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Topic: Looking for Ideas for Ultimate Cups/Chop Cup
Message: Posted by: jtrz (Mar 30, 2019 06:04PM)
Hi all,

Been a while since I've been here. Feels good to be back. Getting more time to devote to magic again.

I'd like to ask those of you skilled in cups & balls/chop cup for your ideas. I used to do a pretty good chop cup a long time ago and may get back into it again.

Had an idea from a few years ago that I discussed with a dealer/manufacturer at Magic Live 2018 last year. I forget their name. But they are the dealer/manufacturer with a ton of gorgeous metal cups & ball sets. I spoke to them about what it might take to make a set of cups with every conceivable piece of work you could put into a cup like a set of cups and balls where all 3 are also chop cups and lotta bowls and that hold loads, hinged interior doors, a shell cup to make 4 look like 3, etc. You get the idea.

Don't know what I'd do with them yet. I have no effects in mind. I'd have to play with them to come up with a few possible avenues for routines.

Note: I had not defined all the attributes of the cups at the time. Just the overall idea to put as much work into them as you could as a very interesting, utilitarian prop that has a lot of possibilities. And not every cup had to be identical.

Now, I'm not a machinist. So please forgive me if I use an incorrect term here. But they were very nice to engage with me on this and share details of the manufacturing process and why this would not work from a tooling perspective. Their answer was that it would be nearly impossible and really expensive to try to experiment because of the molds (or masters?) they would have to create to do this.

Has this been attempted before? Maybe not recently but historically? Is/was there some type of combo cups like this?

More importantly, I'm seeking your ideas on what effects you would incorporate into a set of cups like this.

I'm not doing this to develop a commercial set of cups. I recently joined a makerspace that has an extensive metal shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker, not a metal worker. But I'm planning on learning. They have a Tormach CNC milling machine that, once I'm up to speed on it, I may be able to make something like this as an interesting project for myself only.

This project will be a long time in the making. But I value your experience and ideas for input.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance!

Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 31, 2019 06:05AM)
"I may be able to make something like this as an interesting project for myself only."

I sadly feel this may be true as I have doubts about the market price justifying any possible gain in audience appeal or "must be magic" final story.

What is the enhanced end result from the point of view of a lay observer over a finely crafted routine with a traditional cup or coffee mug or cereal bowl?

Methinks any prop should be secondary to the magic story prompted in the mind of the spectator.

I fully support innovation and creativity as their own reward, but this seems like a solution chasing a problem that does not exist.

Not trying to be negative - just realistic. I have a drawer full of gimmicks never used in favor of guile, ploys and practiced moves/sleights.

As to the question, "What effects would you incorporate into a set," I am open to discussing privately. (ken@eversway.com)

Already too much info for an open forum here. Better in "Secret Sessions" when you get to 50 posts.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 31, 2019 10:59PM)
The first thing you need to do is to learn the cups and balls. Read everything you can about it. Watch as many routines as possible. And read all the posts about the cups and balls on the Magic Café.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Apr 1, 2019 08:37AM)
Bill gave me the same advice a decade ago when I joined the Café. Now I have learned dozens of techniques, moves and sleights
rarely used by today's performers. Perhaps you can discover a way to accomplish your end goal without all the machining.
Message: Posted by: jtrz (Apr 5, 2019 11:05AM)
Hi all

Thank you for taking the time to respond. You seem to be replying like I'm new to the Café and new to magic. I should have been made this a bit more clear in my original post. I'm neither. I have been a 2 chapter SAM member and a 15 year member of the Magic Castle. Been in magic for 35 years mostly as a hobbyist but have performed professionally now and then.

I have studied and performed the cups and balls in the past (Ammar and Vernon), chop cup and a bowl routine. Been a while. I usually focus on cards now. I'm greatly aware of the sleights vs. gimmicks thinking.

I was looking to solicit some ideas for work to put into a cups project as I described not because I don't want to learn sleights. But because I thought it might be a fun project to learn some machining and get some interesting results.

So I'd still love to hear ideas you may have. But I may cross post later in Secret Session later.

Message: Posted by: Zauberman (Apr 5, 2019 11:23AM)
Hello jtrz, I am a Metalworker/machinist by trade. Also know a bit about magic :-)

As for making your own cups with different ideas...go for it. It's a lot of work, trial and error but hopefully you end up with One of a Kind item for yourself or some close magician friends.

As for marketing possibilities....that's a whole new area. Spinning cups is a rather a difficult and time consuming task. Machining can be some expensive too....depending on the material used and what machinery and tools you have access to or must buy. I was lucky in that I worked in a shop at the time, so had access to equipment that wasn't affordable.

I have made many props from my own ideas and others. It's rewarding in many ways but also expensive and time consuming. By designing and making your own cups or whatever...you'll have a better insight on how and what makes a prop better. Custom made prop that you can't buy. Not a cheaper mass produced item for the masses.

Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: MGordonB (Apr 6, 2019 01:23PM)
Have you considered using a 3D printer? Might be easier and cheaper to trial and error with plastic, then when you get a prototype you like, take it to a machinist.
Message: Posted by: equivoque (May 12, 2019 10:30AM)
I found a source for wooden, chopped Benson bowls. These are beautiful and sold for $60 shipped in CONUS or Western Europe. For $75 he will include a matching wand. No balls are included, but I would use rings n things adjustable boards, because the craftsman is not a magician and you never know about polarity. The rings n things 1 & 1/8 balls are perfect for this for this bowl. These are made of Limewood which is quite light. Extras would include a dimple on the top of the bowl (I wish I had thought of that), A heavier wood or special stain. He will make up some sets with heavy wood, a dark purple stain on the inside of the bowl, a dimple and a matching wand for $100 shipped! I do not have the patience required to post pictures here, but PM me with your email and I will send them to you. I should note that I am not associated with this company and do not profit from the sales. To contact the craftsman email crazylegskev@msn.com
Message: Posted by: equivoque (May 12, 2019 05:29PM)
I have made and have had custom props made for me and it is expensive and I rarely get it right the first time. Some times it is worth it sometimes it is not. As far as slight of hand vs gimmicks, I have performed my share of mentalism, & this experience tells me that the effect that the audience experiences is always the most important thing. What I like about a chop cup is that is is short and punchy. Try an affect out & if your audience likes it keep it. The method is not the magic.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jun 14, 2019 07:09PM)
Pringles cans make great chop cups if you use a m***netic ball.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jun 16, 2019 07:56AM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2019, MGordonB wrote:
Have you considered using a 3D printer? Might be easier and cheaper to trial and error with plastic, then when you get a prototype you like, take it to a machinist. [/quote]

If you don't have a 3D printer there is a company in NY called Voodoo 3D, they custom print right online. The only thing you will need to do is have some take your idea
and recreate in CAD then have them save it to what called .STL or OBJ file. Once you have the file you just upload it to Voodoo, they give you various options and instant
quotes from 1 piece to 99 pieces. They'll even do a CAD file for you from your drawing and specs, but beware about that, CAD design is not cheap. But when all is done
from Voodoo 3D you will have a perfect 3D print of your project. Some libraries have 3D printers in them too. If you have a community college near you, go to administrator's office
and ask about having a student(s) from a CAD class earn extra credits