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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Preparing walnut shells? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Veteran user
Nothing clever has ever been said in my
400 Posts

Profile of bigchuck
I have lots of walnuts here now, since it is the season for all that, so I thought now would be the perfect time to try my hand at the shell game.

My question is, “How do you prepare the shells?” I have no idea what the bottoms of the shells are supposed to look like. Are they all prepared the same or is one 'chopped'? Also, if someone can enlighten me on some of the moves with these props that make them really magical? I'm not looking for complete routines but just some ideas -- Feel free to PM me. Thanks a lot (in advance.) Smile
"The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact
mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa"
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Elite user
Washington State
484 Posts

Profile of Magicduck
I did this years ago. I cut the shells, with a knife, as neatly as possible in half…carefully. I did this with several of them. Then I took the ones that were most similar in size and cracked the best and using sandpaper made them flat on the bottom...smooth too. Then I took an Exacto knife and made that little notch in the back...the pea escape...just a bit more pronounced, but just barely. One need not do so, but I put a light coat of clear epoxy in them to make them smooth and polished the outside with some varnish, but not much. They look 100 times better and work just as well as the plastic shells they sell.
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Elite user
Bellevue, Nebraska
500 Posts

Profile of jcigam
You can also use a small router to rout out the inside a little before putting in the epoxy. It just makes things look a little nicer.

"The mind has exactly the same power as the hand, not merely to grasp the world, but to change it."
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234 Posts

Profile of Comet
I made my set while I was in the military in Germany. I did the same with the sanding and then filed a small notch for the pea to escape the back--NOT MUCH; you should make this look natural. I also took a very light coat of wood putty and coated the inside so that it was perfectly smooth. I lightly sanded the inside and then coated it with a clear coat. It worked out great.
Joe Comet
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
20990 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
This has already been covered in detail, including experimentation and the whole process. Here is the string address:


I will bill you for the search. Smile
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
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