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Topic: The most cost efficient sub trunk?
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 29, 2003 09:29AM)
I have been doing close up card magic for well over 5 years now. I've well mastered just about all to know and wanted to create a nice show. But I wanted more than close up in my act. I wanted a nice illusion. It came across me that a sub trunk is the best way to start as others recommend. So I called a manufacture who makes these sub trunks only to find out that he will charge a low rate of $3,000. He told me that it will last a lifetime but since I am only 17 and might take a break from magic as I go into college, I did not need something that will last me a life time. My budget is around $200 - $300. I'm not sure where to go or how to find a trunk. I've called many places but they are way to expensive. I was considering getting the osborne books and giving them to a local carpenter to build the illusion. But others told me that you want an illusion builder, someone who is knowledgeable on the subject. I myself am not good with carpentry work. Where can I find the most cost efficient sub trunk?

Please help!
Message: Posted by: Ty Argo (Dec 29, 2003 10:06AM)
You may want to look at http://www.magicauction.com
There are many sub trunks under $1000, some as low as $500, occasionally less.
Keep in mind you'll have to pay shipping aswell.

You'll probably have to save up a little more, but good luck with your search!
Message: Posted by: pyromagician (Dec 29, 2003 12:06PM)
Why not buy plans and build one yourself?
It would be much cheaper.
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 29, 2003 07:31PM)
I guess that would make the most sense. Are there any magic books or plans that you recommend for building one?
Message: Posted by: magictim (Dec 29, 2003 08:21PM)
Paul Osborne Classic Illusions vol 1. It has plans for packing crate style and steamer trunk. Plus you get plans for other great illusions and its only $37.
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 29, 2003 08:58PM)
Thank you very much for the information but do Osborneís plans require great carpentry work and a lot of money. I am really just a beginner getting in to stage magic on a low budget. I've heard of the illusion works videos, how are those? Any other books/videos recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Message: Posted by: magictim (Dec 29, 2003 09:22PM)
The packing crate style doesn't look too hard for the "at home" builder. The gimmick may be a little tricky if you have never dealt with that type of building before. You could have a carpenter build the lid and you could build the rest if needs be.
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 29, 2003 09:48PM)
Again I am a real beginner for stage magic. I really don't have much experience. Maybe if I went with some really simple but lower cost illusions to start off. Any ideas on that level?
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Dec 29, 2003 10:33PM)
If you only have $300, you will have to build it yourself. Otherwise, save a few more dollars and buy a Chalet packing style trunk for around $700 (or look for a used one.)

Remember, if you buy a well-built Chalet trunk you can always sell it a few years later when you go off to college. So in the end it will only cost you $300 or so anyway and you will have a trunk you can be proud of.
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 29, 2003 10:43PM)
My plan was to find a used trunk, doesn't have to be the best quality. We have a local carpenter who can check it over and/or make safety adjustments. The problem is finding an inexpensive trunk for around $400 - $500. With shipping. If anyone is willing to make one for me or can recommend someone who does or someone who has used trunks please reply.
Message: Posted by: Shawn D (Dec 30, 2003 10:06AM)
I have a subtrunk lid you might want. I am willing to sell for 30 bucks. All you would need to do is build the sides and the bottom. Thatís what I plan on doing with it, but just never have the time.
Shawn D
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 30, 2003 07:40PM)
I agree with Jim that buying better equipment is a better investment than buying inferior bargains. Homemade equipment rarely has much resale value, even if it works. If you are not ready to invest, you are likely not equipped for just spending either.

If you are really into the illusion business, you will use it hard and replace it or you will try it, resell it and move on. If business is really good you will have duplicates of your props you use so you can travel from show to show without the worry of prop problems. The same is true of your stage animals. The last thing you want to be, is a one-truck fire department. That is one that is only functional when the truck is available at the right place. The rest of the time they are actually out of business.

Good props are safer, more predictable, more road worthy, and resalable. Props from reputable manufacturers are readily replaceable. Many of the problem areas are better known to the manufacturer than to the occasional user. They build the problems out.

They will modify them to your specifications. Lucy and I use Chalet for the sub trunk only for a lot of good reasons. It has modifications we like. It is actually useful as a secure trunk for storage. We have a step on the back to speed stepping up onto the trunk initially. (Remember that if the female locks up the magician, there is no one to help her onto the trunk.) It is mounted on wheels for speed on and back stage, loading and unloading, and moving fully loaded. With wheels one person can move it. Since we have wheels we also have bases that keep the wheels still and the trunk solid on stage. (Fall off one and you will value that!) There are multiple handles and pull straps. They are handled more hours off stage than on stage. It is rigged so that the top will not flip backwards. The finish on it would scratch concrete (OK, I'm pulling your leg there.) but the finish is extra tough. The hardware will not rust. Any piece can be quickly replaced like new. It has no down time. (AOL could use a lesson there.) And every next one will be just like it. We can work on the show instead of the props. Used we can get at least half of our money back and it will still last someone for years. In many cases, the Chalet equipment we use is worth more now used than it cost new. Some of it is thirty years old and never needed repainting. I can't say that for many of my props. I can say that for my Chalet and MAK equipment.

There is a real difference in spending and investing. Investing we expect to look at both the return on and the return of our investment. Spending is just a one-way trip. If you cannot afford to just spend for the entertainment of it, investing is a great alternative. It even has a future to it.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: HighVolt29 (Dec 30, 2003 07:55PM)
Thank you for the advice
Message: Posted by: magictim (Dec 30, 2003 08:00PM)
No problem. I hope the trunk works out for you.
Message: Posted by: Cashetta (Jan 7, 2004 12:36AM)
I'm in the process of ordering my first Sub-Trunk from Chalet now. Can't wait to get it. Considered having one made locally but with a reptation as fine as Chalet's I'd rather have it be the best it can be.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 8, 2004 11:55AM)
Congratulations Cashetta! Quality never goes out of style. Enjoy it!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 10, 2004 09:43PM)
I have and own a Chalet packing-crate style sub trunk and love it. It is certainly worth the investment and it is very well built.

Message: Posted by: B.K.Pal (Mar 23, 2005 08:51AM)
Chalet sub trunk .. heard for the first time. What is the approx cost? Address of Chalet will be helpful.
Message: Posted by: Farrell (Mar 23, 2005 11:53AM)
I have a Viking packing Crate style Sub-trunk. And it is awesome. There is no Comparison between the viking and the Chalet. the viking is far better. the lid is the best working I have ever seen. the gimmick accorion folds which is soo kool. this increases mobility inside the trunk. I have nothing but good things to say about the trunk. I don't know if it is still being made but you will deffinetly wanna check it out. it's the highest quality packing crate I've EVER seen. But the most money efficient sub trunk is a back loader. just make it with no back. it'll cost less that 100$ that's the easiest. it's not surroundable but beggars can't be choosers.
Message: Posted by: themagicman3 (Mar 23, 2005 11:07PM)
I'm also your age and recently built a subtrunk of my own. I understand where you are coming from (budget, taking a break from magic when college comes along, etc.) and know how hard it can be to find illusions that play large and look large, but don't cost more than $200 or $300. I have little shop experience (in fact, only a year of middle school shop class) but found that the plans for this illusion are easy enough to follow. You can build the illusion in a weekend. I did it with a friend who had all the needed tools and we kicked it out in a day. It looks nice, works well, and didn't cost an arm and a leg. I say go for building one on your own. PM me if you have any questions.
Message: Posted by: Magicjess76 (Mar 25, 2005 04:14PM)
I just bought a subtrunk off of Magic auction and I'm really pleased with it. My was kind of expensive due to the quality of it but they do have some lower priced ones.
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Mar 26, 2005 06:50PM)
Highvolt29 - I did not spot what are of the country you are in. Perhaps you could send a note to the local magic club about what you are looking for. Or post your request on a "magic wanted" board.

The money you are talking about should get you a pretty good second hand unit. Maybe one even close enough to pick up yourself.

Blair Marshall