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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » 3 Shell Game: Real Walnuts (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of bigvick161
Has anyone tried to make a set of shells from real walnuts. Any tips?
Cheers - Vick.
Werner G. Seitz
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Profile of Werner G. Seitz
I think most people starting out doing the 3 shell game have started in making up their own.

I had a good friend -now unfortunately departed- Bjørn Heimann, who always made his own shells and he even did the shell game with half of coco-nuts.

He did the game outstandingly well - Bobby Bernard can verify that- and did fool everybody with his final loads (when using the coconuts).

I'm absolutely the last person knowing anything about making one's own shells, but one of the secrets is, after a perfect split, to sandpaper finely the edges and to carefully remove the stuff inside the shells.

Authorities like Glenn Bishop or Whit Haydn no doubt can enlighten you on how to make ones own shells, if he/they discover this thread.
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

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as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
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Profile of Stellan
It is very easy to make your own set. I think you will find out just by experiment with them. A good tip that will both give you a very personal set and make them last longer is to paint them in your own style. Just buy small jars of paint available in any toy store and design your own set. Then you can laquer them as well. Make up some extras.
"There is no reality, only perception."
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Profile of markjens
As mentioned, I also prepared my own shells when I became interested in the 3 Shell Game. I became most attached to my shells, and remained so until my recent move to Washington State. I'd owned these shells for years, and as soon as I traveled up here, my shells cracked! I thought about starting over, but knowing how attached I became to them, I went ahead and got a set of Black Fox shells. I am very happy with them, and they won't be cracking any time soon '8)
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Profile of rtgreen
From what I understand, that was the origin of the School for Scoundrels shells. Changes in humidity and air presssure can crack real shells. The SFS shells were molded from a hand-made set of real shells, but won't crack unless you drive a truck over them. (And even then, I'm not sure they would crack Smile ) An important feature you will want to include is called the Channin Dip and is a slight indentation at the back of the shells. I'm sure the details are published somewhere, but I can't think of a reference off the top of my head.

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Profile of tabman
Look for English Walnuts if you're making up your own shells. The English nuts are larger. Coat the inside with wood putty and sand smooth and spray with a good coat of satin polyurethane. Don't try to crack them apart. Use a bandsaw and cut a little over sized then sand them down.

That should give you a pretty good start. Good luck with your nuts.

...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...
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Profile of eyebuildillusions
Being from Ohio, I had the opportunity to make a set from real buckeyes, the cracking was an issue, but as tabman pointed out the filler is a must. Gives them a good working weight as well. Slice with the band saw for sure. A few hours with a flex shaft to gouge them out, then a lot of sanding and hand cramps. I used poly and also a set with an oil finish. I'll have to get in touch with the guy and see how long they have lasted.
Unless you’re really dedicated you might just want SHELL out for a set
Sorry had to....
"Give them a good show and they will gladly pay the price of admission.”
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Profile of CharlaineC
I'd you don't had a band saw yu cN crack them on the natural line if your careful with a nut cracker by useing varried force. Then clean them out with a battery operated nail file set. That's what I did they came out great I just need to learn soh better with the pompo
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Profile of Bill Hegbli
Camirand Academy of Magic has sold a complete set made from real walnuts for years.

Gary Ouellet's routine sold separately is outstand as well.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Profile of Pete Biro
Check out TWEEZERS, available video clip on my site Will never crack, ever.
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Profile of donrodrigo
Eye is right on. I make mine handed down from my magic theatrical teacher. I have burned out wrists and fingers as pointed out. They give me a lot of satisfsaction and the pea can be stolen and retreived even from side to side. For the pea however,I use a heavy foam like rubber. Hey can even use bottle caps if ya up to it.
John Breeds
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Profile of John Breeds
The real secret (besides a coating fill inside of the shell for extra weight) is to pay attention to smoothing out the rear edge. The reason? This is where the pea will pop out into your pinched 2nd finger and thumb as you push the shell forward with your 1st finger.

A more convincing move, as Patrick Page taught me, is to use the 1st and 2nd fingers [palm up] as you casually nudge the shell toward the spectator. The pea pops out into the upturned 1st and 2nd fingers.

So that's it; scrape out and smooth the rear part of the shell.

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Profile of Paul_Rheaume
I have made many and start wuth a dremil tool to smoth out the inside. yes there is some wood putty used for weight too. But for the last several years have used the vernet exclusivily as they are larger than any local walnuts and the size makes it batter. --- yes size does matter!
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