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Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17197 Posts

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Yes if he will do an apprenticeship as a machinist, and work as a journeyman for a few years, then take a couple of years learning the tricks of the trade to do magic stuff with it. In the interim, and considering the time and money spent, you could buy it all and still have a good hunk of change left over.

I don't begrudge the time it takes one of these guys to make a gaff, nor do I begrudge the prices they charge. If you want one of their gaffs you pay their price, regardless of who else is out there. Like going to the butcher and saying Hey, McVenny down the street only charges 1.25 a lb for pork chops your's are 2.75 a lb. And the butcher says "well then go buy it from McVenny". And you say "McVenny doesn't have any, he is out", and the Butcher says, "Well when I don't have any and I'm out they are only 60 cents a lb."

You pay the price the man you want it from charges or you go somewhere else. Plain and simple.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
2240 Posts

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Coin Silver is not pure silver. To salvage scrap silver and machine shavings ("swarf") you will have to pay a minimum assay fee no matter how much scrap coin silver you bring in. After that, the cost of refining will be deducted from the below-spot rate so that the refiner can make money too.

I currently have about 8 lbs of scrap coin silver and am just about to the point where it will be slightly profitable to have it refined. You're going to have to ruin a lot of coins to get over that bar.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
gaddy
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Agent of Chaos
3149 Posts

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It's unfortunate that so much of the great skill it takes to produce certain magic items is just simply disappearing --and that which is left must charge such exorbitant rates for items that were so easily available in the past.

Ah well, such is life.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Sammy J.
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Castle Rock, Colorado
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I think that anyone who does superb work deserves to be compensated accordingly. I don't own any of Jamie's stuff, but if the need arises for coins of that nature, I won't hesitate to invest in them. In all the magic items I have purchased, my main regrets have been slanted toward the cheap stuff I am embarressed to have ever purchased.
Sammy
Sammy J. Teague
joseph
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Eternal Order
Please ignore my
16970 Posts

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Quote:
On 2008-10-16 18:56, rutabaga wrote:
Anyone here tried making their own Ramsey stack out of Canadian Toonies? I'm thinking of banging out the inner section. Should be straight forward. Right? Smile



Or maybe using washers the same color and size...The hole is already there.. Smile ..
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Thomas Wayne
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Alaska
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Quote:
On 2008-10-31 18:50, gaddy wrote:
It's unfortunate that so much of the great skill it takes to produce certain magic items is just simply disappearing --and that which is left must charge such exorbitant rates for items that were so easily available in the past.

Ah well, such is life.


"Exorbitant" is an unfair characterization in my opinion, as the word itself suggests an unfairly high price. The best craftsmen in the world are entitled to charge what the market will bear for their sweat and blood. And, as most intelligent people know, the marketplace will eliminate those businesses that charge too high a price for the value they offer.

Your concern for the shrinking field of skilled craftsmen in the magic industry seems compelling, however the cause of that shrinkage is revealed in the rest of your statement. You feel that the prices for high-quality apparatus are "exorbitant", which suggests that such prices are somehow unfair or unreasonable. They're not, but the idea that high quality can be had for cheap money is the very thing that drives many skilled fabricators to other fields of endeavor.

I have accumulated, over three decades, a shop full of equipment that can produce incredibly precise and intricate work; I have also acquired the necessary skills to use that equipment to manufacturer, literally, anything I want. I determine my prices based on material cost and time required to get the job done - but I also determine my prices on my ability to create things that YOU can't. If you don't like that, or can't afford it then that is simply too bad.

John Ruskin, in an essay often quoted in business schools, wrote:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

Ruskin went on to write:
Quote:

"It is unwise to pay too much, but it is also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot... It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."


Amateur magicians seem to have a long history of wanting "something for nothing", whether it is simply the secret to an effect, or even the apparatus itself. Most professionals - the good ones, at least - know that a quality piece of apparatus will last a very long time and not fail when it's needed the most. They seem to know the most important tenant of all regarding apparatus: you get what you pay for.

Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Douglas Lippert
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E Pluribus Unum
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Wayne,

You do know forums like this are mostly filled with hobby magicians?
Douglas Lippert
Former I.B.M. Ring #8 Secretary
http://www.facebook.com/Doug.Lippert
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