paul Fox gimmick still available on the market?

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/17/04 03:53 AM

Well . . . as I feared. Finnish store personel have no idea what 'popcorn salt' is. I even contacted an English friend who imports food stuff into the country and he was no help either (I need new friends!!! :-) I'm still holding out hope with the contact info that Pete offered. If that doesn't work, I'm hoping the blender really works.

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Postby cataquet » 07/17/04 06:56 AM

Fear not, Ray. Just go to Amazon.com and do a search for popcorn salt. You can get a Johnny's Popcorn Salt (4.75 oz) for $1.99 plus shipping. They'll ship to Finland!

Bye for now

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Postby David Nethery » 07/17/04 07:40 AM

Originally posted by rayeden:
Hello all,

I recently got a vernet Insta-Salt gimmick, and I'm having some fun playing with it, but I'd really like a prop that will allow for a longer 'pour' What is the best prop on the market for this effect?

Ray Eden
On Cellini's DVD "Magic That Can Be Performed Anywhere" he teaches a simple, yet effective Long Pour method .

The entire DVD is full of practical material. I think you will be pleased with it and the salt pour method might be what you're looking for .

Steven's Magic Emporium has it . I don't know about shipping costs to Finland . Might be too expensive, though a DVD is light-weight . You can probably find it at a magic shop closer to home.

Anyway, here's the link to Steven's :

http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/sh ... sp?id=4894
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/17/04 07:54 AM

D.T.,

I'm aware of the DVD you mentioned. Right now I need to spend the money on a proper gimmick, so I'm trying to get as much background as I can. I do plan to get the DVD in the near future first.

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/17/04 10:39 AM

There were at least two Paul Fox salt pour gimmicks made. One the big one and a smaller on for close up I guess.

None are available except if a collector decides to sell his. You can check ebay every week.

Others, like James Riser make excellent one too. You could make your own with a plastic or tin hollow ball and drill it to put a kind of thimble with no end on and glue it together with high-quality epoxy two part glue. Or a piece of copper tubing that your finger will fit into for the steal.
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Postby Bob Taxin » 07/17/04 10:46 AM

I've got an old Magic Methods long salt pour gimmick which was designed by Jerry Mentzer. It holds a lot of salt, easily as much as a standard salt shaker, and does not need to be turned over to release the load. It's a great design and very easy to use. I don't know if they're still available. The instructions which came with it were copyright 1979.

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Postby Guest » 07/17/04 10:51 AM

Ray - have you checked out the previous version of this thread on the forum? If not...

http://geniimagazine.com/forum/noncgi/u ... 259#000003

There's scads of good info there, some repeats of course. I have played around with some turkey baster bulbs and been very happy with the results (see thread, Curtis Kam).

Jim Riser later sent me some info and a picture of a new idea in long pour gimmicks and it looks fabulous! Hope he and his partner can work out the manufacture on it. I think he'd make scads of sales off this forum alone!
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/17/04 11:49 AM

Thanks Asrah,

I'll check out that thread. And thanks again to everyone for their imput.

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Postby Bill Palmer » 07/17/04 03:21 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
There were at least two Paul Fox salt pour gimmicks made. One the big one and a smaller on for close up I guess.

None are available except if a collector decides to sell his. You can check ebay every week.

Others, like James Riser make excellent one too. You could make your own with a plastic or tin hollow ball and drill it to put a kind of thimble with no end on and glue it together with high-quality epoxy two part glue. Or a piece of copper tubing that your finger will fit into for the steal.
The first Paul Fox salt gimmick was actually made for Ade Duval as a device for a silk vanish or production. The big one was made later, possibly at the request of Faucett Ross. It was HUGE -- bigger than the Riser Salt Pour Gimmick -- almost too big. The Long Pour can go on too long, if you know what I mean.

Dai Vernon had one of the smaller PF gimmicks when he did his $1000 lecture tour with Joe Cossari. Presley Guitar and Bob White took measurements from it and Pressley produced his all brass gimmick, which was a medium sized one -- about halfway between the two Paul Fox Gimmicks.

The Professor did not like the idea of sticking the finger into the neck of the gimmick in order to steal it. Instead, he preferred to tip it back out of his hand between the fingertips and steal it in the crotch of his thumb as he brushed the excess salt from the top of his fist with his other hand. This was a move he showed us on the lecture tour.

Due to this move, Pressley made the opening in his salt gimmicks too small to take your index finger tip.

There is a lot of history on the Long Pour gimmick in Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram on page 161.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/17/04 10:33 PM

It was a salt pour gimmick that Fawcett Ross "exposed" in front of a group of laymen one night at the Magic Castle by the downstairs bar, that got me p.o'd at Mr. Ross, at which point I lost my respect for him.

Sorry... :mad:
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Postby Guest » 07/18/04 08:53 PM

I found James Riser's Salt Pour Gimmick on his web page.

Popcorn Salt can be bought by the 3 -1/4 oz. shaker, the 24 oz. jar, or the 50 pound bucket.

The last option is available from bakery suppliers for under 10 dollars, and will last a long time, even if you occasionally have popcorn.
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 07/20/04 10:17 AM

I too was impressed with the amount of salt that the Cellini method could hold. I believe he used a rubber ball with a little extra something to help with the illusion.
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Postby Dick Koornwinder » 07/20/04 07:35 PM

Hi Folks,

I have followed with interest this thread and also the other one.
(http://geniimagazine.com/forum/noncgi/u ... 259#000003 ) Later this week Ill try to do a posting about the long salt pour. Im not sure yet if Ill expose the type/brand of salt Kaps was using. I think only if you have studied seriously and played with such a routine for several time (years??) it is worthwhile to have that extra information about the proper salt. OK Kaps was not using popcorn salt. It was and is a type of salt still commercial available and it is also suitable for human consumption. After the release of the Kaps DVD ( www.fredkapsdvd.com ) I have told a couple of times to journalists, and this is a true and amusing story, Kaps bought a lifetime supply of salt and it was all stored on the top shelves of a closet (a nice dry place) in the living room - Pete, it was that closet next to the TV set as you maybe remember - and Nelly, the widow of Kaps, has used all that salt till many, many years after the death of her husband.
Stay tuned, as Pete used to say, and maybe more later this week. BTW I like cliff-hangers!

Dick Koornwinder

PS. Mr Eden I have received your message and Ill send you a PM
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Postby Kent Blackmore » 07/20/04 07:41 PM

Just a quick note that "The Ganson Book" published by Supreme also has a Salt Pour routine involving a squash ball.
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/20/04 11:34 PM

Mr. Koornwinder,

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Postby David Alexander » 07/25/04 11:54 AM

The problem with the long salt pour is not the gimmick used to hold the salt. (Almost anything can be used that will hold a quantity of salt - a baby syringe on a pull works well and your hand is empty at the end.) The problem is two-fold....setting it up so the audience knows what you're about to do....it's difficulty, etc. and, the most important consideration: what to do with the salt after it's been "poured"? No one seems to have mentioned that, yet if you are a working professional, such attention to detail could mean the difference between keeping a gig and losing it.

If you're working a night club, and if dancers or a novelty act follow you, you'll do the salt pour once and that will be that. Professionals don't leave messes for other performers to step on.

Paying a stage hand to come out and sweep up is an inelegant solution, can draw unwanted laughs, and the show's director might object.

There have been several solutions to this....holding a small tray to catch most of the salt is one...but the most elegant and practical was used by Frakson who, unknown to most, performed the salt trick at one point in his career.

Frakson would lay down a three-foot square of black velvet to catch the dropped salt. The dark color also helped make the salt visible. An assistant or showgirl paid for her trouble can come out and fold the cloth, eliminating the mess from the stage.

Failure to do this, even on a club show, can result in the potential for injury to other performers or spectators who come on stage and step on the tiny ball bearings that loose salt can become.
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Postby John Smallie » 07/26/04 10:28 AM

If popcorn salt is unavailable you might wish to try pickling salt. It's just as fine and usually cheaper.
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