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Topic: Broom Suspension
Message: Posted by: Bob Meigs (Jul 30, 2007 11:26AM)
I'm thinking of using a broom suspension in a Halloween show. I would buy a professionally made illusion (possibly used). Are there any SAFETY concerns I should keep in mind regarding type harness or building materials? Any recommendations of manufacturers who build a good, strong unit? Also, is substantial abdominal strength or a remarkable sense of balance required on the part of the levit-ee?
Open to Advice, Bob Meigs
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (Jul 30, 2007 01:13PM)
Check out Andrew Mayne's Wizard School DVD. It has a self broom suspension using an ordinary broom and towel or small blanket. No need for any thing super special. It is not as fancy as what you are talking about, but if you are looking for something just for a one show deal, it is very cost effective :)
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Jul 30, 2007 06:46PM)
And if that fails, check out the other threads on the Café about the suspension.

Blair Marshall
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Jul 30, 2007 06:46PM)
A broom suspension would be a great fit for your show. Make sure what you buy is in good condition, especially the straps. Also make sure the fit for the broom is correct (both ends).
There are many good builders making broom suspensions, look around and you will find them. You need to use best judgement on this one. I have seen new units run from $800 for an import to $4500 for a domestic with quality not always at the level as the cost.

Other than inspecting the hardware to make sure it is safe make sure you practice with the same person on a regular basis. It takes time for the floatee to get used to the feeling and the balance.
The person does not need as much strength as a sword suspension because they lay on their side.
Make sure to advise your assistant in the position it is a little uncompfortable and a few bruises are normal.
Message: Posted by: Craig Dickens (Jul 30, 2007 07:09PM)
Peter Gossamer makes the best harness I have ever seen. Have the base and brooms made to fit it.
Message: Posted by: Hey Song (Jul 30, 2007 07:21PM)
On 2007-07-30 14:13, Drew Manning wrote:
Check out Andrew Mayne's Wizard School DVD. It has a self broom suspension using an ordinary broom and towel or small blanket. No need for any thing super special. It is not as fancy as what you are talking about, but if you are looking for something just for a one show deal, it is very cost effective :)


You're talking more along the lines of a levitation. The topic poster wants information on a broom suspension (As in the Robert-Houdin suspension).
Message: Posted by: magicmarkdaniel (Jul 31, 2007 05:17AM)
I owned a Peter Diamond model for years and it was superb. He's in the UK. He has no website but his number is +44 (0) 1772 793173.

Just checked his price list and Broom Suspension is coming out at £945 with made to measure harness.

Great price in my opinion for a great looking prop,

Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jul 31, 2007 01:33PM)
Jim Gerrish has a very different type of Witch's Broom Suspension described in his PVC Book Book 3 (on my site). The article is called PVC Levitations, but within that is contained a new type of Broom Suspension in which you use the PVC pipe only to make a proto-type to bring to any iron worker or welder to have the final pieces and harness made in iron or steel. Here is an excerpt from Jim's article describing just the effect:

"A stepladder is in the center of the stage on a very low platform. The Witch enters carrying two brooms, one in each hand. She climbs up on the bottom step of the stepladder and turns around facing the audience. She places the brooms on the floor, straw side down, and uses the brooms to steady herself as she slowly lifts both her legs up into the air.

When she is seated cross-legged or Yoga style in the air, the stepladder is pulled away from behind her. One broom is taken away and used to show that there are no wires above her holding her up. She picks up the second broom herself, bringing it up into her lap.

At this point, it is possible for her to rotate 360 degrees, still suspended in the air. It is possible to pass a hoop over her in all directions, side to side, back to front, top to bottom, etc.

Now the Witch lowers her broom to the floor and begins slowly lowering her legs. The stepladder is brought up behind her just as her feet reach the height of the lowest step. She then steps down to the floor and dances off stage with her broom.

I have also used this with a male dancer who substituted Sho-gun swords for the brooms and turned it into an aerial ballet of martial arts stamina and skill."
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Jul 31, 2007 05:20PM)
I work with Peter's h-------s, it's great. You can buy it direct from him.

Blair Marshall
Message: Posted by: magicmarkdaniel (Jul 31, 2007 05:39PM)

Peter Gossamer or Peter Diamond? I know Diamond sells harnesses separately and the made to meaure ones are very nice indeed.

Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 31, 2007 05:50PM)
What ever you do - do not buy a used A***tts. It's not real steady... In my opinion. I have a Bill Smith, which works as good as the others above.

Also- Practice until you are sore. Get the music first then the performance will follow. Last bit of advice you MUST be on a level stage. If there is a huge wind or the stage is not level then you're assistant can rotate enough to fall over. It's happened very very few times in the history of the trick but it happens.

The assistants weight shifts differently from a stanging and reclining position. after she is "UP" you may need to tighten the parts that seem loose. She may think she is walking slightly bent when she is in the gear correctly.

Last... Have the assistant practice entering and exiting so she looks natural. You should both practice the hook up and exit at least a hundred times.

Richardi did a masterfull suspension.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 31, 2007 06:01PM)
Side note. I know the Gossimer is probably the best but unless you're doing this illusion every day... or at least as much as Craig... it would be an expensive propisition.

A few posts recomend making one yourself using the local welder... This is not a project that can be made nicely by joe's welding shop. There are a few parts that require special care and should be made by people who know exactly what type and grade of metal that's best. These are my opinions but I make things all day (with all the right tools) and unless I decided to make 10 of these units it would be a strech to come up with a good one on the first try. An Agga, on the other hand, with an * bar is something a welder can make, but the Broom Suspension is on a slightly higher level (no pun intended).

Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Jul 31, 2007 06:41PM)
I use the Peter Gossamer unit. And far from being expensive, I found it very reasonable. Remember your wife/lover/girlfriend/daughter(in my case)/employee is up there. You DO NOT want to have an accident!!! Get the best, made by a pro!(LOL)

Blair Marshall
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 31, 2007 07:05PM)
Absoultly correct Blair. Buy the best you can afford - It shows in your presentation and attitude & you'll present yourself with more confidence. In the end you will command higher prices when you combine a beautifull show with your theatrical talent and target your market with effective advertising.

Sounds so simple on paper (but if it was easy.... everyone would be doing it).
Message: Posted by: RJE (Aug 30, 2007 06:51PM)
We use the Gossamer h******s and it is top quality. A local welder, carpenter and a broom maker did the rest. The result is a great illusion.

We have a lot of fun with this routine. We follow a Snowstorm in China with Pat coming out in a janitor's overalls to sweep up the mess. We only use the one broom and the two effects go together quite well.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Oct 10, 2007 03:36PM)
The cost with using the P.G. harness, and building the balance yourself should be less than $2000.00, and you know it will maintain value with the better harness.

Blair Marshall
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Apr 20, 2009 03:05PM)
FREE explanation, amazing, sure.

Message: Posted by: MagicInfinity (Apr 7, 2016 03:12PM)
I tried to see the video...it's private. Can you help?
Message: Posted by: John T. Sheets (Apr 9, 2016 05:33AM)
I've seen/used a lot of harnesses, the Gossamer is great!