The Cover

Essential in this experiment is to have the bowl of water so covered that the water will not leak out no matter in what position the bowl is placed. There have been many theories and suggestions for properly covering a large bowl. A special rubber cover will serve the purpose for a comparatively small bowl, but for a large one something more substantial is needed.

Foo guarded his covers very carefully. It lias been said that he used a special animal skin, perhaps sheepskin drawn tight like a drum. But regardless of this, the Chinese magician finds a cover combining a piece of canvas with rubber sheeting satisfactory.

To make cover, get a square piece of canvas somewhat larger than the bowl. Figure 4 shows relative proportion between cloth and bowl.

Place the canvas over the bowl and tie a piece of half-inch rope around upper edge of bowl. Stretch the canvas fairly tight and draw the rope as tight around the bowl as possible. The rope must be very tight to prevent leakage when water is in the bowl. Tie the rope, allowing about five inches of ends below the knot. Knot may then be sewed with strong linen thread and rope drawn even tighter by means of thread on each side of knot. Figure 5.

Bring up lower edge of canvas over the rope. Cover rope and sew canvas tight over it, trimming off excess cloth. This sewing holds rope in place, Figure 6.

Secure a piece of rubber sheeting from a drug store or hospital supply firm and cut out a piece a little larger than the canvas cover. Sew the rubber sheet securely to the ends of the rope at the place where they meet.

This keeps the canvas and rubber fastened together and prevents accidental dropping of one or the other, see Figure 7.

Fill bowl or pan with water to within about an inch of the top. You may cut out pieces of carrot shaped like goldfish and drop them into the water. At a distance, these actually look like goldfish.

Place cover on bowl, rubber side down. Push the rope down carefully around top of bowl, thus holding the canvas and rubber sheet in place, Figure 8.

Another cover which Percy Abbott uses is similar to this one described above but he does not sew the rope into the canvas cover. He merely attaches the canvas to the ends of the rope, in the same way that the rubber sheet is attached. Thus in covering his bowl, he places the rubber sheet down first, then the canvas, and brings the rope down over both about an inch or two below top of bowl, Figure 9.

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