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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Boxes, tubes & bags » » Lockable drawer box (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Hobbsy
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Does anyone produce a lockable drawer box that would allow the box to be handled more safely than the usual ones? I’ve never owned one of the larger boxes but I assume they work on the same principle as the cheap plastic ones and I assume most are not lockable/examinable? I’ve found some examples of vintage boxes that are described as lockable but can’t find anything that’s available today.

To be clear, I don’t mean the box can be locked so the draw does not open. I mean that the mechanism controlling the switch can be enabled/disabled ideally in such a way that it allows basic examination of the box.

Card box size or slightly bigger would be ideal.
mcharisse
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I can’t imagine how you would hide the load chamber — which would be visible as soon as the spectator tried to look inside the drawer. If you can work a way around that, a locking mechanism would be fairly simple, I think.
Marc
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Jun 13, 2022, Hobbsy wrote:
Does anyone produce a lockable drawer box that would allow the box to be handled more safely than the usual ones? I’ve never owned one of the larger boxes but I assume they work on the same principle as the cheap plastic ones and I assume most are not lockable/examinable? I’ve found some examples of vintage boxes that are described as lockable but can’t find anything that’s available today.


I don't know of any currently being made, but you are right, locking drawer boxes have been used since the 1890s. The details for an early popular version can be found in Modern Magic a Practical Treatise on the Art of Conjuring by Professor Hoffmann!

Deck sized versions were popular in the 1980s as part of Invisible Deck routines. You would have an "invisible deck" removed from the seemingly empty wooden box, etc. Then the deck would be made visible. The spectator could remove the deck themselves from the drawer box because of the locking feature.
Hobbsy
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Thanks - that’s basically what I’m after. Not expecting it to stand up to careful examination but was looking for something that allowed me to show the box empty and then hand to spec to reopen to find the deck of cards (before handing back). Sounds like I either need to find an old one or make one. Seems like a generally good improvement to the concept.
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Jun 19, 2022, Hobbsy wrote:
Thanks - that’s basically what I’m after. Not expecting it to stand up to careful examination but was looking for something that allowed me to show the box empty and then hand to spec to reopen to find the deck of cards (before handing back). Sounds like I either need to find an old one or make one. Seems like a generally good improvement to the concept.


If searching the used magic sites, look for the "mini locking drawer box". Here is ad text from 1980:

-------------------
MINI LOCKING DRAWER BOX Another addition to our very popular range of MINI-MAGIC apparatus for the close-up performer. This specially designed locking drawer box can be very effectively used in an 'invisible pack routine', the box measuring 5£" x 31" x 1|" and the inner drawer comfortably housing a pack of cards (in its case). When the production takes place, the inner drawer is locked in position by a simple positive catch which means that the performer can safely allow a spectator to open the box. The outer box of this superb, top quality piece of apparatus is made in SOLID TEAK which has then been oiled and hand-rubbed to a fine finish. A prop any performer would be proud and delighted to own. LIMITED STOCKS AVAILABLE. PRICE: £20.00 plus 85p. p. & p.
--------------

But note, some only accommodated a bridge size deck.

The TCC Anything Box may be a good modern day substitute option. It is a drawer box that has a fully removable drawer which adds to the deception.

GeorgeG
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Magical Moments
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That Warner piece is scarce so the Anything Box is a more practical choice. I got one when they were first released and I love it. Got the missus one too because it can be performed by a novice and is well made.

Sometimes the more simple pieces of apparatus are the best and most reliable.
Magical Moments
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By the way, I am not sure why the box would need to lock. Proper management of the prop eliminates any need for the box to lock. If you are handing out props often during your routine, you are disturbing the flow of your performance.

I have suggested several times under various posts that if you hand the spectator a prop, it should only be done for a specific purpose such as needed misdirection. Yes, sometimes allowing a spectator to inspect a prop is okay but only when you need to do so as opposed to because they want to see it.
Dougini
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My Anything Box is PERFECT! Does not need to lock. MM is right. Proper management of the prop.

Doug
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Jul 29, 2022, Magical Moments wrote:
By the way, I am not sure why the box would need to lock. Proper management of the prop eliminates any need for the box to lock. If you are handing out props often during your routine, you are disturbing the flow of your performance.


It is a well taken point that it is always a good idea to examine the motivations behind prop handling.

In this case, the locking feature moves the magic into the spectator's hands. This is arguably stronger than the appearance happening in the magicians hands. It is the same reason we hand out chop cups, bill tubes, sponge balls, watches etc. When done properly, it doesn't distract from the flow, it advances it.

It also covers one main weaknesses of the invisible deck routine, that it is the magician who removes the now visible cards from the tuck case and spreads the cards. With the spectator holding the drawer box, it is logical for them to "dump" the cased deck into the magician's waiting hands and for the magician to take out the cards and spread them for the spectator. The spectator then holds the drawer box in one hand as they remove the backwards card with the other. All looks perfectly normal. Said another way, one way to manage a spectator is to put things in their hands so that there is a reason why other things aren't!

This isn't to say that doing it the other way is "wrong". It is just to say that doing it where the drawer box is in the spectator's hands isn't improper or poor audience management. Of course, this doesn't excuse the bad habit some magicians have of needlessly handing things out for examination. In this case that isn't the motivation. The point is for the appearance to happen in their hands.

Quote:
On Jul 29, 2022, Dougini wrote:
My Anything Box is PERFECT! Does not need to lock. MM is right. Proper management of the prop.


I got to play with one at the IBM Convention as one of the dealers had it on display. It seems a very nice piece of kit. The price point is surprisingly good.
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