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Topic: Looking for Billiard Ball Shells only
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 9, 2005 11:12AM)
Hello,
Before I go on an extensive internet search, does anybody have any links to purchasing Ball Shells? I have no need for the sets of balls. Maybe something already pre-fab'd that can be used as a shell?
1 1/2" - 2" preferred.
I am looking to buy quite a few of them for an upcoming project.
Thanks
Chance
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Aug 9, 2005 11:25AM)
Chance,
If paper (cardboard) shells would suffice try here: http://www.cannonfuse.com/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=89

Or give Frank Radke a call PM me and I'll look up his number.
Bill
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 9, 2005 11:48AM)
Thanks Bill. I will PM you :)
Chance
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 9, 2005 12:54PM)
Chance,

Check [url=http://www.craftsetc.com/Store/ShowProduct.aspx?p=207621]here[/url].

I have used half of these plastic balls as billiard ball shells for years. The 60mm perfectly fit a 2 1/4" wooden ball. It may be larger than you need, but perhaps other sizes can be found.

~michael
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Aug 9, 2005 04:27PM)
Chance,

A buddy of mine needed the same thing for a project he was working on. He wound up purchasing the cheap billiard ball sets and just ran them through the ole band saw. Worked great!

Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 9, 2005 08:40PM)
Thanks Michael and Lyndel! I will continue to explore all options and hope to have a workable solution in the end. What a great place, the ol' Café :)
Chance
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Aug 9, 2005 11:29PM)
Those paper shells might have possibilities... a number of years ago I was making very thin and strong "papier mache'" shells with toilet paper (nope, I'm not kidding) and several coats of spray urethane. Maybe the urethane would beef up the paper shells enough to be usable?
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 9, 2005 11:35PM)
I am actually looking for metal shells as they are the only answer to my needs. Pretty cool suggestions either way.
Thanks again :)
Chance
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Aug 10, 2005 07:33AM)
Chance;
How many and what I.D.? Email me directly - not PM.
Jim
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Aug 10, 2005 08:26AM)
Chance,
Look here: http://www.wagnercompanies.com/spheres_and_hemispheres.aspx

Bill
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 10, 2005 08:52AM)
Bill,

That is perfect! I have been wanting metal half ball shells for a long time to make a billiard ball stand the way they used to be made.

Jim, I will get with you as well, to see what alternative you have.

~michael
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 10, 2005 09:01AM)
Hi Michael,
Great minds think alike! The Billiard Ball Stand is exactly what I am working on at this time. I wanted to create a new design with the Classic feel. I will be curious to see what direction you go. Good luck with the project!
Chance
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Aug 10, 2005 07:16PM)
This is a hoot! I, also, have been planning a billiard ball stand along the lines of the classic plated Conradi Horster model. I plan to precision spin the holders and required shells.
Jim
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 10, 2005 07:36PM)
OK....forget it now!! I am not gonna try to follow up to a Riser Masterpiece!! :)
In all truth, I may just make one for myself since I really don't want to spend the cash on an Owen piece when I can have some fun instead.
I would love to see your final product Jim and please put me on the "Buyers List" if you choose to pursue this project!
Thanks
Chance
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 10, 2005 09:25PM)
Find a hole and someone is sure to fill it!

~michael
Message: Posted by: kregg (Aug 11, 2005 08:37AM)
Or fall in!
Message: Posted by: tabman (Aug 12, 2005 10:20AM)
Billiard Ball Stand!!!???? Can't you guys come up with anything new??? ;)

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 12, 2005 11:25AM)
Oh, but these are solar-powered, and play X-Box games backstage between shows.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Aug 12, 2005 11:46AM)
Solar power, right on!! Brilliant!!! Thankfully you're not a Luddite!

Did you see the pic I took with my digital pinhole camera that I made out of a coffee can and an image sensor assembly??? I posted it at the PMZZ Message board yesterday. I think I need to make a couple of adjustments but its working better than the pinhole film camera I made when I was in high school.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 17, 2007 11:59PM)
Well... after a year and a half that this thread has sat dormant, I finally took the time to make myself a [url=http://themagiccompany.com/ball_stand.jpg]billiard ball stand[/url]. Not the spun metal type as in the Conradi version, as I do not have the resources to do so, but rather of wood.

It has white balls (not golf balls) 1 3/4". There are 6 "come & go" balls surrounding 1 legitimate space. Whew! There's a lot of work in these little buggers!

The rings surrounding the openings are separate pieces glued to a sub-structure. It is not simply cut from a piece of plywood. The rings are also in relief. The black ring between the red and gold is recessed (like that makes a difference from the stage! Ha!).

The balls have a bit of clearance while in the holders (I think that gives a slightly more natural appearance), and as well are slightly off-centered (lower), nestled in, the way real balls do. That's hard to tell from the photo, which is shot from slightly above.

The "empty spaces" however, have a very close clearance of maybe a millimeter. It gives a more reliable illusion under most lighting conditions. If you know the mechanics, you know what I mean.

The mechanical action is very good. Balls appear and disappear easily with minimal effort, and natural actions, and there is no chance for the thing to set itself off accidentally.

I also tackled another issue... I had heard common complaints about some commercial ball stands being top heavy. After I turned the base, I used a 3/4" Forstner bit and drilled 6 nice holes in the bottom and filled them with molten lead. A little wood filler finished off the leveling. Voila! No tipping ball stand!

It also breaks down into three pieces for storage or transporting (base, pillar, and ball holder unit).

I've wanted one of these things since I was a kid, and never bought one... so, now I have one!

~michael
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Jan 18, 2007 07:36AM)
Michael,

That stand looks real nice.

Bill Sutter
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 18, 2007 03:02PM)
Michael;
Looks good! I took a different approach with the six ball stands I made about a year ago. They were all for golf balls. The balls sat in cups in the position shown in the picture of a left over part:

http://www.jamesriser.com/Magic/GolfBallAndShell2463.jpg

The metal shells (like the one shown) were dimpled and powder coated white to match a golf ball. This "shell unit" was mounted in a turned cup on the stand (no pictures of the finished product will be shown to avoid rip offs). I wanted the stand to merely look like a series of cups to hold the golf balls.

Rather than using melted lead for a base weight, I often use a disc of steel that sets into a rebate turned into the base - then gets screwed in for security.

Anyway, nice job on your ball vase project. Now you have one!
Jim
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 18, 2007 08:59PM)
Hi Jim,

That golf ball shell looks great! My favorite part... the dimple pattern is "tilted" and the ball appears randomly placed in the cup. Bravo!

I'm assuming you've seen this:

http://www.conradi-horster.de/

Follow the apparatus link to the ball stand. I had one of his watch pistols in my possession for a time. His work is remarkable for the period that it comes from.
Good idea on the steel disc for weight. I just happened to have a bunch of lead weights here with no good purpose in mind.

~michael
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 19, 2007 11:54AM)
Michael;
Yes, I have seen the Conradi-Horster image. They made other models too. Mine is much more open than the cage type like yours and the Conradi model shown. The ones I made were more like the version Maurice Rooklyn used. Owen makes a similar design in much easier to work wood.

The dimples on the golf ball shells are a real pain to make. Did you know that all golf balls are not dimpled alike?

I used to collect old tire weights to melt down for mounting stone wheels for glass engraving/cutting. I understand your using them.
Jim
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 20, 2007 08:41PM)
Michael;
Here are some ball stands more like the golf ball stands I made last year. I prefer the open look of this type of ball stand.

The Owen/Thayer wooden designs - http://www.owenmagic.com/New_Items/1817BC.jpg
The Viking version of the old Conradi design - http://www.vikingmagiccompany.com/?nd=large&key=784

The ones I made were a cross between the Rooklyn and old Conradi designs. Not every cup is gimmicked on such stands.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 20, 2007 10:03PM)
Jim,

Thanks for those links. I have seen the Viking version, but had not seen the Owen styles as shown. I had only seen the Owen circular design that is shaped similar to mine. The larger of the two Owen designs shown has a better cup design. The balls are not as obscured. That's something I really like about the Conradi design. Greater Magic shows good detail of this in a drawing. The overall design of that larger Owen design is a bit over the top in my opinion. Extreme Goth!!

I have however, seen the old Thayer version (Perfecto Ball Stand), similar to the smaller by Owen; one that Joe Stevens has here:

http://stevensmagic.com/rareantiques/index.htm

I am not familiar with what Rooklyn used. I'm guessing it's similar to the Thayer version? (Looks like a perch with feed cups?)

~michael
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 23, 2007 06:40PM)
Michael;
Rooklyn's model is shown along with drawings in his book. His billiard ball routine work is there too. His is more like the Conradi model than the Thayer straight line version.
Jim
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 23, 2007 08:20PM)
Thanks!