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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Workshop Tips (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gimpy2
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Yes Michael the thin 1/64" in a 12"x 24" runs $20 the thicker is half that. The parts I make with the thin stuff are very small so one sheet goes a long way. I also make a practice of hitting a glued up sheet of thicker stuff with a light over spray of paint so it dosent get mixed in with the regular falls.
Michael Baker
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The thin stuff is also great as shim material, when you need to tighten the fit, build up under a piece of hardware, or when you need to develop angles. You can build up layers to achieve the desired result, even with micro stair steps, then "skin" it over to get an unblemished surface.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Ray Tupper.
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Michael mentioned "Timber mate", on the previous page, as a good water based grain filler.
Water based fillers can be "fanneyed about with", as we say in the trade, to give a harder, less porous, and all round better
finish, giving you the opportunity to use a water based paint/ sealer straight onto it.
If you add "Cascamite", which is a powdered resin glue, to the filler and mix well, adding a drop of water, you'll
have a very workable outstanding filler.
I tend to mix it about two parts filler, to one part Cascamite. The working time is about twenty minutes, then it
starts to become a bit too stiff. Obviously, the mix hardens. So only mix what you need.
As a side note, there are also resin impregnated papers, which can be glued to grainy timbers, that give a great base for painting.
"Swedotec" is one that I've used. After application of the paper, just hit it with 240 grit paper and a good flat sanding block.
I apply the paper to the substrate, with PVA and a veneer iron.
I'm sure all these products will be available in the States, but probably under a different trade name.
Cheers, Ray.
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A cure for tourettes!
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Michael Baker
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Thanks, Ray. That gives me some more options.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
sammagic
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Before I start I am not advertising any company.

Michael I work for a company that supplies timber mate, not the one that you use but we manufacture it ourselves. Brilliant stuff if you use it for the right application.

Im willing to offer advice for anyone that needs it, as a screw is not just a screw and a glue is not just a glue, there are so many different types out there and some are ideal for what we do. Im not here to adverise the company as we only supply commercial businesses but we do some good stuff.

Examples are screws where you can screw it in within millimeters of a corner joint where the wood will not split, wood screws where you don't need to pre drill, fexible glues after they have set in different colours, a screw that has been manufactured for screwing two boards together, so no sepration and spinning of one part when you are trying to connect them.

If anyone is UK based I can get things for you cost price, and by that I mean really cheap and it is top quality stuff (and no I wont charge extra, I'll just order it on my personal account, but I will have to charge you postage though)

We area global company so if there are US or people from any other countries that may be interested I can put you in touch with people, and if you mention my name they will probably allow you to purchase stuff.

As mentioned above if anyone want advice on anything regarding fixings etc, I'll try and help if I can.
gimpy2
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Heres a tip I saw on the today show and thought it was worth trying. I use a lot of duct tape and sometimes want to cut it in perfect shapes. This is made easy by first sticking the tape to parchment paper. Then you can draw your pattern on the parchment and cut without the tape getting stuck to your scissors. Just tried it and it works great. This works just as well with masking tape would be e great way to make detailed stencils or decals.
Michael Baker
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Gimpy, I can think of some good applications for this. Thanks.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
malaki
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2012, mvmagic wrote:
Certainly!

Lets say you need to make a frame of certain size. Just place your wood on the sheet metal and put magnets around the pieces (I usually use two magnets on both sides of the wood) to keep them in place while gluing. If your magnets are square and large enough, you can use them at the corners as well.

You can customize your sheet by drawing straight lines at intervals of your liking (use a straight edge) to have guides on it.

Instead of just magnets, you can get varying lengths of steel or aluminum angle (I have 2" by 2" angle) to make yourself jig pieces. Get some round magnets, drill corresponding size holes on the angle, make sure the magnets are flush with the bottom surface of the angle and from the top, glue them into place with a generous amount of epoxy (or whatever you like).

You can also take two identical pieces of steel plate and put a few magnets between them to make an instant jig piece which will stick to the "main plate" as well.

Really your imagination is the limit here! You really can create jigs for almost any need with a system like this. You can add magnets to existing clamps to further expand the possibilities.

I got the inspiration years ago from this product:

http://www.micromark.com/magnetic-gluing......038.html (Cut and paste, the comma breaks the link)



An even better idea is to use switchable magnets. These are now available through Woodcraft and other dealers. It is a magnet in a housing that will not be magnetic until a switch is turned 180 degrees, at which point it becomes a VERY strong magnet! These magnets have mounting holes that can be attached to extruded aluminum and used as a fence. I have attached two to a cross slide. With the cross slide attached, I can pick up the 1/2" thick steel plate that I use as a working surface for my fluting jig. Highly recommended for jigs in the shop!
malaki
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Try this:

Take an old hack saw blade and attach it to the front face of your bench (teeth down) with some washers and dry wall screws. Use the washers to shim the blade away from the bench.

When the need arises to cut down a sheet of sandpaper, fold it (grit outwards), then feed one side up through the blade so that the fold is against the teeth of the saw blade. The paper will tear perfectly along the fold, if you start at one end. This prevents waste due to mis-cut/torn paper, allowing you to use all four sheets on your 1/4 sheet sander.

I also keep an old letter rack (intended for snail mail) on the wall behind my lathe. This allows me to keep my sandpaper organized according to grit, and well within reach.
Michael Baker
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Good tips, Malaki. I have an 8x12 steel square that I use as an edge to tear sandpaper sheets. Lay the sandpaper flat on a table. Place the square on it where you want the tear, hold it down and pull up from one free end of the paper.

Speaking of sandpaper and lathes... Take an old, worn sanding belt, and cut it into long strips of varying widths. These are good for sanding the tight inside corners and the cloth backing makes them extremely durable.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
gimpy2
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Small spring hinges are impossible to find and a pain to make. In some applications like the one I'm working on now a spring hinge can be substituted with a spring toggle off a wall anchor. Come in several sizes and spring strength. Works as the hinge and spring.
Michael Baker
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I've seen those used on Botanias. Next time I make a Card Star, I might try those.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
David_N
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When preparing aluminium trim for a prop I prefer the brushed metal look. I have found an easily available device at my local DIY/home improvement store which produces excellent results. It is called a polycarbide abrasive disc. It is 4" across with a stem to put in your pistol drill. It is far less aggressive than a wire brush and produces a great brushed metal effect; just clamp the flatbar or angle to your workbench and keep the disc in constant motion up and down the length of the metal. I found it works best in a more powerful corded drill and don't set the speed too high or you end up getting hot spots on the workpiece.
Michael Baker
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Thank you for the tip, David_N!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Blackington
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LOL...Michael you do wonderful work. From my artist's perspective, I can appreciate that you're doing so much in a confined space. One's powers of concentration can indeed become very focused in a small work space. Speaking from my own experience in Art school, the small space has it's drawbacks. However, at the same time, it can aid in pushing a project toward completion -- in other words, 'small' is workable, and it's a very special space!

Aside from that -- I wish I'd payed more attention to building boxes etc. I love the discussion-- and it's constructively endearing to hear that you're doing so much by trial and error. That particular form of "discovery" (and the inherent learning that taking place) can be a method that actually keeps the creative pulse alive. In other words, the "doing" is everything.

I know that I'm not adding anything to the discussion of building magical props per se (believe me, I wish I was doing the building myself). Even so, I point out that the visual appeal of magical props actually looking "MAGICAL" is (for the audience) a very important component, and it adds greatly to the feeling of 'awe' that the audience experiences. It's as if something magical HAS TO HAPPEN with such beautiful, and intriguing, props. Thank you, please keep making!
Michael Baker
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Thank you, Blackington.

Yes, a small space has its advantages. Having enough space sometimes is not one of those, however! LOL

Building magic is always trial and error the first time. But, I suppose most things are like that. Building something a second, third, and fourth time is much the same, if modifications or improvements are part of the equation. I'm such that when something can be done by rote, I get bored and move on.

It seems to be a divided issue among magicians on the value of using props. I think everything is contextual. As one who is also in favor of props (judiciously and skillfully used), I can only say to those definitively against them... "Don't stop thinking too soon."

I will add that there are times when a lack of props (or the appearance thereof) is the better path. As I said, it's all in the context.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
David_N
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While building an 'Assistant's Revenge' illusion I pondered for a while what would be the best covering for the top of the base. Ideally of course you want something hard wearing and non slip. Eventually I found what I was looking for, it is called 'Doorstep Paint'. It comes in only a few colours (I chose black to match the rest of the prop), and as the title suggests it was designed specifically for painting steps. It is actually a tough outdoor paint with large particles of grit added so that when it dries you are left with a hard wearing, slightly rough texture which gives you the perfect surface to stand on. Top Tip: The grit sinks to the bottom so the paint must be stirred very thoroughly; I use a paint paddle that fits into a corded drill for the best results.
David_N
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Sometimes we come across a device which makes life so much easier and we wonder how we did without it. One such thing for me was a Drywall Square. This is basically an oversize T square where the main blade is 4 feet long. It makes marking out large plywood sheets accurately a breeze.
lnlver
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When applying oil or finish to a project, place the bottle inside a clamp. This keeps it from being knocked over and spilling. Yes, I learned this the hard way.

Click here to view attached image.
Wravyn
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2018, lnlver wrote:
When applying oil or finish to a project, place the bottle inside a clamp. This keeps it from being knocked over and spilling. Yes, I learned this the hard way.


Wish I would have read this a few weeks ago...
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