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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Boxes and cases and crates... oh my! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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George Ledo
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I've been playing around with the idea of doing a short book on how to build carrying cases and road crates for magic equipment. Not so much a "here's a board being cut on the table saw" type of spoon-feeding book, but focusing more on the wide variety of designs possible, and how these things have been used, and are used, in the theater world. I would not be covering ATA cases at all, since there's lots of material on those already.

I'm thinking along the lines of a few cases I've built, cases used by theater companies, and drawings of some interesting custom designs specifically for magic props.

Any interest out there in something like this?
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Bryan Gilles
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I'd be interested.

Its too bad you aren't going ot cover the topic of ATA cases though... I know there are lots of other magicians who are constantly lookingtowards this. It would be nice to see a little bit on the subject.

Sounds like a great book idea overall though!

-Bryan
George Ledo
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Thanks for your note, Bryan.

I'm leaning away from ATA cases in the book mostly because I've never built one Smile , but also because I feel that a good chunk of the time they're really not necessary for people who are transporting their own stuff in their own trucks. An ATA case is really just an old-fashioned trunk made with modern materials, and which meets certain standards set by the Air Transport Association for airline shipping. There are lots of companies making and selling these cases, and the materials and hardware for them, and they know far more about them than I do.

However, when push comes to shove, the vast majority of the ideas I would present in my book could also be applied to ATA cases; it would be just a matter of building the box as an ATA case instead of as a road crate.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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Michael Baker
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Excellent, unique idea. I'd like to get one of those books when they are ready! Smile

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
JamesTong
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Malaysia
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Great idea and very useful for magicians that are always on the move. I would like to own a copy too.
Craig Dickens
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George--make sure you mention that any crate made with lumber that leaves the United States has to be made with heat-treated wood and carry an official stamp. Air freight companies will not take them otherwise. That is why pro bulders don't make the basic crates themselves and instead go to a crating service.
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George Ledo
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Good point, Craig, and certainly a good caveat to mention.

If I go thru with the book (if there's enough interest in it), I'm really going to focus on the type of boxes most performers would need to carry their show around with them. Shipping stuff, especially across the border, is a whole other subject, and, although I sent five 53' containers full of scenery to Dubai a few years ago (and every item had its own label keyed back to a database), it's not something I really care to experience again or to expound upon.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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Andy the cardician
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Good idea . . . I do struggle to pack up my goodies in an efficient and safe way
Cards never lie
Michael Baker
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Assuming your slant is more domestic, I could imagine a whole plethora of concerns regarding these things. I was once the proud owner of a crate that was 1/2" too wide to fit through a standard doorway.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
George Ledo
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Yep... been there. It kinda takes all the fun out of building the boat once you realize you can't get it out of the basement.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Michael Taggert
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Sign me up for the book Im looking to incorporate my cases into the show as scenic pieces if possible. lots of ideas
Mike
Believe you then that I do strange things
four elements
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Count me in.
George Ledo
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Right on the nose, Michael. Using crates as scenic pieces can be very effective in the right show: they can add a lot of character, fill up the stage, serve as "prop holders," add a bit of comedy, and even be illusions in themselves. I designed a production of Kander and Ebb's "The World Goes 'round" last year, and the set was literally a collection of flats and crates, painted with the names of shows K&E worked on (like "Chicago," "New York New York," and others). Some of the crates were stacked up to form steps and entrances, and we even had a lot of the lights and cables showing. Once I get set up to do photos here, I'll post a shot of it.

Posted: Jul 28, 2007 2:21pm
Okay, for the time being, here's a shot of "World Goes 'round," taken during construction, and illuminated with house lights. It doesn't show the cool stuff the stage lights did with the set or with the cast (or with shadows and entrances), but it'll provide an idea of how stage crates can be used as scenery elements. This show (it was actually a musical revue) consisted of well-known songs from a number of Broadway mega-hits, so I wanted to create an atmosphere that said "this is theater, folks." A couple of the crates rolled around and became seats as well as places to pull props and costume elements.

http://www.capital.net/~georgefl/Workshop/WorldGoesRound.htm
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
sb
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Count me in for interest in the book.

scott
dlcmagic
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I would buy it.
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
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I would buy it, too.

Dennis Loomis
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<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
George Ledo
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Well, it looks like I'm going to be writing a book... Smile

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'll keep everyone posted as to progress.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
JamesTong
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Many more would be interested in your book, George.
cardcaptor
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ILLUMINATI: Brotherhood knowing to be unusually enlightened with regard to the art of magic.

in memory of... SWIFTSHIFTER

"The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural"
ClintonMagus
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For what it's worth, here's at least part of the ATA 300, Category 1 specification:

ATA Spec

Also, a source for parts

ATA Parts
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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