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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Manufacturing Spong Balls / How To? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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1) Goshman did not invent the process. Ravel invented it. He sold it to Goshman.
2) Tenyo also makes supersoft sponges. They did this before Goshman.
3) I worked for a costume company that makes mascots for sports teams. They use an electric knife, just like the kind you cut your Christmas Turkey or Hanukkah Hen with. You can do the same thing with sponge.

Just watch out for your fingers. They might roll underneath something.
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Profile of MagicMatthews
On 2009-08-26 22:49, Father Photius wrote:
You take a block of foam, a pair of scissors and cut away everything that doesn't look like a sponge ball.

That's funny.
I don't understand why anyone would try to make their own sponge ball when they are so easy to get cheaply?
Don't get even... Get odd!
David Alexander
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Knowing Jimmy Ravel and visiting him in his home several times I saw his sponge ball machine in his garage. It had been custom made to a design he provided. I do not know if Jimmy designed the machine or if he paid someone to design it for him.

He would take sponge squares and put them on vertical pins which would rotate the squares on a vertical axis. While they rotated a set of rotating hollow cutters moved forward and back at ninety degrees to the spinning sponge blanks, trimming them to balls. If memory serves, the machine could do eight blanks at a time. I don't think it took more than 30 seconds to turn the squares into round balls. The balls were perfectly round except for a small sponge tab at the bottom where the rotating blades could not go. These were buzzed off by hand by Jimmy with a small grinder.

It was this machine that was sold to Goshman, effectively giving him a lock on the market at the time. I believe he used a hot wire machine to produce his own product. He just wanted the competition gone and he paid for that to happen.
Tom Bartlett
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Try, the foam I think you will need, is "FlexFoam-it! III". FlexFoam-it! III may not by quite as compressionable as supersoft but I think it is close. You will not need a injection machine or complicated molds in fact you could use plaster-of-paris.
The people at smooth-on are quite helpful and can provide you a great deal of information not only about the chemicals but also about the process.

They will send you samples if you ask.


P.S. If you would still like to farm it out I may be interested in working with you. Just send me a P.M.
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Profile of Paul_Rheaume
I have found that foam dioped into laquer thinner, borke down and became very sofe (like soft foam balls). you would need to wash out the excess thinner as it would continue to eat away at the foam.

They also expand when dipped into the thinner
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