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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Have you BUILT a Blammo Box? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tyler Salvador
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Toronto, ON
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Hi guys! I was looking to get a Blammo Box for my bunny. Specifically, I was looking to BUILD a Blammo box as the blueprints/instructions are available online.

My question is this: has anyone built there own box? If so, how was it? Which instructions did you use? Was it difficult? How did the cost compare with buying a pre-built one? Which power tools were needed other than a saw/drill? Any other tips/suggestions for me?

Thanks!
Tyler Salvador - Barnacle Bart the Pirate
www.barnaclebart.com
61magic
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Sacramento California
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Tyler, I have built a Blammo for a small dog and one for a person. I didn't do one small enough for a rabbit but I don't imagine it would be any harder. I used Osborne plans for the human size Blammo and scaled it down for what I needed.
One of my hobbies is woodworking so I have a decent shop and sills to work the machines. This is something that can be done by someone with modest tool and with some skill with tools.
Make sure you make a mock up using cardboard to get your dimensions right, use good quality material to construct it and take your time to get all the parts straight.
If you have a circular saw make sure you use a plywood blade with a lot of teeth to reduce splintering and chipping on the wood.
I painted mine using good quality spray can paint from the hardware store and the finish came out great, make sure you sand everything using several different grits down to 320 or more.
The cost for me was only in material and cheaper than buying one, however if you have to also buy tools this may be a wash or ever more expensive. I would look at it from the point of asking yourself if you will build more magic, the tools would be an investment.
Good luck, also look in the workshop section of the Café there are builders there with a ton of knowledge.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
Starrpower
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I have built two of them. I built them not from instructions or plans, but rather from measuring, testing, and building mockups.

The cost was much less than buying one. If you are a skilled craftsman you can do a great job. However, established builders are established for good reason: they know what works and what doesn't, what makes things strong, proper finishes, etc. Additionally, the resale value of a home-made prop, regardless of how well it is made, seldom comes close to that of a "name" builder.

My second blammo was built by teenagers, under my guidance, back when I was still teaching. It's a relatively simple prop. We started with a strong base, essentially a very shallow square box. We determined a good way to make and attach legs. Since we did not have access to metal working tools, we made wooden angle legs, typical of Paul Osborne props. The legs on this prop take a lots of stress so make them strong (they not only need to support the weight of the prop and a person, but also the related stresses of moving, rotating, and the sides banging down). Attach them securely, use good angle bracing and consider the downward forces of the weight.

The release of the "hiding panels" will be important. I used strong spring hinges on both the top and bottom. You don't want to rely on just gravity or the choreographed movement of the performer to trigger these, although those are important. They need to operate quickly, so pay attention to that.

You can build one witha good saw and a drill, and other hand tools. And lots of time. Obviously, the better equipped your shop is the easier a build will be, but I have built nice illusions with hand tools. Good clamps are priceless to me in building. They will hold things while gluing, drilling, and dry-fitting. TAKE YOUR TIME. I would also suggest using aluminum to trim and for edging around the lid. It's easy to work with and you can buy metal-cutting blades for your hand tools.

Buy the best hardware you can. It will be expensive, but hinges, bolts, wheels and such are important. Good casters will make the props roll easier and will last; don't get them too small in an effort to save a few dollars (I learned this the hard way).

Take your time finishing. Sand, sand and sand again. Prime the wood, lightly sand and look for imperfections. I found that using a satin paint is best if you spray, since it has less glare. My favorite way to apply finishes to illusions ended up being the roller. Rolled paint is cheaper, you don't need a paint booth, it's easy, fewer drips and sags than spraying, you can use water-based paints, a variety of roller naps allow control over the finish ... there are so many advantages.

Good luck, and post a pic when it's done.

Image


Here are some of my students with a few props they built. You can see a Cane Cabinet, a Stack of Boxes, and a Temple of Benares. Teenagers make great assistants; they are small and limber and fast. The girl on the left was unbelievable moving into the stairs, and the girl in the middle learned a perfect back palm in a day!
61magic
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Sacramento California
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FYI a Rich Hill Doves to Rabbit (a blammo) just went up on magicauction.com for a very reasonable price. Rich Hill does quality work so this is a steal at the starting bid.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
Starrpower
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I agree, get the Rich Hill box. It'll save you time and you'll have a great working prop.
Sam Sandler
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I agree the rich hill doves to rabbit is nice.

rich made me a custom blammo for my national tour and has held up great.

i bought a doves to rabbit used with out a case for more than the one on magic auction.
my only comment would be that the doves to rabbit is a pain to set up. I have had mine for 7 months and have not used it in a show because it is such a pain to set up. at least for me it is. but please don't take that as a negative that you should not buy it! I am only commenting as it is some thing to consider when buying this prop. my full size custom blammo takes 60 seconds to set up while the doves to rabbit is like almost 5-7 minutes! I don't have that kind of time.

great prop just wish it set up faster. you wont be disappointed with the prop it is top quality and works flawless. and this one has a case!!!

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
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