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Topic: Super-X Levitation
Message: Posted by: Lothar (Dec 31, 2003 04:26PM)
I just saw this for sale for $235, BUT it doesn't come with the board, hoop, or sawhorses. It is built to hold a large man, which is good for my show. I guess it's more of a suspension. Is this a good price?
Message: Posted by: magictim (Dec 31, 2003 06:23PM)
No. For a fraction of the price, you can buy plans and have it built at a machine shop for under $100. $20-25 for plans and $75 to get a machine shop to build you one with their scrap metal.
Message: Posted by: zaubern (Jan 2, 2004 04:19AM)
Yes, Tannen's carries Osborne's plans for this. I believe it's called the Super Suspension. Check them out http://www.tannens.com They have a large all the plans and books you could need.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 18, 2004 02:19PM)

Have just finished building Osborne super suspension

Metal shop built supports & Cabinet makers professionally built base with board attachments etc-Saved a fortune

Clever Illusion for right performing area-stage & Cabaret -watch 45 degree angles-work upstage & no probs
Use Pro looking cloth to wrap assistant as you stand at back

Feedback amazing-with good presentation-music,Dry Ice etc is most important!

You will own a true Classic for a good price

Good Luck :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 18, 2004 05:53PM)
There is more to this...

I paid $345 for a frame but it is a universal frame so I can use it for a suspension or connect my hydralics and use it for a levitation.

The price is not as important as its use. If you can't use it it is a waste of money.

How many of us can really give sound advice here? How much stuff do we buy that is just sitting around and may never be used?

I have illusions I never used and I now regret buying them.

As was said elsewhere. Spend the money and get a great illusion ready to go, which is professionally done. (Usually requires twicking and som adjusting)

Used illusions not completed may be a waste of money. I bought a suspension and threw away the upward post and made a new one and used the base. It would have been cheaper to buy a brand new one!

(One of many stories)
Message: Posted by: Aroy (Feb 2, 2004 08:55PM)
Ouch!!!......Oh how true!!!!LOLOL
Especially if you are living out in the boondocks of magic vacuum land, like I am!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 3, 2004 12:04AM)

Well the cost is justified if it will hold a large man. Most illusions of this nature are only made to hold a person of 120 lbs. The next problem is if it is to hold a large man, can you transport it easily. I had a friend once made a copy of my chair suspension. He wanted it well made so he doubled all the measurements and materials. It was so heavy that it could not be picked up. It went in the trash.

In another string someone shows how he made everything so it can be broke down including the gimmick. You might want to check it out, nice idea. If you do make it yourself make sure you get a professional engineer to verify the strength, or the welding shop may be able to help you. Seek professional help.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 10, 2004 01:06PM)
If you do magic long enough, you will buy many more props than you will use. Some you may not even open. (I sold an electric sawing-in-half last month I never unwrapped.) Illusions are even more important if you don't use them; they take up valuable space. There is a great difference between custom-made and homemade. The lesson I have had to learn over and over is that if I set out to save money, I find I'll need it to do things right later. Even at my age waiting is hard to do.

High-end factory props are essentially custom-made props. They tend to work, be well built, last for many years of heavy use and keep reasonable resale value. Custom-made props can range from coming in a different color and size to adding many features not available in the market. The best source of custom-made props is from the same people who make the ďfactoryĒ model. Most high-end magic props are made in very small but well-informed shops. The experience of the builder is included in the design. They understand the importance of weight, motions, ďtalkingĒ, packing, angles, lighting, speed of operation, reset time, maintenance, and audience impact. Frankly, they tend not to charge for that. They tend to charge for cutting, welding, sanding, painting, labor and materials, and overhead just like anyone else. My feelings are not hurt when I get what I bought.

Do I do Super-X? Well, I have one and rarely perform it. It was custom-made and it appears to be very pleasingly different from others. It is taller, longer, more stable, easy to setup, and will give much better angle latitude than most. It is also heavier than most, but it is still within acceptable weight limits. I donít like to use it because it is hazardous to my other equipment. It will fit in the back seat of a full size car but it is still made of heavy iron that marks upholstery. It is difficult to get through doors without the help of another person and it is a safety hazard backstage. There are simply other options that work better for a show that moves. If you work a show that stays on the same stage for months at a time, it is a great prop. If you break down the set and move several times a week, it is a poor choice. The important part is how it will be used. Does it fit your shows or is it just an effect you like? Toys are for you. Iím a firm believer that we are allowed to have toys. The show is for someone else.

I paid about $250 for this one and picked it up to save freight. Freight is a factor for this type of prop. If I started over, I would change the top cover to upholstery cloth that wonít be slippery and wonít hurt silk and knit clothing. It is a great prop in the right place. For me, that seldom occurs. My shows move almost daily.


Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: imagique (Feb 21, 2005 01:46AM)
If you're building a super-X, design it yourself, and have it built locally. If you've got a friend who welds, it's even better. If you've got a friend who is a magician and he welds, you can even do better. If there is a local scrap metal yard, things get even better.

Second, change the design of the super-x to suit your own taste. Don't use plans, use common sense. If you can't figure out how it works, or if you can't think about improvements, maybe this won't work out for you. This can be an awful effect, and it can be a brilliant effect. If you don't have enough of a problem solving mind for building the effect without applying some problem solving, then you really, really won't be able to bring the presentation up to a level that it will appear effective or believable.

There are several improvements that will occur when you build your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

First rule: When dealing with the person who builds it, don't haggle. Adjustments, experiments, repositioning, etc. may be necessary, don't bite the hand that welds. Make this person feel well rewarded, and in the future, when you move up to a walk away, he'll be more into it than if it was more of a hassle than it was worth.

Here is my chronological account of my welded floating ladies...

1990- My first custom made floating lady, Super-X: Relatively high position, very deep. Adjusted to make shallower. Board could be tilted before the trick. I used 3 full sized stools, and I bought a Blaney hoop. No goosenecks. The Super-X, as built, held 400 lbs. Extremely heavy, had to be dissassembled to move, due to weight. No visible base.

1994- Built 2nd floating lady, Harbin/Gwynn walkaway: Lower position, shallow depth. Completely dependent upon the Blaney hoop. Skirted base, with non-marking skid pads. Very solid, assembly without bolting or unscrewing, in seconds. Removable board, uses audience member, other issues improved upon that cannot be shared here, due to overly sensitive moderators.

1997- Built/upgraded #2 with huge improvements. Harbin/Gwynn walkaway: Extremely portable, same height position, even shallower depth. Still Blaney hoop dependent. Solid base with casters that could be changed direction by 90 degrees, so that I could roll it from the back of the stage after using it as a table, or I could roll it on from the side of the stage. Multidirectional pull cord. As angleproof as humanly possible. I perform this one at house parties, almost anywhere. Look at the Century Suspension... mine's much shorter, and shallower. This allows me to sweep my arm under the length of the board with the ungimmicked box still in place. The most important fact that most magicians don't understand when building these illusions is that the audience can't detect the difference in depth. Once, Bill Palmer saw my floating lady, and he couldn't tell if I had built it deeper or shallower. And he's a master illusionist, when it comes to floating lady illusions.

Walter Blaney and I totally disagree on one huge point of floating ladies. He is against the use of wheels on the bottom of the base. I feel that rolling on and off is the only true justification of a base. Without moving this illusion on the base while the audience is watching, you are failing to justify the existence of the base with the parts assembled upon it. The base appears to be an added convenience, not part of the act. Make sure that you don't decorate the base in any special way that matches the other parts of the illusion. His opinion is based on safety issues, if I recall correctly. I've done it my way over 800 times in front of live audiences, and the wheels were never a safety or stability issue.

2005- Magella principle of levitation. A modified Super-X for levitating (upward motion), but without moving parts. No visible base, floor is completely visible beneath my feet. No assembly required in any way- solid one-piece construction. Can be used for horizontal suspension, vertical levitation, can be used as a regular super-x with an adapter. This method of levitation requires a heavily trained assistant, and is a complete workout everytime we rehearse. It's extremely difficult to block the choreography to make this one look good, but it's really beginning to pay off. This one belongs in Cirque du Soleil more than any portable effect that I've ever seen. Also enables the performer to vanish the assistant at the end of the routine. We videotaped this one yesterday, and it's really a keeper. I was concerned about how it would look, but it is a shocker, especially with the moves that we've invented for it.

Angle issues are constant, and we are working to improve the angles by the hour. This is very organic magic, and the future possibilities with this gimmick are seemingly unlimited.

We have scratched all use of Asrah type forms, and we constantly come up with subtle, clever ways to infer position and presence. Lot's of mime and alternative movements that are very unorthodox.

Right now, I can only supply a choppy video, due to the fact that the finished gimmicks are only a week old. I'll try to post it later.

If you want to get into building floating ladies, you should first invest in some graphic design software. I use Canvas 6 by Deneba on Windows. Incredibly versatile vector/raster program, all on one page. You can actually take a picture of your assistant laying down and superimpose it on your vector drawings, and tilt her, move her, and rotate her from a rotation point located anywhere on the plane that you want. Very powerful stuff.

My other suggestions have been mentioned before. Alleviate angle problems by cutting down on depth. I can use my floating lady in a house, in almost any comedy club, and very difficult situations. A well placed magic case here, an easel there... there are all kinds of ways to cut down on angles.

Steel is safer than aluminum usually, because steel will bend without breaking. Aluminum is more of a breaker than a bender. Steel gives you a little warning.

You can PM me for more detailed questions about hints that I've come across while building floating ladies. I feel that the floating lady is the most beautiful effect in magic. Not balanced ladies, not ladies attached to a chair or broom. Floating ladies.

Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Jul 5, 2007 12:07PM)

This is Jimmy, I'm posting the Magellan Witch Levitation as a sort of proof of origin of the existence of this illusion principle and prop. Although not revealed, this will provide a point of genesis for this illusion, hopefully, since patents and legal protection seem to be pretty useless.

The above is shown on Google Video as the Magellan Witch Levitation...


Or search youtube.com for Jimmy Fingers' Magellan Witch Levitation




Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Jul 10, 2007 03:42PM)
I've now posted to youtube my Gwynne/Harbin walkaway for viewing. It's an old video, but it's really nice, and filmed in a really cool place... Mac King's old room at the Maxim... What a great backdrop!!!


Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions about floating ladies!!!

Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Jul 10, 2007 09:05PM)
Wow let me know if you ever decide to build the walk-away for sale.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Dec 19, 2007 12:59PM)
These are being built right now, but I'm not allowed to advertise them here. I don't know how people will be able to contact me.

Jimmy Fingers
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 19, 2007 02:34PM)
Back to the orginal question in the thread...

If itís a standard used Abbott's Super-X, itís just too much money, and too impractical to perform, and would sag like heck under that sort of weight.

The above advice to have one built is good,but if you do, re-design out the weak points.

For the very low cost, the Sommers version of the Gwynne Walk-Away is better than a Super-X, and made for you.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 19, 2007 02:52PM)
At some point in every stage magician's life he needs to own a Super X if for nothing but the publicity photos. Then they tend to sit in storage.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 19, 2007 02:59PM)
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 19, 2007 09:52PM)
Is there an unused one here in Florida?
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 19, 2007 11:37PM)
Really Slim???

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 20, 2007 10:05AM)
Hello Slim,

I'll be over your way in February.

No doubt, Florida should be loaded with Super-X props that don't have any experience. Lots of grandparents have them. LOL! Getting them to part with them may be something else.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Dec 21, 2007 09:06AM)
For those who haven't seen this, here is Percy Abbott demonstrating the Super X Levitation

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 21, 2007 02:08PM)
Yes, a blast from the past!
Oh, how I longed for one of these at fourteen years old.

Done out on the lawn the ground-cover makes sense,
it is still mainly a "floating board" with a girl on it,
and there is no plausible reason to cover her up given.

The supports, I believe, are still exactly the same today,
and in reality could never support the weight of girl and board.
I always thought it was a hoot she is suspended at only about thigh height.

Yes, in the 1940's we were more innocent and this was more amazing,
and one of the first "budget" illusions that could fit into your Pontiac,
that said, I think the value of the Super-X is what came after,
and today it is mainly interesting as history and our roots.