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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Best book(s) for constructing small props (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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SaltyDog
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Australia
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Hello Everyone. I was hoping to gain some insight on the best book or books (preferably still in print) that cover the construction of the smaller type of props. I have nearly completed a Square Circle and will post photos shortly, but I would like to have a go at, say, a Sucker Die Box, production box etc. I have an understanding of the principles of a lot of these illusion but would prefer some drawings/plans to work from. I am fairly conversant with woodworking. I am hoping some of the more learned members may shed some light and recommendations on the sort of book(s) I'm after. I am aware of the plans available from online vendors but these all seem to be for scale stage illusions.
Hoping you can help.
MeetMagicMike
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Inner circle
Gainesville Fl
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You couldn't do better than the Workshop Forum here at the Magic Café.
Magic Mike

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I took the Pledge
61magic
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Seaside, CA
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SaltyDog, first off welcome to the Café.
There are many sources for constructing small props, first I would recommend looking for the books by Jack Hughes, they can be expensive but have a lot of props to pick from. The books have been out of print for a while but are still out there, also there is a single volume with selections from the three volume set with many props.
Look at some of the offerings from Abbott's Magic they have books with smaller props for builders.
Paul Osborne ran a series published in magazine form called "Shop to Stage" which were all small props. There was talk he would release the entire set in book form but since his passing I don't know if that will happen. You can still contact his web site and see how many of the small plans they have available.
Another great source is from The Wizard's Journal http://magicnook.com/wizardsTOC.htm Jim is a member here and can supply you with a ton of advice.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
SaltyDog
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Australia
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Many Thanks Gents. My Google-Fu must be weak. I had not come across the Magic Nook website before. I have selected a number of props to order from them. I will keep a look out for the other books you mentioned.
Thanks again
Cheers
ekins
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Portland, Oregon
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I was curious about the Jack Hughes books and found that they're available as electronic versions from lybrary.com for all three volumes for $99.

https://www.lybrary.com/jack-hughes-worl......071.html
SaltyDog
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Again, Many Thanks. I will check them out. Thanks for the info!
Cheers
the fritz
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Mel Babcock's book has detailed plans for building a die box.
SaltyDog
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Thank you, "the fritz" for the information. I have ordered a number of plans from the Magic Nook and I have found them to be most useful. Jim was very helpful too! I will endeavour to chase down Mel Babcock's book.
Thanks again
Cheers
ekins
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Portland, Oregon
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Here's a link for Mel's book. I have a copy and this reminds me to go through it again.

http://home.nwi.net/~magicmel/prodlist.html
SaltyDog
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Thank you Sir, for the link. I will have to check the cost of postage to Australia to see if it's feasible.
Cheers
blackstone99
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Science and Mechanics special issue in 1960s
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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~michael baker
The Magic Company
SaltyDog
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Australia
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Thank You Michael! I have ordered a PDF from lybrary as I type!
Cheers
Cleverpaws
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Northern California
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"the makeup of magic" by Mickey Hades. It has many details on what you need to think about when making a prop besides just how to construct it.
SaltyDog
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Australia
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Thanks, Cleverpaws! I see Amazon has it, so I'll check it out.
Cheers
gimpy2
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Check out books on small box building from your library. lots of information there to use in building magic props.
George Ledo
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I agree with Gimpy. The books on props show you how the pieces work, but the ones on woodworking show you how to make them into something really nice.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Michael Baker
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Agreed with the two gentlemen above, who I know to both be accomplished magic builders. Lots of magic books on this subject will explain the mechanics, but that is a far cry from building plans, cutting lists, hardware, etc. You need the basic knowledge of building small boxes. This info is found in books, woodworking magazines, woodworking videos and TV shows, and by studying under someone who knows this stuff.

Having years of experience, the three of us can in most cases now, take a generalized idea for a prop and create our own plans. At the very least, w can visualize how things must be made in order to fit together correctly... and in what order. Even still, there can be a lot of trial and error, prototype building, failure, frustration, and hopefully, enough success to keep us going.

The books mentioned above are ideal for a magician/builder. The S&M book has actual plans, cutting lists, etc. for making some more common props. The Hades book has some very good info on specific details that will turn your project from looking amateurish to professional. The rest is just experience and lots of work. Once you have the info in your head, all that remains is to just start making things.


FWIW - Check the Workshop Tips thread in this forum. You'll find many ideas from folks just like us... magicians who build their own props.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
SaltyDog
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Australia
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I would like to thank everyone that has responded to my request for information on this fascinating subject. I have heeded the advice and acquired the S&M PDF as well as a few others from Lybrary. (Great Site, by the way!) Mr Wilson's CCiM has been purchased as well as a number of plans from the Magic Nook. I now have a solid basis to work from. I have nearly finished a Sucker Die Box and hope to post a photo soon. I have also constructed some gem rods and two Magic Picture Frames. These were fun to convert and very easy, just the thing for a noob like myself.
Cheers
Col
ringmaster
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Inner circle
Memphis, Down in Dixie
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, Michael Baker wrote:
Https://www.lybrary.com/magic-handbook-s......EALw_wcB

I bought this at my drug store for six bits.
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