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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Constructing a Floating Table (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wizzzzard
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When I built my floating table I didn't try to see no one's table much less Losander.... Smile
My I very very simple than Losander's one... Smile
It is cheap built but he is fulfilling his function...
TodDah!
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It's funny. After reading all this Ethics talk and who should and should not it seems to boil down to... The people who have paid the money/own a piece of magic supporting a particular builder recognize thier ownership as a priveleged few and because of that cost already paid ensures a limited Number of performances based on that builders sales of such items... giving them an advantage over those that do not purchase...unless there is no longer a monopoly on said given item which then is recognized as unfair.

The people who desire to make thier own are the creative people who are perhaps part timers that cannot afford the object well beyond thier financial grasp. While financially pressed and desires peaked to perform, they are told to "save up" and There is only 1 real choice. These same magician/craftsmen have a knowledge of magical concepts and want to make what they percieve as something improbable attainable and then never have the chance to see what might have been.

When buying a magic trick we are told you cannot return the item because what you are paying for is the secret. For the one who knows the secret is he/she indebted to pay for knowledge already obtained? regaurdless of from where it was obtained. Most if not all of us have learned something at some time in magic in which we did not pay for and went on to use. Magicians cannot help but see a thing of beauty and think... "man I would love to perform that" only to be taken back when finding out Ethics dictate, "Don't" unless you have Money and lots of it. Those that have money "can and do" while those less fortunate must pass and wish. To build a product does not mean to copy someones performance or to take measurements and place objects to the exact specifications as the original, instead the hopes are to create a piece and pass on a magical sensation that they themselves experienced through thier own means and style (how many cups and ball routines are there? yet they all use the same cups and balls. Apparently Penn and Teller are in defunct since they used clear cups instead of brass, aluminum or copper ).

We all put time and effort into our own performance, patter or storyline. never should we find it being emulated without shared specifically with that intent. Likewise a product should not be created and passed off as an original... that would be stealing. Making your own version is more like recognizing the original as creative inspiration. If payment is due for inspiration, how much will you pay for the sunrise each day or the air you breathe? What happened to Magic as a brotherhood. I know If my brother needed help building an addition on his house I would support him however I can... but I can't help but feel this brotherhood of magic is only relevent to the ones "who have" and those that "Don't deserve" putting some in the catagorie of wait or go without. It has been confirmed No one can make a table as good as Losander... If this is so, what is the fear of allowing someone to try. he/she might advance the magic and take it to a whole new level. We are not talking about making a competing product line for sales. If we base magic knowledge on ethics nobody should have read a book, watched a video or purchased any magic created by someone else... because that is "Exposure" reguardless of your standing because prior to... You did not know the secret. If we followed Ethics We all should be laymen and secrets go to our grave. It seems to me Ethics are a political agenda that allow personal perspective to overturn someone elses. Why not support your brother.

This thread started with a simple question from someone with a straight forward desire... "Would like to build and cannot afford"... there was no suggestion of plagerizing the content of Losanders proformance, copying Losanders design or even selling this creation... however he was shunned for having such thoughts of trying to forward his ability as a magician and craftsman. For this reason I rarely post. Instead of support from peers to legitimate questions constantly in these forums magiciains reaching out for help are considered outcasts. I have performed magic in many venues for many years from large stage to table hopping. considering myself a knowledgeable student of magic. I believe we can all learn from each other, if we only allow support. By not allowing a person to explore their talents we are limmiting how quickly our art progresses.

Losander would not have his table if it wasn't for Tommy sharing insight and perhaps Tommy would not have had his ideas if not for someone else. It unfortunately appears that inner circles dictate who gets the breaks regaurdless of unknown talent of the newcommer.
firesafetymagik
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I read this thread seeking advice from what was the original question Any tips on how to construct a table due to the extreme expense of buying the prop itself. After reading through pages and pages that quickly got way off topic. I seen that what I imagined this page was supposed to be about was not true at all. I myself was looking for ideas on how to build this. and read about how a simple thought was beat up, chewed up, and spit out. Nowhere did it state nor are my intentions to steal anything but rather find more economical means of performing this illusion. We do this to entertain. A lot of points I can kinda see. but unless someone has a money tree I guess I will be quitting magic since the ability to progress in the art is to wait until money MAGICALLY floats (pun Intended) my way. There is really no reason to continue. I am a craftsman and would like to attempt my own version through trial and error. I am serious about wanting this but do not have the financial means to obtain the real deal. I looked at others and just didn't like the quality, Not saying that mine would be better but at least I know in my heart that I gave it my best. Isn't that how the true magic happens by doing something that builds ourselves up as well?

If anyone out there can Please help me it would be greatly appriciated. Send a PM.
Bill Hegbli
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Firesafetymagik

One can say they can't afford something and in some cases that may be true. But, when a person says he is a 'craftsman' that means he has expensive tools to work his craft. So it is really a choice in your case, buy the trick or buy something else.

Many cannot give you any advice on building such an item because the simple answer is there are no plans readily available. Those that know how it is constructed have to have purchased the floating table. Those that don't have no idea how it is built.

The copies on the market, were most likely out of country builders who purchased the original, and looked for ways to make it cheaper.

I can tell you that Losander will not come on the Café or PM you how to build a floating table. And, I can tell you that people that have paid the enormous price will not take their tables apart and measure, and photograph or draw plans for you free, so you can achieve your goal of building your own table.

Hopefully you realize that a builder is trying to earn a living by selling his product, and those that purchased it will protect the secret as well. Maybe, you can find that one person who will, but he will not get any kind of reward for doing so, and thus feel used and betrayed.

So you are free to build one, if you figure it out yourself, as the above gentleman says he did. It will not have all the movement abilities of the original models, as these are the sweat and toil of Losander himself.

I get the feeling you seem to think you have some kind of right to this knowledge, maybe it is the Internet, or maybe it is your own personal feelings. But, you do not have a right without some kind payment.
AGMagic
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Firesafetymagik,

You are more than within your rights to build a floating table if you would like. Floating tables have been around for more than a century. However, you shouldn't build a table that uses the same method that Losander uses, especially if you have copied his gimmick.

I have built my own props and effects for about 10 years now, often building more than one and selling the others to offset my building costs. Typically, however, I build better versions of cheap effects, where quality versions are not available and do not copy the quality effects that are available. Dean's Box is a perfect example. It is a beautiful and well made prop and the only reason I would ever consider making my own would be to theme it to a unique performance personna. If I were to do that, I would contact Dean first to see if he had any objections.

If you have ever held a Thayer, Merv Taylor, or Owens prop you know why they cost what they do. Yes, you can build them for less if you have the tools and the know how, but what you are asking about is the know how. Should that be free?

I have over a thousand dollars of magic effects, several thousand dollars in magic reference materials and 50 plus years of experience and study of the magic field. Why should I give that away? I do help on this forum as often as I can, but flamming the magicians on the Café is not the way to get help. There was a time when the secrets of magic were not available to the public at any price. You had to apprentice with a magician for many years before they would reveal anything to you. Just because you want it doesn't mean that you will get it. I want a Lamborghini.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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firesafetymagik
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Quote:
On 2012-05-18 15:55, wmhegbli wrote:
Firesafetymagik

One can say they can't afford something and in some cases that may be true. But, when a person says he is a 'craftsman' that means he has expensive tools to work his craft. So it is really a choice in your case, buy the trick or buy something else.


Just because a person states that they are a craftsman does not necessarily mean that they own fancy expensive tools to perform their craft. If that is the case then the egyptians and stone masons, wood craftsman of the past had Bosch, Ryobi, dewalt and so forth. It can also simply mean that one has the knowledge of how to perform tasks and mathmatical ability to have deductive reasoning to be able to improvise adapt and overcome.

I never said I was going to steal the plans and copy exactly. I was simply wondering if there was advice on the theory of consept as to be able to craft the illusion in a more econominal manner. If that is wrong then yes I was mistaken and I know that being a rookie in the field does come with having to earn the respect of others and being a no name doesn't grant any privileges. Nor should it.
Respectfully
charliecheckers
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Lossander not only provides his wonderfully crafted prop, he also includes a dvd with performance techniques and theory that allow the viewer to understand the details that really make his floating table look like magic. Sloppy rip offs, combined with seat of the pants performance trial and error will serve to do nothing more than devalue the illusion.
George Ledo
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I dunno... if I liked the idea of a floating table enough to want to build one, I'd start from scratch. There are gazillions of table designs out there in the real world and there are lots of floating methods. So why copy something that someone else invented?
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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en2oh
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I'm confused. Did Losander "invent" the floating table or did he perfect it?
His props are first rate and his execution of the routine is brilliant but...
that doesn't mean that someone can't improve on it. There is very little incentive for Losander to modify his gimmick.

If Room Temperature Superconduction became available, it might be possible to levitate a table simply by passing your hand over it, with a hidden magnetic coil in your hand. A new take on an old effect? If it "caught on", it would be because someone like Losander developed a routine that was unique to the new method.

I really think that development and progress in this field will come from the strangest places, and sometimes despite the protests of a lot of very credible voices.

Doug
charliecheckers
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The topic here, as described by the original poster was an inquiry to determine if there was a way for him to construct a floating table like a Lossander table in an effort to avoid paying the cost of the original. His goal was not to invent a new method, but to build one himself.
Bill Hegbli
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Losander's table looks perfect to me in the videos of it, don't know if as one goes up the price ladder the ability to accomplish more things is in the more expensive models or not. The one I seen him do on television, is it looked to me like he removed his hands totally, and then adusted a box or candle that was setting on the table.

Mighty impressive to me!

Now I am off to build my Lamborghini, anyone have the workshop plans? Do you think they would mind if I copied their's? I know I build it cheaper then what they are asking for in that outrageous price.
jcrabtree2007
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Dixie Dooley's Seance teaches how to build a floating table from balsa wood. Now if only I can find some Balsa wood for my table.
Magic Researcher
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Make your own floating table. There is no need to do the Wonder/Losander method. There are other very good methods out there or you can develop your own. Do not let the naysayers here deter you.
MR
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magicbymccauley
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NAY!

(Did I deter you?)
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
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ViolinKing
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Quote:
On 2004-07-26 22:42, David Garrity wrote:
Just to clarify,

Yes, some of the modifications to the TW zombie gimmick are published in his book, and it was meant for use with a zombie. Also, methods for floating tables are published as well.

However, it was Losander's idea to apply the TW technology to a table to make it float. If you want to apply the TW technology to some other object to make it float, great. If you are using it to float a table, then you are not doing right by Dirk.

Before Losander, no one put the two together.

Sincerely...


This is the crux of the whole issue. Is Dirk being properly compensated for coming up with that idea? Would an extra G from some struggling magician change his financial plateau? Attacking some craftsman who has the ability to create his own floating table is ludicrous. Let's just say he's stealing Dirk's idea of using the published method to float a table and that it isn't worth demonizing him.
wa-na-be
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As Losander said in his earlier post make your own table, not his. He an his father spent a lot of time coming up with their designs, taking care of weight issues and gimmick. So if you feel morally okay with copying his because it cost to much who's to stop you. If you check it out I think you will find that as Losander said it will be cheaper to contact him for a list of magicians that want to sell theirs.
aheads
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I have just bought a Losander table and I have also tried to make a floating table before.

I saw the Losander table online years ago and being interested in magic and naturally curious, I wondered how it worked. I made my own rudimentary table from balsa and surmised the gimmick (I'd never seen nor heard of a Z***** gimmick before) from having watched the movie over and over again. I even had the shape right and the "business" end was almost spot on.

The problem was that I lacked (and still do) access to a workshop and had to saw, glue, fix and test on my kitchen table. I didn't even bother to try to paint, age or varnish the table leaving it just bare wood. It looked cheap and bad. It worked but was way too heavy, unbalanced and looked very home made. I threw it away after the legs kept falling off. My little experiment had cost me about 90€ ($125) - that was just basic materials, a coping saw and some glue.

Having recently bought a Losander table, I was really happy to see how close I was with my guessing but I am also so happy that I bought the table. The craftsmanship is outstanding and full cudos to his father for making a beautiful prop. Was it expensive? Yes, I had to save for it. Was it worth it? Yes.

Here in Sweden, even buying balsa wood costs tons of money and to match the quality of Losander's table would have required me buying all manner of cutting and carving tools plus the wood stain, varnish, other materials, aluminium case etc. All of this would have cost more than just buying one from him. OK - I would still own the tools but there's only so much space on my kitchen table!!

I have made loads of props now - all original ideas for my show. But Losander's table I am happy to pay for.
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TheRaven
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My personal opinions...

1. Affordability has no business in an ethics discussion. I am not stating a position on either side, simply indicating that whatever is right or wrong does not depend on affordability. It is not right to steal a loaf of bread if you are poor but wrong to steal a loaf of bread if you are rich. Again - I am not stating a position on right or wrong. Simply indicating I think affordability does not belong in that conversation.

2. Likewise, I do not believe ability to construct successfully, additional training, videos or instructions that come with a purchased product belong in an ethics discussion. That may belong in a buy-or-build value discussion but not in an "is it right or wrong" discussion.

3. Under patent law it is perfectly legal for someone to build a patented invention for their own use. Patent law protects inventors by giving them a period of time where they can exclusively SELL their invention. It also protects consumers by LIMITING the duration of exclusivity. The law is saying you can't OWN an IDEA forever.

4. Copyright law is slightly different but has similarities. It is legal for me to perform a copyrighted play in my own home for 2 or 3 family members if I do not charge them. It is not legal for me to perform that same play in a local school for 20 paying audience members. It is illegal for me to make even one copy of a copyrighted song or document even if for my own use only.

5. Magic ethics are only personal opinion. The legal system requires a huge infrastructure. Courts, Judges, Lawyers, federal law, state law, etc. The unique magic ethics has none of that. It is entirely dependent on a collective consciousness and personal opinion.Threads like this are where those discussions occur - but they will forever be personal opinion. Without written law and judges to decide, a system by which these finer points of ethics can be DECIDED doesn't exist.

The crux of this debate is if it is ethical for someone to construct their own magic trick for their own personal use even if it is believed the ethical rights to sell that magic trick belongs to someone else. Those that feel it is WRONG to build your own, are asking to afford the inventor GREATER rights than would be extended under legal patent law. So then the question becomes -- is that justified? Is the magic market so small that even one person building their own is considered to be taking money away from the inventor? Remember points 1 and 2. Affordability, quality, value etc have no place in answering this ethical question.

I am open to other opinions, but I would argue NO, it is not justified. My opinion is that it is not wrong to construct a magic trick for your own personal use. I would argue that if the inventor wants my business he needs to provide value so that the build-buy decision sways me to the build side of the equation but ethically it is not wrong to build your own.

Some will say inventors will stop inventing if they can't make money and recoup their investment in R&D. I would say that if they aren't providing value, then let the chips fall where they may. The inventors that provide value will flourish and those that don't will fail.

To apply this to the floating table debate -- if the OP attempts to build his own and discovers as some predict that he fails then the inventor is offering value and ultimately the inventor will benefit. Let the OP try and let the chips fall where they may. I just feel it is wrong to tell the OP that it is ethically wrong to build your own. If you want to opine that it is FOOLISH to build your own I am OK with that. But I don't believe it is ethically wrong.

Again - I only apply this opinion and logic to the build-buy debate. I fully support ethical exclusivity for inventors SELLING their invention and fully support legal copyright and patent laws.

Just my opinion.

Karl Rabe
TheRaven
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CORRECTION: should read "sways me to the buy side of the equation"...
Pete Biro
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If you want to float an ordinary card table buy my book "Memoirs of a Spook Show Ghost" - at http://www.pete-biro.com
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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