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Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1958 Posts

Profile of Chris Stolz
Hi All,

I al looking at building a new deceptive base with stairs attached. I am rather tall (6'3') and hated that my last base had to be so huge to hold me. I've decided to add some steps to it so I can lay on my back with my legs down into the stairs.

My question is about materials. I don't have access to any whelding equipment any longer and wondered what other liked to make their illusions out of.

Do you use metal? Wood? PVC?


Chris Stolz.
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Inner circle
1358 Posts

Profile of reedrc
Well. If your a DAM good wood fabricator then yeah you COULD do it with wood and make it look like steel, however Alum, will be your best bet. With 1" clear or black Plexi or Lexan steps (like the surface of the steps)

Hinge the back so it opens and have a PLEXI top to the stair. DO NOT GO with spandex for the top step. Looks like shi*, You can design it so the top step when opened hinges up- goes up ino the base, pluss will look good from closer & at a distance.

My two cents...good luck
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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Profile of Farrell
I have built a set of both of them and it's really easy to make steps out of wood and make them look like metal. but you need lots of patience a spray gun for painting and lits of sand paper. then use aluminum angle and use that for the trim of your stairs, you can buy a metal cutting blade for your mitre box aka chop saw if you don't have a cut off saw and those run about 8-12 dollars I believe
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
One of the 4 Illuionworks Videos take you through Deceptive steps. They are a worthy investment if you into building illusions.
Dennis Michael
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I Do Mentalism Now?!
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Profile of NFox
It is the first tape of the Illusionworks tape series that walks you through the building of a set of deceptive steps. The steps use a spandex top as opposed to the plexi-top that Ryan recommended, but it would not be hard to make that modification. I will second the motion to recommend these tapes. Happy building!

Nick Fox

PS: Huzzah! My 200th post! At last I am a regular user. It's oh so tempting to make a Metomucil joke here...but I won't.
"Obscuring Reality"- Gone but not forgotten...

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Tampa, FL
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Profile of ricker
Paul Osborne also has the plans, that are exactly like the Illusionworks one, on his web site.
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Profile of markparker
When building your steps consider the performing angles which will define what type you build.
If your are working surrounded they obviously have to be symetrical and logical in appearance. However; if you are just doing stage work consider using forced perspectives from the audience viewpoint.
Another tip is to add curves where you can to the load area to gain extra nicks of space..remember if you can get in easily its too big.
Sheet metals bow naturally when weight is applied so that's to be considered also when building.
Clean decorative lines with flowing horizontal tread lines to compliment are good pointers. There are lots of little nicks and tucks to gain space that need to be thought into your design that will all add up to a deceptive load space. Different textures and materials will assist this too.
It costs nothing to draw and sketch and make simple card mock ups to get the ultimate design for your needs. This is a vital process to go through.
Try also displacing your body load into something that logically attaches to the steps this will keep the height down as you are a tall guy to load into just steps alone.

Just my thoughts to help out.
http://www.illusion-designer.com - Bespoke Illusion design - Publications -Show consultancy....Vivify a collection of stage illusions limited edition of 500 copies available now.
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