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Topic: Hank Ball...Close Up?
Message: Posted by: adamjames (Jul 27, 2006 06:02PM)
Is a hank ball only suitable for stage...or could one be used in more close-up situation? (Say, sitting across a table from the spectator.)

The reason I ask is...I've seen these used on stage, and the productions look good from that distance. But, would the 'moves' and hand positions be more noticeable close-up?

Would something like a Sanada gimmick be better suited in that situation for silk productions?


Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 29, 2006 01:59PM)
I've seen Duane Laflin do silk vanishes at his booth using one, and I was just three feet away. Looked great!
Message: Posted by: adamjames (Jul 29, 2006 02:33PM)
Thanks for the reply...I was actually considering getting Duane Laflin's hank ball DVD.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 29, 2006 03:53PM)
I have his Palmo DVD - that's excellent!
Message: Posted by: adamjames (Jul 30, 2006 10:35AM)
Hmmm...would you recommend a Palmo over a hank ball?
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Aug 9, 2006 10:51AM)
For productions (especially close-up), I'd use the hank ball. While the Palmo could be used for productions, it would be more difficult because it's open on both ends. The Palmo is primarily used for color-changes and the like.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Aug 9, 2006 09:59PM)
For me, the hank ball is easier to manipulate and ditch than the Palmo. The Palmo will hold more cargo!

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: boppies2 (Aug 14, 2006 08:29PM)
I use the Palmo more than the hank ball. It is probably personal taste and the size of the hands using the gimmick.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 2, 2006 03:18PM)
You do know that a Gobblin Tip manipulated like a cigarette works well, too?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Oct 5, 2006 09:07PM)
Hey Bob,

Please excuse my naivete, but what's a "Gobblin Tip"?
Message: Posted by: indomagic (Jun 18, 2007 11:33PM)
Hi.. somebody tell me what material is the hank ball ? Is it plastic or metal?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 19, 2007 06:07AM)

Sorry I never saw your question. This is just an exaggerated thumb tip. Think HUGE!


Good hank balls are made of metal. The problems is that most are painted high gloss. I don't know the reason for that. They are slippery and may flash.

What I really prefer using is the good ceramic egg gimmick from Silk to Egg. Most pros prefer the brown egg to the white one. The audience never sees it anyway. It is just easier to hold and handle, a better color and who would not rather be caught with an egg than some obvious gimmick?

Once you master any of these items you can vanish 18" square silks close-up as well as on stage. (I use this in walk-around.)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: graywolf (Jun 19, 2007 08:15AM)
Dick Gustafasin has some nice close up moves in his lecture notes..Howard
Message: Posted by: indomagic (Jun 19, 2007 11:24PM)
Bob, thanks for your comments. So do you know if Laflin hank ball is metal ?
Message: Posted by: ChrisG (Jun 20, 2007 11:06AM)
On 2007-06-20 00:24, indomagic wrote:
Bob, thanks for your comments. So do you know if Laflin hank ball is metal ?

I'm not Bob, But yes the Laflin Hank Ball is a metal ball.

Message: Posted by: graywolf (Jun 20, 2007 05:52PM)
What does it matter if it is plastic or metal??? Howard
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Jun 20, 2007 06:38PM)
Closeup work with a hankball or palmo definitely, if you know how to handle them. The steal of a hank ball or a palmo can be undetectable.

Wish someone made a metal one that was not gloss painted.

Bob's Brown Ceramic egg idea works good with some small adjustments in the handling. He is marketing a walk-around resettable version of silk to egg.
Message: Posted by: indomagic (Jun 20, 2007 08:47PM)
I thought metal should be more durable than plastic. I agree mat finshised will be better.
Message: Posted by: TheGreatNancini (Jun 21, 2007 03:51PM)
I personally prefer Laflin's hank ball as it is so versatile. I use it with sponge balls as well as silks. I own the palmo too, and it is great for color changes. It is most likely a personal preferance though.
Message: Posted by: Genghis (Jun 21, 2007 04:34PM)
Has anyone tried spraying the super-glossy hankballwith testers dullcote or similar? I'm wondering if it would cause problems sticking on the silks?

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 24, 2007 06:20PM)

Here in the USA flesh colored cloth Band-Aids can be effectively used. It improves the grip too!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: obuch (Nov 1, 2007 07:09AM)
Hi I must ask you, in one ebook called now you see it now you don't, it says you can use a ping pong ball, do you think that it would make some trouble because its plastic? I think it will work on small silks, and in few days I'm gonna try that but whats your opinion about ping pong ball as hank ball?
Message: Posted by: wardia (Nov 1, 2007 08:47AM)
Ping pong balls work well for me and can be coloured flesh (desert sand)
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 7, 2007 10:59PM)
You can get giant ping pong balls in the sporting goods section of K-Mart.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 8, 2007 07:30AM)
Back to the question of using the props close up:

The best situation is with the audience seated and the magician standing.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- There is no reason not to use sponge balls in the new ceramic eggs. The hole is much larger and it is larger than in many hank ball and palmo gimmicks. The egg will also hole a 24" Diamond Cut Silk! (That looks like a 36" square silk.)

On special order, the new ceramic eggs with loops are available!
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Nov 8, 2007 09:00AM)
If you are having problems with the hank ball being slippery, I have the answer to the problem. Use flesh colored liquid latex. It gives you the tackiness you need to hold on to the hank ball. I had ladies and children with small hands palming a hank ball with the liquid latex painted on at a silk magic lecture I did at a club meeting. Get a bottle from a store specializing in clown or theater make up. It is very cheap. Paint it on the hank ball with a cheap art type paint brush you can get at Walmart in the craft section. Let it dry (don't have any of your silks laying around when you are painting the latex on, it won't come out). When the latex gets old, it just peels off the hank ball with no problem and no mess.
Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Nov 8, 2007 02:27PM)
Great idea...but I can't bring myself to ruin my Thayer hank ball...lol
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 10, 2007 09:32AM)

I hate to see collectables destroyed too!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 20, 2007 10:25PM)
Hello all!

For the record...YES! I have a Palmo Ball I bought from Silk King Studios. It's a matte finish, and I can vanish, make appear, and change colors of the silk right in front of you.

Sorry if I sound like I'm boasting, but the Palmo is the best silk tool I own. Thank you Ruth Rice!


Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 21, 2007 01:07PM)

Bragging on things bought from Ruth isn't boasting. It's just fact recognition of a good decision!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Nov 21, 2007 07:51PM)
On 2007-11-08 15:27, Terry Owens wrote:
Great idea...but I can't bring myself to ruin my Thayer hank ball...lol

I won't. The latex just peels right off.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Nov 27, 2007 05:40PM)
You could use Jay Scott Berry's modifications to the Sanada, either the FS/2 or more conveniently the Cloaking Device to produce a small silk. I think that the maximum size would be an 18 inch diamond silk.

I've played with the Cloaking Device to produce a silk streamer and if handled carefully and casually, you can use it close up. In one of his routines JSB walks into the audience to have someone examine his piece of "nothing". He then produces the silk streamer when he gets the nothing back.
Message: Posted by: TWOCAN (Dec 3, 2007 05:42PM)
On 2007-06-19 00:33, indomagic wrote:
Hi.. somebody tell me what material is the hank ball ? Is it plastic or metal?
[/quote] I made mine out of a plastic christmas bulb and painted it to match my skin type. I made 3 sizes. Good luck
Message: Posted by: Hernan (Oct 5, 2009 05:19PM)
I have never had problems with the glossiness or
the color. I think laflins hank balls and palmos are the best.

I do his (laflin) routines in any situation, Although I do like having a dump,
so modify that to "any situation with a surface"

In close up or busking I just go to my pockets.

laflin (please don't buy his stuff because it is easy to learn and definitve)
Likes his palmo best. He actually states that in his palmo DVD.

The beauty of the ball or palmo is that a huge final load can be
brought into play.
Message: Posted by: WheatstoneHolmes (Feb 15, 2010 11:06PM)
I have used ping pong balls, painted bright red like multiplying billiard balls and red silks.

Used them as close as 2 feet away, the spectators and I were all standing.

(I've also gotten good reactions to a white Fantasio vanishing candle at a distance of only about 4 feet away.)
Message: Posted by: MrPrestoHypno (Feb 16, 2010 07:58AM)
Duane Laflin is just awesome using these hank balls.