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Topic: A pool (Billiards) players magic prop
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 11, 2008 06:10PM)
I think this idea will be viewed as more of a joke then a trick. But I'm kind of stuck on the best way to make it. So I thought I'd see if any of you might have some suggestions.

Here's the idea. You have the balls racked like [url=http://www.saccosbowlhaven.com/15-pool-balls.jpg]this image[/url]. When they break the balls will separate then go back together.

The method I have in mind is that the center 3 balls are mounted together. Elastic cord attaches all the outer balls to the center 3.

I'm thinking that the center 3 can be hallowed out and the elastic can run through them.

I'm also thinking that because they are held together by elastic I'll be able to move the outer balls around when I rack them. For example if you look at the above linked image I'd be able to switch the 10 and 6 balls position. This is a natural thing to do when racking.

What I'm having a hard time figuring out is what tool would be best to hallow the ball out. I'd imagine some kind of drill bit but I'm not sure what to use for this kind of material.

Can you imagine the look of a persons face when they break and they move a little then go back into rack formation? :)

Any suggestions?

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: tom_stamm (Oct 11, 2008 07:59PM)
Have you contacted Joe Porper? He also manufactures Pool Suppplies.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Oct 11, 2008 08:58PM)
I would just drill through the balls. Why hollow them? I would see the weight helping the prop.
Message: Posted by: euroillusion (Oct 14, 2008 01:55PM)
The problem with elastic is that for the balls to return to the original racked state is that it would have to be very strong. But this would mean the initial break would liekly not separate the balls in the first place.

Electro magnetics that are somehow 'keyed' to each ball at a certain spot. An almost ridiculous amount of gimmicking, even if it is possible. Did you watch the movie "Adventures of Pluto Nash" starring Eddies Murphy? There is a scen where the balls rack up by a touch of a button. Looks very magical!

Of course, if this is a TV magic effect, all one has to do is play footage in reverse! :)
Message: Posted by: Matt Watts (Oct 25, 2008 07:17PM)
Sounds like a great gag to me.Carry this with you at bars.Wait fot the other person to get a beer.Switch them out.Ask them if they want to break.Drunks always say yes.Then,.......the best gag ever.When you get this made let me know.Sounds Great.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Oct 25, 2008 09:07PM)
“[i]The early 20th century comedian W.C. Fields used to have an old Vaudeville routine where he'd set up to play a game of pool, and he'd hit all the balls in with one shot. It turns out that the balls had strings attached to them, and an accomplice hiding under the table simply pulled the balls into the pockets.[/i]”

Here’s a very early movie with some of these concepts actualized:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kToO5B9ZME&feature=related

This second clip is unrelated to the self-racking ball concept, but is interesting because all of the billiard props – including that table and crooked sticks, as well as the strung-together balls from the previous clip – have been kept on display in the basement of the Magic Castle in LA for many years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEIUW5Rslrc

TW
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Oct 25, 2008 10:26PM)
Euroillusion- I think you're mistaken about the elastic not working, but the only way to be certain is to experiment.

Hmm- Jaxon, alternately, you could use magnets in all the balls. They'd rack, and you could probably switch one out naturally (with some practice). But when your victim went for the break, the balls would stay clumped together- and the cue ball would clump to them.

Oh- for drilling, dunno; I'd personally try a carbide bit, or other extremely hard material (do they make diamond-tipped bits?), using a drill press on low speed (and a cheap ball to experiment with). Or take Tom Stamm's advice and ask a pro. You'll probably need to contact a manufacturer at some point anyway to obtain the proper resin filler and paint to seamlessly cover the holes.

-Erik
Message: Posted by: euroillusion (Oct 25, 2008 11:48PM)
Hi Erik,

I've been a semi-serious pool player for the past 8 years, I have my own 9ft competition table so I was basing it on my experience with the physics of the balls as they contact each other. You see, if the elastic is too strong, the balls will not break naturally. If the elastic has enough slack, the balls will break but when there are pulled back together, even if you get a rereack, the balls will hit each other and break apart instantly again.

The best bet I thing would have to be to gimmick the table on top of the balls. I would also expoxy various balls together randomnly so you are not working with just single balls. It will be easier, might off some control and still look undiscernable to the casual eye.

Having said that, maybe a combination of right tension elastic ( or a reel between balls) and earth magnets in the balls might work.

I would also consider making your own balls from scratch (for purposes of the effect and not for playing) than trying to gimmick pro balls.