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Topic: Building custom tools
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 23, 2007 02:15PM)
I was wondering if anyone has an advice on how to have a custom tool made. What I mean by tool is, for example, a custom designed pair of pliers.

Before I get someone saying this is in the wrong section. :) Let me say that this "tool" I need to have made will be a magic prop. The tool will serve the purpose of rigging an object for a trick to be performed with it.

I was thinking maybe it's a machinist I'm looking for but I'm not certain.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 23, 2007 03:06PM)
"Machinists" is where I would look.
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 23, 2007 06:37PM)
You want someone with a forge. Pliers type of tools are forged (hammer/anvil type of work). Try a blacksmith. Custom hand made pliers will not be cheap.
Message: Posted by: mkiger (Jan 23, 2007 07:41PM)
A machinist might be able to modify an existing tool to perform whatever it is you wish to do. You might have more luck with an amateur/hobbyist, they might be more interested in solving the problem than the professional would be (a lot cheaper as well)
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 23, 2007 10:16PM)

I may be able to help. PM me with more details and I will see what I can do. If it would be better you can also email me at bartlett50@cox.net

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 24, 2007 12:45PM)
Thanks everyone.

Actually this tool will be very easy to make for someone who knows how to make such things. I could make one out of wood that would probably work for a little while. But obviously a metal one would work much better and last longer.

Thanks again. I'm looking forward to this one. It's not a new trick but it's something that make a trick we already know much easier to set up. You'd usually have to spend a while setting this up at home before a show this tool will allow you to set up during a performance.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 24, 2007 01:06PM)

You asked for help and I offered to help if I can. I can't help if you don't give me more information though.

Tom Bartlett
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Jan 24, 2007 01:20PM)
On 2007-01-24 13:45, Jaxon wrote:
Thanks everyone.

Actually this tool will be very easy to make for someone who knows how to make such things. <snip>
Ron Jaxon

This type of comment is the "kiss of death" for any project as far as I am concerned. If it is so easy, make it yourself. This type of comment minimizes the skills/knowledge, equipment investment, etc. of someone who can do the job. Along with this comment is usually "all I need is..." and "I do not want to spend much on this...". Yeah, right. Any such comment says it all.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 24, 2007 01:34PM)
Jim, don't be so hard on Ron. What he said was "...very easy to make for someone who knows how to make such things..." He's obviously seeking out someone who knows how to make such things.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 24, 2007 02:40PM)
Jim's comment cracks me up actually. Especially after looking at his site and seeing that he's either a machinist or knows quite a bit about it. It seems he'd know that there are occasions when someone needs to hire an expert to get things made for them. He must think I'm such a good magician that I can wave my wand and make all the machines and tools I'd need to make this appear out of thin air. Not to mention I'd be able to cause the knowledge needed to make it instantly appear in my brain. I feel like such an idiot for spending all that time in school and studying other interests. I was so stupid to hire that artist to make a painting of my family. I should have done that myself in an instant. Thanks for being a fan of my magic ability but I'm not that good.

Anyway, I found someone who can make it for me. He's got the tools to make what I need made. He's a machinist so it'll be [b]easy for him to make it.[/b]

Thanks again.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 24, 2007 08:28PM)
I'm going to side with Jim on this one. R&D work is not that easy. For every one good you make, you have spent hours and ruined a lot of material. Seldom does the price of a one of equalize the price realized for a prop.

As for making a tool, I would look at existing tools. For instance a plier can be modified to set the wire in rolling metal. I know I have done it. You are going to save a lot of money and it will be exactly what you want. Maybe after you get a good working prototype, someone can make a better quality tool for you to use.

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jan 24, 2007 10:08PM)
No, I can't make it myself. If I could do that then why would I have bothered to even bring it up here. It's so funny how someone can pick one sentence out of an entire post and think they know all about my morals and ethics.

Let me break it down.

I made one but the material isn't strong enough.

I need one made out of stronger material. Metal would be best.

I don't know how to work with metal and I wasn't sure who I should contact to find the right kind of people to "hire" to make one.

Since this is a magic discussion board and this is a tool to accomplish a magic trick. I came here to see if anyone might be able to shine some light on the problem. Silly me for thinking someone might offer advice as I try to do as often and I can in here. I'll say again the sentence that Jim seemed to feel was worth jumping on.

Someone who knows how to cut and shape metal to form this tool. It would be an easy job for them. I guess I'll spell out the rest too. I'd do it myself but I don't know how to do the skills that are required and I don't have the tools to do so either.

"Yeah, right. Any such comment says it all."

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: David Bond (Jan 24, 2007 11:39PM)
As someone who wrote software for a robotics company that made and used tools, I understand exactly what Jaxon is saying. It takes skills and tools. I learned a lot about machining when I worked there, but I am no machinist. I just wrote the software that manipulated the machines. The design of a tool is more critical than the design of a prop. It requires greater strength and precision.

I am glad you were able to find someone to help you.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 26, 2007 09:41AM)
I once asked a inventor how long it took him to make his invention. He said all his life.
That as an example, what some are saying here is; You don't tell people who have invested a lifetime developing the skills, it would be easy to make. It's no less than an insult to say it. If you can not do it yourself you have no idea if it's easy or not. Most of the people that can make it, have spent years to developing these skills, and they should be treated with respect.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Jan 26, 2007 10:26AM)
I do cabinetry and it is pretty easy for me because I've been doing it for a while. For someone that hasn't done it before, then it wouldn't be so easy. That is all Ron is saying. He wasn't trying to put down and metal workers by saying it would be easy for them. Isn't most magic pretty easy after you have been doing it a while? Now for someone that hasn't done it before, then it may not be so easy.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 26, 2007 10:56AM)
Good grief! Let's drop this. That's not what he meant, and I think we all know it. Give it a rest and let's return to the subject at hand.