When I started building magic props you had to have a home shop or be lucky enough to have a friend with equipment. Over the years I have built an impressive collection of tools to build magic props. However today that is all changed. Because of the builder movement community workshops such as hacker space tech shop to name a few have started popping up in communities all over.
These builder spaces are places where creative individuals come together and share equipment and ideas. Just five years ago it would’ve been impossible for most people to get their hands on automated C&C production equipment lasers at a reasonable price. Today these shops make it possible for anyone to build amazing props and extremely reasonable price.
Although I have a nice shop at home I am still a member of tech shop. For an extremely reasonable price this workspace gives me access to a full metal shop welding facilities a complete woodworking shop including C&C woodworking equipment. A machine shop screen printing equipment vinyl cutters injection molding machines plastic welding electronic diagnostic and production equipment 3-D printers and much much more. It would be impossible for an individual to afford the amount of equipment that is available to today’s builders individually. The builder movement is one of the great movements of our time to advance the building of stage magic.
Okay you built your new illusion and you’re at the store reading about casters and you realize each caster has a weight rating on it. A common question is what size wheel and weight capacity do I need? The one that throws most people is if a caster has 150 pound capacity, does that mean per caster or does that mean the total project can’t weigh more than 150 pounds? Below I’ll show you how to do that calculation.
This color wheel is a nifty little tool to keep around the shop. It’s a fun project to cut out and have. If you’re like me choosing the right color combinations can sometimes be challenging. This is a simple color wheel to help you choose basic color combinations. This color wheel will not make you a great artist like Chance Wolf however it will help you choose basic colors for your props.
I first came across a similar color wheel in a book called the new makeup of magic by Mickey Hades. Published in 1972 and is an outstanding resource for understanding how magic is built and the concepts behind the design of magic props. If you can get your hands on a copy of this book I would definitely put it in your library.
I have included a PDF with this page that you can print out to make the color wheel. Print two copies of the color wheel. Cut the center color dial out of one of the copies and attach it to the center of the color wheel on the other copy to make your color wheel.
click hear do down load PDF of color wheel collor wheel
Today I use a lot of substrates that come with the finish coat already on it such as ABS plastics, fabrics laminates or acrylics. However I still do need to paint props now and then here is a brief description of paint types.
Three common paints used
If you pick up a book on how to build magic, they quite often refer to building the bottom of the base out of sheet metal. One can immediately see the advantage of using sheet metal for the bottom of any base. By using sheet metal you immediately eliminate inches from your trick. The problem with this description is sheet metal takes on so many forms. I know the first time I read this; I was a bit confused what sheet metal really was. When you call a sheet metal distributor to ask about purchasing sheet metal you get a variety of questions: What type of metal do you need? What gauge do you need? Would you like hot rolled or cold rolled? Continue reading