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DoctorAmazo
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Special user
Florida
643 Posts

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What's your favorite/most unusual tip for saving money on magic supplies?

I think we all know about Wooly Nylon and Krylon Crystal Coat... probably even about buying cards by the case from Costco.

Who can come up with the most unusual source, substitution, or make-it-yourself suggestion for cheap supplies?
MatthewBlackwell
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England
140 Posts

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Start mentalism. No fancy props required Smile
Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
2240 Posts

Profile of Thomas Wayne
Quote:
On 2002-03-19 10:36, DoctorAmazo wrote:
What's your favorite/most unusual tip for saving money on magic supplies?

I think we all know about Wooly Nylon and Krylon Crystal Coat... probably even about buying cards by the case from Costco.

Who can come up with the most unusual source, substitution, or make-it-yourself suggestion for cheap supplies?


Perhaps you are taking the wrong approach here. I first started making my own props because the ones available on the market were already too cheap looking. Since I prefer props that look world class, I apply my already-honed manufacturing skills to the items that I want for myself. Some of these have reached the general market (exotic wands, coin cylinders & wallets, and others) and the rest I have kept for my own use.

Instead of focusing on making your props cheaper, how about considering how to make them BETTER?

Regards,
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
RangeCowboy
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Long Beach
198 Posts

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Hear hear!

I wanted to use a couple of Beer Tankards for an illusion and went looking. I saw pewter and stainless and silver.. Then I saw in junk shop two brass tankards inlaid with the enameling you see on stuff from India, engraved and then filled with colored enamel paints and then fired.

The effect is gorgeous and I got both for less than the cost of a single new tankard.

I vote you go look in junk shops, Christian Aid, Cancer Research, etc... shops and you will see stuff just dying to be used as props.

I had never seen the Bagel Biter till I went into a Cancer Aid Shop (read elsewhere on the Cafe) and for $7 got a terrific prop.

The tricky part is deciding how you will gaff a general purpose item, but brass and plastic can be drilled and filled so that's usually what I use,

Anyone successfully cut or drilled glassware?


RangeCowboy
The Pianoman
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Veteran user
Lliving in Scotland.
334 Posts

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Hi Guys, I too try to use what I see in the charity shops. I got a large (21cm length) ornate brass mortice type key recently and it is perfect for Haunted Key.

A key this size from a magical dealer would cost quite a bit.

The other thing is that using an old antique is that almost no one else will be using that exact item in the exact same way so in some ways "You are unique"

Regards Alan
RangeCowboy
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Long Beach
198 Posts

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I just found out my ornate Indian Tankards are probably collectible antiques and I just finished gaffing them.

Oh well - now I have a really nice Tankard Illusion with kick-ass expensive props. Maybe I should have sold them as tankards on eBay.

I also just recently found at a swap-meet a kitchen vegetable cutter which will be used for some bizarre magic. Called Raadvad from Denmark its worth looking out for in your own junk shops.

see picture below

<img src="http://www.magicities.com/lbmagic/Raadvad.jpg">
Ray Haddad
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Mansfield Center, Connecticut
151 Posts

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Here are some of my penny pinching finds:

1. Wax toilet bowl rings for sealing the porcelain to the floor are great for magician's wax. They work extra fine for "Card on Ceiling." Buy a new ring. Don't recycle for this one time, ok?

2. Silk scarves can be found in copious quantities at Salvation Army stores or other charity second hand shops. I mean real silk, not fake. The way to tell the difference is often as simple as noting the style of hem. Look at your silks and you'll see they are all hemmed with a rolled hem done by an overlocking sewing machine and not a flat hem.

3. Champagne buckets from the import stores are far better than expensive ones for Miser's Dream. They have a far better ring to them if they are not ornately carved or cast.

4. Magicians rope comes ready to use from yachting shops. They use decorative white cotton rope for show and good quality synthetics for open ocean use. The cotton show ropes are very limp and and easy to cut.

5. Colored flocking material for decorating props can be had from fabric warehouses or clothing manufacturers. When cutting the material the machines have catch bags for the tiny pieces that fall off. If you ask them to do so, they will change bags with each color or you can simply take one bag and use the color from the strata that develop in the bag.

6. Citrus trees have useless branches on them known as spikes or suckers. They are very straight and bear no fruit ever. They grow on most trees and sap some of the nutrients required for good fruit bearing. Each year they are cut off and destroyed. They make the very best wizard type wands when trimmed, coated with wood stain and finished with clear lacquer.

Just a few ideas for you. Enjoy.

Best,
Ray
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