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Topic: Packing big/Play big
Message: Posted by: Jizmagic (Nov 16, 2005 12:47PM)
For those entertainers who pack big items for their shows, what do you use to transport your items? I've looked in stores for the large suitcase style cases, but haven't seen much in the way of good quality (arriving at any gig, I want to give the impression of quality from the moment I arrive, and that includes what I transport my props in). Any ideas?
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Nov 16, 2005 02:00PM)
I made a custom case using 2x4 framing and plywood sides. It has custom built sections within, that is all padded. Put it on casters, cover it with laminate, put your logo on the sides.

For my needs, it was impossible to find the right size and stength for my props and show materials. It was ALOT of work to put together but it's MINE! Everything I need fits in there and it also doubles as a table if needed. I also have a hand truck (dolly) if I need to get it up or down any stairs by myself. I like packing BIG and playing BIGGER. It's easier to pack small but everyone does that. I don't mind working harder for my clients. They deserve the best that I can offer.
Message: Posted by: johnnymagic (Nov 16, 2005 02:05PM)
I bought a road case from Jimmy Dixon Productions. It's great, Holds a lot of tricks and also holds the back drop.It locks and also doubles as a table. It's on wheels and has a lift handle so you can roll it like an airport suitcase. Goto http://www.jimmydixonproductions.com
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Nov 16, 2005 02:38PM)
I've built my own table/case. The sides fold down on hinges, and it lifts up like a suitcase.

I don't worry too much about what my cases look like. They're cases, for cyin' out loud. The biggest acts in show biz have cases, too, that are all beat to heck. That's the purpoase of a case. I respect your desire to present a good image, but I doubt too many people will judge you by your road cases.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 16, 2005 09:16PM)
I use an injected molded ata case I got off ebay. it has wheels on one edges and a handle to pull.

Fiber cases are also a great alternative. They are light and strong. I have flown with them to great results. Look at fiberbilt cases for one source.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 16, 2005 09:27PM)
Can anyone compile a list or URL's for various case builders or case suppliers? I think that would be a huge help to myself and to others as well. I may not be able to afford a high end ATA case, but having a list, would allow me to check out options that might be out there.

I am in desperate need for some cases for some of my larger style show props, but it is hard finding something that will fit them and that may be at a nice cost. If anyone has any cost effective case ideas and links for URLs that carry them, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in adavance.

PS: I am looking at cases that might be large enough to pack up something like a rabbit wringer. Something square in size and deep. Thanks again

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 17, 2005 12:20AM)
Don't forget to read older threads in the "Where to put it all" section of the Café, for lots of threads discussing cases, etc. There also have been some discussions in the "Grand Illusion" area. Use a keyword like "cases" for your search.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 17, 2005 07:48AM)
My favorite place is ebay. I have picked up some real deals on cases if you are willing to watch and look.

I will look and see what I have extra around here that I have replaced with other cases. Might have something that works into your needs.

Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Nov 17, 2005 08:41AM)

Here is the list of companies that I personally have book marked on my computer. Anytime I need a case, I just begin surfing in my "case folder."

P.S. My wife accuses me often times of having a case fetish... She is probably right.















Message: Posted by: danryb (Nov 17, 2005 11:38PM)
Lyndel, I believe your wife might be right. It seems you and my father would get on realy well.
I recently purchased a jet black, hard cover, samsonite suitcase with four coaster wheels on the bottom and extracting handle to move it. it can be pushed and meneuvered on all fours or pulled with handle on two.
So far, every time I go to someones private home and bring this in, together with my custom made leather and foam box for my ampspeaker, I get a great general response on the looks of them and I havent even taken anything out yet to start performing.
This gives a good professional first impression.

Message: Posted by: billfromoregon (Nov 18, 2005 03:28AM)
I am currently making a suitcase type table, actually two, to transport all my stuff, ome to keep and one to sell. I am a professional cabinetmaker, so it is professional quality. It is about the same size as the Lefler table, but is comprised of two sections, which can be used separately, or together. It contains two drawers in the lower section, storage space underneath that, and both the upper and lower sections have sliding doors, to allow props to be out of sight. The lower doors can be removed and attached between the upper and lower sections, thus giving you 2 extension wings. There are 4 double wheeled casters with brakes, which will support over 250 lbs. The unit is made with a special material that is black, solid color throughout, that is relatively lightweight and very stable. I hope to have the entire unit assembled tomorrow, and will take pictures when it is finished (is it possible to post pictures here on the Café?). I designed this to accomodate my kids show, so that I can wheel the unit in, and be ready to go within a couple of minutes. It will hold the ABC gumball recombobulator, the chicken sword, some custom props, as well as all sorts of miscellaneous small props, wands, cards, silks, etc. I haven't decided on a price, but I have about $200.00 in materials into each unit. PM me if you are interested. I will probably be listing this in the let's make a deal section tomorrow or the next day. Thanks for reading -
Message: Posted by: Bridgewater (Nov 18, 2005 07:27AM)
If you are concerned about looks, I assume this is something you would have "on stage" during your performance. I use a Lefler-style table in which I carry:

Dove pan
Cyrstal Silk Cylinder
Magic Drawing Board
Hippitty-Hop Rabbits
Rabbit-in-the-hat puppet
One-hand change bag
Two tubes for storing feather flowers
And assorted small items including rope, scissors, silks, flash paper, sponge balls, mouth coils, coloring book, several wands, etc.

Frankly, I overpack. I use all the large stuff in my kidshow, and a lot of the smaller stuff (about two hours of performance material) is for backup.

I think the Lefler tables hold more than enough for virtually any kidshow, and look good. I like the fact that the covering is velcro-friendly. You can have a sign shop make a sign for the front, and attach it with a couple of velcro tabs. It looks great.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 18, 2005 08:31AM)
The main drawback for me on the Lefler table is the weight. I just do not want to carry a loaded table that heavy into a show. Also you seem to be ducking down all the time get things out. It's a great table but it just doesn't fit my style.

I like an upright case that sits open. You open it , throw a flash cloth on it and a top on it and you are set. You can make drawers to hold the various props organizes.

If anything I have learned in magic, there is not perfect table.

BTW, I just bought another case on Ebay. With wheels and a handle. It makes things easier shipping ahead or transporting in for conventions.

Message: Posted by: Jizmagic (Nov 19, 2005 09:03AM)
Thanks everyone for the fantastic suggestions!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 19, 2005 02:33PM)
Thanks guys. This is a wealth of great information. I knew you guys would come to my rescue. Thanks a million. It is why I love the Café cause sure we can help each other out. I am going to bookmark and check out some of these urls to see what might work best for me. Now that I have a bigger vehicle, I can and want to put a lot more of my stuff in cases. It would just make things so much easier for transporting to and from my gigs. Thanks again.

I also have a Lefler table and that works great for me. My problem is that I now specialize in larger shows and do a lot of festivals and fairs each year and theaters as well. In this environment. I use bigger sized props like a rabbit wringer and a tip over treasure chest. These items are big enough that I really want to place them in cases so as to protect them from the elements outdoors and make it easier for me to transport and store them.

Message: Posted by: PROFED (Nov 19, 2005 05:39PM)
Kyle: I did'nt have time to read all of the posts, so I am unaware of previous sugesstions. Footlocker type trunks at Walmart may work for you.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 19, 2005 05:46PM)
Thanks. I just feel they are too big and not very well made for my needs. I am looking for something that will be smaller size. Like a square box almost that can then be lined with foam to better protect my props. It also needs to be well built and strong to be able to stand up to things moving around in my truck and outdoor wear and tear as I do a lot of festival and fair work.

I got some great URLS of which I made as favorites for me to review and look over tonight and tomorrow. They should suit my need just fine I think. It now comes down to finsing what I am looking for for a good price. thanks all.

Message: Posted by: magicjoe (Nov 20, 2005 08:20PM)
I found a nice link online but I'm not sure of the name. Sorry, but I think all I did was type in "trunks" at google and I found a nice place in boston that made me a very nice case.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 20, 2005 09:53PM)

If you come across the URL, please let me know. I would appreciate it. I am in dire need for better cases for my larger props I am now using for my festival shows. Thanks all.

Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Nov 20, 2005 10:32PM)
I currently use the larger of the two Lefler tables for show/transport, and my Collector's Workshop props (and there are a lot of 'em) all come with cases. Most of the other items I use (Superchicken, Wiz-Kote, The Lemon Game and things like that) have their own briefcases. I just need a couple more cases for my Wolf's Magic items that don't have custom cases (YET!) and I'll be set. I do also have a BIG saxophone case (painted red) that goes on an X-style keyboard stand. It has my name in big letters across the top, too. I'll hold a lot.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Dec 28, 2005 10:17PM)

I'm not sure what you mean by, "I like an upright case that sits open."

Are you talking about a college trunk that sits upright on one of its handle sides, ala Cellini?

Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Dec 28, 2005 11:54PM)
To carry flat things (that fold out big) like Fraidy cat rabbit and arm chopper I got zippered portfolio cases at an art store. They pack flat and are only about 3 or 4 inched wide and look very professional.