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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Paper money madness! » » Burning Envelopes in Burned Bill Routine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kevin Viner
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San Diego, CA
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What do you all use for burning envelopes in a burned bill routine? I purchased a small pan, with some lighter fluid, but it seems to make quite a bit of smoke and does not smell very pleasant. For those of you who currently do burned bill types of routines, how do you burn the envelopes?
Doug Arden
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I do the same thing you do. I use a small pan, lighter fluid and a lighter. It produces smoke and doesn't smell very pleasant. I keep it away from the smoke detectors. You'll be fine, get over it.
Kevin Viner
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I'm not worried about myself too much. More so about my audience. So I wouldn't exactly say it's a matter of just "getting over it" as you put it.
montemagic
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San Diego, CA
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I have no idea if this would work, but could you add a little incense oil to the lighter fluid? It may knock away some of the smell, or it may smell 10 times worse. It's worth a try though.
Aim To Amaze
Sealegs
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I think this is a great question. Years ago I used to do a burnt bill in envelope routine and the smoke issue always bugged me about it.

I can remember in one hotel the week before another magic act doing fire eating had set off the alarms and the fire brigade turned up and the hotel had to be evacuated in order to comply with regulations. Consequently I was told absolutely no fire or smoke. I ended up having to get someone to go outside with the envelopes and have the audience watch them being burnt through a window! Whenever I see any act using fire now I'm always looking to see where the smoke is going.

Anyway here's a thought, I don't know if it will work but might be worth a try. The smoke is due to unburnt particles. The same particles are what makes a weak flame burnt yellow. However if air is added to the flow the flame burns hotter, bluer, and there is little if any smoke. So... howabout using one of those hand held blow torches to completely incinerate the envelopes? I'm guessing that the cranked up over the top flame will burn most of the paticulates that a weaker flame would not...hence less smoke. I havent tried it myself so can't say for sure it would work.... but anyway using an over the top blow torch should certinly add a bit of drama and give plenty of scope for adding some comedy.

Cheers Neal. Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
nucinud
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New York, New York
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I stopped burning the envelopes, shredding or cutting them up is better and wont set off the smoke detectors. I love a nice flame and I do burn a playing card for a different trick and it does not smell bad or set off any alarms. I think the envelopes tend to be the problem, especially the manila pay envelopes.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

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Sealegs
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If someone tries my blowtorch idea, 2 posts up, let us know if it solves the problem.

Neal Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Terry Seabrooke has burned maybe 4,999,345 envelopes in his career and just lights them without any additives. He burns them over a pie plate.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Eric Lewis once suggested a chemical added to the inside of an envelope to burn with a GREEN flame... saying, "The money's burning... it's green."
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Sealegs
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Nucinud:
Shredding is certainly more convienient and less 'messy' but it is qualititively different from buring. In another thread I wrote:

"As far as the magic is concerned burning, vaporising or even [to some extent]vanishing the bill has the effect of 'saying', 'the bill ceases to exist'.

Shredding, or tearing up the bill does not have this element. The bill is still there it's just that it's in pieces.

In theory at least the specky is then left at the end of the effect with unresolved questions regarding the remaines of ripped up bill. Was it ripped up and rematerialized? Was it sneaked out the envelope and never ripped up? Are there now two versions of the bill.. the ripped up one and it's clone the discovered one?"

Neal
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
royaltmagic
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Kintuckee
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Smokeless gun powder might work...hehe...seriously though...I think you are better off just not worrying about it, unless you're doing a show in someone's living room. Then, if they have a fire place...you're in luck. If it's in an auditorium or theatre, then you're doing it for the sake of theatre, and the audience should not care. Plus...the theatre is probably bigger than someone's living room and the smoke won't be in such a confined space.
You know what they say..."smoke yer envelopes if ya got em". Thanks for your time.

-Travis
"Beeble beeble beeble. Blah blah blah."

- Sum Wan

http://www.royaltmagic.com
Kevin Viner
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San Diego, CA
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I recently did an envelope burning routine, and tried just burning the envelopes. This didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. Although it did not set off the smoke alarms, there was enough smoke to be a hindrance Smile. I'm stilling trying to find the best way . . .
Doug Arden
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Kevin:

I've also tried burning the envelopes without using lighter fluid and found they really didn't burn very well.

For me personally, or for my audiences, the smoke has never been an issue. However, if you really find this to be a problem and want to find an alternative, you could use a small paper shredder to destroy the envelopes. I bought one years ago and have it with me when a venue, usually a hotel, won't allow fire on stage under any circumstances. I seldom use it but it's there if I need to.
gadfly3d
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I use a net type strainer so that it gets a lot of air and a healthy dose of lighter fluid. Have done this for 30 yrs. and never set off a smoke detector.
Doug Arden
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I also use a fair amount of lighter fluid but have never set off a detector or had complaints from audience members. I like your idea with the strainer though, allowing more air at the envelopes and therefore, a quicker burn.
Kevin Viner
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San Diego, CA
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I'll have to try the strainer idea. I'm also going to try using a smaller envelope.
cheaptrick
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Wilmington, Delaware
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I actually shredded and burned a $20 bill one time. First tested the shredder using a large piece of FP. Then shredded the bill.

Everything went into the dove pan. POOF!!. . . . Voila! Three lemons.

You can guess what happened then.

The bill was unburned. I just reassembled it with scotch tape, and told the nice lady at the bank about the unfortunate shredder accident. We had a good laugh about it, and she gave me another 20.


:magicrabbit:
"Pick any card. NOT that one!!!"
mcharisse
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York. PA
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Has anyone ever put a folded bill in an envelope and tried to burn it? I suspect the envelope paper would burn fist leaving a singed folded buill on the plate. That intuation, which I suspect some specs might share, has kept me from doing a burned bill in which no bill is actually burned.
Doug Arden
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Let me explain the entire thing to you! Oh wait, the phone's ringing. Hold that thought.
Doc Magic
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Pasadena, CA
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Lighter fluid is great, speeds up the process and visual effect.
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."- Aldous Huxley
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