DIY Portable Magic Table

Done! Well, done for now. My new portable magic table isn’t flawless, but I’m pretty darn happy with it and look forward to using it for the first time at Concordia’s Black Box Theatre at Embodied Interventions this Sunday at 2PM.

For magicians, the size, functions and look of a magic table are extremely personal choices. My favorite ones are those beautiful, custom tables that you see in venues like Hollywood’s Magic Castle or the ones made by craftsmen like Tabman in the States. Sometimes you might get lucky and find an old one for sale on commission in a magic shop or an antique table in an auction catalogue. All of the high quality tables are pricey and can run anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

There is also a plethora of poor quality, overpriced, or simply unserviceable magic tables on the market that performers must wade through when searching for one that fits their needs.

I tend to construct my own, because I usually want to customize them to meet specific conditions. Here is a post about the last table that I made, which I still love and use frequently. The size of the performance surface is ideal (20″ x 40″). Card work on that table feels like driving a luxury Cadillac. It’s perfect for shows that I take a car to and where the table doesn’t have to move more than once or twice.

This latest, smaller table (pictured above), is more of a skiff. It’s a smaller performance surface (17″ x 21″). That’s still large enough to accommodate nearly all of my favorite props and effects, while also being infinitely easier to immediately pick up and move after a performance. The nearly invisible black bottom baseboard is a piece of 1/4″ thick birch. It’s covered with black stretch velvet, so the underside of the table looks presentable when I flip up the table and move it. Poker green surrounded by a gold frame round out the color-scheme chosen this time around. The base is also wood and feels warmer than the last one I purchased (a sleek, black metal keyboard stand). Both pieces of this table are the perfect weight for picking them up at a drop of a hat and folding an arm over them. This means that it’s infinitely easier to take them on public transit or even on a train, bus or plane.

Flight time will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of this latest table. For the moment, I’m simply enjoying the feeling of watching a carefully sourced and constructed project come together.

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