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  • Magic!

    Both of my boys have started taking an interest in learning magic tricks. I had the same interest when I was young, so I thought I'd make them some neat "magic" stuff for Christmas this year.

    I read a great writeup on James P. Riser's website, about making folding coins and that really sparked the idea. I decided to make them each a set of trick coins (2 head coin, shell coin, and folding coin), and to go with them a nice magic wand each.

    The wands are finished, 2 folding quarters are finished, and 2 shell pennies are finished. Still to do are a couple of 2 headed coins (haven't started those yet) and a couple of small maple boxes for the wands (in progress).

    I'll start with pics of the folding quarter - probably the neatest and most challenging to make, among these things.

    I used a makeshift superglue chuck in the watchmakers lathe, to secure the quarter while leaving the outside diameter exposed. The OD was grooved using a jeweler's saw with the thickest blade I have for it:


    With that done, I switched to the thinnest blade I have for my jeweler's saw and cut the quarter in half. The contour of the cut is necessary to keep the two haves correctly located:




    After very careful deburring of a few areas (without great care, the fit of the two halves can be ruined... I learned that lesson during my first attempt at this), the two halves are secured by a tiny elastic band. I experimented with various bands, but in the end I ordered a baggie of bands from a magic supply shop specifically for folding quarters. It was only a few dollars and they were the only thing I found that worked well. Here is the folding quarter after installing the rubber band... it's really difficult to tell it is cut in half unless you turn it just right in the light:


    Hit image post limit... will continue.
    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

  • #2
    And here's a shot of the coin folded in two, showing the rubber band seated in the groove:


    Folding coins are great for magically inserting coins into bottles where the opening isn't nearly large enough to accommodate a full coin, and also for pretending to take a bite out of them.

    The penny shells are neat too. A penny is bored out on the lathe until it forms a shell that will cover over a dime. A piece of thin steel shim stock is superglued into the shell, so that when a strong magnet is passed over the coin (concealed in a handkerchief, wand, etc), the penny seems to magically change into a dime.





    And last of all, probably the least challenging of these things to make, yet the neatest to look at and hold, are the 2 wands. One is osage orange with heat blued carbon steel tips, the other is ebony with stainless steel tips:

    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

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    • #3
      That's FUN & funny!

      +1

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      • #4
        Hi Max
        Impressive work as always.
        Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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        • #5
          When I was in high school I made a few sets of double headed and double tailed penneys. The game of the time was od man wins. One of my friends and I would traid now and again but one of us was always the winner.

          Fred P........

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          • #6
            Nice job & lucky kids!

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone! I'll update with more pics as I finish things up.
              Max
              http://joyofprecision.com/

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              • #8
                A very satisfying thread to read/view.

                The work on the coins is great. I had not realized
                how invisible the kerf on the folding one could be.

                The wands are bound to be treasured keepsakes.
                I predict MANY utterances of "Abracadabra" &
                "Hocus Pocus" as the boys magically make treats
                disappear around the house.

                .

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                • #9
                  Brilliant work
                  Whats the kerf on the blade that you used to cut the coin in half?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                    A very satisfying thread to read/view.

                    The work on the coins is great. I had not realized
                    how invisible the kerf on the folding one could be.

                    The wands are bound to be treasured keepsakes.
                    I predict MANY utterances of "Abracadabra" &
                    "Hocus Pocus" as the boys magically make treats
                    disappear around the house.

                    .
                    Thanks, yes I was a bit surprised at how seamless the two halves can look after cutting as well. As long as you're careful not to cut through letters or numbers, it's fairly stealth.

                    Originally posted by IanParkin View Post
                    Brilliant work
                    Whats the kerf on the blade that you used to cut the coin in half?
                    Thanks! I'll have to measure it, but off the top of my head I'd guess around 0.008"-0.010".
                    Max
                    http://joyofprecision.com/

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                    • #11
                      Hi Max
                      When I was young my uncle brought me a trick to make a stack of nickels disappear. It consisted of 3 pieces plus a nickel. The first piece was a tube the
                      length of 4 nickels. It had 3 grooves to give the appearance of stacked coins and the top was closed and flat to support a real nickel. The diameter had a
                      slight taper so the base was a few thousands larger in diameter. The second piece was also a tube with a closed end and bored for a close fit to match
                      the diameter of the base of the first piece. You slide this piece down onto the nickel stack and when you pick it back up the stack is held inside by the
                      close fit. When you look inside all you see is the inside of the fake nickel tube giving the illusion it disappeared. The second piece also has a large lip at
                      the top needed to make the nickels reappear. The third piece is just a tube that the second piece fits inside of but the lip can not pass through. The
                      length is a little longer than the bottom of the lip to the open end of the second piece. With the third piece in place slap it down on the table and the fake
                      nickel stack is knocked free. When you lift it back up the stack of nickels has now reappeared.
                      Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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                      • #12
                        I love this stuff. Your boys are sure to wow their friends for many years.
                        Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mars-red

                          Originally posted by IanParkin
                          Brilliant work
                          Whats the kerf on the blade that you used to cut the coin in half?
                          Thanks! I'll have to measure it, but off the top of my head I'd guess around 0.008"-0.010".
                          Just to follow up on this, I measured the blade and it is 0.012". So much for my estimating skills.
                          Max
                          http://joyofprecision.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mars-red View Post
                            Just to follow up on this, I measured the blade and it is 0.012". So much for my estimating skills.
                            You should be ashamed. I'd expect a craftsman of your caliber to be able to estimate size by eye within .001. That .002 error is just unexcused.

                            Dan (who can't tell the difference between a 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch wrench)
                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                            Location: SF East Bay.

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