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Topic: Hydrostatic Glass
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 16, 2004 01:59PM)
Anyone have any experience with the Hydrostatic Glass.

Namely, Ted Lesley's. What is so special about it that it cost $112.50 from Steven's Magic?

Any tips on making a gimmick. I have Alan Shaxon book and Tommy Wonder books.

Need tips on material and where to get it.

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 16, 2004 06:59PM)
I have made this glass and it works very well. I built mine like Dr. John Booth made his. As for why Lesley's is so much...no clue.

The trick is a signature effect for Booth so the method is good...far as I know they are all pretty much the same of course. If you PM me I can tell you where to get the material and how to make it for probably $5.00 You will be very happy with it as far as how it looks and works.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Jan 16, 2004 08:49PM)
On 2004-01-16 14:59, wmhegbli wrote:
Anyone have any experience with the Hydrostatic Glass.

Namely, Ted Lesley's. What is so special about it that it cost $112.50 from Steven's Magic?

Any tips on making a gimmick. I have Alan Shaxon book and Tommy Wonder books.

Need tips on material and where to get it.


Ted describes his glass and method in his book "Paramiracles."

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 17, 2004 12:29AM)

Thanks for the reminder. I have the book and had not remembered it being there. The answer then, as to why his glass is so expensive is this:

It is a real Crystal (as in glass) wine glass

As a result it is harder to make than with a typical plastic glass or even a plastic wineglass. Crystal is hard to drill.

The Booth version I mentioned is a tumbler, a nice plastic looking one. These are available. This makes it easier to work, although I think you could now get a pretty decent looking plastic wineglass too. I saw some that were a far cry from the cheap bulk ones they used to sell.

Lesley's sounds very well made and I can see why it is pricey. I am afraid that I would break it. I tend to avoid glass props when I can, other than really tough glass stuff like salt shakers.

Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Jan 17, 2004 11:37AM)
Do you have a Pic-n-Save (now Big-Lots) near you? They periodically have indestructable lexan-type glasses perfect for the HG. Also, the 99-cent stores carry the good stuff occasionally. If you don't have a drill, just use a pair of pliers and a hot finishing nail to gaff the glass.

Big Lots remains the magic-makers dream. last season they had $10 Duck Buckets! This season they have large chinese-made Hobgoblin Houses for $25. (Most perfect for the contemporary Sephalaljia...decorate the inside walls with tiny posters, notes, and hobgoblin junk...and a gaff or two will fit right in, right there, on the walls, for all to see.)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 17, 2004 02:50PM)
I made mine out of real glass with the instructions in Alan Shaxon book for drilling. Of course it was not lead crystal.

Then it slid right off the table onto a concrete floor and the person that hired me for the show was really upset. It is plastic from now on.

Anyone have any ideas where I can get material for the gimmick. The sheets from the hobby shop turn yellow within a few months.

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 17, 2004 05:09PM)
You can get a variety of clear plastics at http://www.micromark.com

They have sheets of styrene, lexan and others. My gimmick is at least ten years old and is not yellow. I think I used styrene or butyrate..not sure. Just put the word styrene in their search engine at the site and you will get a list of that as well as the other plastics which you can then search for individually. One of these plastics should fit your needs very well.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 17, 2004 06:48PM)
Anyone have experience with Tommy Wonder method to make the gimmick. What do you use to attach the 2 gimmicks together.

I will check out the plastic site. Thanks for the reference.

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 17, 2004 08:48PM)
Not sure what Tommy does. It may be what I do. I have the primary piece which goes on where we magicians know it goes. I have a second piece which is the size of the inner rim. I attach that with clear glue, just a drop in the center. That makes it lie pretty flat on the main piece, but the edges tend to be raised just a smidge. That way, when the paper is pulled off you never need to worry about losing the main seal. And it makes it easier to get the thing on so it is in the right place in the beginning. As for glue, I know Testor's makes a glue that would work to bond plastics clearly...forget the name but it is at their model paint supplie kiosk in most stores. It is called something like plastic weld. You can get a good clear bond at a window glass store that sells plastic or plexiglass. You want an agent that actually melts the plastic to itself, unlike something that adheres between the pieces. One secret, when you use these bonds do not blow on the joint or in any way get it wet or moist. The moisture, until it is dry, will make the joint turn white and it will stay that way. At the Micromark site look under adhesives, they had a number of things that sounded like they would work for your purpose.

By the way, if you did not, take your plastic tumbler and gently sand it on the top edge. Just put a piece of sandpaper on the table, hold it, and run the glass tumber over it. That flat edge will not be noticeable but sure makes for a better seal.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 18, 2004 12:58PM)
Thanks Magicduck,

I do sand the tumbler. Just need the best source for plastic and adhesive. Anyone know how to cut a perfect circle, or find the inner size of a glass?

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 18, 2004 02:08PM)
As for scientifically speaking about circles and measurements, I am not an expert. As far as building this effect, I suggest that you get a very sharp exacto knife, run a line around the outer lip of the glass as you hold the glass down to the plastic. If you do that a couple times you will actually have the big piece of plastic cut out or, at the least, you can then cut it out along the indent with scissors.

As for the inner circle. This need not be perfect. In fact, as far as getting it on smoothly, just a smidge small, or sloppy, is best as long as it is big enough that the bigger disc cannot slip off the edge. Catastrophe!

To make this, I measure the diameter of the inside of the glass with a ruler. Then I take a compass and set that for about 1/16 less than that size. Then I draw on the plastic with a sharp pen in the compass and neatly cut along the line with sharp scissors.

Afterthought: in the post below, Sid uses plexiglass which would not cut the way I suggest. I use a not as heavy plastic from Micromark, such as .030 up to .060 which works fine for me. It is not plexiglass but still fairly heavy, adheres well and is pretty thin and invisible when in use.

Message: Posted by: Sid Mayer (Jan 18, 2004 02:34PM)
The best way to make the gimmick is by using a lathe to turn a single piece of plastic. I use plexiglass. As mentioned by others, it should not be a tight fit.

Grinding the lip of the glass flat is important. It will provide a much better seal.

A light coating of petroleum jelly (Vaseline of equivalent) on the lip of the glass helps to insure a good seal.

I think a real glass tumbler is far preferable to plastic glasses.

The hole in the glass is easy to drill with a carbide spade drill. Use kerosene to lubricate the drill while in use.

A surplus hard telephoto lens case provides a safe way to transport the glass.

Always carry an extra glass.

Message: Posted by: ChrisPilsworth (Jan 22, 2004 05:09PM)
To cut a very accurate circle in thin sheet plastic you can try a circle cutter that is manufactured by OLFA. It is like a compass with a blade. The radius can be changed easily. The cutter is meant to cut paper, but if the plastic is not too thick and you are patient, by making several passes you can cut through the plastic. The nice advantage of this method is that when you have cut the two disks they will both have a small hole at the exact center. This will allow you to center both disks when you glue them together. (This is for the Tommy Wonder style gimmick.)

I use an acrylic tumbler. I picked it up at the hardware store. These glasses were designed to be used outdoors for barbeques. They look like real glass and have the advantage of not breaking. When you smooth out the rim use wet-dry sandpaper. Get a fine grain, like a 400. Wet the paper and place it face up on a table. When you smooth out the rim of the glass, move the glass in a figure 8. This will ensure that one side of the glass is taken down further than the other side. If the surface of the rim gets a bit milky looking after you dry it off, do a bit more sanding with 600 wet-dry. If you wand the surface to be a bit smoother, you can use a bit of tooth paste. Tooth paste has a bit of very fine abrasive that will bring the rim to the lustre of the rest of the glass.

Hope this helps.


Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 22, 2004 11:34PM)
Last time I bought plastic from T&A Plastics, they cut it for me.

Alan Shaxon's routine is as good as it gets. :coffee:
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 23, 2004 12:39AM)

Any info on where T&A plastics are located. A search turned up nothing.

Yes, I have used Alan Shaxon's routine to end by act for a long time. Can't beat it!

Bill :question:
Message: Posted by: snilsson (Jan 23, 2004 01:43PM)
Here is a tip that may save you $112.50.

You can perform the hydrostatic glass without the hole in the glass. Make a small tab on the gimmic. To release the water, push the tab gently against the top of the inner wall of the pitcher you use to catch the falling liquid. It works like a charm, there is no splashing and the audience reaction is as strong as usual. In this way you can also use the glass earlier in your act without having to worry about sealing the hole.
Message: Posted by: Mr.P (Apr 19, 2004 12:31PM)
I use a plastic stem glass, drill the hole down the stem, and put a piece of blue tac opver the hole, so you can use the glass as normal. do the gimmick business, and you can hold the glass upside down by the stem, looks very clean, then all you do to release the water is roll off the blue tac, and the water comes out, without your hand going anywhere near it.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 19, 2004 06:46PM)
Snilsson, Dang! You tipped my favorite method!

I use two different methods both with stemmed wine glasses. The first is the old tried and true drilled glass (I drilled at an angle from one side of the stem – carbide/kerosene technique) I will put that glass down after doing a pretty standard routine. Then as an after thought (and challenge) I will pick up the glass (switch it) and hand the glass out to be filled. Then openly put a card on it (with a gimmick as you describe) and do it a second time (gimmick drops into the container which already has water from the first glass and becomes invisible in the water).

By the way, I tumbled onto the idea from the old Adams plastic Rice bowls from the 60’s. They had the tab gimmick to hold back the water. I lost one bowl and decided to do a hydrostatic bowl routine. A small plastic bowl, simple gimmick, water and a square of newspaper was all that I used to perform a hydrostatic routine for a couple of years. I later had a glass worker make me a plastic gimmick to fit a wine glass and also make me the “regular” gimmick to fit my gimmicked glass.

I stopped doing the routine because some of the venues started complaining about the mess I was making (stopped a card fountain/sword routine too for the same reason).

I performed my routine only two or three times over the past year for the odd “special occasion”.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 24, 2004 05:22AM)
To not have a mess with the finale, I used purchased a water pitcher from a resturant supply house. The same pitchers I found at Wal-Mart recently, fluted sides and taper down sides, making the opening larger and eaiser to hit.

I have the pitcher only 1/3 full, that leaves enough room for the splash to not leave the pitcher. I hold the glass only about 10 to 12 inches above the pitcher. No mess on the floor, unless the trick gives way early.
Message: Posted by: JonathanB (Jul 3, 2015 03:45PM)
Digging this old thread up, but has anyone tried making the gimmick with an empty laminated pouch? Just a thought...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 3, 2015 05:12PM)
[quote]On Jul 3, 2015, JonathanB wrote:
Digging this old thread up, but has anyone tried making the gimmick with an empty laminated pouch? Just a thought... [/quote]

Have no idea what a laminated pouch is. Don't know why a pouch would be used. Is the pouch clear so you can see the water while upside down?

Try it and let us know your results.
Message: Posted by: JonathanB (Jul 3, 2015 07:33PM)
I mean a plastic wallet that you normally put paper in and put through a laminating machine which heats and sets it. Sometimes called encapsulating. Used by teachers a lot! You can put a pouch through the machine with no paper in it and it comes out clear and reasonably rigid.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 3, 2015 10:49PM)
[quote]On Jul 3, 2015, JonathanB wrote:
I mean a plastic wallet that you normally put paper in and put through a laminating machine which heats and sets it. Sometimes called encapsulating. Used by teachers a lot! You can put a pouch through the machine with no paper in it and it comes out clear and reasonably rigid. [/quote]

Interesting idea, although, I think it would have to be 4 layers to be rigid enough. Although, thinking about it, that might work for the Tommy Wonder gimmick. He uses two sheets of thin plastic, the problem I am having is locating a glue that will hold the plastic sheets together. With the laminated sheet, something could be used to attach the sheets together, and not worry about the glue spot not holding.
Message: Posted by: JonathanB (Jul 4, 2015 06:18AM)
Well, I did an initial test of double-layering the laminating pouches and I think it will work. However my laminator isn't that great so the sheet isn't quite as flat as it needs to be, you can get some thicker pouches which may work better, or once an inner circle is glued on it may be better. For the moment it holds on on my polycarbonate picnic type tumbler for just a few seconds.

Another option I'm looking at is getting some acrylic/plexiglass later cut to the right size, would folk recommend 2mm thick acrylic, or is that too thick?

What is the Tommy Wonder gimmick? :)
Message: Posted by: Kyle Elder (Jul 9, 2015 01:30AM)
The Tommy wonder Gimmick is in the first volume of the books of Wonder titled the improved hydrostatic glass. It uses a different thinner plastic material that creates a better seal.
Message: Posted by: cowboy5 (Aug 3, 2015 07:52PM)
You can spend a lot of time trying this and trying that. Making trips to the store. Just buy Pop Haydn's version and you will be satisfied.
Message: Posted by: magicjluc (Apr 4, 2020 09:36AM)
Now there is the Hydrostatic wine glass par Alan Wong et Jeimin Lee (Tenyo). Does anyone have it?

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 8, 2020 01:32PM)
[quote]On Jul 3, 2015, JonathanB wrote:
Digging this old thread up, but has anyone tried making the gimmick with an empty laminated pouch? Just a thought... [/quote]

What is an empty laminated Pouch?
Most-likely will be to flexible and not seal correctly.
Message: Posted by: thegreatscungilli (Apr 23, 2020 08:36PM)
I have made a couple of Hydro glasses but has anybody tried an aerostatic glass?....Much easier to make..I have made a few out of nice glass tumblers and wine glasses from thrift shops for under a dollar, total cost for glass and materials about $3.00. Works on the same principle as hydro glass but no extra gimmick required and no drilling required..To release takes a tap on the glass....if anyone wants details on how to make one you can PM me