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flush with one end. Make sure that your 90 degree angle is not the end that is flush with end of the bigger piece, but rather towards the center of that piece See the diagram for details.

That's the main part of the desk. When the desk is in your pocket, it sits with the extra thickness at the bottom. Your writing slips will sit right on the shelf that has been formed All that remains is to hold them in place. Banachek uses a rubber band which directly contacts the slips (or in his case, business cards) themselves. This can result (at least for me) in a rubber band that rolls up and can bind the slips, aiso putting additional tension on the rubber band potentially causing breakage. I wanted something that wouldn't put any undue pressure on the rubber band and also allowed the slips to be removed easily, ail while holding them securely. Here's my solution.

About 1/2 inch up from the top of the 'shelf use an Exacto® knife and cut two notches in the side of the main desk. See the diagram. These notches need not be very deep. The rubber band will go completely around the unit and fit into these notches. I would recommend a couple rubber bands, if you are going to use the standard thin variety. This way if one breaks, you'll still have another in place. Experiment with various thicknesses of rubber band, One more item in this little project and you're ready to go.

Construct a solid plank from about 6 file card thicknesses glued together as before. Tills plank should be about 2 7/8" X 314". ('A' in example below). After it dries and has been pressed under a heavy book, use an Exacto® knife and cut two 1/8" strips off the long sides. This will leave you with three pieces: two of them 2 7/8" X 1/8" and one plank 2 7/8" X 1/2". Glue the two smaller pieces on each side of the face of the larger piece. See the diagram at left for details. Press the whole thing under a heavy book (again!). We will call this piece the 'press'.

Cut here

Then glue these...

Then glue these...


When finally constructed, you will have a solid unit that has a 'trough' running the length Slide this entire unit (the 'press') under the rubber band{s) on the main desk with the rubber bauds sliding into the trough and the flat under portion against the desk itself. You can now insert the standard (for me) 2 1/2" X 3" file card stock under the press and it will hold the entire stack solidly in place. When each slip is written upon, it can be slid out from the desk easily and

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and the next slip will be ready to write on. The number of slips in the desk depends entirely on how much tension is in the rubber bands and how many you will need.

This unit allows you to perform multiple pocket writing performances without the need of reset. Simply refill the desk periodically and you're reset. Obviously the above dimensions are tor the size and shape of slips that 1 use. It can be modified for use with others si2es and shapes of slips.

Please note that the main modification for (he above desk is my use of the 'press'. I was having problems with Banachek's original design at times and needed the above modifications to make it workable for me. The concept of the design belongs to Banachek

This extremely simple idea is one that you can put together at a moments notice when you need both a desk and a writing surface. Simply use one of those note pads that you see lying everywhere, and are often used for leaving phone numbers and jotting quick notes. These are the small pads of paper that are gum bound together on one end. When you write on the top slip, you tear it off, revealing the next slip. There are no loose ends and each slip tears off easily. Simply tear off all but the last few slips of paper, cut the unit down lo a comfortable size to fit in the pocket if necessary, and place the whole thing in your pocket with the paper facing out. Write on the slips and just tear it off in your pocket. Fold it and you're ready to go!

Right along these same lines, a Post-It® pad can be used as both a writing surface and a desk. Experiment with different sizes and shapes of pads to see which works best for you. Of course the glue on the paper presents both unique opportunities as well as challenges. Writing can be literally 'glued' inside a folded billet with these marvelous slips. Flere are just a couple of idea starters.

Suppose you were to pocket write on the back of the slip, on the same side as the glued portion? When the slip is folded, the glue literally seals the slips closed! This can add impact to the effect, for sure! Of course this glue also has other possibilities for securing the slip to other objects (like envelopes or other slips of paper). Use your imagination and I'm sure you will come up witli all kinds of variations and handlings for this. You'll need to fiddle with this to get the correct side available to you In the pocket, but you'll soon work out something that will play for you.

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One suggestion that 1 would make if the shove idea intrigues you. Get yourself a copy of Docc Hilford's marvelous videotape, "Faster Than A Speeding Billet" (Flora & Co) and see what Docc does with these amazing slips. His work with Post-It© notes will ama2e you as well as give you a ton of ideas when combined with the above deskAwriting surface.

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There are some 'self contained' desks. One rather devious desk is the use of a reinforced window envelope with a slip In place. Simply construct a standard window envelope (cut a large square hole in the solid side of a standard matiila coin envelope) I also use a lltin but stiff piece of cardboard that has been covered with the same manila paper as the envelope is made of and cut to size to fit inside the envelope. This provides significant backing and stiffness to aid in the writing. While it is not absolutely necessary, 1 find it helps me. Slide an open slip into the envelope and place the whole thing, window side facing out, inside she pocket.

Obviously the slip needs to be larger than the window or else it may fall out in your pocket, and that would be bad It's usually best to have a slip that completely fills the interior of the envelope without binding when removed. This holds it in place well for the writing.

Do your writing through the window of the envelope. When it comes time to remove the envelope, cover the window with your hand as you remove it. Immediately revolve the envelope so that the window faces downward. You can then open the envelope and remove the slip. The writing will emerge face down so as not to prematurely expose the message

Of course you can also secure a window envelope, ready for pocket writing to any of the above described desks, using the desk as the backing.

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The naine of this gizmo was dubbed by none other than my dear friend, Lee tarle. It first appeared on the Desert Brainstorm Series of videotapes featuring the Arizona Six and One-Half. 1 used it in an effect called '37 Revisited'. It also appeared in my book "Constructive Mentalism" (1998). For that particular effect, this gimmick is perhaps a bit of overkill, however when all of the various features of this device are brought into play, it can be a marvelous utility item.

It simply combines both a pocket writing desk and a pocket billet index into one self contained unit. Indexes (of which I am very fond) is another topic for another book, however for the sake of completeness 1*11 include everything you need to know about this device here.

To construct this, you will need several 3" x 2 1/2" file cards (3X5 file cards cut in half) as are used in other portions of this buok. Take a slack of about a dozen file cards and, using a glue stick, glue them together into a solid block Once you have done this, weight the block under a heavy book for several hours. This will create a solid surface that is literally stiff as a board.

Vbu will also need a book of matches. Ideally this should be the larger size that holds thirty matches and iill the matches should be intact. Glue the solid back of this matchbook to one of the narrow ends of the now solid block of file cards so that the lop of the matchbook is about even with the end of the stack of filecards. See the illustration for more details.

-Now get a vinyl-eoated paper clip-as-is used in my basic desk described earlier The clip should be placed on the short end of the block of filecards opposite the matchbook. Now take one single card and place it cross-ways under the paper clip on the opposite side of the stack from the matchbook. This part is identical to my basic desk.

Obviously you now have a pocket writing desk, but you also have a 5 slip (or more) billet index! Theo Annemanri first described a billet index using a matchbook decades ago. We're just combining it with my pocket writing desk For now fold five billet slips into quarters. Place a slip into the side of the matchbook between the from cover and the matches. It will be held firmly in place there. Slide another slip into the opposite side of the matchbook, again under the front cover. Now slide two more billets on each side between the matches and the back cover. The last slip goes underneath the flap that seals the whole thing shut. See the diagram on the ne>;t page for more details. Press all slips firmly into place

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