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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Tip for getting Coin Shells and Coins Unstuck (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dave Schutt
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This may have been posted before but I did not take the time to look it up. Anyway years ago I ruined my first Scotch and Soda trying to get the real centavo separated from the shell after getting stuck together in my pocket. I've since had other coins get stuck together.

It's seems that 1972 Halves are just a tad bigger than other years, anyone else experience this? My Johnson expanded half will get stuck once in a while and sure enough I'll get it unstuck and its from 1972.

Here is the method I use now. Take your stuck coins run them under very hot water for a few minutes. Next go to your freezer and get two ice cubes and sandwich the coin between them and place them in the freezer. Wait 30 minutes take the coins out and use the ice cubes as handles to twist the coins apart. I have yet to have this not work. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 attempts but it's much less risky than many alternatives and after ruining my first $30 50 cent piece I was determined to find a better way!

I'm interested in other peoples' methods, please post your ideas! Thanks Smile
Dave Schutt
Charlotte, NC
KingStardog
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Coins vary quite a bit. A digital caliper can confirm this. Similar to yours, place coin insert down on ice cube and hit it with a paint stripping gun, on low. Too much heat can discolor it, so don't cry to me when they turn brown.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Full Effect
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Why not just get coins that will fit your shell? you said yourself 1972 halves are just a tad bigger.
Smile
Go to a coin shop, take your shell with you and find some matching coins that will fit snug but still unnest.

Or you can expand your shell a little bit more by nesting the shell on the coin with a silk in between.
"Running water never becomes stale, so keep flowing" - Immortal Dragon Bruce Lee
twistedace
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Someone just recently told me to put the coin that is lodged on your ES into a glass, cover it with your hand and shake it. I am going to try this next time because even though I'm careful with which coins I choose, sometimes I do get one stuck on my ES.
Dave Schutt
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I appreciate the advice Full Effect. The story about the 1972 Halves is one from past, past experience and yes I simply went to the bank and got two rolls of halves and cast aside the 1972's for other effects like Hanging Coins, etc.

Twistedace, the shaking in the glass can sometimes do more damage than good. You may dent your shell or knock the bad coin tighter into the shell. Believe me give my ice cube sandwich method a try, its worked on some very stubborn situations!
Smile
Dave Schutt
Charlotte, NC
Reed McClintock
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You guys are very clever, I never thought about all that stuff to dislodge a shell. I always hold the shell mouth down clearly with the coin stuck and place my thumbs on both hands on top and then the first and second fingers go on the real coin and twist them dislodging the coin sort of like a sit and spin toy. It always works. I will keep the other methods in mind when I can break away from the show and try it. I hate when they lock up in the show. I generally just put my hands behind my back and say guess which hand, that’s when I dislodge it. It happens very rarely anymore. Just my two cents, I realize nobody asked me
Cheers
Reed
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Dynamike
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The number one thing is to be careful with the coins. Do not let them drop on the floor. If you will treat them with respect, they will treat you with respect.
Conus
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Try a bang ring.
Victor Brisbin
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Conus said it! And remember, "Coins don't like to be dropped!"

By the way, if you haven't looked at Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic in a while, there really are some wonderful routines with an "E.S." in the book. (Check the chapter beginning at page 265.) I particularly like the late Milt Kort's routine for coins through the table, using a glass.
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
jb1677
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As twistedace said shaking in a glass has worked for me. Not sure if it will eventually make things worse because shaking around in a glass is bound to cause the same problems as dropping the coin but in a pinch it has worked.

Jason
martyk
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Wow,
2 new methods. I alwsy use a glass, preferably actually a plastic cup (softer on the coins) but the
ice cube sandwich
and
Reed's so very clever, impromptu, twisitng technque
are really adding to one's potential knowledge base.
Marty K Smile
Mediocre the Great
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The Power of Duct Tape...

Wrap a piece of duct tape around each thumb sticky side out. Apply to as much of the surface area to each coin facing as possible without contacting the edges. Then twist in opposite directions, pulling slightly apart. It's a knack.

"The Power of Duct Tape"
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eddieloughran
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Hi,
This topic came up recently, and like some of the above posts thought it couldn't happen to me.
I carry all my gimicked and fake coins in there own purses, ofton inside a plastic sleeve.
Some are in sets, in this case four coins and a shell so I can go into a coins across, or chink-a-chink without sorting out coins.
The coins are taken great care off and have not been dropped.
Last Friday night, running through a routine which used the same coins and a shell, the shell stuck.
Shaking them in a plastic cup didn't work and hot and cold treatments made no difference. It was jammed.
Eventually I used a scalple to ease it out.
Now. And this is strange. I checked the shell against the coins ( carefully ) and found that all the head sides fitted easerly, and three of the tail sides, but one tail stuck each time.
I changed the coin and everything is fine again but has anyone else found, what is obviously a tapered coin ?
I wish I'd thought of tape !
Eddie
Dave Schutt
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Wow Duct Tape! That's a great idea! I bet that's not in the 1000 Uses for Duct Tape book! Maybe it's in the For Magician's Only section! Smile
Dave Schutt
Charlotte, NC
TheAmbitiousCard
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My english penny shell was dropped this morning and I rolled it with a penny inside it on it's edge over the flat spot and it eventually rounded itself out.

I keep telling myself that they're not more trouble than they're worth.
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Red_Wing_II
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Ditto on the duct tape
Bob Sanders
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I've really enjoyed your discussions here. If you do coin magic with gimmicked coins the problems will follow. They follow me too. Stuck shells are common. (Except for a locking $1.35 which rattles.)

Duct tape does work and it is my basic first aid kit. I do buy it in colors so I will at least feel special. Actually I buy it in red because the paint on my stage props match it. It makes great hinges.

Shaking the coins in a glass does work and it does bend the edges of the coin. Unfortunately, I've done a lot of both. However, I have been lucky to know machinists who could repair them for me. (The power of free beer!)

I have also learned that if it is really cold outside, let the coins get room temperature before you use them. It will save your face too.

Another thing that has not worked well is getting the coins wet and trying to separate them. Hair dryers fix that problem. If you do enough coin magic, a time will come when the available place to ditch a gimmicked coin is in a glass of whatever. People are funny. They don't like wet coins or to shake wet hands.

Still another hazard is the dry cleaning process. Even when they do return your coins, they become problem coins. It makes me wonder what they did to my clothes.

And yes, heads and tails of coins are different. I have had the best luck with the tails up half dollar shells I got long ago from ShowBiz Services. Of course, I still try to use my Johnsons with matching dates just in case some other magician is looking. But George sold me the best ones I've ever had. Thanks George! The real advantage of the tails up shells is that the real coin's date doesn't matter. (Kennedy wasn't a Republican anyway. Hide him.)

I will say I have bought many $2.00 Scotch and Sodas at magic auctions and coin shows because they were stuck. It is a deal! Scotch and Sodas declare independence and run away anyway. In all these years it has taken a lot of them.

Is there a practical way to clean gimmicked coins and leave them shiny, clean and without problems? My experience has been that I can only do two of the three at a time.

Vic,

Don't tell people about that good coin through table routine. They will like and use it. I've used it for over twenty years ever since I used to live in Arkansas where I met Bobo. The routine is a killer.

AND... If you put a sticker with a prediction on the other side of the produced coin, you are set for your next trick. Bummer! Tell them not to do it. Magic is supposed to be hard, not effective. This one leaves you clean, set up for your next trick and already a miracle worker.

I had hoped that it was safely hidden in a common magic book. It's too good for the price. I like your taste.

Bob
Bob Sanders

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TheAmbitiousCard
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I realized that my "rounding out" the shell didn't work as well as expected. It got stuck again and was quite difficult to get out.

This time, I placed the shell mouth up then covered the entire shell with a piece of paper.
Then I pressed the coin into the shell with the paper in between.

This re-expanded the shell nicely and it does not bog down.

There was NO way I could twist the coin out of the shell. I had to hold the shell mouth down and tap it with another coin to dislodge the stuck one.

Reed, that behind your back idea is great, given that you can twist it out.



Since the piece of paper
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MagicWGH
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I am posting on this old thread to say THANK YOU! I just spent an hour trying to get undo my own stupidity. I tried to expand a Dean's shell a bit by using a napkin instead of a silk (or other more durable fabrics). I had to use the ice method, cup and brute force but I got it out eventually!
baobow
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I know this is an old thread but I wanted to re-post and get it back on the radar for ppl who have similar issues and this thread was invaluable for helping me get the coin out of the shell.

My coin was really jammed in there.

- The inertia and plastic cup method didn't work, I think it actually pushed the coin more deep in.
- I would never used tools such as needles or pillars on such a delicate gaff so didn't use that method
- Couldn't really understand Reed's suggestion to be honest but semi attempted it without success
- Attempting the freezing and heating up method and that didn't work
- Final roll of the dice was using an okito box as a bang ring and that worked pretty much instantly. I'll be ordering a cheap bang ring to avoid this happening in the future. And will be placing my coins with nicks and dents aside so they won't jam again....

But thanks all for the suggestions, wouldn't have been able to resolve the problem without damaging the shell otherwise....

Roy Kuuppers has a nice ten minute segment on one of the reel magic magazine episodes where he goes over shell maintenance which in quite invaluble.

All the best
Baobow
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