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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » Hints about purchasing tables and/or stands (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Palmer
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Over the years, I have purchased or constructed approximately 50 different stands for various tricks. Some of them were refurbished tables that I got from various places. Others were custom tables that I made for a specific venue. I picked up a few ideas along the way.

1) Remember that your table is part of your stage setting. Before you invest a lot of money in a table or a stand, see if you can find a photograph of one like it in actual use. Does it look like a pile of PVC pipe or plumbing? Or does it have a personality that adds to the value of your stage setting? In the case of some performers, it IS the setting. Make sure it really looks good with your props.

2) Remember that you will have to transport this thing somehow. If it won't fold, it may not be practical to use it. If it takes a long time to set up, the same might be true. If it is very heavy, you may not want to lug it around.

3) Are you tempted to hide behind your table when you perform? There are very few stand-up tricks that require that you be behind a table. Don't let the table block the audience's view of you. They came to see you, not your furniture.

4) Look to suppliers other than magic dealers for really interesting tables. Antique or reproduction candle stands or plant stands can make very nice tables. You can even find some that have turned spindles for center columns. Some of these can be made to take down into two or three sections.

Just a few thoughts.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mark McDermott
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Union Mills, IN
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Bill,
Great tips!

Thank you for your wisdom.

All the best, Mark
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Bill,

Thanks for the tips. Too often we just buy whatever is for sale.

Another thing that has been a problem for me over the years is to look for the non-metal parts. Plastic adjustable knobs and foot covers need to be replaceable. They do get damaged and/or disappear over time.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
guitarmagic
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Southern Louisiana
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Hi Mr. Palmer, et al ...

Your words are gold to me, in all that is magic. Thanks for the tips.

I am interested in a Harbin style table (the very portable folding type that Jim Chelini has used at one point in his career). I love the idea of size and portability.

1. What are your views for handling cards and coins on such a table?
2. Who constructs the best, with regards to aesthetics, durability and value?
Why is it that on one side of the world a person looks at a picture of the Grand Canyon and says, "it looks so real." At the same time on the other side of the world a person looks at the Grand Canyon and says, "it looks like a picture."
aitchy
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/14692572@N02/3352353756/

I made this one! cost about £30 in materials and is perfect for what I need - even has a huge pk block stuck under -
Don't overlook home made props. The prices for some of the magic shop made tables are scary
David Alexander
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Valuable points, Bill.

When I was on tour in the Far East I used a table made for me by Kirk Kirkham. It was fashioned after the Abbott's Nite Club table but a little deeper. It carried the entire act and fitted into its own custom made fiber case. The fiber case was $20 back in those days and it saw a lot of travel.

It was supported by an old P&L base to which I had added quality casters. It was very practical.

Later I took the side "wings" off the table and had it upholstered with black Naugahyde and silver nails. The addition of an aluminum molding around the top let me put a sheet of quarter-inch plywood that moved back and forth covering only about a third of the open box. it was all the support surface I needed.

Later, when I wanted a bit more space I bought a Mark Evans Ten Second Table sold by David Charvet. It looks like an ATA case and for my purposes it is the perfect table. It travels beautifully.
Phil Tawa
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I have this leather shaving kit that ended up being one of my favorite things.
I usually keep the valuable and small part stuff in it. In the table I keep other props. A stack of cards,rope stuff. Row of loaded tips etc. I kiddie corner
the table back against the wall. Pick 6 or 7 tricks,load up and do the rounds.If you're paranoid about the table just fold it. I kind of stick with mt street performance in a walk around situation. Some major staples,professor's nightmare,tip and streamer,hopping half,a killer paddle trick,sponge bunnies
(get a 3-D set)they are way better!! I have not yet tried one of these but I guess
there is a small table top that attaches to the edge of the dinner table. I think they are about $30.00
Alan Munro
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Some of the quickest tables to setup are inexpensive and can be readily found in most major cities.

I use a large plastic tote for a prop case, with a sign held on one end with powerful magnets. It rests on a wooden restaurant tray stand, available at a restaurant supply store.

When only a small working surface is required, I use a 30" folding bar stool. I remove the pin and get accustom to working with it, so that it doesn't fold up at the wrong time. I often use a packaway table that has had one of the tabletop springs removed, made by Mel Babcock, instead of the bar stool. I also use a bar stool to put my catalog case on, for after-dinner shows.

One setup that also worked well was putting a wrapping paper storage tote on a folding keyboard stand. These totes are only a few inches high and are quite long, making them perfect for the keyboard stand.
Bill Palmer
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I'm sorry I haven't looked at this thread in a while. Regarding Harbin tables, they generally don't support much weight. The best ones were made by a Russian aircraft mechanic. They aren't pretty, but they are sturdy for what is basically a collapsible table.

For me, height adjustability is not as important as steadiness and tightness. I want a table that doesn't wobble. I also want one that doesn't look like a percussion table.

Imagine if you told your wife or significant other that you were going to furnish your house with percussion tables. What would she say. The same thing is basically true of keyboard stands. Keyboard stands do have the advantage of being flat black, for the most part, so they kind of disappear when you use them.

Mikame Craft has a set of table legs that look a lot like a Losander table. These are actually quite nice looking. I don't know how sturdy they are. They are not cheap, though.

If you want an inexpensive stand, go to a furniture store and look at plant stands. They usually have turned columns and fairly small tops. You can replace the top with something that will work for magic. The columns normally are in two or three sections that can be packed in a padded bag. The legs come off, as well.

You can assemble one of these in about 2 minutes, and if you keep the center of gravity located properly, they won't topple.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
JimmyH
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Thanks for the insight..
Pete Biro
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You may not need a table if you like my HELPING HAND. Seen here on a 1980 TV show I appeared on in Japan. You walk on with a shopping bag, take out the HELPING HAND and it clips on any mic stand, and you're ready to go. I hope to have these on the market in May.

Stay tooned and see attached image.

Click here to view/download attached file.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
B Hackler
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Pete that looks like it would go great with a comedy act. I would be interested in one. How much are you going to charge for the helping hand?
rklew64
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Something to take a gander and consider because:
1. relatively inexpensive
2. I have one and it is a bit better than I expected
3. Not really meant to carry around - best for at home display.
4.made rather well, wood, metal, adjustable, secret compartment, collapsable, and best of all - fringes!

so check it out - call first to see if they still have it in stock as I do not know if they actively update the inventory.
If you manage to get one, you might be pleasantly surprised for the price.
rklew64
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rklew64
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Yea, of all places one would never have thought a place like this would carry something like this. Just found recently the correct place it should have been on this forum and already talked about, http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......&start=0 , sorry for the redundancy.
SamTheMagicMan
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Thanks for the link rklew64. For that price, I say that's a great find!
KirkG
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Quote:
On 2010-02-07 02:02, Pete Biro wrote:
You may not need a table if you like my HELPING HAND. Seen here on a 1980 TV show I appeared on in Japan. You walk on with a shopping bag, take out the HELPING HAND and it clips on any mic stand, and you're ready to go. I hope to have these on the market in May.

Stay tooned and see attached image.


Need a bigger picture Pete!
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