2 — From Twelve to Thirty-six Swords, imitation Japanese sword made of wood purpose. Fig. 1.

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The box measures about 19-1/2 x 22-1/2 x 36 inches (outside measurements). Fig. 2 shows a front view of the box and Fig. 3, next page, a side view. Some boxes are 18 x 18 x 35 inches (inside measurements), but I allowed 3 inches extra from front to back.

The sides and top are paneled and are best if built of three-ply wood through which slots or holes are cut, through which the swords can be run. For temporary use wallboard can be used. The bottom of box should be made of 3/4 inch wood nailed to framework beneath. A moulding can be placed around framework for finish.

The box is fastened together with loose pin hinges as already described in a former lesson. The box is likewise fastened to bottom framework. The lid is hinged at the back so as to swing upwards and the front door is hinged so as to swing outwards.

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Fig. 4 gives a cross section of box looking from above downward and showing front door slightly open.

Fig. 5 shows the lid with a hole through center through which spear can be inserted. A similar hole is in bottom of box.

Fig. 5 shows the lid with a hole through center through which spear can be inserted. A similar hole is in bottom of box.

The legs are of turned wood and have pine nipples inserted in the top, which engage with floor flanges screwed to the bottom of the box. Or, if desired, legs could be made of plain pine stock.

The holes for swords should be about two inches long. While one arrangement is given in illustrations, yet more holes can be added or arrangement changed.

The box and platform should be nicely decorated so as to make a pleasing appearance.


The sword box is in readiness. Nearby on a table are the swords, or these may be held by an assistant.

The box is brought forward. The lid is opened and also the front door. The girl assistant, dressed so as not to have an excess amount of skirt or loose clothes to interfere with swords, comes forward and stands up in box facing the audience.

She then sits down in box as in Fig. 6 (side view). The main idea, too, is to apparently fill the box. You close the lid and then the front door. Secure in place with the catches so door will not accidentally open. Revolve cabinet showing all sides.

Stop cabinet so side of same is facing audience, Fig. 6.

Take a sword and run it suddenly through the center slot. Girl inside cabinet can have a small flashlight concealed in her clothing if necessary, and when sword enters can direct it through to the center hole in opposite side.

Swords are thrust through the box from all sides until swords stick out from practically all directions.

You should practice a routine and each of you know the routine that the swords will enter and go out of box and in the proper order. In this way assistant inside of box will know just what to expect and where to help direct sword for its exit.

Some of the swords will go through at angle and instead of going to the opposite side will exit through the right or left side. In this way you get effect and still miss body of girl assistant.

The spear finally is pushed down through the hole in lid down in front of girl's body, between her legs and through the hole in bottom of box.

The box is revolved to show swords piercing all sides, Figure 7.

Finally spear is removed then the swords. Box is brought to position then with front door towards audience. The front door is opened, also the lid, and girl stands up in box. She is assisted from box.

The sword illusion is very easy to perform, yet effective. But you must routine it so as to speed up piercing of box with the swords. It is well to number each slot and each side so as to help build a mental picture for the entrance and exit of each sword.

And do not forget showmanship.

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