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Bryan’s Ultimate Router Work Station

Okay, I’ll admit it… I’m an absolute lumber jock! I enjoy watching DIY shows taking place in an old musty workshop. Of these, I’ve been a huge fan of the Yankee Workshop featuring Norm Abrams. A lot of the techniques he’s taught on his show over the years has helped me in my own projects. I’ve always been a big fan of his work on his custom-built router table.

I decided to build my own Ultimate Router Table inspired by Norm’s design.

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A Norm Abrams-style Router Table

I love all the storage space and decided to add a center drawer under my router lift for tool storage.

My good friends at Woodpeckers Precision Tools set me up with the perfect lift! Its the Woodpeckers Precision Router Lift V2.

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They were kind enough to help add to my purchase with the custom aluminum rings…What can I say, I’ve got a soft spot for shiny red things!

The lift houses my Porter Cable 960. Its plenty of motor for the stuff I shape and is one of the best routers on the market!

Here’s a bunch of photos of the table-build… I’ll caption and organize them as time allows…

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Protected: Illusion Project: Card Prediction Box

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A “Magical” Idea For My Valentine

Magic has always been a subject in my relationships with women in my life. Be it a past girlfriend or most importantly- now-  my wife, my passion has always been topic of discussion and an “easy out” on what to get me as a gift, etc.  With this in mind, I’ve decided to make something for my wife this Valentine’s Day (Shhhhh…don’t tell her..I have to keep it a secret for 10 more days!) that encompasses my passion…something with a lot of thought, and something she will like.  With the help of Pinterest.com, I was able to find the perfect gift idea. Its called a “52 Reasons I Love You Deck.” A simple search on Pinterest will pull up countless possibilities and similar projects. I thought I would detail my steps and hopefully inspire many of you that want to add a little magic to your Valentines Day.

Supplies you will need:

  • Deck of Cards: I chose the Bicycle “Series 1800” Deck to keep with the vintage feel of the overall project.
  • Adhesive Rhinestones
  • Decorative items for scrapbooking
  • Leather string or book rings
  • A single hole punch
  • Scissors
  • High- grit sandpaper
  • Glues stick: I used the Elmer’s Extreme Glue Stick as its designed to adhere to fabric, wood, paper, etc.
  • A good imagination

First thing is first, you’ll want to make a template of 52 different reasons why you love your wife, girlfriend, etc. This took a while to come of with some reasons that only apply to my wife. I tried to come up with certain things like inside jokes and even some mushy things for my wife. Remember: we are creating some magic here.

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I had Staples print my #52 reasons on a vintage card stock.

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Each card had to have a hole punched to thread the leather string or book ring in to keep the card banded together  (like a book).

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Next, each card had to be sanded. I used a 600 grit automotive high-grit sandpaper to help remove the protective coating on the card so the glue would stick better.  Otherwise, its like gluing paper to wax paper.  Be sure to only sand where you plan to glue each of your reasons.

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All of the “reasons” were cut out and glued to the cards and the leather or book rings are added… these were a couple of the “funny” reasons I wrote.

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The front and back pages get a little extra flare! I added the rhinestones and decorative corners…

As you can see, I couldn’t wait to decorate the front page before I did the leather!

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The finished deck…

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I decided to make a little jewelry box as well! Originally, it was to hold the “52 Reasons Deck;” however, I didn’t take into consideration the amount of space the canvas lining would take up so it just accompanied it.

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Each hole will get epoxy and a gem stone after sanding and staining…

0212131810The stones are on and the box is ready for its polyurethane coating…

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All finished mounting the hinges and lock hasp!

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Here’s the finished box and deck!

Happy Valentines Day everyone and good luck on your projects!

The “Illusion Workshop”

For many years I have been making due with the limited space and tools available to me for constructing various illusions or props for my performances as well as many others. For the past eight to ten years, I’ve clipped numerous articles, photos and blueprints from countless woodworking magazines of to put towards my “dream workshop.” Now that my wife and I are homeowners, it was time to make the workshop become a reality. Upon the passing of my father, I inherited many of his beloved woodworking tools and felt it was important to not only build a highly functional workshop that I can continue to construct and create in… I want to make a place that my dad would have really enjoyed as well.  I’m slowly building it up and hope to post updated photos of my progress as I continue to build my own “illusion workshop!”

Our garage is a very spacious two-car garage with lots of wall space. I dedicated one wall to be my workbench and storage space. The other walls already house storage racks to store my wife’s teaching supplies, all of my illusion show ATA cases, kayaks, yard tools, and my sons bike and go-kart.  We still plan to keep it as a fully accessible place to park our cars so I cannot consume the entire garage with all of my tools, etc.

Previously, my workbench space included a reclaimed cabinet that doesn’t have doors and a makeshift top covered in MDO. I also sanded and painted and installed a hardwood work surface on a roll-around cart my dad had in his garage. So far, this works perfect for all of my table saw and router jigs, paint and wood stain (I vented it out the back), and air tool storage. I have yet to permanently mount my bench vice as you will notice in the photos below.

Enjoy!

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This magazine cover started it all! I fell in love with the versatility and design of this small garage workshop and decided to make a few modifications to fit my needs and “wants.”

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I sketched out a rough design of what I wanted my workbench area to look like and went from there. Afterall, this isnt just going to be my “tinker area!” It’s sort of my man cave!  I plan to frame pegboard with a door skin backing (so sawdust will not get in) on each door. I figured this would look sharp! Notice the plexi doors. I want to display my routers as well as have ample storage space for them. My dad cherished his routers and was like a child in a candy shop when he discovered a new use for them. I think it will be cool to sort of “highlight” them in my shop.

Shop 001I built and installed the two cupboards (one over the drill press and the other over my roll-around workbench) I’ve decided to stick with the Craftsman, Porter Cable, Husky Tools, etc color motif and paint everything red, grey, dark grey, and black. All the drawer handles are brushed aluminum.

Shop 002Here’s another view of the cabinets and my very restricting work-space.  (please ignore the clutter… lots of organizing to do!)


Shop 004The cupboard over the drill press will eventually feature two drill indexes. One for the spade bits, and the other for standard drill bits; as well as storage space for additional items I constantly use on the drill press such as the buffing/ polishing wheels, etc. For now, its a storage for all of my woodworking books.

Shop 006Next, I installed some (much needed) pegboard under the cupboards and above where I plan to build a 12′ long workbench with more storage cabinets and drawers.

Shop 008To keep with my color scheme, I painted all of the pegboard a medium grey. The electrical outlets will be extended out as diamond-plate cover plates will ride flush on the pegboard.

Shop 014In this photo, you can see the cupboard is now painted to match the pegboard below. I also installed the shelf rails and an adjustable shelf. The next cupboard is sitting on my table saw ready for assembly.

Shop 010Wow! Less clutter! – I mounted the third (of six) cupboards and picked up the workbench area. Eventually when all of the cupboards are in place, I plan to frame them in and put doors on all of them. The underside will also include a non-visible LED rope light to illuminate the pegboard and help make it easier to see the workbench top!

Shop 013Another view (this time without the temporary florescent light to help reduce the bad glare).

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The fourth shelf is now up!

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A view of my clustered area with the table saw, router table, and scrap lumber.

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I’ve begun assembly on a corner cupboard. this will house all of my wife’s crafting supplies, etc. above a small workbench I’m building for her to do her Pinterest projects at.

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The corner cupboard is now framed in and ready for primer and paint.

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The main cupboards are framed in and ready for primer and paint… then doors!!!

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My messy workshop… the frames are all primered and ready for the red paint. Cupboard doors will go on next then I can begin assembly of the workbench and cabinets below.

IMG_3343The corner cupboard frame is now painted.

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…as well as the main workshop cupboards.

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Looking much better! Now I really need to start eliminating some of this clutter!

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A very cluttered workbench that will be my “electrical/wiring station.”

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Every workshop needs a good beer & soda fridge. This is the one I built from a small refrigerator my wife was going to toss out. I gave it a few passes with some rattle-can red and trimmed it out with enough aluminum to make Doug Malloy proud- complimented it with some racing decals!

MORE TO COME AS THIS PROJECT PROGRESSES…

Protected: Illusion Project: Modern Art

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Dan Sperry’s “Tilt” Illusion… A COPY???

It’s been brought to my attention by several people that 2010’s America’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist; Dan Sperry’s “Tilt” illusion is an inferior copy of “Modern Art Reloaded.”

I figured I would set the record straight!

Dan Sperry with “Tilt” (The first version)

I am the creator of the method behind “Tilt;” however, I cannot take all the credit as it was a collaborative project by both Dan Sperry and myself. This was an exclusive piece for Dan so we were quite shocked to see other similar Modern Art-esque illusions surfacing thereafter. I did run this method by Jim Steinmeyer (the original creator of Modern Art) through emails and made sure that (scenically) this was a Modern Art with a “magician fooler” twist. It is a great piece and one I am proud to have been a part of.

Here’s the history of “Full Tilt” as told by Dan Sperry on May 3rd, 2009


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   “The history of this illusion goes back about a year or so ago. Bryan was living in Vegas working for Dirk Arthur. We had met up at Boomers one night to go over his portfolio and just hang out and catch up. As he was showing me some of his renderings he showed me a picture of a modern art illusion design he had created and it really caught my eye. At the time I had really no interest in it because in the end it was still “modern art”. I have nothing against Modern Art so please don’t take me wrong. I actually used to own one that was built by Jack Murray of Dream Illusions. It was a fun illusion and I liked it more than my Cub-Zag but for some reason it still just didn’t sit well with me and didn’t feel like it was my style and there were certain design elements about it that I just didn’t like from a “by the book” Modern Art.

Anyways, so…
    Bryan showed me this version that had more leg exposed with animatronic-esque parts and a different design of the box completely which basically allowed more of the girl to be exposed rather than just “in a box” ala Zig-Zag type style. Basically one leg stuck out more and one had was up above her head etc etc. It is hard to explain and I don’t want to give away the design. That night he asked me my opinion etc etc and I suggested a few things, one of which was the “Tilt” effect just as some icing – a little eye candy. The original design to use was a more bio-mechanical Gieger-esque box type thing with the shelf instead of the table, etc etc.

   Now fast forward a few months to where I’m doing more road shows and loading into theaters where I have to do a more economical version of my live bigger show and need illusions which don’t need special lighting or staging. Modern Art was one of the first ones I had in mind but I didn’t want to have to suffer through the original design again so I called Bryan. We worked out a deal. And I purchased the exclusive rights to the Tilt. At the time he was possibly going to release it in a book and with Tim Clothier if my memory serves me correctly. So I snatched it up like a Spanish flyed prom date.

   Now comes the fun part…well…the work I guess you could say haha. I have a builder here in Vegas I work with. So I took the design to him and we worked on it. When it was all said and done the price to have the original version built was WAY out of my budget so over the course of a few weeks we re-designed it to be a more economical baby brother version. So I still own the rights to the original model and when I have 10 Grand to spare it will be the first thing I’ll have built. But for now the “Tilt” will have to do until I can afford the “Full Tilt”.

   What you saw on YouTube was a show we did and decided to bring the Tilt along with to get video on a real stage – as opposed to our garage or something similar – and to get it on a stage to work out the bugs etc. At the time we didn’t have the cash to get a cast mold made of Temika’s legs so we worked with what we had and unfortunately all we had were these black pants for now. Because of the position she is in she needs a special kind of pants because there is A LOT going on inside the box – Kline can testify to that. Plus, the box is made to Temika’s size so it is SMALL. Anybody who’s seen it will tell you that it looks incredible because there is really no room for her to move or “hide”. So when you see this life it looks ridiculously deceptive because the depth of the box is I believe 13 inches? I need to go back and measure. That’s the part I’m most proud of is just the sheer size of the prop. I highly recommend to anybody getting an illusion made for their assistant to get it made to their size. You see so many modern arts and Zig-Zags where the assistant can literally swim in there.

   The flame we’ve replaced with flash cord dipped in sparkle powder so you get that cooler look that a little creeping flame. We’ve also added a giant grinder to give the impression of a “cutting”.

 

  The tilting we can now leave the door open. That was the original idea is to tilt it with the door open but because we had to jimmy-rig some fake legs that I’ll admit didn’t look the greatest we didn’t want to leave the door open when tilted. Now we can and do.

   The only thing I’m not sure on is a spin. I’ve never really liked to have to spin an illusion unless it is absolutely necessary. What do you guys think? Spin the box? I was thinking maybe spin it hard and then have the tilting happen almost like an accident – an idea from Chezaday was to have me maybe lean on the lower box and have the tilt look like an accident maybe.

   The beauty of it is I can tilt it if I want. If I feel like performing it without the tilt I can but I figured the tilt would help further show distance and a cutting. Its like when you do the sawing in half you don’t just pull the upper part away you pull both boxes away, I wanted to add that real idea of separation.   

   Since this original deal with Bryan I’ve had him design some other stuff for me. He’s a good artist and I would recommend if anybody has an idea to have drawn up to give Bryan a call…”

~Dan Sperry

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Dan Sperry is an incredibly talented illusionist touring the world as you read this! Be sure to check out his current performances at Time Scare in NYC; as well as his performances in The Illusionists currently touring in Asia and South America!

~Bryan Gilles

http://www.bryangilles.com

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Protected: Illusion Refurbish Project: OLEP

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What to expect in 2012…

Dear Friends, Family, and Fans of Bryan Gilles Comedy Magic!

I’m incredibly excited to announce some exciting new projects and shows slated for 2012!
My fiance (April) and I recently moved into our new home in Red Bluff, Ca. after seven months of actively building it. I’m learning fast that a new home comes with lots of new responsibilities and tasks to make it “our own.” I’m excited to finally have the optimal space to return to fabricating quality illusions not only for myself but other performers. One of my deepest passions in magic is the process of developing an illusion from a simple sketch to the final coat of paint. It will be fun to return to doing that after a four year break. I’m teaming up with the very talented Jeff Crank from “Crank’s Signs & Artistry” on two projects that will be a part of my stage show. Without tipping too much, I’ll be working with two of the deadliest animals found in the jungle for an exciting transposition; as well as, a popular “cutting in half” illusion. I’m super excited to be able to use the artwork with permission from the original owner Dave Womach and its artist (and fellow illusioneer) Chance Wolf on this illusion. Those in the magic-community know of this piece as “Modern Art.”
Speaking of Dave Womach, I’ll be adding one of his signature pieces to my show known as “OLEP” or “Orange, Lemon, Egg, & Parakeet (picture on the left).” It’s an exciting routine using each item in its title. The effect is simple and straight forward. The magician shows a birdcage with a parakeet inside. He removes the parakeet from the cage and vanishes it. He vanishes an egg. Next a lemon, but when he gets to the orange, he finds that he cannot vanish it. Taking out a knife, he cuts open the orange and inside he finds a lemon. Next, he cuts the lemon in half only to find the egg! He takes the egg, breaks it open inside the cage and the parakeet reappears.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to be working with this illusion as it is my favorite magic routine and became an illusion I lusted over shortly after seeing it in Dave’s show. I’m definitely going to be a proud owner and hope to give this piece many more years of “stage time.”
Needless to say, there will be plenty of eye-candy in the new show and I’m really looking forward to presenting it as soon as I can!
So far, we are looking at February to be a big month for shows available to the public! I’m currently working with a local school to put on a fundraiser and night of magic. I’ll keep everyone updated about it as the project unfolds.

Please check back often as 2012 makes its way…

Until then… May each of your days be filled with wonder, excitement, and most importantly- MAGIC!

~Bryan Gilles

A Magician at the Wedding?

Why hire a magician for your wedding?

   Often during the reception, there are lulls in the entertainment — while photos are being taken, before the meal is served, and throughout the reception. Even during the music and dancing, many guests simply sit at their tables watching. Wedding Magic is a fun and elegant way to engage everyone: out-of-town friends, grumpy grandparents, bored teens and everyone in between. Magic brings people together, an unexpected and memorable form of entertainment that appeals to everyone.

  • 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
  • 78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority.
  • 81% of guests say the thing they remember the most about a reception is the entertainment.

The above statistics were published in Bride and Groom magazine, 2003. Sources includes Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal Service, 2001; The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001.

Bryan often offers three separate packages to choose from when it comes to weddings:

  • PACKAGE ONE: CLOSE-UP/ STROLLING MAGIC- This is the most popular package! Bryan walks among your guests and performs table-side magic. This often helps break the ice and keeps your guests from being bored as they wait for the bride and groom to arrive from doing photos, etc.


  • PACKAGE TWO: CHILDREN”S ENTERTAINMENT-  A lot of times people hire Bryan to come and keep the kids entertained so the adults can drink, dance, and hang out. For this type of show, he does a very visual stand-up show with brightly colored illusions, audience participation, an clean humor.

 

  • PACKAGE THREE: MAKE THE BRIDE & GROOM APPEAR MAGICALLY- Bryan can custom create a ‘magical’ way for the newly weds to arrive to the reception- By magic of course!!!

Please contact Bryan Gilles Comedy Magic for more details.

info@bryangilles.com or by calling (530) 604-4288

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