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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Fixing old props... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Brooks
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Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4813 Posts

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Some years ago, friend Steve.L gave me an old beat-up, broken down square circle.

This thing looked like it had really been through the ringer. But it had an appearing bird cage that I thought was pretty cool.



Anyway, I sanded everything down, added felt to the stand, and repainted all the parts with an air brush.



When I had finished, you would never know that was the same prop I started out with.

It looks beautiful! Smile



Anyway, I'm not a carpenter or wood worker, but if I can do it, anyone can.

My point is, you can often add new life to a prop that at first glance looks like it needs to be thrown out.



How many of you have done this? Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Billy Diamond
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New user
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
24 Posts

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Way to go Steve! As an illusion builder and refurbisher I would love to contribute to this area of the board. With your permission I would like to invite questions and do my best to provide answers on "How To" projects. I wanted to do this on my site, but this seems like the perfect area since it is already set up. In the meantime I will post some topics of my own to answer some questions.
Steve Landavazo
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Northern California
654 Posts

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It sure turned out beautiful Steve!



I'm glad you did it justice!



Steve Smile
Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway!
Steve Brooks
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Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4813 Posts

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Thanks buddy..... Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Wallace
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Loyal user
Bangor, Northern Ireland
208 Posts

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I must confess that many years ago having decided to present a Chinese themed act with the 'company' (Wife and Daughter!) the biggest 'challenge' was to ensure that the re-decoration of the props was as authentic as possible!....my major fear was that some of the Chinese decoration and script would insult a real Chinese person!

Happily I seemed to succeed as I am still here to 'tell the tale'....untouched(??) by the Irish Triads!!

Moral?...Make it authentic no matter what the theme!! Smile
Wallace B
Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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That’s a good point. The Mandarin characters I airbrushed on my Square Circle could say "anything", I have no idea. Luckily no one has ever gotten angry...yet. Smile



_________________

There will always be those that wish to rain on your parade, so never leave home without an umbrella...
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
JaquaiGul
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New user
Indianapolis
31 Posts

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I heard the story of the magician who had copied Chinese characters on his props only to find a Chinese lady who told him it read, "Do not urinate in the alley."



Smile
Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Fredrick
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Seattle
247 Posts

Profile of Fredrick
On the topic of old prop repair, I have been seeking a solution to a problem that I have been trying to address...

I have an old German-made vanishing radio that was starting to come apart from use when I took ownership. It has a flexible veneer of some type, on the sides, which is intended to act like hinges. The problem is that they are cracked from age and use.

I have found flexible veneers, but they do not seem to have the "stuff" to take the punishment of performance.


Any ideas?


Thanks in advance ~


_________________

Be well ~ Fredrick
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
Mr Phil
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Regular user
Tilton, New Hampshire
160 Posts

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I have a question as well. I was given a hot book by a friend because it did not work. I believe it is the glow plug. Any idea where to get one? Then how do I attach it. I figure it is not to much voltage to kill me so it ok to try to fix it.

I am over the twitch (mmostly) from last time I fixed a wall socket

Mr Phil
Mr. Phil & Co. Quality Family Entertainment, Guaranteed! (603) 286-3029 WWW.mrphilandco.com Snail Mail to: P.O. Box 31 Tilton, NH 03276
Doctor B
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Suffield, Ohio, USA
3 Posts

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Try hobby stores that sell model airplanes -- take the old glow plug with you to get the correct size. Buy a couple -- they foul up quickly and thus fail.

In the alternative, you can contact Theatre Effects -- they sell glow plugs.
martini
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delta, pennsylvania
541 Posts

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This reply is for Fredrick and the hinges on his vanishing radio. Depending on the model you have it would either be an Old Bart l model or one of the newer ones that Viennamagic has made. If it is one of the Viennamagic models as I suspect, you will need to locate from a plastic supply house black poly-butyl flex in sheeting, this comes in 1"-2" and 3" width. it is sold by the foot and is very thin, flexible, and lasts a long time. If you cannot find it, let me know and I will give you Viennamagic's info so that you can contact Stephan and he could send you over material that will fill the bill.
All the best cheers
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