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Topic: Square Circle Help
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Mar 9, 2008 12:09PM)
Has anyone here constructed their own square circle? The illustrations inside Wilson's complete course in magic do not include any measurements. Can anyone help me in this?
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Mar 9, 2008 01:19PM)
I built one but didn't keep the plans. I just drew some sketches on scratch paper. You can build them of all sizes. As I built mine, two things drove the process. 1 - What did I want as the final load? This determines the size of the circle. 2 - What could I make the inner circles from? This took some searching for me. I used tubular cement forms from Lowes. They come in 8" and 12" diameters. I used the 8" ones and my square circle is considered large by most people's standards. The thing that made these cement forms work great is that the actual diameters of the tubes are slightly different (they are different for packing purposes, one tube will fit inside the other). So you will find about 3 different diameters of 8" and of 12" tubes. This works great if that is about the size you want. Once you find the right product to build your tubes from you can size things around the tubes, and you are off to the races.

Also, you can find sheets of adhesive felt that are effective for black art from Michaels. Next you will have to determine what type of square you would like to make. Do you want one that opens with hinges, etc? Good luck & have fun with it!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 9, 2008 01:30PM)
The measurements are generic. You can make it whatever size you want it. I've seen them as small as 2 inches high and large enough to hold a human (or two). As long as you understand what it does, you will know how to proportion the various parts so what you want to be seen will be, and what you want to stay unseen, also will be.

First decide the approximate size. This will be decided based on either what you want to produce, or how big of a prop you want to haul around.

Start with the tubes first, as there may be fewer choices when looking, unless you roll your own metal. Incidentally, the tubes don't have to be metal. Check the concrete forming tubes at Lowes or Home Depot for a simple fix for this issue. If you want a smaller finished product, think about the various sizes of tin cans, or PVC drain pipe. Just keep your eyes open, as there are many things that can possibly be used. I've even used big popcorn tins, and waste baskets.

As a matter of fact, the square circle's typical round tubes, don't actually have to be round. They can be a smaller square tube inside the outer square box.

Once you've obtained the inner components, build the square box to go around that. The size of the tube will determine the size of the box. You can cut openings in the front, or add cages bars... whatever you want. Just something to visually break up the large front opening.

Make a flat base for everything to sit on. Paint the outside, and line the inside (and all necessary parts) with black felt or velvet, and you're in business.


Day 10? (I forget! lol)
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Mar 9, 2008 01:42PM)
Okay - Y'all have my curiosity up, what does the day count refer to? Here is a link that shows a picture of my square circle.
Hope this helps...
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Mar 9, 2008 02:29PM)
Thanks a ton guys, great suggestions. I am off to raid local trash cans...LOL

Posted: Mar 9, 2008 3:43pm
Psyched...I got my tubes already... its amazing what an empty coffee can and even larger Iced Tea mix can can do. All I need now is to make the square.

What do you find works better, flat black paint or the felt?
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Mar 9, 2008 02:59PM)
The day counts refer to a 31 day challenge described HERE: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=248016&forum=32&64

Flat black paint is best, if it works under your lighting situations, simply because it doesn't pick up any lint "thingees" always floating about. Both felt and velvet need to be brushed with a lint remover brush (or masking tape lint remover) from time to time, but work better in bright light conditions.

Be creative with the opening in front (see Jim Gerrish's WAH Production Box article for ideas for alternate front openings. It's in The Wizards' Journal #10).
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Mar 9, 2008 03:15PM)
For any type of black art, I would very strongly recommend Don Drake's Black Art fabric.

You can find it here: http://www.blackartsecrets.com/catalog1/velvet_yard.html

Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Mar 9, 2008 03:57PM)
Spellbinder makes a good point about the need to keep felt clean, but I agree that paint will have a problem with most stage lighting situations. The felt or the fabric application that Sam mentioned will work in most lighting situations.

Day 9
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Mar 9, 2008 07:51PM)
I primarily do kid shows without fancy stage lighting. SO I think flat black would be good, no?
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Mar 9, 2008 08:08PM)
You can always start with paint. If it is visible you can upgrade without any trouble. Let me know how you like the paint. From my perspective the felt isn't visible under normal lighting even at five feet.
Message: Posted by: optimystik (Mar 9, 2008 08:41PM)
Paint is OK....but nowhere near as good as the fabric.

I remember back in the 70's you could go into any hardware store and they had rolls of the flat black fabric contact paper that was absolutely perfect for the job.

Better than velvet which has a shine.

You could always find the black, red and wood grain contact paper.

When (what year) and why did that flat black contact paper vanish from hardware stores?

I miss those days.

Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Mar 10, 2008 01:22AM)
Black flocked paper, with or without adhesive backing:

Message: Posted by: Regan (Mar 10, 2008 10:05AM)
Go with the velvet or flocking! You will be in situations where the paint will not suffice!

I remember a post here at the Magic Café about something that someone found for the tubes that worked really well. I cannot remember what they were. I seem to remember that it was in the "Boxes, tubes, & bags" forum, but I could be wrong about that. Maybe someone will recall what I am referring to.

Message: Posted by: mrunge (Mar 10, 2008 08:27PM)
Seems a lot of people are using the cement form tubes found in hardware stores. Because of the way they are made for shipping, they fit inside each other really well and can be found in several sizes for not much money.

Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Mar 10, 2008 08:42PM)
My concerns with the concrete tubes is that they can be a bit heavy to handle. I prefer rolled sheet metal but here is another Idea It does not ahve to be a circle! I use a square sguare. The pattern on the front was created with Hole saws in 3/8 ply by drilling them and then connecting the curves. I then applied extruded aluminum Lath to the inside. I use velevet inside mine and have always been happy with the result. as For size the smaller The better. Because the Idea of pulling Soo much stuff from such a small box is the real seller on this one. I have used it in every formal show for the past twenty years. always happy. BTW Bob Sanders sells an Incredible Line of silks that when produced is over 30 feet long. I use a mix of silk lines and streamers and a few Hard goods. it is a great production. Have fun with it and build one that fits your look. BTW in the success books are a few plans for them with some Ideas on presentation.
Day 11
Message: Posted by: Zazz (Mar 10, 2008 09:24PM)
I'll post pictures later. We built ours from a copper bird feeder we bought inexpensively from Ross. I did some modification to the copper square framework but the inner acrylic tube that came with the feeder was perfect size. We lined the inside of the square except for the front with foam board. The tube was lined with a Victorian print paper bought from Micheal's then wrapped again with clear acrylic wrap to give it a gloss look. The inside of the square is lined with black velvet. The whole works sits on top of a circular display stand. Ours square is about 6" x 6" x 14".

Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Mar 11, 2008 07:21PM)
It is of great benefit in measuring the size of Wilson's square circle to have the original in your shop. It is also a great honor being selected as the manufacturer of choice to build a limited quantity of the same prop. I realize that this is the do it yourself area but if you would be interested in possibly obtaining one of Mark's official square circles that is autographed by Mark and Nani please go to Hocus-Pocus.com. They only have a dozen and a half left and I'm very sure this item will increase in value for those who collect.

Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 6, 2008 11:12PM)
On 2008-03-10 21:42, Michael Taggert wrote:

... BTW Bob Sanders sells an Incredible Line of silks that when produced is over 30 feet long. I use a mix of silk lines and streamers and a few Hard goods. it is a great production. Have fun with it and build one that fits your look. BTW in the success books are a few plans for them with some Ideas on presentation.
Day 11


Thanks for the notice! Those Line of Silk production items have 16 silks in 13 colors. The silks themselves come in 9", 12" 18" and 24" sizes. The 18" size is the most popular and perfect for using a 36' stage.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 7, 2008 11:40AM)
Just for fun, here are a couple of shots of one I made way back in high school, somewhere around 1968-69. The box was just about 12" high.

You can certainly tell what my influence was back then... :)



Okay, sorry, I wanted to paste the photos here, but I must be doing something wrong with the BBCode.
Message: Posted by: bluemagic (Jun 24, 2014 10:13PM)
Any ideas?
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jun 29, 2014 02:41PM)
The first square circle I built was in the mid 1990's it was simple. Only about 18 inches tall, and the inside was coated with a flat smooth black construction paper. Looking at that paper on a table you'd think it useless here, but it is not. It worked great. It wore out too soon as it was made of foam board and paper, but I still loved that it worked.