Below you will find an exploded view of this prop to use as a guide for assembly. Once the legs are attached to the gimmick box and it is pin hinged to the base the rest is basically formed around it. The crate's four sides pin hinge together and to the base. The bottomless Ark is assembled separately and set down into the case, around the gimmick.

You may want to add a door in the top of the out the Ark being in the up position. Also, Before building, construct a cheap 10" x 21tf make sure it's right for your girl.

Ark so the girl can enter the gimmick with-as always, this gimmick area is very tight, x 33" box of cardboard or scrap plywood to

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Martin Eldridge & Associates

Martin Eldridge of New Jersey has been building magic and illusions since he was thirteen. Being self-taught in the unique career of magic building, along with a college education in industrial arts and three years of training with two cabinet makers, he began "Martin Eldridge and Associates", now over 2,000 square feet of office, showroom and magic manufacturing facilities. I was so happy Martin agreed to share some of his building and finishing tips with us. As you'll see by the photos at the end of this article, Martinis props reflect the thought and care of a true master craftsman:

"My references to finishing are directed to those of you who either own or have access to spray equipment or have a body shop that will do the spraying for you.

Use satin finish or semi-gloss paints as gloss turns white or just glares under bright stage lights. Of course, you should use flat black or flat colors when trying to hide or play down a certain area.

One technique I like to use to protect my projects from a rough work surface is to use an old piece of carpet or spend a few dollars to purchase a blanket on which you can sand your projects. Frequently clean the blanket or rug. Blow it off with a compressor, if available. If not, shake it off. Do this frequently to protect your project against scratches from discharged abrasive particles.

I use only birch plywood and hardwoods. They cost a little more, but the benefits and quality of the finished illusion far outweigh the extra cost.

I use Nitrocellulose and Acrylic lacquer paints. I spray them using a spray gun and compressor. Flat black latex paint works great in places where your spray equipment cannot go. Example: The inside of bases. In comparison to lacquers, enamel takes too long to dry and cannot be handled for a longer period. Enamel goes through a curing period and can take as long as 3 months to fully cure whereas lacquer is usually fully cured in 48 hours.

Nitrocellulose lacquer, the type I most commonly use in my illusion finishing, is composed of nitrocellulose (an ingredient in gun powder), various acetates, and toluol, plus other nasty stuff. You owe it to yourself to take adequate precaution against the dangers of using lacquers.

1. You should wear a good quality, chemically filtered respirator, even if you spray outside.

2. You could purchase a spray booth for finishing. (A very, very costly choice for the home builder.)

3. You could build a spray booth. Filters are needed, explosion-proof lights, and an exhaust fan with an explosion-proof motor. (A poor choice because of the cost, dangers and high risk of explosion.)


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