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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Best book or manuscript for building your own props (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Elite user
Cape Town, South Africa
442 Posts

Profile of scolman
Hi guys, not sure whether this should be posted here. I am really enjoying manufacturing my own props. I am into bizarre magic and mentalism mostly. Can someone recommend a good instructional guide?
I have also attempted to recreate old classics as well, so any help would be welcomed.

Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
There was one book, I believe called, "The New Make Up of Magic" that had many good tips. I think this may have been a Hades publication... probably hard to find. "Handbook of Magic" (published early 1960's) was a good magazine for Do-It-Yourselfers. I see it occassionally on Ebay, but is considered somewhat rare. There are many books available with building plans, mostly illusions, though.

In lieu of these antiquated sources, let me direct you toward the message board at We are home to many builders of magic, such as yourself. You'll find many helpful people there who would be more than happy to answer specific questions.

Aside from that, I would recommend any books or magazines that are for general woodworking and/or project building. The same techniques are usually appropriate when building magic. These sources can be found at most any builders' supply, bookstore, or even possibly your local library. A lot of this information can also be found online.

So that I won't be accused of overlooking the obvious, read the Workshop threads here on The Magic Café, as much great info has been tipped here, too! Smile

~michael baker
The Magic Company
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2886 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
I'll second Michael's comment. Books on how to build magic props generally give you the details on dimensions, decor, etc., required on that particular prop. Books and mags on general woodworking give you tons of information on woodworking techniques.

Look especially for books put out by Fine Woodworking; these are generally short and to the point, and cover subjects like box making, finishing, the use of specific tools, and so on. You can usually find them at larger bookstores or get them thru the mail.

Also check out and similar sites. They usualy have a lot of how-to articles right on the Web.
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Dave Fiscus
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New user
94 Posts

Profile of Dave Fiscus
The best books I've found for making magic were written by Eric Lewis. I've built many of his clever props following his excellent descriptions and illustrations in his trilogy, A Choice of Miracles, Continuing Miracles, and Crowning Miracles. In the Crowning book there are twelve mental tricks that he made when he ran Magicraft in England. These volumes were published by Magical Publications in California and are wonderful books to browse.
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Regular user
Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

Profile of constantine
The Paul Osburne books are full of good plans and advise.Build Your Own Illussions Vol.1 and Haunted Illusions are personal favorites.I'm still waiting for someone to come out with a book in the style of the popular woood working magazines.That's a hint Paul.
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Inner circle
5946 Posts

Profile of tabman
for simplicity you can't beatl
The (New) Make-up of Magic
by Mickey Hades

...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...
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