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Topic: Multiplying balls issues
Message: Posted by: Stevious (Oct 3, 2018 05:07AM)
Hello folks
I wanted to perform classic multiplying balls routine, I'm an amateur so for a long time I used silly small 1.3 inches plastic balls (3.3cm). I recently purchased new silicon balls ordered from China, those are 1.7 inches (4.3 cm), but one thing bothers me, I got 4 balls and 2 s***ls, together they can cover the whole regular ball, which means they are quite big, I'm slightly afraid to show the ball from both sides.

I've seen some manipulators produce instantly 4 balls just from 2 balls, for that routine having two s***ls this big makes sense to me, they cover the whole normal ball.

Personally I prefer multiplying balls more slowly, showing the balls from both sides. I bought Salvano's dvd about his multiplying balls routine and it fits me well.

So I thought about shortening my s***l, cutting 3-5mm, making it smaller, less standing out, is it a normal idea?

What is the right ratio of the s***l covering the normal ball? 50% is quite a lot. I will manage to get old wooden balls quite soon, maybe those will suit me.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 4, 2018 01:12AM)
Sorry to inform you are all wrong. a good shell does cover 50%. So that you can show both sides. If at some point you want to do a color change, then the other color will show up.

On wooden balls, it is all in the lath machine and how they are shaped.

Your 2nd assumption is also incorrect, you only use one shell, the other is for use when you break the other one.

Of course you can get Bond Lee's DVD and learn how to use both shells in a routine.
Message: Posted by: Stevious (Oct 4, 2018 05:42AM)
The edge of the shell is quite thick, perhaps 2 mm, the inside is plastic brown, when showing the ball from both sides, everyone can see this brown edge. I might have to paint it red. I thought that the shell should be smaller covering around 45% of normal ball, and not that thick.
Message: Posted by: rafaelgmagic (Oct 4, 2018 07:54AM)
Hi Stevious,

In my experience, all silicon sets have thicker sh****. I've used a Fakini set for almost a decade now, and I can tell you that it took me some time to get used to the thickness of the sh****. I highly recommend that you paint your set and don't worry about the thickness. People barely notice this at a distance and it will help you later with more advanced techniques that require double sh***.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Oct 4, 2018 04:13PM)
I own and have used every size silicone ball available, always using the Fakini balls. They all have a thicker shell but with proper handling, it isn't noticeable. Turning the hand briefly to show the ball all around is all that is necessary and from a short distance, the edge of the shell will not be seen. However, the inside of the shell should be the same color as the balls. It sounds like you purchased an inferior set made in China. You can paint the shell but it may cause it to stick to the ball. Silicone balls have the color molded in rather than painted on.


There are many routines and possibilities with two shells. It's all up to your creativity. They are not shipped with the set to provide a backup in case one breaks. They are included to be used in a routine.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 4, 2018 05:18PM)
Yes, you can do the instant one to three balls between the fingers, with one ball and 2 shells, but without the proper methods, it will even harder to accomplish, and the Original Poster, sounds like he does not have any instructions.

Being he is just starting out, I would think, more references might help him. He did pick on of the harder DVD's to start with, and the routine is not anywhere near want can be accomplished with them. I have the Salvano's DVD as well, he has his own style, but it will take many hours to get the body movements down.

My advice is don't mess with the shells.
Message: Posted by: Stevious (Oct 7, 2018 06:18AM)
Thank you for your advice.

I just painted one of the shells, it looks a bit better now, I will see later if the paint stays on for long. I've spent 35$ for those, so I thought that quality will be sufficient. I suppose the only reason they make the shell so big nowadays is to use both shells simultaneously, both covering one normal ball.

I managed to aquire a very old set of wooden balls from a legendary illusionist, those are completely different. The shell is no bigger than a normal ball, you can show the balls slowly from both sides, however those are very slippery, I won't be able to handle them soon.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Oct 7, 2018 12:08PM)
I've got the Bond Lee Manipulation balls and they are exactly as you describe, 2 shells fit over 1 ball. That's how they are designed.

I'm able to toss the ball with 1 shell on it in the air and catch it and it looks fine. Between that and turning it as I show it, I've never had the problem you are describing but I am probably doing way more simple moves than you are trying to do.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 9, 2018 04:10PM)
Stevious, I believe, I know what set of silicon balls you purchased, the shells are over size and sloppy fitting, and are only thin plastic. I returned mine the day I got them.

Of course wood balls would be made differently then injection molded silicon balls. Wood shells are 1/8" larger then the ball it is covering on the outside. If you have a once inch ball, there is no way you can put a one inch shell on top of it.

I have recommended the white and Red JIELI sets on eBay for around $27 for a set of 4 and 2 shells. They are made in Hong Kong and receive in the U.S. in about 3 weeks.
Message: Posted by: Stevious (Oct 10, 2018 09:46AM)
Those are the balls I purchased, pity I've already spent quite a lot $$ for 2 sets of balls. I ordered them from China via Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Doowops-Deluxe-Multiplying-Gimmick-Illusion/dp/B07FQ87VB3

https://files.fm/u/s5tm8wea

I could paint the shell from the wooden balls set and use it with those silicon balls, it fits them well, however it's a relic not to be altered in any way.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 11, 2018 01:51AM)
Stevious, I see nothing wrong with the balls you purchased. If you want to paint the inside of the shell red, that may be okay, except it could change how it looks from the front when back light shines through.

You are holding the balls wrong in the photos, you only hold them by your fingertips, not deep to the 2nd knuckle. I believe you just need proper instructions on performing with Billiard Balls.
Message: Posted by: Stevious (Oct 14, 2018 02:19PM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Stevious, I see nothing wrong with the balls you purchased. If you want to paint the inside of the shell red, that may be okay, except it could change how it looks from the front when back light shines through. [/quote]

Glad to hear they are not so bad as I have thought. I'd rather have a smaller shell, but I will get used to those for a while.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 16, 2018 06:06AM)
Look at what Stevious has accomplished with those billiard balls, very good routine by Salvano, and Stevious does credit to Salvano's work.


[youtube]2i1JXDOcYx0[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Bill Thompson (Oct 16, 2018 09:17AM)
That was nice!
Message: Posted by: Grey (Oct 16, 2018 11:24PM)
[quote]On Oct 16, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Look at what Stevious has accomplished with those billiard balls, very good routine by Salvano, and Stevious does credit to Salvano's work.


[youtube]2i1JXDOcYx0[/youtube] [/quote]

Well done!
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (Dec 11, 2018 07:16PM)
Bill, question on the Jieli balls. Do you ever have a problem with the light shining through the shell from behind? I notice it can make the shell look different.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 12, 2018 02:44AM)
[quote]On Dec 11, 2018, Jeff Haas wrote:
Bill, question on the Jieli balls. Do you ever have a problem with the light shining through the shell from behind? I notice it can make the shell look different. [/quote]


No I have not, the fake is covered with the same material as the balls. Are you noticing something, unless an attendee mentions something to you, then you are trying to fool yourself when you know the secret. A saying on the Café that is used a lot, "Don't run when you are not being chased".

Although, I always check out my surroundings, for a performance before hand, and check for back light, say in a home, with sun coming in from a window. There is a reason that Manipulation is in the Stage section of the Café, and not in the Close-up section. There is many things to consider, and if it would be possible to present a certain type of magic effect in some situations. There is a picture of Jeff Sheridan performing BB in front of brick building on the Internet. He was an experienced street magician, he picks the spots where he performed.

I do have a Abbott's Jet Set backdrop I use as well, along with a table, and container for props.

If you are holding the balls long enough for someone to notice such a thing, then maybe your timing in the routine is off. If you look long enough and hard enough, everyone can find a flaw in just about everything, imagined or real.

Shimada suggested that in the current performing places, the Billiard Ball routine should be performed more in front of the body, then in the old style from Vaudeville days with the arms extended to the sides of the body. It can be harder, so a lot of thought and reworking has to be done on the performer's part.


I bought a trick once, thinking I would be able to perform it. After getting the effect, I found that I needed a special table, huge stage size backdrop curtain, special music, and equipment to play that music, and lighting. Everything was 20 times the price of the initial prop trick. So I scrapped thinking I could perform this effect. Not to mention all that was necessary to transport the added equipment.

Lesson learned, research trick, and find out all the facts before going forward.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Dec 13, 2018 06:15PM)
Very nice, simple routine but very effective. Although it was very nicely done, I'm not sure what the vanishing glass at the end had to do with a billiard ball routine but it could be a Segway into an expanded act.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 14, 2018 02:03AM)
As noted just above, Shimada's statement re: performing the 'XXX' BALLS, is one of the earliest things that I realized, when I started with the XXX ing balls in the late '40s. With experimentation, and practice, I developed a technique for performing the trick, while FACING the audience. My hands and body effectively concealed the "principle".

I wrote it up in my book, "DICK OSLUND, ROAD SCHOLAR", in detail.

It made the trick much more effective, 'cuz I was not standing PROFILE to the audience, THEY COULD SEE MY FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!

I also realized very quickly, that, after the second ball appeared, it was relatively obvious to any intelligent audience, that TWO MORE BALLS WERE "COMING"!!! A basic element ("SURPRISE") was missing! I cut the XXXing balls!

A few flourishes, plus Percy Abbott's PERPETUAL BALLS, and Bill Williston's VISIBLE PENETRATION OF A BALL THRU A SILK, AND, LATER, KARRELL FOX'S "FOUR BALL PRODUCIION", has, for almost 50 years, given me almost five minutes of LAUGHS, and APPLAUSE. The routine plays exceptionally well for K-6 audiences. High school groups and adult groups like it, too. I can perform it surrounded, ANYWHERE. No body loads, and, it's ALWAYS READY.

You can see it performed, on my dvd!
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (Apr 29, 2019 10:08AM)
Are these cheap China manipulation balls just as good as the Bond Lee set? They seem to be about 1/3 the price
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Apr 29, 2019 11:49AM)
[quote]On Apr 29, 2019, kcbeave wrote:
Are these cheap China manipulation balls just as good as the Bond Lee set? They seem to be about 1/3 the price [/quote]


No one can answer your question unless they own both brands, and who would do that.

I can tell you that Bond Lee's come from Hong Kong and that country was part of China at one time.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (Apr 29, 2019 12:03PM)
I may do just that and report back on it.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 11, 2019 03:15PM)
I just got the Bond Lee 1.7 Perfect Manipulation Balls. The balls grip extremely well! I really like that about them. I don't like the shell, I think it is too thick and to me is noticeable . I have not received the ones from China Yet
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 16, 2019 03:06PM)
The 2 s's fit to completely cover a ball and do not stick to the ball at all so if you need it to stick slightly you'll have to add something
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 18, 2019 07:41AM)
I now have the Chinese multiplying balls. The Chinese set is shiny, you can see a light reflected in them, Bond Lee's is not shiny. They grip well but Lee's grip better, they are a little bit bigger than Lee's and the s***l's are even bigger than Bond Lee's and there is a gap of about 1/32" between it and the ball. There is no gap on Lee's. I do not like the s's on either one, If Bond Lee had made his S half it's thickness, the set would be perfect.

In my opinion, of what's available now, Bond Lee has the best.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 18, 2019 09:53AM)
Please leave out your personal opinion, as it has nothing to do with actual fact. What you like and see is totally different then what anyone else would see and like for themselves.

What is the Name on the plastic tube of your Chinese made set?
What color are they?
What is the size of them?
How much of the ball does the gimmick cover?

So far you have not given any correct information for the balls I have ordered from China on eBay.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 18, 2019 10:37PM)
Sorry about my opinion, I should have just said the Lee's are definitely better but everything else is fact. I purchased a white set of the same exact balls that you and Stevious were discussing using his amazon link. You can enclose a ball in both S's and it will rattle inside that's how much slop they have and when in the fingers there is an obvious size difference even at 20 feet.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 20, 2019 01:14AM)
Kcbeave, I find it disturbing that you don't even give the name of the balls you purchased. Clearly you purchased the wrong balls.

The set I referenced are made for a company called JIELI MAGIC, it clearly printed on the clear plastic tube they are shipped in.

They have not space between the ball and Sh***. The Sh*** are coated with the same material the balls are made of, so it has the same cling feature of the balls.

You should have PM'd me before ordering, as I believe I know the set you ordered, if I remember correctly, they like to say it is a gorilla grip. They usually come in a square box of silver covered paper. The Sh**** are so thin, they collapse very easily.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (May 21, 2019 12:38PM)
I think it's fine to express one's personal opinion about anything in magic--whether it's a review of a product or an opinion about presentation. This is after all the Magic Café--and conversations in a Café can run the gamut of philosophical observations to non sequiturs. In any case, a savvy magic shopper will check multiple sources before making a decision to buy anything.

As for the thickness of the "you-know-what" of any set of multiplying balls, I think that what is noticeable to us as informed magicians is not often noticed at all by non-magicians. The thickness of the "you-know-what" of the Fakini set of multiplying golf balls was very thick--especially compared to the thickness of the same "you-know-what" of the original Ireland Golf Balls set.

The later Magic Inc golf ball sets used the shell from the original criss-crossed pattern Ireland balls and three rubber balls with a dimpled pattern. In performance, I don't think any audience member noticed that discrepancy.

Bill makes an important point about PM'ing knowledgeable members of the Café for detailed advice.

I also invite any members of the Finger/Stage Manipulation forum to apply to join the
Routined Manipulations
facebook page where discussions about manipulation routines of all kinds can be much more detailed, and for that reason the Routined Manipulations page is a closed page. We screen people who apply for membership to make sure they are serious about magic in general and manipulation in particular. There are currently 684 members world-wide.

Magical regards,
----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 21, 2019 03:50PM)
Kcbeave has PM'd me, and what he purchased from Amazon was something totally different. Not at all the JEILI set. Why he chose to not use my references, and place of purchase, only he can explain. We have discussed this topic, and I hope he can work things out to obtain the correct set of JEILI balls.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 22, 2019 12:44PM)
The balls I purchased on Amazon are the exact same ones stevious bought I just misunderstood what balls Mr Hegbli was speaking of. I could not find MBalls on ebay by the name jieli so I bought the ones stevious has from the Amazon link he posted in this thread. From my PM's with Bill, I now know which balls the ones he recommends and have ordered a set. It looks like it may take a while to get them.
The ones I got from Amazon are nice balls but the special part is very bad in that it is very thick and is oversize, you can put a ball inside both and it will rattle around inside. Stevious has done a very nice job using the Chinese set from amazon but I do not like the special part at all.