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amazin
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I have the Osborne book Classic Illusions vol 1 Does anyone know where I can find more detailed plans for the Modern Cabinet and other illusions?
Aaron Smith Magic
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
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Your not going to find more detailed plans other than the Osborne plans. Paul does sell larger versions of the plans (blueprints) and they are more detailed than the versions in the books.
Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
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Thayer and Owen plans were very detailed with the Owen schematics actually having cutting lists.

Some of the old Thayer plans appear in various books ie. Wells' book.

As you are looking at the "classic" illusions, Thayer had most of them

Blair
makeupguy
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Blair:

The problem with the old Thayer cut lists is that the lumber was a different size then.. and the cut list was made for a prop that no magician could/would bother touring with anymore.

The quality and the dimension of lumber has changed... even a 1 x 2 is no longer 3/4 X 1 1/2 as it used to be... and it certainly isn't a 1 x 2 as it was in Thayer's time.

Anyting else I could say here would be unhelpful. The Modern Cabinet is one of the most basic illusions that a new builder can build.. The hardest part is keeping it square enough so that all the doors work.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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I don't think anyone should need measurements to build a modern cabinet. Measure yourself... build a cardboard mock up if really needed than build it! The reality is that the larger the cabinet, the more deceptive it is due to the load to actual space ratio. That is a personal choice that each performer should make.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Aaron Smith Magic
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
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Quote:
On 2011-05-16 20:55, makeupguy wrote:
Blair:

The problem with the old Thayer cut lists is that the lumber was a different size then.. and the cut list was made for a prop that no magician could/would bother touring with anymore.

The quality and the dimension of lumber has changed... even a 1 x 2 is no longer 3/4 X 1 1/2 as it used to be... and it certainly isn't a 1 x 2 as it was in Thayer's time.

Anyting else I could say here would be unhelpful. The Modern Cabinet is one of the most basic illusions that a new builder can build.. The hardest part is keeping it square enough so that all the doors work.


That's why I didn't suggest them. Smile And Ray, you are spot on man.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Thanks Aaron... I guess I get frustrated when people ask for the correct "dimensions" for a certain illusion. I guess I've always made illusions the old fashioned way... based off spans, cubits, palms, digits, etc. Ok, that's a slight exageration but they should be based off human dimensions, not what size a sheet of plywood comes in from the lumber yard. I frankly never understood people getting hung up on what size something needed to be based on stealing someone elses design. Yes, there are designs where inches matter a lot and that is the difference between a great illusion and a bad one but figure it out... make it your's. Do you think professional illusion builders look up a dimension in a book on what a "Standard" Modern cabinet should be? No... you tell them what it's for, how big the people are and they make it to fit... they just work it out. Can a thin sawing be 1 inch smaller? If it works with your assistant then of course. Do some sub trunks need to be larger for bigger guys... of course. Play with dimensions, figure it out and build it. If it works, then you did a good job. If it doesn't fool anyone, then count it off to "experience" and try again.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Profile of Michael Baker
Quote:
On 2011-05-17 05:38, Ray Pierce wrote:
Thanks Aaron... I guess I get frustrated when people ask for the correct "dimensions" for a certain illusion. I guess I've always made illusions the old fashioned way... based off spans, cubits, palms, digits, etc. Ok, that's a slight exageration but they should be based off human dimensions, not what size a sheet of plywood comes in from the lumber yard. I frankly never understood people getting hung up on what size something needed to be based on stealing someone elses design. Yes, there are designs where inches matter a lot and that is the difference between a great illusion and a bad one but figure it out... make it your's. Do you think professional illusion builders look up a dimension in a book on what a "Standard" Modern cabinet should be? No... you tell them what it's for, how big the people are and they make it to fit... they just work it out. Can a thin sawing be 1 inch smaller? If it works with your assistant then of course. Do some sub trunks need to be larger for bigger guys... of course. Play with dimensions, figure it out and build it. If it works, then you did a good job. If it doesn't fool anyone, then count it off to "experience" and try again.


I did a talk on this very topic at our local club meeting last night, although geared toward the smaller, parlor-type apparatus. The point being that you can make things whatever size you want them, but start with paper, and not wood (metal, etc.).

Also, and very important in the learning process, is to start with a managable project. Don't suddenly decide that you want to build a Zig Zag if you haven't built many things before that. It will simply be too much, assuming you are not working with an experienced builder as a mentor. Start with a simple box. I used a Square Circle box as a starting point for the parlor-sized examples, but in the realm of illusions, a packing crate escape is basically a big box with a trap door. A Modern Cabinet is basically a big box with doors.

Understand what the thing is supposed to do and of course you should understand how the apparatus actually works. Visualize the size approximations, and then think in three dimensional terms as to how the various pieces have to fit together in relationship to one another, and what types of joints and connections are required for them to do that. If possible, look at other things around you in everyday life, and study how these things are put together. This can sometimes help you in visualizing your own project in terms of how it all fits together.

Now, do a rough drawing. It does not have to be pretty. Just get something on paper. Some people use the excuse here that they can't draw a straight line... the truth is, nobody can... that's why they make straight-edge rulers. The point is, just get something on paper that you can use as a visual aid.

From there, start jotting down notes on how big those pieces need to be. Go over these notes again, looking for details that affect the assembly of those pieces, and eventually your plans get refined.

The more thought put into what goes on paper, the fewer number of mistakes will be made in wood, which ultimately saves both time and money. The process will also be easier the next time you draw up a set of your own plans.

Look at Osborne plans, but DO NOT compare your plans to what you see there. Osborne plans are works of art that convey the essence of the illusion in finely-rendered drawings. They are very pretty. But, they require a level of experience not easily learned, or to be honest, necessary to building magic apparatus.

Now look at Abbott's workshop plans, and you'll see a HUGE difference. These are comparatively crude next to Osborne plans, but they give you more of what you need to actually begin the building process. This is the more reasonable goal to shoot for when first learning to draw up your own plans.

Realize that these are not unobtainable skills, and are actually quite easy to learn, provided you take the first step and actually try.

Finally... save your work, regardless of how crude it may be. Keep a notebook of the plans and designs that you make, because they can sometimes be referred to when drawing plans for other magic projects you work on down the road. They will often serve as reminders as to how you handled certain issues, and having this information saved can save you the time of reinventing your own wheel.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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