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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » How to make a Karate coin. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Regular user
126 Posts

Profile of escherwolf
What's the best way to make a karate coin? I assume that a drill press would work to create a basic round hole coin, but what kind of drill bit should I use?

I'd actually like to be able to make one that has the inside hole peeled back, so that it looks as if the coin has ragged edges sticking up as if pushed outwards by the finger penetration. Any ideas?
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1801 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I recommend you purchase one instead of trying make one. I'm a friend of Ed Ripley, who makes the best Karate coin around ( ) and he's told me how complicated it is to make one. (If this gives you any idea of the type of precision it takes, Ed's a nuclear metallurgist for a living! I didn't even know that profession existed before I met him.)

In all seriousness, Ed has access to tools that most people can't get their hands on and that's why he's able to make the coin look like it should - exactly like it would if you were able to push your finger through a coin.

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126 Posts

Profile of escherwolf
I took a look at Ed Ripley's page and am impressed with what's on offer. That is the kind of karate coin I'm after, except...I'm in Australia. My interest in making the coins isn't prompted by a desire for DIY, but because of the unavailability of gaffed coins in Australian currency. As in America, it is illegal to deface the currency, but its my understanding that American law makes special provision for specially gaffed items of currency for that can be manufactured and sold for the use of magicians. This is not the case in Australia, so I was looking at the DIY option. Otherwise, I'd love to simply buy it, and some of the other wonderful coin gaffs as well.
Aaron Moring
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165 Posts

Profile of Aaron Moring
Not sure on the laws in Australia, but the books here state that it is illegal to deface currency "for the purpose of fraud." I think that magic could only be held by those terms in the strictest of interpretations, so gaffed coin manufacturers here are safe.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22131 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Most if not all coin gaff artists will make special coins in other countries. Just email them. If you really want to make your own, buy a jeweler's saw, a micro saw blade and a drill bit and go to work. Then cut a hole in a piece of hardwood and hit it with a hammer and a pipe the size of your finger. Where there is a will there is a way. This is the lowest-tech method of making your own I can suggest.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Owen Anderson
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Loyal user
A sturdy fence needs at least
227 Posts

Profile of Owen Anderson
Mr. Hegbli's low-tech method sounds quite elegant. I just took a cold chisel and pounded that sucker until it cut through the coin. Turn 90 degrees & repeat!
Owen Anderson
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New user
Raleigh, NC
2 Posts

Profile of dfreeman
I took a 50 cent piece and cut an "X" in the center using a dremel with a cut off wheel. Then I took a WOODEN dowel (the size of my finger) and beat the heck out of it to drive the dowel THRU the "X" to make a hole. Debur the edges unless you want the special effect of REAL blood flowing down your finger when you perform the effect! ;-)

What's even better is the whole thing cost me 50 cents to make! LOL
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Special user
Michigan, U.S.A.
688 Posts

Profile of gerard1973
The method that dfreeman suggests is probably the best way to make a Karate coin. Another way that doesn't look as good is to just drill a hole in the middle of the coin. You then can stil your finger through the hole when performing the Karate coin routine. Another additional benefit is that you could also use the same coin for a cigarette through the coin trick but the hole might be larger than usual.
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
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