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Topic: New sidewalk rig
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Mar 15, 2009 04:03PM)
I used to drive a V8 truck, then a V6 jeep, and due to high gas costs last summer I've downsized to a 4 cylinder car. And most of rig doesn't fit in it, so I am building a new one.

Based on my previous [url=http://joejoeonline.com/blogger/archive/2008_01_01_index.html]sidewalk rig[/url], I wanted this one to be bigger - it needs to fill the entire trunk of my car. But I didn't want it to weigh any more so...


Instead of 2x3's, I used 2x2's. And instead of 1/4 inch plywood for the sides/bottom, I am using floor under lament (Luann board). And instead 3/4 inch plywood on the top, I am using 1/2 inch plywood on the top. It passed the "jump up and down on me" test and I can carry it with one hand, so I'm happy so far.


At 24" x 80" x 12" it fits perfectly into the truck, but requires a handle on each side ... meaning it no longer stands up on it's side, but that is not that big of a deal.


Ok sooo ... this is going to have a foam mat glued to the top, and decorated with white stars to look magical. I am thinking about spelling out in big white letters along the front side "STAGE". I think sitting on the sidewalk, that would give creditability to my show.

But that would mean painting over the brass latch ... any thoughts on this from the experts? It is a catch/draw type latch you'd find on a suitcase. Oil based paint would stick, yes? no? Perhaps there is a better latch I could switch to?

Message: Posted by: lin (Mar 15, 2009 04:25PM)
Perhaps you could use two latches, one on each end (i.e., the same sides as the handles)?
Message: Posted by: Chance (Mar 15, 2009 05:19PM)
JoeJoe, I've used similarly proportioned boxes for years on the street. When I need a new one (after traveling to a different continent, or maybe just want a change in style, etc.) I can usually find what I need in an Army surplus store. Military-style wooden footlockers work great. In Europe there's a style of aluminum footlocker that works even better. And my all time favorite is a military footlocker from Switzerland.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 15, 2009 06:57PM)
Ready-mades solve a lot of work, but I think the point is, he already has this box built. :)

The idea of two latches is good, especially since standing the box on end is not so much a concern at this time. That is the fastest and cheapest solution.

The latch could be painted over, but will likely wear as this part will be touched and handled a lot. Spray enamel or lacquer would be best, but the same paint may or may not work on the actual box. This depends on what kind of paint you used on it.

Another thought... Have you thought about painting the letters in gold or brass, instead of white? Then, any wear on the paint on the latch would not start showing as fast.

Regarding the handles on the side... you could switch to spring-loaded recessed handles. They would allow the box to be stood on end. http://www.cheapstudioracks.com/Handles.html
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Mar 15, 2009 07:24PM)
Yes the box is already made ... and made to fit perfectly into my car. It would take a lot of hunting to find something else that fits into my trunk as well as this does. If I could have made it an inch bigger, I would have.

Upon more thought, I think the lettering needs to be on the back side of the box - so that it opens towards the audience. Otherwise, I'd need my back to the audience in order to get something out of it.

Which means the only way to do this is paint the hinge blue and put the letters over it. I used rustoleum royal blue enamel, so I'm pretty sure it will stick to the brass ... just seems a shame to be painting over good brass like that. But the only other way would be no lettering, and I think I want the lettering as I may be without a "magic shows" sign this year.

This box is going to take a serious beating - touch up is inevitable. It will get dragged along, kicked around, stepped on, tripped over, heck ... I might even get drunk and pee on it one night - you just never know. :D

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 15, 2009 10:10PM)
Hey, everybody... party at JoeJoe's!! :)
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Mar 19, 2009 01:41AM)
Yet another pic, with my new hat ... and my new trick. I'm not sure I like "STAGE", might change that to MAGIC. It seems out of place in this pic, but I think it might be better suited for the sidewalk. I've always called my box my stage, so it seems like the right thing to be there ... but I'm just not sure:



EDIT: If you haven't seen the new trick, I have a video of it on my YouTube channel:

Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Mar 19, 2009 02:12AM)
Oh yea ... I went back to the hardware store and found some recessed handles ... they are smaller than I'd like, but the box stands upright nicely now. Thanks for the suggestion Michael!

Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Mar 19, 2009 07:19AM)
Crazy idea... feel free to ignore it... but if you intend to stand it on one end, it might be used as a chair for a spectator for some trick like Qua-Fiki's "Signed Sit on It" from The Wizards' Journal #16 (on my site). However that's not the crazy idea... the crazy idea is to have the word CHAIR on the other side of the box, but with the letters mounted to be read vertically:


So you use the box as a STAGE at first, then you tip it up, and turn it around so it becomes a CHAIR. Not the cleverest of ideas, I admit. Better still would be if the letters for STAGE flipped over and then spelled out CHAIR on the other side of the letters when the box is tipped up on end... but that's a lot of work.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Mar 19, 2009 08:08AM)
That's clever Spellbinder.

JoeJoe, when I saw the pic just now I saw "Stage Front" or "This Side Towards Audience".
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Mar 19, 2009 08:21AM)
JoeJoe, when painting bright metal, you should first remove the polished surface and give it some "tooth" to hold the paint. Sanding and/or wirebrushing should do fine. I use a 120 grit flapwheel on my angle grinder, then a wirebrush cup wheel attachment.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Mar 19, 2009 10:39AM)
Spellbinder: I wouldn't trust it as a chair, not stable enough for that while standing on its side.

Thegreatnippulini: you can tell I didn't sand it by looking at that pic? *** I'm impressed. Truth be known, I hate sanding.

Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Mar 19, 2009 10:42AM)
Sanding does suck. That's why I am saving up for a nice hobby sized glass bead blasting unit with cabinet. I have three belt sanders, two bench grinders, a few angle grinders and I STILL can't get into the nooks and crannies.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 3, 2009 05:10PM)
OK ... phase two. Your gonna like this!

First, you can see my entire act packed into this box ... the only thing missing is a tip jar, I know where I can get one that is smaller than mine and will fit into this box so I have everything I need to profit in one box.


Notice those aluminum rods in there? They attach to the outside ... stack one on top of the other like so...


And presto, my very own street lamp! Having a light really helped last year, this is a big plus. The lamp I used last year don't fit into my car ... there is some stability issues, I'm thinking of making it only two pieces so it'd be a foot smaller but more stable. The other idea is buying a large one piece rod and finding somewhere to stash it on the pitch. The light is powered by a battery inverter which I carry separately ... it is too heavy to put in the box. The blue cylinder holds my dancing canes.


First question ... the lamp itself is made from cardboard and masking tape. I know from experience that leaving that in the hot trunk will cause the tape to peel. Any suggestions on some type of sealer? I remember something about building guitars ... some kind of clear sandable primer? What would it be called? What do you think would work best?

Second question: I plan to add a sign to the pole, "THE JOEJOE MAGIC SHOW". I'm not sure what to make it out of - wind must be able to pass through it. I'm thinking those plastic craft sheets people sew together with embroidery thread. How could I paint that? Perhaps I should learn to make those thingies? Suggestions?

Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Apr 3, 2009 06:28PM)
Jo Jo,

Great set-up.

Lamp post... Here's an idea. A one-piece post could be tied to the outside of the car. Open hood and trunk of the car. Pass nylon cord through the hinges on the passenger side. Tie your pole to the side of the car and away you go.

Could you make the lamp from gatorboard (foam core) and cable ties with epoxy glue? You can get it in black so paint/taping isn't necessary.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 3, 2009 07:04PM)
Wow. looks great jojo
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Apr 4, 2009 06:38PM)
Nice set up Jo Jo, perhaps if you got some bungee cord and passed it through the cetre of the poles for the lamp you could make it like a tent pole, just to make it quicker set up and keep them together when stripped down....

Also, there are some remote control lamps with a dozen or so ultra bright led's in camping shops, about the same size as the one you have, they are rechargeable and also fit in the cigarette lighter socket of the car to power up or re-charge....

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 4, 2009 07:57PM)
I wonder if gaffer's tape might work better than masking tape. It is made for use in studios, and theaters where the lights can warm a room up real fast.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 9, 2009 09:46PM)
OK ... I'm scheduled to start working Saturday and I still don't have a sign. I went to Micheal's Crafts today looking for those plastic 'canvas' sheets, but they didn't have any really big ones - only small ones.

So I'm rethinking ... I cut out a large sheet of cardboard, painting it blue ... I plan to rig some type of sign that can blow in the wind, like a hanging sign that can flap back and forth in the wind. That should keep it from blowing over.

The box itself is heavier than I'd like, I don't think it is the box itself but all the stuff I'm putting in the box - it contains much more than my previous smaller box. I'm gonna need to think about wheels as well ... top priority on that is big rubber wheels that don't make noise, I hate the sound of those plastic coasters being dragged along the concrete.

And I'm also concerned about the paint ... it appears to me that this blue enamel works better on cardboard than it does wood. I'm not so sure the paint is going to hold up all summer. Time will tell.

And then there is the biggest problem ... masking tape peeling off in the heat. I'm actually thinking mod-podge might work?? "Water based sealer glue and finish for all surfaces". Any thoughts on that one anyone??

So I can say at this point that this project is much more ambitious than my previous smaller box, which took all of about 3 days to complete.

Message: Posted by: mjb50 (Apr 10, 2009 04:19AM)
JoeJoe, for paint that will really hold up, try 1-Shot Sign Painters paint. It's the last lead-based paint still on the market, and what Circuses use for their props. If an elephant can stand on it, so can you! You won't be able to use it right away, because it takes a couple of days to cure completely. Here's a link, just click "Distributors" for a dealer near you.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Apr 10, 2009 07:18AM)
1 Shot Lettering Enamel is expensive, but it is the best stuff out there. I get it locally at an art supply company.
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Apr 11, 2009 08:59PM)

Gaffer's tape does do much better than masking tape.


A 2-wheeled dolloy makes moving your box simple Use bungee cords to keep the box on the doll, during transport. attach the rods/brackets to the dolly. After you rolled he box to your site and set it up, push the tongue of the dolly under the box.

Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 11, 2009 10:25PM)
Here is a picture of the new rig in action ... all setup and ready to go, the only thing that needs to be replaced is the yellow top hat that I use to hold balloons which should now be blue; I also notice from looking at this picture that I should put blue and white balloons around the tip jar, I normally just use whatever color I have the most of at the moment:


And here is a closeup of the sign I spent all day working on yesterday - came out flipping awesome! Lots of people asked to see the magic show and the ring seller in front of me said he heard a lot of people reading it as the walked by ... and with the URL on it, I get to plug my YouTube channel - I'd tell people to just take a picture of me and the sign so they don't forget the URL. Seems to work good, just need to remember to plug it more frequently.


Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Apr 12, 2009 09:47PM)
Looks great!
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 8, 2009 11:50PM)
Love the new rig, is best one I have ever used:


Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 12, 2009 08:31AM)
On 2009-07-09 00:50, JoeJoe wrote:
Love the new rig, is best one I have ever used:


Your clothes are too plain. If they were more colorful it would attract a big crowd.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jul 12, 2009 11:31AM)
Doesn't the blue hair make up for it Mike? LOL...
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 12, 2009 05:02PM)
My bad. LOL
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 13, 2009 12:40AM)
Clothes do not draw crowds. Performers draw crowds.

Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 13, 2009 02:54PM)
You must have misunderstood my previous post. Clothing do not draw a crowd by itself. I will be more specific since you do not understand. A good performer would think about the clothing he would wear to help him draw attention with it's visibility to where the area he is performing. If you still do not understand, we will keep doing our best to assist you. I am sorry my previous post was too hard for you. If there are more post we put that are too difficult for you to understand, please let know. There is also another forum on the Magic Café with post from other professional street buskers like me.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jul 13, 2009 04:00PM)
Somehow I just knew this was gonna happen. Another thread destined for the trash can...
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 13, 2009 04:11PM)
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 13, 2009 10:36PM)
Mike ... unlike you, I work seven hours a day seven nights a week ... and by the end of the day, I am in no mood to deal with you. Your an idiot, shut up please.

Clothes do not draw a crowd, a performer draws a crowd. I can draw a crowd in a fancy suit or shorts and a tee-shirt. What I am wearing makes no difference. That is what you don't understand. You are the one that doesn't get it.

You would be wise to learn real skills instead of looking for cheap gimmicks to do the work for you.

Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 14, 2009 05:17AM)
I had a good feeling you were going to fall for it, Joe. I wanted you to see how how it felt when someones would try and take over your thread the same way you tried taking over mine multiple times. What goes around comes around.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jul 14, 2009 06:16AM)
Yep, just as I thought. Stay classy guys!

This thread will self-destruct in 5-4-3-2....