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Table Lifters

Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 6:11 pm
by Lee Almond
Hello All,
I am looking for printed material on a practical table lifter. Anyone out there who has advice and or experience with a lifter would be appriciated. Keep in mind from what limited reading I have done on the subject the table would only be as heavy as a square card (light?) table. Many thanks in advance.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 6:26 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Paging Eusapia Palladino!

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 7:31 pm
by Pete Biro
Yu mean a floating table? If so go to the Magic Emporium in Wichita and ask for Francisco's Floating Table. It is for a regular ungimmicked card table.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 15th, 2008, 4:36 pm
by Maritess
I always thought it would be so easy to discard the ol' table lifter apparatus and just use Losander's table, any model you like, as it appears to be so fair and you don't have to load yourself down. If you need details on this, PM me, but I think it's pretty self explanatory.

If you insist on doing table lifting, it's a matter of trial and error. There are lots of very old books with diagrams of this, but I'm sure that with you and a designer friend of yours you can come up with something much more ingenious and lighter, using modern materials.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 15th, 2008, 4:54 pm
by Brad Henderson
A losander table would hardly perform adequately in the traditional environment of a realistic seance. Great stage piece. Not for the seance room (if you are going for realism).


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 15th, 2008, 6:01 pm
by David Alexander
Brad is absolutely correct. For "realistic" work, the Losander table is not the way to go.

Corinda has a method, if I remember correctly. Another good source for a spectacular presentation (if you have the time and strong personality) is Dr. Q's Gyrating Tables. It's an old manuscript...don't know where you'll find it, but if you do, it explains everything.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 15th, 2008, 9:20 pm
by David Britland
Dr Q's Gyrating Tables routine was reprinted in Vol 5 of Ormond McGill's Psychic Magic series. It was published by Abbott's in the US and Supreme in the UK so there are probably plenty of copies around. I wonder if this was the inspiration for Kreskin's presentation of table tipping.

David Berglas describes his table levitation routine in The Mind and Magic of David Berglas. The gimmicks aren't described but as Maritess suggested earlier trial and error will easily lead to a solution that will work. They don't have to be particularly elaborate. It's the presentation that makes the trick effective.

Some years ago I attended a 'real' spirit seance that featured some table tipping. However, the table was on castors, so it spun around rather than tipped, at least for most of the presentation. Very effective though and it had the assisting spectators running around it in order to apparently catch up.

The finale consisted of the table moving around the room, under the control of four or five spectators, within an outer circle of people who were sitting on chairs. It then moved to a nominated person in that outer circle and tipped towards them allowing a rose to slip off the table and into their lap. Nice touch.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 16th, 2008, 8:48 am
by Maritess
Don't harsh my mellow boys. Never say never.
The answer is yes you can do a seance with the losander table, it's all in the presentation.
That said, I combine other techniques as well and use different tables too.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 16th, 2008, 11:15 am
by Brad Henderson
Maritess wrote:Don't harsh my mellow boys.

Then don't say silly things, girl.

Why don't you explain to us how table tipping is traditionally used in a "real" seance and then you can share how you made the Losander work in recreating that situation.

Maybe you shouldn't type when mellow. Perhaps that was the problem.


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 16th, 2008, 4:06 pm
by Maritess
misogyny. Ya gotta love it--boy! ;)

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 16th, 2008, 4:23 pm
by Brad Henderson
Maritess wrote:misogyny. Ya gotta love it--boy! ;)

If I am not mistaken, you were the one who identified us by our gender, thereby placing your own into relief. You are also the person who gave a stunning example of the double standard women expect to be held to in the other thread.

I don't care that you are a female.

Your ideas are either good/bad/right/wrong regardless of your anatomy or gender.

In this case you have made a statement which I and others believe to be wrong. I asked if you would establish your understanding of table tipping in an historical/traditional context and how your idea of using a Losander table would replicate that. Instead of answering it with content, you call names.

Nothing like setting the bar for others to reach for.


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 17th, 2008, 1:55 am
by Diego
Robert Nelson sold a mms for the Gyrating Tables, as did Thayer Studios, sold William Larsen's mms, decades ago.

Done by the right person with the right audience, it can have an amazing effect, as several tables, (with the volunteers) move about a floor/stage, as if they were part of a demolition derby.
I can remember Kreskin doing it on The Mike Douglas show, with suburban housewives and celebrity guests at the tables, and decades later, Kreskin doing it on The Howard Stern show, with recruits from a local methadone clinic, and wowing Howard and Robyn.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 17th, 2008, 11:13 am
by Tony Razzano
The problem with Losander's table in a seance setting is that the performer/medium must have contact with the table...or rather the cloth...or use a stooge.

I, personally, would rather avoid that, and not touch the table/cloth at all, having only the spectators touch it.

Maritess, can you give us some idea, without tipping anything (pun intended), as to how you avoid this or if you don't avoid it, your philosophy on it?


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 12:23 pm
by Tony Razzano

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 2:21 pm
by ChristianCagigal
Ok, I'm jumping in here for the sake of brainstorming...nothing else. Also, Lee, I'm sorry this has gone off topic for you but thankfully there were some great suggestions above.

Ok back to
Losander table float...
Very magical and fanastical; and the way Losander handles it you almost expect the table to start dancing and singing a refrain from Be Our Guest, LOVE IT!

While that effect can be quite captivating and even jaw dropping for some, if you want to you use it in a Seance or "There might be spirits" kind of presentation then, yes it is true, the Losander table wouldn't be the best choice. Less would be more (as I believe it to be so far.)

What if?
You are performing for just a few people....maybe one other...maybe 3 others.

Maybe 4 people (including yourself) have been standing around this little table in some darkened corner of some creepy place. It contains some creepy items from our spirit friends life. (Of course nothing too heavy right.) You do a couple of subtle demonstrations of connections to the spirit world or each other, choose your favorite methods here ;)

Especially if one was communicating with a child, then the small table could be justified along with maybe a couple of small cheap plastic toys or the ol' school metal toy cars (the ones that are just shape of a car not like a Hotwheel), maybe mini slates too.

When it comes time to make the table lift happen, you and the Person 1 across from you hold onto the corners of the cloth. Then Persons 2 and 3 (on your right and left)rest their hands on your hands and Person 1's hands. Or, maybe Persons 2 and 3 hold onto the long edge of the of cloth on their respective side.

Maybe if you engage the table just enough the little toy car will roll off or across the table on it's own.....

You could make the table float but just a couple of inches nothing more. Maybe you give a slieght tweek with that cool "curving in motion" you can do with it. But, again, not big just tiny and subtle enough. All of this requires experimentation in front of a mirror to get the right movements and feel down but it could be quite nice.

Add a picture and an (affixed) candle to the table and your golden (although Losander does sell them with a wonderful candle subtlety added to the table).

So car rolls, table moves, maybe reacts negatively to a question by doing that little "curving in move". Hit's the ground (becareful). Maybe hitting the ground is enough to make the little candle go out (again becarful) (PS I forgot how to spell "becareful".

Then you lift the slates and maybe there's a message along with the photo you placed someplace for safe keeping but seems to have materialized in the mini slates on the table that just moved and freaked everyone out....

Ok for the purists it's not the traditional tie me up tie me down mediumship but I'm brainstorming here.....


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 22nd, 2008, 12:31 am
by Greg Edmonds
If you're doing a classic (Spiritualist) type table "lifting," wherein only a portion (typically one side, sometimes three) leave(s) the floor, but no actual "levitation" takes place, you might be well-served to look at the old late 19th and early 20th century resources.

Eddie Joseph, according to the introduction in his work on the subject, was a complete "shut eye" when learning the table lifting/dancing technique. It's actually better to employ a table that's heavier than the card variety (the folding legs would be a problem, too) for the table tipping and moving exercises actually encountered in seance work (Ms. Pallidino being the obvious exception).

I have the old Joseph manuscript somewhere (I think), and I believe it's one of the better on the topic. Sorry I can't recall the name at the moment. The "lifting" apparatus sold by Stevens, and earlier versions involving body "hook-ups" produced in the last century, are usually very clever and will probably work for the application I think you desire.

My personal favorite is the method produced by Thayer, now Owens, and others. Craig Karges has very effectively made a signature piece of this over the years. Most professional agents regard the version as his, I think it's good to keep in mind.


Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 22nd, 2008, 1:34 pm
by Naphtalia
I've only had one opportunity to play with a Losander-type table. While I could easily see it being incorporated in a seance, I would not see it being used for a table-lifting or tipping; it's too delicate an apparatus.

In my limited experiences with seances, there is usually a group sitting about. Most either have people holding hands or with hands laid flat on the table. Either situation, would limit the controlability of a floating table.

The only seance I ever performed was for a very small group around a light bridge table. I achieved a table tipping effect by hiding a couple of hot-water bottles that were partially blown up under the area rug at the two corners nearest me. When I wanted the table to lift, I simply stepped on one or the other. Low-tech, to be sure, but it achieved the desired effect.

Suspect this doesn't help anyone interested in investing in a real table-lifter....but wanted to share for those who might be doing a one-time presentation.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: September 22nd, 2008, 11:13 pm
by magicalt
There are several methods discribe in various books depending on what gimmicks you want to use. 13 Steps to Mentalism Step 9 Pg. 291 Section 18 Table lift. The Mental Mysteries and Other Writings of William Larsen Sr. Pg. 189 Chapter 22 Dr. Q's Gyrating Tables. Phychophysiological Thought Reading Pg. 71 Chapter 4 Table Tiliting. House of Mystery Pg. 549 Chapter 3 The Spiritualistic Table. Mind and Magic of David Berglas Pg. 242 Section 32 The Table Levitation. The last book does not give away any secrets per say and some of these routines depend on the preformer so I hope this helps.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: October 2nd, 2008, 1:52 pm
by Joe Z
Greg Edmonds wrote:I have the old Joseph manuscript somewhere (I think), and I believe it's one of the better on the topic. Sorry I can't recall the name at the moment.

Greg: I believe the Eddie Joseph manuscript you mention is "Come Good Spirits," which Abbotts published in 1948. It indeed is a seminal work on table tipping.

Joe Z.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: October 28th, 2008, 8:38 pm
by Lee Almond
I want to thank everyone for the advice and apologize for my late response. What a great effect for Halloween! I plan on performing this using a square card table and four spectators. The table will only lift six to eight inches and then float back down. No prolonged lift, just enough to give the desired effect. Again, thanks to all the reply's and have a very good Halloween.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: February 14th, 2011, 9:12 am
by Xavier
This is a dead topic... However I just worked as a creatfor Consultant for a movie. I was extremely happy with the lifters I purchased from elmsley magic in NY. They work great. Lifted a 100 lbs table no problem. The staff there was extremely helpful as well. Thanks elmsley guys...

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: February 14th, 2011, 9:58 am
by Xavier
Sorry been a late night. The company Is elmwoodmagic

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: February 18th, 2011, 11:35 am
by M.Lee
VINI's Moving Company
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Bklyn , NY
$50.00 per hr mim 3 hrs !
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Re: Table Lifters

Posted: April 19th, 2011, 7:27 pm
by Xavier
I forget about verglas and how he made a huge name for himself with these. I smell a publicity stunt brewing...

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: April 19th, 2011, 8:09 pm
by Richard Kaufman
It's "Berglas," with a "B." He did a table levitation, but not a floating table like Losander.

Re: Table Lifters

Posted: November 2nd, 2011, 8:30 am
by Dale Shrimpton
Its better to do this un gaffed.Very easy too.
I know, because i have had tables tipping, and walking across a seance parlour several times. Its a knack... but like i say, it's an easy one to learn. you just have to learn how to respect Gravity. ;)