Magicians Box (plans or ideas?) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question Magicians Box (plans or ideas?)

Hey guys,

I'm currently producing a music video where the main focus of the video is a singer songwriter singing his song in a magicians box after the female assistant helps him in and closes it.

I've thought of a few ways to build it (approximately) by having some sort of wooden frame and either wooden sides or cloth draped over the frame, some sort of material tight around the sides perhaps.

It would require a top section with a hole big enough for the singer's head to poke through the top.

the guy that's going in it is pretty big too, about 6ft 3.

I'd be extremely grateful for any advice on how to actually go about building this big tall magic box for a human to fit inside :)

It needs to be really sturdy and solid as possible :)

I'll be mainly using wood that I have lying around here although do have a budget to go out and get MDF or some cheap and cheerful equivalent.

Cheers guys, apologies if my post is a bit unclear, I'm not used to all this wood-work talk :)

Grant :)
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 02:22 PM
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Personally, I would stay away from MDF in this case. HEAVY!!! Plywood should do the "trick" just fine. Some simple joinery such as rabbet joints for the corners and a jigsaw to cut out for the head. I'm keeping it as simple as I can because I'm not sure what kind of tools you have at your disposal.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicshow View Post
Hey guys,

I'm currently producing a music video where the main focus of the video is a singer songwriter singing his song in a magicians box after the female assistant helps him in and closes it.

I've thought of a few ways to build it (approximately) by having some sort of wooden frame and either wooden sides or cloth draped over the frame, some sort of material tight around the sides perhaps.

It would require a top section with a hole big enough for the singer's head to poke through the top.

the guy that's going in it is pretty big too, about 6ft 3.

I'd be extremely grateful for any advice on how to actually go about building this big tall magic box for a human to fit inside :)

It needs to be really sturdy and solid as possible :)

I'll be mainly using wood that I have lying around here although do have a budget to go out and get MDF or some cheap and cheerful equivalent.

Cheers guys, apologies if my post is a bit unclear, I'm not used to all this wood-work talk :)

Grant :)
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Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
Personally, I would stay away from MDF in this case. HEAVY!!! Plywood should do the "trick" just fine. Some simple joinery such as rabbet joints for the corners and a jigsaw to cut out for the head. I'm keeping it as simple as I can because I'm not sure what kind of tools you have at your disposal.
Something tells me the Red highlighted text from both post contradict each other.

Grant I think with limited tools and knowledge the suggestions you made (highlighted in Blue) is your best bet.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 02:53 PM
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Cut me some slack there Rich. I just woke up for crying out loud.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 03:10 PM
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Easy there Ken, I'm not the one that killed your badge and Radio idea. I just pointed out that your easy didn't quite sound like Grants easy.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 03:47 PM
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Easy there Ken, I'm not the one that killed your badge and Radio idea. I just pointed out that your easy didn't quite sound like Grants easy.

I was really looking forward to the badge......
I guess sometimes we forget that a simple joint to us may not be so simple to someone else.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 08:24 PM
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Use 1/2" plywood. ACX is paintable.
Cut two pieces as long/high as you need. cut the other two 4" wider than the first two. Cut four 2X2s 2" shorter than the length/hight of the plywood pieces.Lay the 2X2s along each edge of the narrower pieces. hold them down 2" from the top. Glue and screw them on. Use a pilot bit w/ a counter sink from the plywood side. Now, align the wider pieces with the narrower ones and glue and screw them to the 2X2s, over lapping the plywood edge.
If you want a door in the back, just hinge one of the wider pieces. Or, leave the back off and use a cloth.
Cut 4 more 2X2s to fit on the top ends of the 2X2 uprights, leaving room for the 1/2" plywood top with the hole cut for the head. Glue and screw the four to the ply and fit the top.
I'd run 2X2s around the bottom, too. Just fit them between the uprights.
You can fill the ply edges, if necessary for painting, with Elmers wood filler. Cheap and easily sanded. takes paint well.

Last edited by Gene Howe; 08-06-2010 at 08:31 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-06-2010, 08:33 PM
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I think the wood frame and fabric idea might be the cheapest and could be pulled off on video pretty easily with the correct lighting. The box would simply be 2x4s, get a black fabric for the outside and maybe a deep red for the inside (or whatever color). Use a staple gun to secure it and you are set. If you plan to use backlighting for some reason, just put some cardboard inside the 2x4 frame to block the light. Production is all about the appearance.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb thanks guys (Tall Magicians Box Build)

Hey guys, (smiles at the humour at the start between Ken and Rich)

Firstly, thanks so much to everyone for all your tips :)

Ken,

Thanks mate, your mention of MDF being heavy got me thinking more about the overall build and how to keep it light and sturdy, admittedly i did have no idea what a rabbet joint was :-p, but hey I like a challenge lol ;-) I might have access to a Jig-saw for cutting a hole out of the top section too which is one part of the design that is pretty much locked off.
So thanks again and, indeed, one man's simple is another's WTF?

Rich, you made me laugh and thanks for the guidance.




Gene, thanks for your comprehensive step by step, this newbie appreciates the build by numbers approach :) its got me thinking and I got few more questions that I'll leave at the end.




And finally Bofa: yeah keeping it cheap and simple is definitely a priority! And thanks for all the advice and making it relevant to on set lighting and the overall aesthetics.

So, now to reveal just how simple I am in the wood department :) :

THE FRAME

From all your tips its looking like my first priority is to get a frame built, and then make my final decisions from there. I feel confident that I can nail some plywood sides/or staple gun some material to the frame, but how do you actually go about building a sturdy frame?

I'm aware that Gene's post pretty much covers that, but just wanted to solidify it in my head :) he mentioned 2x4's around the bottom, I'm guessing this is for stability and making the frame robust/actually joining it as one piece?

I guess I'll work out some of the details as I go and problems come up.

Obviously my tools are a bit limited so is it just a case of hammering some big nails to join the pieces together? :)

Whichever way I ultimately build this all your advice has been useful to me creating a better picture of where I'm going so, thanks to y'all :)

Awesome, cheers guys, and thanks in advance for any further input,

Grant :) ( A would-be wood-ninja in the making )
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 07:44 AM
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If you use plywood, use 2X2 lumber. 2X4 is overkill and adds to the weight.

Most lumber yards carry 2X2s If you have your dimensions in hand, you might get them to cut the ply and 2X2 stock for you.

Then, all Ya need is a drill, countersink bit, (the kind with the drill bit in it for pilot holes) a box of 1 1/4" drywall screws, one or two #2 phillips bits (fits in the drill) for the dry wall screws, a bottle of yellow glue, and some edge filler. A sanding block and some 100 grit paper or a palm sander and paper.
And, of course, the jig saw for the hole.
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