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Topic: World's Smallest Set of Cups? Who knows?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 20, 2013 06:20PM)
A few years ago, I mentioned on the cups and balls museum web site that Reilly's Midget Cups and Balls was the smallest set of cups and balls that had been manufactured. At the time I put that on the museum site, the statement was true.

However, it came to my attention that a metal spinner in Arizona had made a set of cups that was actually much tinier. He had actually made a set of cups that would easily stack on top of a US dime. Not bad!

I actually have a set of these very tiny cups in the museum, but I haven't photographed them or put them into the database yet. I'm too busy taking care of getting things ready to move.

However, when Auke was in Houston the last time, I showed the set to him, and he set about making some very interesting cups.

I was tempted not to post photos of these, but I thought they would be of interest to most of you who have access to the cups and balls museum site. So here's how to find the photos.

Go to the page of announcements, and you will find a headline about the tiny cups. There is a hot link in the headline. Click on that link, and it will take you to tinycups.htm.

Eventually, I will tell the full story of how these came to be.
Message: Posted by: cwcoe (Aug 20, 2013 08:19PM)
I didn't find the headline with the hot link but got there by typing in the tinycups.htm on the URL. Those are just amazing!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 20, 2013 09:55PM)
When you enter the museum through the page called gateway.htm, you go to a page called cupsandballsmuseum.htm or cupsandballsmuseumdu.htm, depending on which "doorway" you use.

On those pages, there is a line that says "For some special announcements, click here." Click on the words "click here." They are a hot link. That link, on either page, puts you on a page of announcements.

That page has a blue frame around the text. The first headline on the page says "The Museum Acquires some REALLY small cups!
click here to see them!" That second line is a hot link.
Message: Posted by: cwcoe (Aug 20, 2013 10:01PM)
Found the hot link. Works great. I still can't believe the smallest set. The only problem is the saddle is to flat to hold three balls!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 21, 2013 12:03AM)
How do you know? Do you have a set? ;)

You could use very tiny monkey's fist balls.
Message: Posted by: cwcoe (Aug 21, 2013 07:52AM)
I don't know. I was just being facetious! They look flat in the pictures. It would be interesting to see them utilized in a routine.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Aug 21, 2013 09:08PM)
At MAGIC Live, Auke van Dokkum shared this gem with me. It's resting on my fingertip while I snapped a photo of it.
It was very difficult to get it into focus. Auke made this cup in his shop. That's Auke in the background - sorry about his head...
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Aug 21, 2013 09:31PM)
Incredible. I'm guessing your finger is the final load?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 21, 2013 10:06PM)
Auke mentioned this to me. You can't say that Auke has no sense of humor when it comes to the cups and balls!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Aug 27, 2013 09:37AM)
Bill and Donnie and/or Jim Riser will probably know the answer to this but anyone should feel free to weigh in: what's the smallest, serviceable, purpose-built set of cups available on the market today? By "serviceable" I mean a set that you can sensibly perform a full cups and balls routine with, using your hands and not a pair of tweezers! By "purpose-built", I mean a set specifically built for cups and balls magic (thus excluding cups made for such things as kiddie doll or miniature tea sets). I suspect that Auke's micro-cups - I have them in both SS and brass - will be pretty high on the list.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 28, 2013 12:17AM)
Jim Riser isn't on the Café, at least not under his own name. So, I believe it would fall to either me or Donnie to make that judgment.

First off, there is, as you have basically stated, an element of practicality involved. For some people with extremely tiny hands and fingers, a set of cups such as Riser's Micro Traditional cups might work, but they are way too small for me. He did make some CNC machined Tiny Traditional cups in brass. They are about the same size as the Reilly Midget Cups, but the additional weight of the brass cups makes them more manageable.

However, for most of us, with normal hands, I would say that the van Dokkum micro cups would be the smallest practical cups.

Frankly, the "War of the Tiny Cups" is more about novelty than about the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 29, 2013 12:43AM)
This particular unofficial competition reminds me of a story about a group of engineers from the US who sent a straight pin to a similar group of engineers in Japan. The American engineers had drilled a hole right through the pin. Not from side to side but straight down its axis. This was before lasers had been developed.

The Japanese engineers returned it to them with a note that said "Very impressive!" Then the American engineers examined the pin and found that the Japanese engineers had installed a bushing that ran its entire length.

The story may or may not be true. But the fact is that the pin would not have been very useful for anything except a novelty item.

I'll be adding a few more sets of cups to the database and the site during the next week or so. As I run across "treasures" that I have not photographed, I am shooting these cups and putting them into the database. Afterwards, they will be placed on the appropriate pages as time permits.
Message: Posted by: lint (Aug 29, 2013 10:39PM)
So great to see the virtual museum getting some new photos! Hope all is well bill!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 30, 2013 04:31PM)
I still have all the "parts" to the museum. They are just in storage. All is well. I just need to figure out how to get rid of some old furniture, how to dispose of some tools, and a bunch of other details like that.

I have a garageful of power tools that I haven't used in a long time. The only big one I have used is my table saw. I have a really nice bandsaw and a dust control system. The more I look at my garage, the more I realize it's time for a garage sale.

I think I know what I will be doing tomorrow and Sunday.