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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Let's Make A Close-up Tabletop (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13411 Posts

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I just made a close-up tabletop
from a 1/4 inch sheet of plywood, some boards underneath to make it rigid around the edges and in the middle.

It's 2 feet by 3 feet.
No, sorry, it's 3 feet by 2 feet.

I covered it with 1/2 inch foam and covered all that with felt.

then I stapled the heck out of it underneath to keep it stretched.

It's really nice to perfrom on. I'm wondering what else can be done to this tabletop to make it nifty. It was also quite cheap. Around $20 for everything.

I have some questions:

What size would you think best?

Should i have used something other than felt?

Is there an easy way to make a servante?

Could a attach some drawers underneath?

A spot for a thumbtip, perhaps?

A place for coins? If so, like what?

A handle on one edge to carry it?

I consider this my prototype. I'm looking for good ideas! My neighbor makes furniture and is actually eager to help me make another one.

Maybe instead of a group hug, we can create a group close-up tabletop. Besides, I have boundary issues . Smile

I think I could use a keyboard stand or something to put it on if performing on the road.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Maestro
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Special user
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I was thinking about making my own close up table or tabletop as well, and would be interested to know if anybody had any ideas on how to easily make a servante. Maybe you could somehow make it be able to snap on or off, so that you could remove it if it wasn't needed.

As for other ideas, maybe you could have some sort of a prediction painted or glued onto the bottom of the table (depending if you have extra space on the bottom). It might make an interesting ending to a card trick or mentalizm act. Another idea along the same lines would be to cut a little "slit" out in the back of the tabletop so that you could palm off a signed card and secretly load it under the tabletop. It would probably be a surprising ending as well.

The foam and felt combination seems like it would work really well. It would make a smooth and springy surface and also allow coins or balls to be put on the tabletop silently.

I'm not that handy with tools myself, but in my opinion you are on the right track to an easy-to-build tabletop.
Joe M. Turner
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Atlanta, Georgia
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I made one of these -- almost exactly as you described -- about 3 years ago. I'm still using it. (3x2, 1/4" foam, black velvet cover).

I did add a handle strap to make carrying it easier, and I use a folding restaurant tray with it. This is a great set-up for me to take to my street performances. Everything folds flat and rides on the extended handle of my rolling catalog case, which carries the show.

JMT
...
Regards,
Joe M. Turner
[email]jmt@turnermagic.com[/email]
www.turnermagic.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Where did you get the restaurant tray? I was sitting at the empty restaurant one morning last week at a hotel watching my 2 year old fool with one of those folding tray holders and pondered the idea of stealing one and stuffing it into my suitcase. Of course, that didn't happen.

So I still don't have one of those.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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steve proescher
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Virginia Beach
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You can find the tray jacks at a restaurant supply store. Check the yellow pages. If you can't find one, let me know. I own a restaurant, and get catalogs all the time. I'd be happy to send one.

For ideas about additions, check the magicsmith site. In the last few weeks, they showed a cool table with all kind of special slots and hiding places. I think there were enough details in the pictures to spark you imagination. I've also see a website, I think called magictables.com. It's been advertised in some of the mags. That is a great table.
CardConjurer
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South Florida
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I made one too. Except I used one of those tv dinner tables... the things that collapse to get smaller.. I put some foam down and then the velvet... You can easily make a servante by pinning at the back the 2 corners up to the edges of the table
I like cards.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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What about a drawer that pulls out to be used as a servante?

I'm picturing purchasing pre-fab drawers and just nailing them underneath instead of having to build my own drawers.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Bobcape
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Rapid City, SD
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I've made a couple of close-up table tops that work great. I use 3/8" MDF board instead of plywood, it warps less. I use a 1/4" pad that is made for underlayment for cork flooring, I got a remnenant from the hardware store for about $6. This pad is more dense than foam rubber and keeps its shape for lots of years. I glue the pad to the board and then apply a spray adhesive to the top of the pad before laying the velvet down. Stretch the velvet very tight and staple it to the bottom, being careful to smoothe the corners. Then I staple a piece of anti-slip material (it's often sold to put under throw rugs, I got mine at Target) to the bottom to finish it off.
The only other thing that I have added to the table top is I made a small notch (approx. 2 1/2" X 5/8") in the edge of one of my tops before I covered it. This notch is off-center to my left on the back edge. I attach my ITR to the velvet so that it is mostly hidden in this notch and I can make magic happen with it.
The other thing I use is a different stand. The one I use is a QuikLok BS619 X Keyboard Stand. It is quite a bit more sturdy than the standard restaurant trays, it adjustable for height and for uneven surfaces, and it folds down very small. I bought mine at http://www.zzounds.com/love.music?p=p.QL......93019593

I hope this helps. Bob
magic@rushmore.com Smile
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Michael_Marino
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Springfield, VA USA
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I have made myown close-up table almost exatly as the one described, exept slightly smaller to fit into my magic trunk. I think I have a pretty good system for busking set up (I don't do it full-time though). I bought a cheap folding camp stool (3 legged, $15-20) and put that in my trunk along with the tabletop. When I find a good spot to perform at, I open up my trunk, take out the stool, use the clip that I wood-glued/tacked to the bottom of my mat/board/table, stand the case on end, and clip it onto there. A portable street magic show.

-Michael
"If you want to entertain people with a deck of cards, you HAVE to be able to entertain them without them first." -Jerry Cestkowski
Fort worth Magic
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I just made one out of an aluminum briefcase and the Eureka table base, is working great so far gives me a case for close up props and a table top. Also it sets up and breaks down in less than a minute.
Deke Rivers
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I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but is it possible we are going a little "overboard" in making fancy tabletops. I mean, isn't magic supposed to be "magical" and seems a LITTLE bit impromptu? Just a thought ...
rtgreen
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-05-05 12:23, Deke Rivers wrote:
I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but is it possible we are going a little "overboard" in making fancy tabletops. I mean, isn't magic supposed to be "magical" and seems a LITTLE bit impromptu? Just a thought ...


Or theatrical and a good "stage" to perform on can be very nice.

Thanks,
Richard
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