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Bill Palmer
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I believe, from conversations with Mike Brazill, that the original Bells of St. Mary's were made of steel. Set number SC 003 in the museum is a set of these cups. I have had them since about 1973 or so.

Mike was over at the house, telling me about the BOSM cups, and how unlikely it would be for me to find a set of the originals, when I said, "You know, I have a set of cups that look like Monti cups, but seem to be a little different. I think they are steel."

I brought them out. He looked at them and said, "These are the ones Earl Reum called 'The Bells of St. Mary's.' " That and a fin will buy you a Veinte at Starbuck's!
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Mobius303
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Stainless Steel Bill....they are non ferrous and tough as nails.
They do not rust inside or out and can take a beating like no ther cups I have worked with.

Ummm....back on topic I guess.
I lied the Foxy 3 's I had the opportunity to work with. They are a good set of cups.
Dale Houck
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I had a set of the original RNT Bells of St. Marys cups. I could have sworn they were ferrous and a magnetic ball stuck to them. I bought them from Ron Allesi and I think they later went to a collector in Florida.
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Mobius303
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Wow ....i just tested my set and yes they are ferous...I stand corrected.
I had always thought they were Stainless Steel.
cupsandballsmagic
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I have 2 sets of stainles steel Wing Chun knives and 1 set responds to a magnet, 1 doesn't, I am guesing that the content of chromium etc into the mix of alloys may have something to do with it.
kentfgunn
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Stainless steel contains lots of iron. Ferrous means iron. (Okay it really means a bivalent iron compound). Steel is usually a mix of iron and small amounts of carbon. Some steels are susceptible to the forces of magnetism, some aren't.

But ferrous always means iron-containing. It doesn't mean magnetic.

No criticism intended here, just trying to avoid confusion.

From physicslink.com,

As for whether they are magnetic, the answer is that it depends. There are several families of stainless steels with different physical properties. A basic stainless steel has a 'ferritic' structure and is magnetic. These are formed from the addition of chromium and can be hardened through the addition of carbon (making them 'martensitic') and are often used in cutlery. However, the most common stainless steels are 'austenitic' - these have a higher chromium content and nickel is also added. It is the nickel which modifies the physical structure of the steel and makes it non-magnetic.

Don't know why this thread made me think I was Mr. Science. I learned some stuff wandering around the web, thought somebody here might want to know. I return you now to your regularly scheduled programming . . .

KG

PS. Cups aren't bells. Donnie can correct me here, but I think good sounding bells are cast not spun. Bell metal is a kind of bronze so, I'm guessing bronze cups, would sound most like a bell. As for making a chopper that rang nicely . . . I'm clueless boy. Don't know nuttin' 'bout spinnin.
cupsandballsmagic
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Kent,

No offence taken, I appreciate you filling in the blanks (even if it did fry my head a little, too many long words!)

Re combo cups and ringing, I would imagine it is more to do with the fact that they re not made from 1 solid piece. Bells which are specifically made to ring are cast from a single piece.

I have been told that the tightness of the mouth bead also affects the way a cup rings, though I am not Mr Science, I just like using 'em!

Bri
Donnie Buckley
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 11:24, Bill Palmer wrote:
I believe, from conversations with Mike Brazill, that the original Bells of St. Mary's were made of steel. Set number SC 003 in the museum is a set of these cups. I have had them since about 1973 or so.

Mike was over at the house, telling me about the BOSM cups, and how unlikely it would be for me to find a set of the originals, when I said, "You know, I have a set of cups that look like Monti cups, but seem to be a little different. I think they are steel."

I brought them out. He looked at them and said, "These are the ones Earl Reum called 'The Bells of St. Mary's.' " That and a fin will buy you a Veinte at Starbuck's!


Thanks for the clarification Bill. I've never held an actual set and a chance to get a set on ebay passed me by. I did a search for them on your website prior to writing my previous post and I swear your description said the original RNT Bells of St Mary's were chrome plated brass, but I just checked again, and it definitely says steel. I knew Jake had spun these cups out of steel to recreate the ring that they are famous for.

I think small bells can definitely be spun, but the classic gi-normous bells that we think of as church bells would obviously have been cast. One would want a thick wall for a resilient bell, but I've never made bells, I don't know.

Andrew, I tapped some copper cups with a brass tipped wand, mouth up.
The Foxy 3 straight Cups have a very nice ring to them, higher pitched than a Paul Fox cup does. The Foxy 3 Combos have a duller sound, but that's natural as they contain two layers of copper in the attic area. I wish I had some sort of a pitch analyzer so I could tell you at exactly what pitch they resonate, but I don't really know a thing about that! If I can find something that would do that for me, I could include that kind of info in the Specifications of the cups (how cool would that be!) And, surprisingly I only find a slight variance when tapping the cup with an ebony tipped wand. I think a drumstick would be a good tool to use to test the resonance of a cup. The table surface probably fluctuates the tone more than anything.
It's a complicated questions, and you've got me thinking about it now!
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Bill Palmer
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These definitely are regular steel, not stainless.

BTW, regarding cup metals and ringing -- there are copper cups that ring fairly well, that is, they will clink, instead of going, flob or bonk. However, I have never seen a set of pure copper bells, not even cowbells. Pure copper is a lousy metal for bells. It's just too soft, unless it work hardens.

However, bronze is an entirely different matter. Most bells are made of a bronze alloy. If you go to http://www.bronzebells.com/whybronze.htm, you will get the impression that bell bronze and bell metal are synonymous and that bell bronze is 80% copper and 20% tin, with no impurities. That's a very simplistic view of bell metals. Austrian bells are made with other alloys that may have other metals added to the mix.

This site mentions Admiralty bronze, which has some good acoustical properties, but there are also some bronzes that are yellow in color, such as Tobin bronze, which has some additional elements, including zinc and lead. There are those that characterize this as brass because of the presence of zinc, but it is still listed as a bronze in most machinist's guides.

The reason I mention this is that you can have two metals that look identical, but sound quite different.

There are, indeed, a number of professional C & B workers who want a really nice ring to their cups -- Paul Gertner is one. Dick Hatch is another.

But it's a non-issue to most cups and balls workers.

I've noticed that many cups and balls workers obsess over minutiae. Some will say that they don't want to use cups that are manufactured for the trick, because they don't look like anything that someone would actually drink from. Some even go so far as to say that it is either impossible or difficult to drink from a cup with a rolled mouth bead.

Some even say that if you can't drink from it, it isn't a cup.

NONSENSE!

Has anyone here ever tried to drink from a bra cup? Or a cup that is used for "protection"?

I'm in Europe right now. I was at the Hungarian National Museum, and was given permission to photograph some cups in their collection. You would be surprised at some of the things I saw that were used for DRINKING!

Most of the excuses we make for not liking a certain kind of cup start as simple opinions then turn into obsessions. After gathering together more than 1500 sets of cups and related items, I have come to the conclusion that there are very few sets of cups that cannot be used for the cups and balls to one degree or another.

There is also no single "right set of cups for everyone."

Frank Garcia and many other professionals really like/liked the Paul Fox cups. Others preferred the Monti cups. Still others preferred the P&L cups, and others prefer the Sherwoods.

And there are those who prefer to work with a set of borrowed cups. Bob Read worked with teacups that he picked up on the spot.

If you want a set of copper cups that ring like a bell, you might want to try a good set of brass cups and have them heavily copper plated. Or you might do that with a steel set. There is a reason that musicians have percussion instruments that are made of certain materials. They sound right for the job.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mobius303
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Donnie I will bring my Original set of RNT Cups when next we meet.
tdowell
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Donnie is really doing a nice job with his products. These Foxy III's look fantastic.

Hey Donnie: How about some Foxy III's in STERLING SILVER!!!
djkuttdecks
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Quote:
On 2010-05-31 22:39, tdowell wrote:
Donnie is really doing a nice job with his products. These Foxy III's look fantastic.

Hey Donnie: How about some Foxy III's in STERLING SILVER!!!


good grief that would cost a fortune!
tdowell
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Quote:
good grief that would cost a fortune!


Not really. The mini PF's in sterling run under $500. Sherwoods run around $1,700. Its all relative but I can see these coming in at a reasonable cost under $1K in sterling and they would be gorgeous.
cupsandballsmagic
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Quote:
Hey Donnie: How about some Foxy III's in STERLING SILVER!!!


(In his best Homer Simpson voice)

"Sillll - verrrrrr"
ASW
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Just to clarify, I don't want cups that ring like the Bells of Notre Dame or some high society crystal glass. I want copper cups that go clang-g-g-g like copper cups that a street magician would use. My ungaffed copper cups make a nice metallic racket when I hit them with a brass wand tip. But they don't go "donk" or "flub" like some of the combo cups I have owned.

Just so you know I am talking from experience and don't have unrealistic expectations.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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cupsandballsmagic
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Have you contacted any makers and asked them to create a set for you?

I wanted a set of cups that would perform in a certain way and which were vastly different to the cups we have grown to know and love. I actually invested a hefty sum into it.

They couldn't be made in a traditional way so they had to be cast, the problem being that what was being asked of the cups was right at the edge of what we were asking that material to do.

After 60 attempts we decided to put the idea on the back burner and I am currently looking into another way of making a prototype in another material (steep learning curve for me learning how to use some complex software though.)

My point is that if you want it badly, ask someone to make them and work with them, I'll get mine made eventually but it'll probably drive me insane!!!!
Dale Houck
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I echo the sentiment of having the new Foxy III cups spun in sterling and have expressed that to Donnie. I will be ecstatic, however, if they come in under $1k. Donnie told me there is virtually no profit in the mini Paul Fox sterling cups. He's operating a business and has to make the business pay its way. My Paul Fox mini sterling cups weigh about 2.5 oz. each and my Foxy III copper cups weigh about 6 oz. each. That tells me that Foxy III cups in sterling at $1k would also put him in a position where there is virtually no profit. I want him to make them, but when (if) he does, I'm ready to pay a price that will give him some profit margin.
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cupsandballsmagic
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Yeah, that's a lot of silver! I like mine the way they are but I guess silver plating would be an option for people too...
Donnie Buckley
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If you know me, you know I have Magpie Syndrome: an attraction to shiny objects.
I want ALL cups in Sterling Silver!
Financing a cup set in sterling is pretty steep. The real problem with the costs of production is that the silver had a tendency to crack when I start the mouth beads and there was a lot of loss taking place... That Argentium Sterling Silver is totally new to me and I went through so many silver blanks just to get a dozen sets of PF Mini cups, it was ridiculous. I can't jack up the price to cover the time and materials that were lost in production, so I just eat it - hence, the cups get made and we don't make any money off them. At least the cups got made!

But, yes, eventually I'd like to make the PF Cups and the Foxy 3 in sterling silver.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
cupsandballsmagic
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Donnie, you may find this interesting....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJDkXyvNkJM

Bri
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