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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Chair suspension (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kyle^Ravin
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Inner circle
I slammed my head against
1070 Posts

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Heya guys, jus wondering...wats the best chair suspension I could get?? and From whom. I knw kyle Peron has a book on the topic and I'm soon gettin it... but for now... which one holds the best value?
reynold
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Elite user
Puerto Rico
473 Posts

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Kyle: I personally never cared for the effect, I think the fact the person is covered with a cloth makes it obvious for the audience. I am sure many guys out there will differ from my opinion. But if you got the dough go for bill smith's that go for $2,500 I believe. If not then go with the classic $500 one on hank lee.
Thanks,
Reynold
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18559 Posts

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Bill Smith makes one of the best. I had one made by Johnny Gaughan. Any of the cheaper ones will not hold up and you have to be really carefull with the size and weight of the person you use.

If there is any way you can beg, borrow or look at the Harbin book you will see the BEST PRESENTATION. Harbin only had the spectator "suspended" for 3-4 seconds at the most... but his routine killed. He sold it and his talk built it beautifully.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
reynold
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Puerto Rico
473 Posts

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Pete:
I will check the book. Maybe I will change my mind.
Thanks
Reynold
Terry Owens
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Ft. Wayne, Indiana
1707 Posts

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I use one and it always gets a good response from the audience, it boils down to what Pete said (I have a lot of respect for him) it's presentation and selling the illusion...I know even when I may not like something, the audience sees it in a different light than me. So we have to try to climb into the audience head, not each others...
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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As an old rodeo clown, I learned that the Chair Suspension is one of the very few stage illusions that will work in sand! That can be VIP!

(We still think of rodeo as the Greatest Show on Dirt.)

Good Luck on your search. Be picky!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
aquamage
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92 Posts

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I have always hated this illusion. In my opinion ( and this is just MY opinion) I do not think it fools anyone. I think it is pretty obvious to even a child how it works. Buuuuuut....I recently saw two performers who actually made it look good and turned it into something very enchanting for the audience. One of the things I always disliked is that in a lot of the versions I have seen the person on the board make it tip downward instead of remaining fully suspended. If you do this trick PLEEEEEASE invest in a superior model by one of the well-known builders. The cheaper models, when they "dip" really seem to kill any chance of creating a nice effect. The portability of this trick does make it attractive to many, so if you can perform well enough to "sell" the suspension then don't sell yourself short by buying a cheap one.
dahih beik
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palestine
817 Posts

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I agree I have a bill smith version and it is the best in my opinion , it is very important to intal the illusion infront of the audiance and then proceed.
jimhlou
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Hi Kyle:

I think all of this is good advice, but I couldn't afford $2,000 - 3,000 for a chair suspension. I got mine from Doug Tilford (Tilford Illusions) for less than $500.00. No, it won't support me or my wife, but a child or young lady of 100 - 120 pounds is no problem. I've had great success with mine and use it in almost every show - it's always ready to go. Everybody seems to love it.

Jim
Kyle^Ravin
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I slammed my head against
1070 Posts

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Wow, the Bill Smith one sounds good... but it has a HEAVY price tag. Does the Bill smith one hold a greater weight??
jimhlou
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Yes it does. It will hold an adult. Mine states "up to 190 pounds", but I'm afraid to put that much on it.

Jim
Tony Thomas
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North Carolina
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Hey, don't hate on the chair suspension... I recently built one. I received plans from Steve Kovarez (Magic Castle Plans) online for about $15. It wasn't easy to build, but I am satisfied with the results. I already had some of the materials including the two chairs that I modified, so it only cost about $150, including my $40 welding fee. My board is padded, covered in leather, and has a nice bead of fringe around the edge.

My kids show often has a fishing theme, because I am "Tony the Troutman". I wear a fishing vest & other "silliness". I'm planning to place my daughter in a trance, lay her on the board, and attach my son's fishing pole to the end of the board near her feet. I'm going to pretend that the question is whether my seven year old boy can suspend half of my daughters weight with his fishing pole. Tension will build...

I'll remove the chair, he will create literal tension in the fishing line, and appear to be struggling. All will be going well until I pull out the scissors. Appearing to be the cruelist father in the world, I will cut the fishing line, and amazingly my daughter wont come crashing down, assuming the best... Then I pass the loop over her, showing no other wires. I think it will work. I'll perform it for the first time in September.

I came up with the fishing pole idea because the part of the illusion that I like the least, as I have seen it performed, is that moment when the chair is removed and you see the magician slowly letting go of the foot end of the board. It typically lowers about 4" below level, and as a result something is lost in the "levitation look". I thought the fishing pole idea would mask that unlevel look. It will appear as though my son is not keeping her perfectly level with his fishing pole, which would basically be expected.
From the Encouraging Magic of...

Tony Thomas

www.magictonythomas.com
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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That's the best solution I have ever heard of for the Chair Suspension "sag." Now if as clever a solution could be found for the broom suspension "sag", it might give that illusion some new life, also. Anyone who does either suspension should be looking for similar ideas that they can use to overcome the "sag" in their own presentations. Congratulations Tony the Troutman! You've caught a big one!

I realize now that I don't hate those two suspensions as much as I hate the presentations of ostrich magicians who present them with their heads buried in the sand, pretending the "sag" doesn't give the whole illusion away to anyone with a high school knowledge of physics and center of gravity. Tony's solution gives credibility to the sag, and I love the idea that the suspension magic moment doesn't really happen until he cuts the line.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
btedeski
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Veteran user
Pittsburgh PA
322 Posts

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Tony

can you post a link to were you purchases the plans?

>>I received plans from Steve Kovarez (Magic Castle Plans) online
Billy The Clown
www.BillyTheClown.com

Bill Tedeski
Pittsburgh PA

Were magic is just too funny....
Tony Thomas
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North Carolina
1239 Posts

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I'm trying to retrace my steps. I think I bought it from an international dealer off ebay. I went back and couldn't find the exact one that I purchased (magic castle) today. But there is another set of plans from what appears to be a different international dealer. The current bid is at $2.

Go to e-bay and search "chair suspension". At the bottom you will see it under international dealers. This set of plans indicates that there are six pages of instructions. My plans only came with three pages of instructions. These may be easier to follow...
From the Encouraging Magic of...

Tony Thomas

www.magictonythomas.com
sly2272
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261 Posts

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Bill Smith's chair suspension is the only way to go. The rest are just junk.
jimhlou
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3617 Posts

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Junk perhaps, but effective.

I tie a helium balloon on the ankles of the "floatee", then cut the string similar to the fishing line procedure. I've also found that you can drape the cloth cover, with it hanging more toward the "floatee's" head, and tighter toward the feet, to give the illusion of a perfectly horizontal subject.

Jim
Terry Owens
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Ft. Wayne, Indiana
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I use people full of helium...no sag problem...just kidding.

I have Klamm's version and haven't really had a problem with saging with mine. It could be due to the weight of the people I use. I've had it for close to 18 years and no problems with it.
jimhlou
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Terry:

The Klamm unit is made by Jim Sommers - the same one that I have.

Jim
magicofCurtis
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Los Angeles
2545 Posts

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Have both Jim Sommers and Bill Smiths C-S...

Bills is built to last and it is VERY heavy and the chairs look like they should be in a magic show...
The Jim Sommers chairs are more indifited over BS....
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