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Topic: Multiplying balls
Message: Posted by: Magicque (Mar 13, 2007 01:19PM)
Hi guys! Would you please tell me if all the S----- used for multiplying balls are made of plastic? How about the Fakinis? The S----- are kind of slippery!
Message: Posted by: Juniper587 (Mar 13, 2007 01:50PM)
Hey Magicque,

Not all of the s---ls are made of plastic. Wooden sets have wooden s---ls. The fakini's have a silicone covered s---l which means that they blend in perfectly which is great however the iside is made of aluminium covered plastic so the shell stays rigid and strong.
Hope that helps.

Message: Posted by: Magicque (Mar 13, 2007 05:23PM)
Thanks my friend! And I bet the grip is better, isn't it?!
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 13, 2007 05:33PM)
The Fakini S**ls grip like glue! The plastic ones that come with the "Dream Silicone Multiplying Balls" are not that good. The color doesn't really match the balls well (that is the plastic reflects the light differently) and the plastic is slippery at best.

The Dream Silicone Multiplying Balls are best for non-s**l multiplying routines. Get two sets and toss the gimmicks away.

Or save your money until you can afford a real dream set, the Fakini's!
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Mar 13, 2007 05:41PM)
DSMB are tiny, I'd suggest getting bigger balls. Sometimes the shell not gripping can be a good thing.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Mar 13, 2007 05:50PM)
The dream balls themselves are not bad. the dream s****s are crap.

the fakini variety are MUCH MUCH MUCH better.

they are a bit thicker which poses some angle issues, perhaps, but they are much more managable and easier to work with.

I thought the dream balls themselves, though too small for stage use, are ok for a closer audience.

the dream s****s are just not professional at all.
Message: Posted by: Magicque (Mar 13, 2007 05:59PM)
Thanks guys! I'll send them back and get the real ones!
Message: Posted by: Dizzy (Mar 13, 2007 09:29PM)
Fakini's all the way. I would swap my [b]entire[/b] shoe collection, yes! Even my new black Gucci boots for these babies. Without a doubt, the best magic prop I have bought so far,

Message: Posted by: RickThibau (Apr 17, 2007 10:01PM)
I almost ordered the DSMB and thanx to this thread I just ordered my FIRST Fakini set... yest, my first, because I'm sure I'll get more!
Message: Posted by: graywolf (Apr 18, 2007 05:20AM)
Ireland uses metal..Cordially,Howard
Message: Posted by: Jimmagic (Apr 18, 2007 05:21AM)
Always trust Fakini's set for the best. I've tried so many balls and wasted so much money. I should've just get Fakini and save a lot more.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 18, 2007 06:09PM)
I would only reccommend any student of magic to get the fakinis after they have spent time on less pricey ones. It is an investment so it just makes sense to work with bouncy balls or something cheap to get the feel and handling for the moves. Then once you really understand about billiard ball magic, you can determine if investing in a fakini set is right for you.

Message: Posted by: RickThibau (Apr 18, 2007 11:28PM)
I do billiard ball moves and use ball manipulations for some years now, Fakini were my dream! I understand that one should buy only after trying with cheap balls to rate the determination. I did that without noticing.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 19, 2007 12:08PM)
To me it is just the smart way to go. Invest only in cheaper balls or bunce balls to learn the basics and the moves. Then you can determine if you still have a love or passion enough for billiard ball magic to invest in a Fakini set for yourself. I also use colored bounce balls along side of my white Fakinis to be able to do color changes without the extreme cost involved. This way I can do multiple color changes and add those to form a more creative routine.

Message: Posted by: BSutter (Apr 19, 2007 01:37PM)
I started working with the multiplying billiard balls using a set of wood balls made in Germany. The wood balls were inexpensive and slippery. After working with the wood balls for a few years perfecting a routine, I acquired a set of Fakini balls from Frank. The Fakini balls were a dream come true. In general I would support the above posts, learn any "new" effects with economical props. If you decide the effect is one you wish to get serious with, then get serious with the props, go for the best.

Message: Posted by: The Great Danton (Apr 20, 2007 08:18AM)
I also have a set of german made wooden balls. They are VERY slippery! I am still using them and will be performing with them for the first time in May at a talent show. I hope I don't drop them! after that, I may get some of those Fakini's you all are taking about.

I have never seen them(Fakini's) before, but just about anything is better then what I am using. But Those sound great, I will look into a set sometime in the near future.

The Great Danton
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 20, 2007 10:25AM)
I would one day like to be able to do a 4 ball/no-sh*** routine with real billiard balls. I love hearing that *clack* *clack* *moo*.

Ok, I was kidding about the *moo*. But that *clack* *clack* sound is very appealing to me.

In the meanwhile I'm loving Fakini balls for everything.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (May 13, 2007 12:52PM)
Sounds like we have many Fakini supporters here, including me.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 13, 2007 05:44PM)
Allow me to throw a curve here...

Fakini's are great, no problem there. I have a set of 1 3/4" and a set of golf balls. But, I learned with German wooden balls from about age 10. Although many things must be taken into consideration when working with wooden balls, such as hand dryness, and that sickening feeling when you drop one and knock out a huge chunk of paint, I have found that some moves can only be done easily with s***ls that do not grip the ball, like Fakinis do.

I have not seen the Dream Balls, but would be very curious to play with them and see if that one aspect would make certain moves possible.

Frank, I made myself a very fleshed-out set of 2 1/4" balls (wooden), complete with a full set of 15 numbered pool balls. See them [url=http://www.themagiccompany.com/billiard_balls.jpg] here[/url].

There are enough duplicates for multiplying cue balls and multiplying 8 balls. There are also sets for multiplying balls in both red and white, plus a couple other solid colors, un-numbered. There are several s***ls, and a silk ball. Oh, and the triangle is one of three. The others are under a panel in the lid of the case. One of them is spring-gaffed for linking triangles.

Message: Posted by: Darkwing (May 13, 2007 11:09PM)
Wow Michael, those billiard balls are out of this world. What craftsmanship!!!!

I wished others took as much pride in their work as I can see in yours.

Kudos to you.

David Williams
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (May 14, 2007 03:18PM)
Wow, awesome and beautiful craftmanship, Michael.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (May 14, 2007 04:40PM)
Very nice, Michael, as usual.

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 14, 2007 09:43PM)
Thanks, guys. Frank, I missed telling the main point in that wooden balls struck together with the end grains facing each other clack like real pool balls. Easy to orient if attention is paid when first painting them. After that, the designs on the ball tell you which areas to smack together. Just don't smack them so hard as to chip the paint.

They are lighter to manipulate too! I've played with real pool balls, too, but practice sessions are MUCH shorter!

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 15, 2007 10:59AM)
If the shell is shinny just put a coat of dull coat paint on it. Go lightly and this will cut out the shell reflecting.
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (May 15, 2007 05:23PM)
Amazing work, Michael.

You are obviously an accomplished craftsman. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the pics!
Message: Posted by: The Great Danton (May 15, 2007 06:47PM)
I sure do wish I had time/money/expeariance to make a set like that! Maybe in a few years....

Right now I'm just trying to get my feet on the ground in manipulation magic. I love it so far, and hope to share a routine of mine very soon!

The Great Danton
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Jun 1, 2007 03:15AM)

I have the same "issue" with the fakini shell. I like my german-made wooden balls better in that regard.

Also, I like the bright red color which isn't available in the fakinis. Something to do with the materials and process I gather.

But I have come to appreciate the "clinginess" of the fakinins, a guy can get spoiled using them.
Message: Posted by: FCpreacher (Jun 1, 2007 10:30AM)
I'm starting to feel light-headed and woozy. I keep staring at the picture and have to remind myself to breathe!

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jun 1, 2007 11:01PM)

The bright red paint on the German balls is really nice. However, over the years I have learned something very basic... white balls show up better and look bigger onstage. In that regard, Fakinis fit the bill. Couple that with their other advantages, and they are hard to beat. Red balls are ok in smaller venues, and obviously for color changes, rainbow routines, etc.

I made my ballstand to match a set of white Fakinis that I have, although I will likely make others to match red balls, pool balls, etc. The first one, I am more likely to use more often.

The loose fit s***l aspect I was talking about is really only necessary for a few moves. But, there is something pleasant about knocking together two solid, hard balls. Frank gets it, too. Wooden ball manipulation is a commitment, but the rewards are nice.

For anyone ineterested, most of this info I sent this to someone in a PM earlier. It will give you a decent set of workable 2 1/4" pool balls, even without a lathe...

Start with wood balls of the diameter you desire.

These are 2 1/4", standard pool ball size:

The painting process is the same whether you turn the balls yourself, or start with pre-mades. The quality of the finish is what makes them decent to manipulate, or not. Appearance is a side benefit, although desirable.

Get some heavy duty upholstery needles and tap one into each ball that you wish to paint. Thread some wire or line through the needle's eye and tie into a short loop, so you can hang the balls for drying.

Begin with a primer, and then color coats of either enamel or lacquer (don't mix brands). When you spray, you will need to hold the needle so you can turn the ball upside down for some of the coats. Otherwise, the paint will all sag to the lowest end. Spray light coats, but MANY coats over time. The more coats that are applied the longer you need to wait for the layers underneath to cure. This can be very time consuming. Impatience will lead to paint wrinkling and then it's back to square one, so take your time. Occasionally between some of the coats, just rub a nice sheen into the ball with #0000 steel wool (fine/very fine). Then continue to add coats.

The more coats applied, the better, although as said, it will take time. Many coats will give the balls a special feel, or cling, that will make them much easier to manipulate.

You want to finish with a "wet" coat, but ultimate care must be taken that the paint does not run into drips or sags. A "wet" coat cures with a very slick glass-like finish. Dryer coats feel more like a dry powder has been allowed to settle in the paint. This finish is much easier to acheive on a level horizontal surface, as the paint "centers" itself. Sprayed on a sphere, you may have to rotate the ball while holding it by the needle to assure that it levels on the surface, rather than sagging to the lowest point.

The up side is that the actual work you will be doing is minimal once you have everything started. Most of the time is spent waiting for paint to cure. That doesn't take away from your normal life!

Solid colors are the easiest, of course, but if you want striped pool balls, then use stencils and masking to get the color effects you wish (stripes, numbers, background fields, etc.).

Clear top coats should be applied to keep balls of different colors from trading paint like NASCAR drivers.

Once finished, use a pliers to twist the needle out of the balls. Only a very tiny hole remains. Don't worry about that.

Although there are routines with solid balls, you may want a s***l. Short of owning a precision lathe and the knowledge and skill to operate one, an option is to go to a craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby and get some clear plastic 2-part ornaments. The positive half makes a decent s***l. Just cut the hanger tab off neatly and paint the half ball the same color as the solid balls. I have found these that will fit the 2 1/4" balls nicely. Smaller balls, and you may be out of luck, though. Stick three small green felt self-adhesive dots to the inside near the rim, and they will prevent the s***l from sticking to the ball.

Well, this is not the same as turning your own set, but it does make a decent set of balls, and a LOT less expensive than if someone turned them for you. The only thing you really must do is have the skill to manipulate 2 1/4" wooden billiard balls. That seems to be a dying art these days with silicone balls available. Most magicians don't even want to try wooden balls. The key to manipulating wooden balls begins with the finish on the balls. All you have to do is pick up a real pool ball and compare it to an unpainted wooden ball to understand the difference. The more glass-like the finish, the more they cling.

Good luck!

Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Jun 2, 2007 04:57AM)
Michael, you're a legend, thank you so so so much! I will be making myself a few sets of new balls now!
All the best,
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Jun 16, 2007 01:09AM)

Thank you for the very detailed advice on painting the balls. I knew most of this already, but reinforcing the PATIENCE aspect was most helpful. Many light layers over time...

I agree with your comments concerning color. My Fakinis are white and they show up very well. I use inexpenive fun balls roughed with some 220 paper (as suggested by Kyle) for color changes. But I also like the bright glossy red of my wooden balls - they work for me as I have not performed on stage. And then there is that "Click!"

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jun 19, 2007 09:19AM)
I am happy with my sponge multiplying balls from gosh.
Message: Posted by: CaptRitz (Jul 2, 2007 10:25PM)
My problem with Fakini balls is the silicone doesn't sleeve very well.
*** well impossible.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 3, 2007 02:42AM)
I like the Fakini Balls. They have their issues as stated in prior posts. But when you drop them...

Having said that, when you get to be competent (not dropping them) I would suggest moving up to the Owens' set. I never thought much about wooden balls and gave them up entirely when I got my Fakini sets years ago. However, some time back I had a chance to play with a set of Owens' Multiplying Billiard Balls. The balls handled unbelievably well. They are light, but tacky. They handle very well. They are pricey...about $60 each, but they are worth every penny. My Fakini's now sit on a shelf and are only used when trying new moves. The Owens' balls sparkle on stage.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jul 3, 2007 04:51AM)
$60 per set or each ball, Steven?
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 9, 2007 10:48PM)
They run $60 for each ball. The set however is quite a bit over the 3 times $60 figure as the shell takes so much time to make correctly. It's money well spent, though.
Message: Posted by: chrisgali (Jul 10, 2007 01:44AM)
..hey..I`m new to Ball manipulation!
What about this ones?

..and what Dvds would you think are the best for a newbie?

nice greets chris
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jul 10, 2007 03:16AM)
On 2007-07-09 23:48, Steven Steele wrote:
They run $60 for each ball. The set however is quite a bit over the 3 times $60 figure as the shell takes so much time to make correctly. It's money well spent, though.

Thanks for the confirmation of the price, Steven.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jul 10, 2007 03:22AM)
On 2007-07-10 02:44, chrisgali wrote:
..hey..I`m new to Ball manipulation!
What about this ones?

..and what Dvds would you think are the best for a newbie?

nice greets chris

McBride has a lot of materials in his DVDs. Good place to start first.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (Jul 25, 2007 03:37AM)
I started with Multiplying Gosh sponge under advice of local
store. I agree they are easy to handle.
(One handful (4) is where I am for now).

In trying to move to something better I just received
The DMSB's and the Manipulators.

I agree with an earlier post about the sheen on the s _ _ _ _
of the DMSBs which I am trying to fix.

But the “Manipulators”? I am sorely disappointed.
Where the balls were released from the “molds” there are chunks
of silicon missing. Yikes!

I have really enjoyed "Multiplying Balls by Tim Wright".
Learned a bit about arm and hand positions and "swings" from
side to front stomach area that I would not have thought about
without seeing how well it worked.
(I'm not implementing the slight "tipsy" aspect). :)

There is something very satisfying about handling multiplying
balls. Almost relaxing or meditating.
(Haven’t quite identified all the reasons.)