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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Sharpening a needle for needle through balloon (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Paul Rathbun
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Inner circle
Michigan
2461 Posts

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I know they are inexpensive to buy, but is there an easy way to sharpen one if you already own one? Thanks.

-Paul
Eldon
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Virden, IL
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Go to your local sporting goods store or even Walmart and get yourself a fish hook sharpener. They work great and are inexpensive. I touch my needle up every couple of months. I've had the same needle for over ten years. This is the one I use http://www.fishusa.com/product/Rapala-Re......ode2gA9Q
Starrpower
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Inner circle
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I use a very fine (600-800 grit) wet/dry sandpaper. I just give the needle tip a few spins in the sandpaper. It works great!

One one of his videos, Michale Ammar suggested using a finger nail file to remove burrs and keep it in working order.
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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Associated with the sharpening is the importance of keeping the needle rust-free by keeping it coated with petroleum jelly, Vaseline, or similar and store it [inside a tube like a hollow wand] so the end is not pushed against anything that would make it blunt or damaged. Of itself, a needle point would need a LOT of use, or mis-use to blunt it.
The presentation makes the magic.
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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Also blow the balloon up fully
And the let out some air before tying
it.This will let the balloon hole seal
better after sticking it.
Starrpower
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I always blow up the balloons before the show, past the size I will use them. That way they are pre-stretched before the trick starts (per Bowers comment above). As for the rust, I will occasionally buff it with 0000 steel wool. I have had mine for probably 25 years now and it still works fine.

I don't like to have the entire needle covered in Vaseline because I don't like getting it on my hands during the show from handling the needle. In Ammar's video he suggested just placing a small blob on the tip before you stick it into the balloon (simply poking it into the Vaseline will do the trick), and it will spread across the needle as it penetrated the balloon. I have used this method with great success, and I do not recall the balloon ever breaking.
Paul Rathbun
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Inner circle
Michigan
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Do you guys prefer to start with the nozzle end or the tail end of the balloon when doing the initial poke with the needle?

Also, do you poke right through the knot or just next to it?

Thanks.
Paul Rathbun
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Inner circle
Michigan
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Do you guys prefer to start with the nozzle end or the tail end of the balloon when doing the initial poke with the needle?
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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I start at the nozzle end, close to it but not through the knot.
Before inflating the balloon, at the top of it kind of bunch that part in your semi-closed fist.
This keeps the latex at that area from expanding fully, giving thicker latex at the exit point.

By the way, if you lubricate them first , you can pass tooth picks and short thin skewers made from bamboo into the round balloon. Of course it will deflate quicker than otherwise using only the steel needle. so poke the toothpick in right near the nozzle end and then hold that area of latex tight to close off the toothpick hole.
The presentation makes the magic.
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