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Topic: Basics for making coin props
Message: Posted by: cablerock (Sep 5, 2011 12:53PM)
I'm interested in trying to make a few gaffed coins myself, and I was wondering if there were some good, relatively inexpensive tools I could get in order to do it. I've got drills, a couple hand sanders, and maybe a rotary dremel style tool, as well as a soldering iron. I also have clamps and lots of hand tools.

Do I need a lathe or drill press? How much am I looking to invest in just the basics? I'd like to be able to make some c/s coins for example. How do I sand down a coin so it's completely flat on the opposite side? Thanks, I'll post more as I continue on my venture.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 5, 2011 02:50PM)
You will need a mini metal lathe, look up the prices yourself, and you can always buy used. It fits on a small work bench.

You don't sand coins down, you use the lathe to mill them down.

If you are in school take some shop classes, otherwise seek the education from a career center or community college courses. It takes la long time to learn to use the lathe properly. Although I did know a magician that bought a used mini lathe and snd started making his own thimbles within a week.

Education, plus knowledge, plus talent, plus skill and you can accomplish your task.
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Sep 5, 2011 03:00PM)
Hi Bill, I'm interested too. Lets say you were making a [ coin. wouldn't you need... some kind of precision drill press?

If its an expanded shell then you would need a way to press the coin & mush it out a bit before drilling

How about a fli**er? A reduced diameter deans sets with re-milled edges?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 5, 2011 03:28PM)
Bill, you are getting into the precision pieces now. A metal lathe will do everything, including shell coins. Instead of going to the edge of the coin, you stop and leave the edge on.

As far as milling that is something altogether different. Different machines and more expensive.

Expanded shells are just that expanded, so on the lather you would not cut to the edge, but as the coin heats up do to spinning, you expand the coin.

Johnson stopped expanding coins years ago, and now actually make a perfect new edge on their coins and attach them in a way that is their process and is secret.

Flipper coins are done with cutting tools after milling and turning, but in the beginning were done with a Jewelers Saw,I believe, by hand. Ever try to cut a perfect straight line with a Jewelers Saw, not easy!

In the end, Johnson Products have created perfect coins from their automated system of coin making. I would rather buy the coins and perform magic, then to spend hundreds of hours learning to make one coin trick. Not to mention the cost in the end.

If you are rich and like to play at things, no problem. I take it you have the space for a metal workshop that you can maintain.

Take a look at James P. Riser web site. It will only give you a small picture of what you would be in for, he mentions his east coast facility as well. So he has a shop in Arizona and maintains one on the east coast. He has tons of machinery, some he spent thousands of dollars to do one little thing.

The current competition is very heavy with this type of craftsman. Use to be only 2 or 3 coin craftsman, now there are at least 6 I can think of off the top of my head.
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Sep 5, 2011 10:51PM)
Wow thanks Bill.

Not ready to build out the machine shop just yet but I'm always curious about how people build things & what is involved.
Message: Posted by: cablerock (Sep 8, 2011 07:47PM)
Exactly. I have a burning desire to learn how everything works, and while I might do this, I think it will be in my best interest for the next few months at least to hold off. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: BryanDreyfus (Sep 23, 2011 04:24PM)
Johnson turns the coin entirely flat and then takes another coins edge that they stretch a bit and actually solder the edge to the coin. I went to school and metal lathe was a big part of the curriculum.

Just think of what you can make: okito box sets (plug box etc). Ball vases out of brass. pea cans like Morrisy's and other skills on flat pieces turned into bowls or cups.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 23, 2011 05:31PM)
On 2011-09-08 20:47, cablerock wrote:
Exactly. I have a burning desire to learn how everything works, and while I might do this, I think it will be in my best interest for the next few months at least to hold off. Thank you.

Burning desire is of little use without action. Then it is only curiosity. If you remember, Curiosity killed the cat! (cliche) LOL
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Sep 23, 2011 08:18PM)
Poor cat.
Message: Posted by: Dr_J_Ayala (Sep 23, 2011 10:50PM)
That Curiosity...such the evil entity...
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Sep 23, 2011 11:35PM)
Yup. Seven deadly sins plus curiosity. Good thing cats have nine lives.
Message: Posted by: boydy (Sep 26, 2011 11:26AM)
As a Toolmaker myself, I am a turner, miller etc.

I could make expanded shells if only I knew what the expanding procedure was.

I'm not sure my employer would say if I started, probably have me sectioned under the mental health act.
Message: Posted by: malaki (Jul 5, 2017 11:13AM)
The version of that cliche as I heard it:

Curiosity killed the cat,
Satisfaction brought it back!