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Profile of Steadyhands
After reading the equivalent of War and Peace on Cups and Balls here in Ever so Sleightly I still decided to order the Penguin Paul Faux cups.

As most people reading this know Magic Makers produce a variety of Paul Fox Cups copies. I bought a copper set from Penguin Magic for US$99 and this included a free copy of Carl Andrews Table Hopping Cups and Balls DVD. At the same time I bought both Michael Ammar DVDs.

Most of what I say here has already been said before. When I did my research most of the comments on these cups were several years old. I thought an update would be useful. So here is the January 2017 Penguin Paul Faux cups review from a Cups and Balls newb.

Never having handled anything other than these and a set of Bazar de Magia aluminium cups puts me at a but of a disadvantage review wise. However a few things are easy to see and like I said above this is more of an update. The difference in weight is obvious and the Penguin Paul Faux cups feel a lot better to handle than the Aluminium cups.

They stack well enough without any excessive wobble.

The outsides are clean and well polished with no tool marks. The cups are not coated in any way. I can see finger and hand prints on them that are darker than the polish surface so they have already started to patina in the last 12hrs. The saddle is well formed and even. The mouth bead is well formed and even.

The insides are still very poorly finished. Or I should say, sometimes not finished at all. One cup is slightly better, but they are still not clean. The cup that is cleaner has scratches in it as if it has been partially finished with sandpaper. Why would the maker clean one out of three? Are there several different people doing the finishing, and then to different standards?

I'm familiar with worked copper. I used to bend and shape copper busbar for electricity substations. The insides of the two poorer cups are much the same as copper busbar after it has been heated, bent and then cooled. At least we would clean the busbar with emery tape and then leave it-we didn't need brightly polished busbar but took some pride in our workmanship.

My first impression was they are small. If I compare the balls in the Penguin set to the Rings-N-Things Paul Fox cups online the Penguin ball is smaller at 3/4". The Bazar set I'd never warmed to came with a 1" ball plus Crochet. Three of these will just sit on the saddle of the Penguin cups, but not 100% properly as there is some float. I do wonder what a 7/8" ball might be like?

They come with a vinyl bag that has a draw-string at the top. It is well oversized for the cups.

Height 71.48mm
Weight 125g

I'm happy with what I've purchased. I don't mind doing a little clean up on the inside. Is there another set of cups for me on the horizon? Maybe, but no real desire to buy something else at the moment. I read somewhere on here that two sets of cups makes me a collector! The Bazar set has sat in a draw for years, these new ones won't.

Now I have both the Michael Ammar DVDs to slowly watch. The beginning of a long journey.
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Profile of BeThePlunk
Thanks for sharing your first impressions. For me, an important feature of a set of cups is the attic space -- can three balls fit comfortably between cups when they are stacked. I have soooooooooooooo many balls stuffed in the drawer that I'll be glad to send you an inexpensive 7/8" set for $5 so you can experiment. PM me with your address if interested.

Mad Jake
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With a 7/8th ball you can do a 3 ball stack, the easily take a lacrosse ball most of the time. But people don't realize that not all cups were built to do a 3 ball stack, i.e.. Paul Fox Cups. I made a stubby set of PF cups and it took a lacrosse ball still and you could do a 3 ball stack even though they
weren't designed for it.

The insides have always been an issue with their Faux cups and Larger cups. The are using a chemical to clean the insides. The cups are made in China, the quality is hit and miss, they are mass produced on CNC Spinning lathes, the bead is spun in and then sent for polishing Polishing is done
on large CNC polishers, the outsides are very rarely flawed, with the exception of the mouth bead. The cups are not annealed during the spinning process, there insides could be polished, but you take a chance of cracking the copper.

With the spinning factory, you take the hits and misses i.e crooked or gaping mouth beads. Now Penguin could could put out only perfect cups with clean insides and perfect mouth beads, but the price would dramatically increase the cost of manufacturing.
Penguin also has a durable bag and the balls. Again hit or miss sometimes with the quality of the balls. All this if it were done in the US cost 3 to 4 times more to produce. But of course when it is made in the USA, the quality control is a lot better if not perfect.
Most cup makers, myself, Riser, RNT2, Sherwood make sure everything is perfect, quality control is very tight. RNT 2 when I had it used a very expensive plater, but they one of 3 in the USA that don't cut corners, I pay 10x per cup to have it plated. There is
another plater located in Norfolk that quoted me 5.00 per cup to chrome, so I had him do a set, I put the two different sets next to each other and I have been using the more expensive plater for the past 12 years.

All in all I would give Penguin Paul Faux Cups 4 our of 5. They are very good for starter cups.
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at
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Profile of Steadyhands
On Jan 4, 2017, BeThePlunk wrote:
I'll be glad to send you an inexpensive 7/8" set for $5 so you can experiment. PM me with your address if interested.

Thanks for the offer David, I've ended up making some Monkey's Fist balls. At the moment they are a little messy looking but with patience and practice I'm sure I can tidy them up.

For reference I used J. D. Lenzen's book Paracord Fusion Ties - Volume 1 as I already had the eBook version of this and some paracord. It has three different sphere shaped paracord ties in it. 1) Monkey's Fist, 2) Rounded 3-lead 4-bight Turk’s Heads, 3) Tiny Globe Knot. Each has step by step photos and instructions. All are done without a jig and the center of the Monkey's Fist is just a overhand knot. This results in a Monkey's Fist about 3/4" in size, so I made 4 of these. Since I wanted 7/8" I tried an extra loop in the overhand knot. This gave me a 7/8" Monkey's Fist, but a little lop-sided. Next step is to try this with a spherical insert of some type to get a 7/8".
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