Salt Pour

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Postby Guest » 03/26/04 12:18 PM

Hey gents, I'm looking for some salt pour info/suggestions... In particular, Fred Kaps version; Was his routine ever published? Gimmick/Marketed?

I understand Cellini has an outstanding method and I'm awaiting his latest DVD to check it out...

But until then,
Any other suggestions?

I'd like a method that produces REALLY long pour... a thumbtip isn't enough.

Note: Aside from the routines mentioned above, I'm familiar with the Rick Anderson thing(from "Spectacle") and the Vernet gimmick M.O.
but that's about it.

Any help/info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Doug Conn
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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/26/04 12:51 PM

Doug,
If you get your ass up here to Seattle we'll have Rick Anderson do his version for you.

It NEVER runs out of salt!
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Postby Guest » 03/26/04 12:57 PM

I'm with you, D. Conn... I've been looking for the same thing you are. I haven't been pleased with anything I've found yet. The closest I've come is constructing my own gimmick. I wanted to be able to empty the shaker into my fist, steal it with the other hand, and start the pour from the bottom with no 'hand washing.'

I took the Vernet gimmick (which is the sphere with the slit "valve" and added a cut-off t-tip to the top so I could accomodate the extra salt from the shaker - then pour it out of the bottom. I like this gimmick the best of any - except that the slit bottom is not sure enough in closing. It always leaks a small stream...

I even tried the salt-less Rick Anderson "Solid State" salt pour method. I love it, but it's not a good fit for what I want to do.

My dream is that someday Jim Riser will build a gimmick like I describe from metal, with a sure closing/easy opening pour hole. How about it, Jim?

BTW - I always use popcorn salt - it's finer grain and flows better!

Good luck and let me know what else you find! I'm always (like Karrell Fox) looking for salt pour method #22! --Asrah
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Postby Curtis Kam » 03/26/04 02:01 PM

Hey guys, I wanted just about the same thing years ago, and this worked very well: Get yourself a turkey baster. That's right, it looks like a giant eye dropper, with a really tough rubber bulb on the end.

Take the bulb off, cut off a section from its neck to make the thing short enough to fit your hand. Jam the cut-off part back into the neck to firm it up. (this needs to be rigid for the usual steal) Cut a slit across the bottom. Bingo, you've got a large load gaff that purs automatically out the bottom.

I reccommend the handling in Ross Bertram's first book. He also has a photo of all sorts of gaffs, all lined up, from a simple cylinder to the Paul Fox long pour.
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Postby Frank Yuen » 03/26/04 03:09 PM

I've never tried it but in John Moehring's book, A Texan Trixter there is a version that reads very well.

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Postby BrendanK » 03/26/04 03:22 PM

Craig R Dickson tipped << ear syringes or nasal aspirators>> as gimmicks for a l o o o o ng salt pour.

Preparation details in his notes "for the entertainer"

This was in a lecture Blackpool UK 1999.
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Postby Guest » 03/26/04 03:34 PM

From pop-corn salt to turkey basters...
All good info, thanks gents.

I hear the Cellini method uses a baster/aspirator as a loop-ball (which sounds great!) As mentioned, this should be on his new DVD (available soon.) When I get my hands on a copy, I'll post my thoughts on the M.O. here.

Bill,
I like the Anderson M.O. But for my purposes (busking, in the case of the salt pour) I don't think it would stand the heat... I want/need people to be able to KNOW it's salt. Regardless, I'll put "watch Rick Anderson" on the list of things to do in Seattle.
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Postby Jim Riser » 03/26/04 04:29 PM

FYI - here's the version that I am currently making (when I find the time):
http://jamesriser.com/Magic/SaltGimmick1SmWeb.jpg

Asrah, the problem with flow valves is that the fine grains of salt tend to jam such mechanisms - especially sliding valves.
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Postby David Nethery » 03/26/04 04:54 PM

I'm always (like Karrell Fox) looking for salt pour method #22!
Fox's idea (in one of his books) of using a modified standard 35mm film canister (black plastic, but covered with flesh colored Band-Aids ) works very good .
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Postby David Nethery » 03/26/04 04:56 PM

But I must say that the Jim Riser gimmick (See his linked images) looks great . Just from the photos I can feel that thing in my hand and it looks like it handles so smooth .

Very nice.
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Postby Erik Hemming » 03/26/04 08:12 PM

Regarding the Riser salt-pour...

Speaking from experience--though reluctantly because I live in perpetual fear that he'll attract so much high-caliber business that the occasional piddling order I place will be squeezed out--it's better.

As with all of Mr. Riser's handiwork, it feels--and, more importantly, performs--better than it looks.

(And it looks--in my humble opinion--beautiful. It is absolutely appropriate to it's function.)

That being said, leave the poor man alone.

He has too much to do already. He's simply a glutton for punishment.

Reluctantly,

Gordo
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/28/04 12:55 PM

Fred Kaps used the Paul Fox gimmick and popcorn salt. Nothing more, nothing less.

As with all of his magic, the methods were the simplest and the acting was the best.

Presentation, presentation, presentation are the three most important ingredients.
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Postby David Nethery » 03/28/04 02:40 PM

Off topic for Long Pour ----

but I was wondering if anyone currently sells the Al Baker Salt Shaker ? (page 577 , "The Secret Ways of Al Baker " )

Forming the inner gimmick is a little trickier than it looks like in the book. It would be nice to have a place to buy some pre-made , so when the old one cracks or discolors it would be simple to replace .
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Postby Guest » 03/28/04 06:33 PM

Jimmie King at MAK used to make them... I bought one a couple of years ago from Jerry Mentzer - from a close-out bin. He may have another hanging around. Try
magicmethodsonline.com
and see if he does... Asrah
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Postby Guest » 03/29/04 01:46 PM

Is this similar to the "Ethereal Salt" gimmick?

for an example, see this page:
http://www.vikingmagic.com/cgi-bin/dc.p ... 0&options=
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Postby David Nethery » 03/29/04 05:25 PM

Yes and no.


Al Baker's salt shaker is a gimmicked shaker that shares some similarities to the later Vernet Ethereal Salt , but is superior in my opinion. Both are essentially a "Milk Pitcher" principle .
Vernet's Ethereal Salt shaker suffers from a design/logic flaw , which is that when the salt is poured out of the shaker the cap is not removed from the shaker . If you think about it that is a very awkward way to pout salt out of a shaker . The natural way is to remove the cap entirely, then pour or dump the salt into your hand or a hankerchief prior to vanishing the salt. A sort of acceptable compromise with the Ethereal Salt shaker is to mime "shaking" the salt out and do it very gradually , as it would take a bit of time to actually shake out all that salt . Then after all the salt has been shaken out show the shaker empty and go on with the vanish.

The Baker salt shaker , by contrast is very clean . Just take off the cap and pour it into the closed fist . Then vanish the salt.

However , the Baker shaker does not have the ability to have the salt reappear in the shaker like Vernet's , so there are strengths and weaknesses to both versions.

Vernet's also used to be more valuable in that they supplied you with two shakers, a gimmicked one and an identical ungimmicked one , which opened up more possibilities for routining . The ungimmicked one could be shown , then switched out for the gimmicked shaker . Unfortunately, the Vernet Co. no longer supplies the trick with an extra (ungimmicked) shaker . You only get the gimmicked one .
The Vernet shaker design is unique to their trick, so it is not a commonly available design that can just be picked up anywhere (like at Target, or Bed, Bath , and Beyond, the world's greatest magic shops) . Baker's uses a common design, so an ungimmicked shaker can easily be obtained and used in conjunction with the gimmicked one.

Martinka's Auctions had an Al Baker model up on auction recently . Here's a link that should still be good . As you can see it is the "classic" glass shaker design . The part that is difficult is making the gimmick so it fits the inside .

Al Baker-style Salt Shaker

Baker's method could also be applied to a shaker design that is more of a straight cylinder (parallel sides, instead of sloping).
Not quite as effective as that "tall" sloping sides design, the classic salt shaker seen in thousands of coffee shops and restaurants . The taller shaker seems to hold more salt , so it gives the illusion a little more punch when all that salt vanishes from the hand .
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Postby Curtis Kam » 03/29/04 06:17 PM

While we're all here talking about it, I want to tell you about an additional use for the Al Baker style shaker. I found a plastic version of the cylindrical glass sugar dispenser that was popular in roadside diners. Only this one was smaller, rather squat, just about the right size to hold my Turkey-Baster LPS gaff. So...

...I cut out the bottom, and rigged up the standard double-walled arrangement. This left a big empty space that was hidden by salt. The Baster was loaded in from the bottom, and with this set up, one could start the routine with completely empty hands, pick up the shaker, steal the gaff and go straight to town.

If you remember the top of the diner sugar dispenser, it had a little flap coveing the tip, but the flow of sugar was otherwise unobstructed. No need to tape off the top in this version, just steal and pour.

If this sounds useful to you, please go ahead and use it. You still won't be doing my routine, since the last changes I made were to do the routine not with salt or sugar, but cheap nondairy creamer. This will mean something to some of you, I think. Suffice it to say that the long pour was made over an open flame.

Best wishes,

Curtis
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Postby David Nethery » 03/29/04 07:19 PM

Excellent idea, Curtis. (the sugar dispenser).
That would be easier to gimmick because of the straight sides.
(to gimmick a la Al Baker salt shaker )

Thanks for sharing . The idea of using that space for concealing the LPS gaff is very clever . That one reminds me more of the Tannen "Salt Go" shaker . That one worked so that you steal the gaff out the bottom of the shaker .

I never know how far is too far in discussing methods here.
This is technically a "public board" , anyone can look in , but hopefully none of this talk would make any sense to the person who just wanders in here .
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Postby David Alexander » 04/02/04 08:45 PM

If you're going to do the trick, it's best to put some covering on the stage or floor, as a courtesy to your host/hostess or acts that follow, or for yourself to keep you from slipping on the salt and looking like a fool.

Frakson did this trick many years ago and put down a large square of black cloth, velvet perhaps. In addition to a fast and easy clean up, it helped make the salt more visible.

The major flaw in the trick, in my opinion, is not setting it up in advance, explaining to the audience that sleight of hand with a substance like salt is the height of difficulty, etc.

Proper lighting is also crucial as is keeping it in front of dark trousers for visibility.

Then there's the Roy Benson gimmick that worked very well but, to my knowledge, was never available commercially. I believe one or two fetched high prices on eBay over the last year. A friend once told me how Benson made them. Clever and practical as his performances showed.
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Postby Guest » 04/03/04 06:45 AM

I own several of Roy Benson's Long Pour Salt gimmicks. I obtained them shortly after his wife Connye Benson passed on. He experimented with different types of materials and shapes. He used made over film canisters, and some he made out of celastic. (I also have his original Bowl made from this material for his Benson Bowl routine.) I showed one of the salt gimmicks to George Robinson of Viking Magic and believe he is still working on the mold and to be produced in aluminum.

There was an original salt gimmick made and used by Benson on Martinka.com a few months back that went for over $500-. There was one on eBay several years back that was purported to be Benson's but it wasn't.

Most of the other Roy Benson items I had, I sold to David Copperfield in 1996.
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Postby David Alexander » 04/03/04 11:43 PM

Years ago, a friend of Benson's described in detail how the gimmick was made from silastic or cilastic (sp?), moulded into his hand, giving him the most space. Very clever.

Also many years ago, I was in the hotel room of a well-educated magician who told me to open a bureau drawer because he had "every salt pour gimmick in the world." From what I could see, other than the Benson gimmick, he had them all.

One of the more practical one's, I thought, was a baby's ear syringe on an elastic pull for disposal. I believe Kaps ditched his in his profondes. Biro would know better than me, but that's what it always looked like to me at the end of Fred's routine.

Then there was Dr. Boris Zola's gimmick...a marvelous rubber thumb that could be worn, used and worn again when you were done, with the audience never suspecting. Very clever. They used to sell for $4.
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Postby Guest » 04/04/04 02:53 PM

I bought the Bensons gimmick at last December Martinkas auction. Its capacity is a little under the Pressley Guitars one and about half the capacity of Paul Fox or Jim Risers.

I am working on the idea of having a magnet in right rear hip pocket and getting rid of the gimmick at the end with similar gesture as Kaps .Of course this needs a Gimmick made out of steel , tinetc ..Or to fix a pece of steel to a standard one..
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/04/04 06:46 PM

What was the shape of the Benson gimmick? I have seen him do it, but never figured out how he ended clean.

Yes, Kaps ditched his in his tails.
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 12:05 AM

Pete, you may still see how the Benson gimmick I bought looks like in the link below

http://www.martinka.com/Auction/APViewItem.asp?ID=1886

It is 54.5 mm high..This particular one shows a different color zone at the top, around its opening. I gess a part that shoud be there is missing. In the state it is very slippery and difficult to be held in the thumb palm.

Doug, could you tell if other samples have a different neck I would like to get a photo of some other one.
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 03:40 PM

Looks like there is a part missing at the top of the gimmick. It should flare out slightly at the top so as to allow smooth entry of the salt when poured in. Despite this, it definitely is one of Benson's Salt gimmicks. Benson never stole the gimmick in thumb palm/clip position. He stole it with the middle finger. The opening at the top is exactly the diameter of a dime.
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 06:18 PM

Thanks Doug, that is what I thought. I had not doubts about its authenticity, and am happy with it like it is
Just trying to get some additional information.

BTW does some one know if there is any avaikable footage of Benson doing the salt pour?

And where to get the suitable pop corn salt ?
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 06:41 PM

Popcorn salt can be purchased in the U.S. from

carnival concession supplies companys and I think

I even saw it in Sam's Club. They have 50# bags
bulk popcorn.Also theater concession supplies for

theaters that pop their own.Popcorn salt is the

consistency of talcum powder.........Mike
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 06:58 PM

Roy did the Long Pour Salt on Paul Tripp's "It's Magic" show in 1955. Also on The Gary Moore Show in the mid sixties. It was his closer. He was good friends with Gary Moore and appeared on his show several times. Roy even bought stock with the show's sponser, Alcoa Aluminum.

As to the popcorn salt, the above post is valuable.

To make it really effective and visual, Benson put small silver fragments in with the salt. The sparkle at intervals could be seen at a great distance. He used the salt over and over as he placed a black silk on the stage floor. Afterwards, he would just gather it up and use it over again.

If you get hold of the above mentioned footage, you will see that he didn't end 'clean' at all after the salt pour. BUT, he covered it beautifully.
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Postby Guest » 04/05/04 07:08 PM

I buy my popcorn salt at the grocery store. Poke around the salt and spice area. I buy a large spice bottle size container made by Reese (like the peanut butter cup)... also look around the 'gourmet' section. --Asrah
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Postby Guest » 04/10/04 07:55 PM

Curtis Cam's suggestion with the turkey baster (and cut off tube) seems to be the way to go...

However, I'd like to know more about the film cannister thingamagig...

Can someone tell me where this was printed?
A Karrel Fox book right?
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Postby David Nethery » 04/11/04 08:05 AM

Originally posted by D. Conn:
Curtis Cam's suggestion with the turkey baster (and cut off tube) seems to be the way to go...

However, I'd like to know more about the film cannister thingamagig...

Can someone tell me where this was printed?
A Karrel Fox book right?
I looked it up :

It's in Fox's book "Much Ado About Something" , published by Kaufman & Greenberg, 1995 .

Page 132 - 133 Fox Passes The Salt .
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Postby C. Hampton » 04/11/04 08:26 AM

I've heard that marble dust can be used instead of salt, successfully. I have not try this method, but I will think that this dust will not cling together as much as the salt grains will do with a little humidity, always present everywhere.
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Postby Jim Riser » 04/11/04 10:24 AM

I would suggest using glass beads rather than salt. These fine glass beads are used in the sign business for making reflective signs and in the blasting business (as in sand blasting) for cleaning and creating specific metal finishes. For our use in the long pour salt trick, they can be reused, washed, dried, etc. forever - just add a little more as you lose some.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/11/04 10:53 AM

When I was in the sign painting biz, I believe the material was called SMALTS or SMALTZ. It came in many colors. You painted on an adhesive, then poured the SMALTZ material on and it would adhere making a letter that would "reflect" at night and be visible.

I think 3M developed it farther and came out with "Scotchlight"??
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/11/04 10:55 AM

But, I repeat, Kaps used Popcorn Salt... the texture, flow, look, etc. was what he wanted to be right.

There was a terrific act (but some flaws hurt) at the last WMS in Las Vegas that did a complete act AT THE BEACH with surf boards, etc. and did a wild and crazy SALT POUR time routine with SAND from the beach... it came and came and came and came... from everywhere.

I loved it... but some of their technique was flawed, but the concept and set was great. :D
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 09:55 PM

Here's the latest version that I am making of the long pour salt gimmick. It is an improved version of the model I made and sold from 1970's through 1990's.:

http://jamesriser.com/Magic/ClassicSalt/Gimmick1549.jpg

You will see this general shape mentioned in the new Roy Benson book.

Jim
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 10:40 PM

If anyone who hasn't done this before wants to learn how do this, I recommend the Salt Pour work on this DVD set here: The Merlin Classic Workers Series.

THE SALT POUR Merlin uses this effect as a closer and its easy to see why. Brilliant technique combined with a spectacular finish makes this routine an unforgettable audience favourite. Various gimmicks and handlings are examined, the salt vanish and reappearance is dissected in great detail and the long pour is completely explained.
I've seen him demonstrate it in a lecture setting, and he knows how it should be done as well as anyone.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/25/06 10:19 AM

There's a duo act at the Castle right now that produced pounds of salt.
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Postby Guest » 06/26/06 01:46 PM

A couple of months ago, Jeff Hobson published his wonderful salt-pour routine in the Linking Ring. Worth checking out.

The Riser salt gimmick is worth every penny!

Keith
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Postby Michael Close » 06/26/06 04:13 PM

There's a duo act at the Castle right now that produced pounds of salt.
I didn't realize that Lot and his wife were still working.


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