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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Change Box, Mirror Box question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Magic Ref
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Has anyone found a good source for wooden boxes to make mirror boxes?

Actually I want to make a "Change Box" that loads in the top and then has a door in the front just like a mirror box. I'll use Black Art inside it, I have the material for that.

If not wood what other material would be used to make this type of box? I'm thinking quality long lasting not cardboard etc. I want to make 5 of them, any creative ideas?

Thanks,

Mike
Be Young...Have Fun!
Michael Baker
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Do you have the resources to make them? In fact, I think it would be easier to build the whole thing from scratch than try to cut doors in an existing box.

I just finished one mirror box recently, and am working on others, although these are with one door on top and an open bottom for a vanish.

http://themagiccompany.com/mirror_box_01.jpg
http://themagiccompany.com/mirror_box_02.jpg
http://themagiccompany.com/mirror_box_03.jpg

The construction for one with doors top and front would be similar, and is very straight forward... just a box. A black art version would be just as easy.

~michael
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The Magic Ref
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WOW! These are beautiful! Great job!
Be Young...Have Fun!
B Hackler
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The mirror box looks great.
edh
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Absolutely beautiful work!
Magic is a vanishing art.
MagicMatthews
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I made one in about an hour using Corflute (You know, the stuff that is like corrugated cardboard, but is actually polypropylene), then covered it in a book covering (it's difficult to paint.) I used a perspex mirror from the hardware store.
Don't get even... Get odd!
TRUMPETMAN
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Michael, your work is always so stunning ! Man, I wish I had half your abilities. The last mirror box I made was finished to look like a small washing machine. I mounted a percussionist's ratchet on the back, for some nice loud sound effects, and also a bell-hop bell. I used scraps of leftover 1/8" luan for the box, assembled with gorilla glue, and lined it with plain old balck felt from the fabric store. Been using it for two years now, and it kills everytime. Funny how the simplest stuff will do that sometimes...

Mark
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magicalmischief
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For some reason everything I tried to build in shop class always turned out to be an ashtray... =)
Seems to me that death is just natures way of telling us to SLOW DOWN!
CharlaineC
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Is their a way to hide the mirror better. I like the look of the box in the photos but I can see the edges of the mirror. when I strat to preform again my audience is never more the ten to fifteen feet away.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2009-03-15 12:49, magicalmischief wrote:
For some reason everything I tried to build in shop class always turned out to be an ashtray... =)


If only you had nailed down that lamp project...

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
AGMagic
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Quote:
On 2011-02-24 08:32, CharlaineC wrote:
Is their a way to hide the mirror better. I like the look of the box in the photos but I can see the edges of the mirror. when I strat to preform again my audience is never more the ten to fifteen feet away.


Knowing Michael's work, I suspect that it is the photographic lighting that is allowing you to see the edge of the mirror. In days past, stripes were painted inside the box to help hide the edge of the mirror. The stripe closest to the mirror was only 1/2 width and the reflection provided the other 1/2 of the width.

The best way to minimize edge reflection is to polish the edge of the mirror. The edge reflections you see in less expensive illusions are the result of the multiple surface angles left by the cutting process. Simply use #120 or finer sandpaper to polish the edges of the glass. The first strokes should be at a 45 degree angle to the front and rear surfaces of the mirror. This slight chamfer will help to eliminate chipping as you finish the edges. Sand until there are no shiny spots left from the breaking of the glass.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-02-24 08:32, CharlaineC wrote:
Is their a way to hide the mirror better. I like the look of the box in the photos but I can see the edges of the mirror. when I strat to preform again my audience is never more the ten to fifteen feet away.


It is possible to see the routed dados that the mirror sits in, but not the edges of the mirror itself. There are diagonal dados on each end in an "X" pattern. The resulting reflection keeps that consistent. If you are referring to the glints of light that run along one of those dados, then you are seeing light reflected off the painted surface, and not the mirror. How do I know this? Because I built it, and I know where the mirror is... and it's not where any reflected edges show.

It should also be noted that these boxes are not normally viewed with a camera flash illuminating the interior of the box. Under normal working conditions the lighting is much different.

It is always possible to further disguise the interior sides of the box with additional parallel lines, but that should only be done if it is consistent with the rest of the interior, otherwise it draws more attention than would be desired. I have also lined boxes with a patterned fabric that had no defined orientation, and therefore no need for parallel or intersecting lines. But, I should mention that this is only possible with front surface mirrors, otherwise you'll have a black stripe running right through the pattern, and necessitating the intersecting diagonals for camouflage.

But, if this is still a problem for you, then paint the interior of the box black and nobody will be able to see anything in it anyway... unless you forget to bury the edges of the mirror, in which case they'd light up like a Christmas tree. Or you could simply use a BA panel and forget the mirror entirely. That method has fooled laymen for more than a hundred years, and still does.

Laymen who know how mirror boxes work are generally limited to circles of kids and families that have been beleaguered by hack birthday party magicians who use crappy cardboard props. As well, the box in the photos was designed for a use unlike the typical mirror box. Because of this, it is less likely a laymen would connect the dots. Everyone here knew it was a mirror box before they saw the photos. The typical use for a TT is to vanish a silk. Many laymen have been exposed to this. But, you can use the same device to do a bill change, and fool them every time.
~michael baker
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Mike Maturen
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I am hoping to begin to build a few mirror boxes from sale. I want to use finer woods like oak or teak and finish them to look like expensive furniture...perfect for a professional or collector. Any suggestions on proper sizes of boxes for stage vs. parlour vs in-home (like b-day parties)?
Mike Maturen
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mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Cyberqat
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I'm a bit confused by how the open botton is used. Probably cause I can't see the exact line of the mirror Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Michael Baker
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Put item into the top door, and then lift box turning bottom toward the audience, revealing no bottom and no whatever you put inside. I don't recall who came up with the idea, but Abbott's, Warren Hamilton and others have built versions.

More recently, I made a version to go along with Doug Higley's "Full Moon Rising" werewolf paw set. In this routine, a severed werewolf paw is wrapped in a cloth and placed in the box. The box is picked up and the bottom breaks out, with the contents tumbling to the table. The box is seen otherwise empty. When the cloth is unwrapped, the werewolf paw has changed to a human hand.

Image

Image
~michael baker
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Cyberqat
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Ah. I see. I think.

Stupid q... how is the front door used then? Wouldnt you see either the top door or bottom cut out reflected, depending on the position of the mirror?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
CharlaineC
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Thank you I didn't realize what I was seeing was the router-ed x and now that makes perfect sense.
when you say crappy cardboard props what do you mean because I was thinking of making a set of props out of foamcore and partical board as I cant use power tools where I live. wile at the same time looking professional. if this cannot be done then I'd deffenetly want to know
Cyberqat
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The wearwolf paw sounds like a great gag, btw Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
illusiontech
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Wow, Beautiful looking work!!!! I enjoy looking at great magic!!

--Vinny
Michael Baker
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Cyberqat,

There is only the top door, no front door. These are designed differently than the more common mirror box with top and front doors. The fact that you should see the inside of the top door is pretty much overlooked by the audience in lieu of the fact that something has disappeared. However, as you'll notice in the oriental box I made, the interior design is consistent with where the door outline would be. The wolf box is handled differently by the type of lid. Slightly different dimensions at work, too.

CharlaineC,

I've seen many nice things made from foamcore, and even cardboard. I was not so much bashing the material used as I was the mass-production boxes that are poorly made. I have made a few props from foamcore. Some were built for short term use, but I've had some last quite a long time.

Here is a guy who shows how to make a basic mirror box from wood, but foamcore could be used successfully. The design is very deceptive on this, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raiFzWTyEKU&feature=relmfu

Stripes, checks, plaids all work well for interior linings, but ambiguous patterns can work well, too.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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