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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

Does anyone have a recommendation for the best size and color of rubber bands for Crazy Man's Handcuffs?

I'd like to order some from Amazon, but not sure what to get.

Thanks!

-Buffalo
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
#19 size works well. Color itself doesn't matter so long as both bands are the same color. I've seen people do it with contrasting colors, but it diminishes the illusion. Red is the most common color. Use whatever's laying about.

Av
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #3 
Anthony is correct ... size 19 is best.  I prefer the "regular" color because folks might think a colored band is gimmicked.  But that's just me.

However, when I used to do the thing where one of the bands ends up in a star shape (I forget what it's called), two different colors played really well.

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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #4 
Number 19 are the most popular, but not the "best" for close-up.

The number 19s are approximately one millimeter thick, by two millimeters wide. The best band would be one millimeter, by one millimeter.
This size allows you to slow the effect down, and take full advantage of the optical illusion on which the effect is based.
Bands this size tend to be difficult to find though.

Generally speaking, the brighter the band, the better the illusion. Again, this is to do with the optical illusion, and also how the eye works.

As Anthony says - never do the piece with different coloured bands. As Michael Ammar said - do this, and you've cut the legs off the trick.


Jim





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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #5 
I like yellow. It really jumps out.

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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #6 
I agree Mike. Bright, almost luminous yellow, seems to create the best illusion.


Jim

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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #7 
I really like the bands from Joe Rindfleisch -- Lots of colors, stretchy, just work great for all rubber band work
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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson
Number 19 are the most popular, but not the "best" for close-up.

The number 19s are approximately one millimeter thick, by two millimeters wide. The best band would be one millimeter, by one millimeter.
This size allows you to slow the effect down, and take full advantage of the optical illusion on which the effect is based.
Bands this size tend to be difficult to find though.

........



What size would that be?

Thanks.....

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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intensely Magic


What size would that be?

Thanks.....



I don't know the actual number or anything, that's why I find them difficult to come by. Every now and again I come across a few, usually in natural colour, or blue. I'm not too keen on the blue though.

Most of the time I use bright yellow #19 bands, as these are much easier to get hold of (although I recently discovered my usual supplier doesn't do them any more).

If I could get a decent supply of 1mm x 1mm bands, in bright yellow, that would be my band of choice.


Jim





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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #10 
#19 is somewhat just a little too large for me, #16's are a little more positive in handling for me.  If you head to  https://www.rubberbandmagic.com/   Joe has all colors and sizes you could want. 
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #11 
I attended a lecture by Dan Harlan back in the day. He advised practicing with different sizes of rubber bands due to the fact that rubber band magic should be impromptu...a magician wearing rubber bands as bracelets is more likely going to be accused of using "special rubber bands" .

Not that I adhere to this train of thought (if I'm going to be doing rubber band effects I'll be wearing #19 yellow colored bands on my wrist...no matter how tacky my wife tells me this looks!), but for those who truly want their magic to be organic Dan's advice is sound.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #12 
Good one PressureFan.  There's only a couple things I could feel comfortable doing with a #19 band without fear of putting someone's eye out.  When you start incorporating some of the weird set ups and such #16 works best for me.  If we get away with cards and coins not arising suspicion, I would think a rubber band would be at the bottom of the list for being hokey.
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markd2990

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
I really like the bands from Joe Rindfleisch -- Lots of colors, stretchy, just work great for all rubber band work


Seconded!
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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks everyone for the great advice!

-Buffalo
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #15 
When we have guests, my wife has always been sensitive to the problem of asking me in public if I have anything to perform - she knows it is awkward if I don't.  (Please don't deliver a lecture about how we should always be ready to perform - that isn't true in ANY performing art.  And as a hobbyist I have the luxury of performing when I choose.)  So we've established a code: if I have rubber bands on my wrist I am ready to magish.

As far as choosing rubber bands for the Unlinking Elastics effect, I have actually had good reactions to using different coloured bands - a red and a green, for example.  I think it clarifies the picture.  Each band clearly starts and ends in exactly the same position.  There is no possibiity that I might have somehow swapped the two bands.  But I find myself disagreeing with AV and Mike Powers and Michael Ammar ... not a position I feel comfortable with!

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #16 
Ha! Always disagree with me when appropriate, Robin. I use contrasting colors for several other effects, Rubber Exchange, for instance, but for CMH its always seem best to use bands of the same color. I'm gonna fiddle around later this evening just to see what it looks like using different colors. Who knows? You just might start a trend!

Av
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Dawes
As far as choosing rubber bands for the Unlinking Elastics effect, I have actually had good reactions to using different coloured bands - a red and a green, for example.  I think it clarifies the picture.  Each band clearly starts and ends in exactly the same position.  There is no possibiity that I might have somehow swapped the two bands.  But I find myself disagreeing with AV and Mike Powers and Michael Ammar ... not a position I feel comfortable with!




Do you do / have you done, the Linking Rings, Robin ?

The real secret to the Crazy Mans Handcuffs, is also the real secret to the Linking Rings.

Neither of the tricks can work properly, with different coloured rings/bands.


Jim

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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Karim

having the same color was one of the things that made the overall illusion better.



The illusion of one band passing through the other is optical. The optical illusion doesn't work/happen when the bands are different colours.
Using the same colours, the spectators will actually see one band passing through the other.

It is a trick of the mind. The spectator sees the bands displayed clearly linked. The stretch then confirms this. Now the bands are really unlinked, BUT because the picture looks the same as before, and no other action has been apparent, the spectators mind will not only believe they are still linked, but will actually SEE them as still linked
As the bands are then slowly separated, the mind is tricked into seeing one band actually passing through the other.

It is exactly the same principle as used in the Linking Rings. Look at Richard Ross, and the way the rings seem to melt through one another - this would be impossible to do if the rings were different colours, because the audience would be able to tell exactly when they were actually linked and unlinked.

With different coloured bands/rings there is no optical illusion.


Jim

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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #19 
Optical illusions are funny things - they work for some people and not for others.  Some people just see the reality.  And because we can't directly observe what another person perceives, the only way we can know if an optical illusion worked for someone else is if they tell us, and they tell us the truth.

The optical illusion of the rings seeming to melt through one another is a good example.  I've watched a thousand magicians perform it - including the wonderful Mr. Ross - and this particular moment has never worked for me (by which I mean I don't perceive the rings as linked before they are drawn apart).  Why not?  It's hard to know.  Maybe it's because I've been familiar with the Linking Rings for over 50 years and I've forgotten how I perceived it the first time I saw it.  Maybe it's just because I am a magician.  Maybe my brain is just wired in such a way that this particular optical illusion doesn't work for me (many other optical illusions work just fine for me).  I guess it works for other people - maybe.  I've certainly never conducted a study in which I gathered feedback from lay audiences about whether this particular optical illusion worked for them.  I doubt anyone has.  Is it possible that we are engaging in wishful thinking about its effectiveness?

At any rate, my own reaction to this optical illusion no doubt colours my expectation of how others will perceive it - we all love to project (or at least I do, so I am projecting that onto everyone).

Jim's hypothesis that this optical illusion would not work (if it does work in general) if the rings were different colours is plausible, and testable.  I'd be very interested to see the results of such a study.

Returning to the Unlinking Elastics, this conversation has inspired me to reflect on my thinking about this effect.  I've performed it hundreds if not thousands of times, and I have almost exclusively used narrow, natural coloured bands - just the ones that come in a big bag from Staples/Office Depot.  Over the years a few people have given me samples of the bright yellow ones but I've never felt the need for them.  I also agree with the philosophy that you can perform this with almost any bands that are of more or less the right length.  I've even performed it with the very large bands that we use to wrap around stacks of exam papers.  My statement about using different coloured bands was just that I have tried it, and had good reactions.

I realize now that - possibly because of my doubts about the optical illusion referred to above that many people incorporate into their Linking Rings routines - I have never fully trusted the optical illusion aspect of the Unlinking Elastics.  So my choreography of the effect has been developed so that the audience sees the bands are linked, they know they are linked, there is no visible movement (hopefully!) that would signal unlinking ... but at the crucial moment of unlinking, they do NOT see the cross-over point. 

This is of course a ruse that we use all the time in magic.  We show a card's face and then the audience is convinced we insert the card face down in the deck ... except that the audience does not see its face as it goes into the deck, and we can't let them see it, because we have cleverly switched it for another card.  We substitute conviction for proof.  With the Unlinking Elastics I would rather trust the conviction than rely on an optical illusion that may fail.

My handling is designed to give the impression of maximum visibility, while blocking just what needs to be blocked.  At the crucial moment I raise my hands to eye level or even a bit higher.  My left hand holds the horizontal band and I line my left thumb and forefinger up in line with the eyes of the spectator directly in front of me.  The cross-over point is obscured by the back of my left forefinger - just for the moment when the bands are "passing through".  Then I slowly draw my hands apart - moving both hands - and rotate both hands slightly towards the spectator.

It works for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Thanks for this excellent discussion - it's valuable and useful to go back and re-examine how and why we do things the way we do.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #20 
I fiddled around with different colored bands last nights, and for me it's a no-go. If it works for Robin, that's all that matters. Attempting to argue him out of it is futile. 

To Robin's point about optical illusions: my daughter cannot be fooled by an Elmsley count. Or a Jordan, for that matter. She always perceives three cards, and always has since she was small. To my knowledge, I've never encountered anyone else with this ability. At least no one else has ever pointed it out to me. My Elmsley's certainly adequate, but neither mine nor yours will fly by my daughter.

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TomV

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Reply with quote  #21 
love this effect. Is Michael ammars write up still the best or have there been other versions since.
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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #22 
I recall using #19 but I also recall using #16.  The #16 keep nice and tight even after they are stretched from using multiple times, depends on the brand and actual rubber.  I do have big hands, so #19 also work well, especially if you are doing other rubber band routines.  The lighting can affect how they look, but I have preferred used the typical rubber band color.  I like using the same color for both of them, in bright daylight and in bar lighting.  My favorite is when I do the final part of the Crazy Man's Handcuff's where one of the bands melts into the other one. 

Prior to the ending, I do it a few times with them facing me, then depending on the situation, I offer to let them see it from my view, so they know I'm not cheating.  So I hold my arms in front of them, so they see exactly from my view piont.  Of course, this is optimal because they are looking at the center where they are linked, not at the "action" out of view.  Then the finale is the one melting into the other. 


From OfficeDepot:
#19, 3 1/2" x 1/16", 1/4 Lb. Bag

#16, 2 1/2" x 1/16", 1/4 Lb. Bag

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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomV
love this effect. Is Michael ammars write up still the best or have there been other versions since.



Hi Tom.

I'm not sure if Michael Ammar does this as a separate manuscript - I originally learned it from his book "The Magic Of Michael Ammar. The book has been long out of print, but some do come up on eBay from time to time - it's a great book.

Nabil Murdays "Link" DVD may still be available (I haven't checked though). Nabil teaches some nice subtleties for the trick. Dean Dill also teaches his stretchless method on the DVD.
If it's still available, "Link" is an excellent purchase if you are wanting to learn the trick.


Jim

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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #24 
I was told to use #19’s and that’s what I buy to carry around. I really like a baby blue colour because I think it stands out best (of course, that depends on surrounding colours in the immediate environment) - and - they look pretty.That’s not just a purely aesthetic statement, but ‘I think’ it’s a colour that makes the visual pleasantness of the effect help people to relax and enjoy it more, and that makes them less likely to ‘burn’ the switch. Sorry, no corroborating research data! On other hand, maybe there’s a good argument for using Harry’s ‘best cards’ principle: the ones an observer gives you. But that’s fraught with the problem of likely getting sub-optimal bands!! In the end, it’s how you put it over; definitely keep it fun, and when they ask for a repeat, say ‘sure’, and do a different band effect. I have used animal shapes, but because of their general availability in stationary shops now, kids aren’t surprised...but they do like the give-away.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomV
love this effect. Is Michael ammars write up still the best or have there been other versions since.


The current "Rubberband Man" is Joe Rindfleisch. His work can be found at PM, among other places.

Av 
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


The current "Rubberband Man" is Joe Rindfleisch. His work can be found at PM, among other places.

Av 


I agree Av -- and the rubber bands that Joe sells are awesome -- vibrant colors (if you want), the right size, and super stretchy.

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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #27 
I had learned the "Crazy Man's Handcuffs" from watching some magic special on TV in the late 1980's.  I had recorded the whole show on VHS, just so I could watch it later, but I had rewound it a few times at certain parts.  One was at the linking rubber bands part.  I didn't know the actual routine name until many years later, so I just called it the Linking Rubber Bands.  Anyway, they never showed the actual move because it happened off screen, but after watching several times, I figured out what I needed to do.  I think at that time, my mom had a bag of #16.  They fit my hands well at that time.

Tom

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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #28 
Tom, I'm impressed that you were able to figure out the manouvre by watching the effect. I have one of those minds that never work out how 'it's done' by watching the effect - I HAVE to have it explained, preferably in  written and picture/video forms - AND repeated exposure to those explanations. I've come close a few times, because I'm an addictive cataloger - and widening the knowledge base of magic principles does  make it easier as time goes on. My entrypoint resource for rubber band magic is the DVD, "HOTSHOT with RUBBERBANDS", by Ben Salinas.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
I attended a lecture by Dan Harlan back in the day. He advised practicing with different sizes of rubber bands due to the fact that rubber band magic should be impromptu...a magician wearing rubber bands as bracelets is more likely going to be accused of using "special rubber bands" .

Not that I adhere to this train of thought (if I'm going to be doing rubber band effects I'll be wearing #19 yellow colored bands on my wrist...no matter how tacky my wife tells me this looks!), but for those who truly want their magic to be organic Dan's advice is sound.
I actually like wearing the bands on my wrist as well, so I can segue into a band up the nose.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #30 
This is the brand I use
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017OZDY6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They are non latex so if you do happen to perform for someone with a latex allergy, you won't have a problem. I've also found that they last longer than regular bands as well
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #31 
Does anyone know where you can buy the colored rubber bands like the ones Joe Rindfleisch sells? Obviously they can be purchased from Joe. But there must be a supplier of larger quantities at low prices.

M
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB
This is the brand I use
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017OZDY6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They are non latex ...


This is a great point - thanks for this link.  It turns out the same company sells them in blue too.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #33 
Yeah they have a variety of colors available, and you can get a pound of them for 5 bucks so it'll basically last you forever haha. You don't run into people with a latex allergy often, but some people are suuuuper allergic to it, so I think its best to just eliminate the possibility of that problem. I think that brand uses some kind of synthetic rubber which I found makes them last longer too, so I don't have to worry about them breaking in performance.
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Zero

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Reply with quote  #34 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Does anyone know where you can buy the colored rubber bands like the ones Joe Rindfleisch sells? Obviously they can be purchased from Joe. But there must be a supplier of larger quantities at low prices.

M


Both penguin and vanishing inc sell these rubber bands with penguins having the larger supply. 

Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomV
love this effect. Is Michael ammars write up still the best or have there been other versions since.




Hi Tom.

I'm not sure if Michael Ammar does this as a separate manuscript - I originally learned it from his book "The Magic Of Michael Ammar. The book has been long out of print, but some do come up on eBay from time to time - it's a great book.

Ammar does have a small booklet which I'll link: https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S13531  This being where I learned it, i still think it's the best place to learn it.


Personally I'm a big fan of the white Rindfleischian rubber bands, they just feel the best, something about the weird oil they put on them, the second-best is yellow (obviously based on research and not opinion). size doesn't matter but you want to give yourself enough elasticity so that your hands actually have enough space to flow with the effect and move apart - using rubber bands that have some give would be my preference in terms of picking your battles, I've never liked seeing that uncomfortable small CMH that exists when you use office supply rubber bands. use rubber bands that won't impede your rhythm and flow.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #35 


The second one appears to have a $200.00 minimum order policy. Don't know about the first one.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #36 
I just received some of the bands from Amazon. I have 1 pound of orange for about $6 and a smaller quantity of blue for about the same price. Not sure why the blue are so much more expensive. The company does have a $200 min order for direct sales. I'm not sure of what colors can be purchased. Amazon only seems to have orange and blue in the #19 size. 

Mike
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
I just received some of the bands from Amazon. I have 1 pound of orange for about $6 and a smaller quantity of blue for about the same price. Not sure why the blue are so much more expensive. The company does have a $200 min order for direct sales. I'm not sure of what colors can be purchased. Amazon only seems to have orange and blue in the #19 size. 

Mike


I know right? Its like, 1lb for 6 bucks or a 1/4lb for 10 bucks. Well, now I have enough rubber bands to last me my lifetime haha. 

What do you think of how they handle so far?
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB


I know right? Its like, 1lb for 6 bucks or a 1/4lb for 10 bucks. Well, now I have enough rubber bands to last me my lifetime haha. 

What do you think of how they handle so far?


Pass them along to your magic friends.  The resulting feelings of generosity and appreciation will undoubtedly outlive the elasticity of the bands.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Pass them along to your magic friends.  The resulting feelings of generosity and appreciation will undoubtedly outlive the elasticity of the bands.


Haha oh I gave away a bunch to the people in my magic club, I think to the point where they have too many now too! 
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB


Haha oh I gave away a bunch to the people in my magic club, I think to the point where they have too many now too! 


[thumb]
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #41 
Hi GregB - I like the way they feel. They're a little thinner than I like, though. But they feel good and get the job done. I wonder about longevity?? Does real rubber have a shorter shelf life than latex?

Mike
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #42 
Latex actually is real.  It is the stuff that comes out of the tree.

Rubber is obtained from latex, which is tapped from trees. The most common tree that is used to produce rubber is Heveabrasiliensis. The molecular structure of natural rubber is cis-1, 4-polyisoprene. Synthetic rubbers are used to produce rubber items. But when considering the term rubber, natural rubber is often taken into consideration. Tapped latex is first diluted and then it is coagulated using an acid. After that, this coagulated latex is compressed in rollers, to remove water. The products are raw rubber sheets. These sheets are taken to produce rubber items. Rubber sheets are mixed with compounding agents, to impart the desired properties of the final product. Compounded rubber is heated to get the finished product. Rubbers are vulcanized, to get the optimum properties. Vulcanized rubber has improved tensile strength and elongation properties, which are suitable for commercial production purposes. In rubber items, vulcanization is carried out during the heating process. Tires are the main product of rubber.

Latex and rubber have a wide range of applications due to their elastic behavior. Both latex and rubber are water proof. Because of that, sealants, gaskets, etc are made of rubber and latex. Gloves, balloons, like thin film items are made of latex while items like tyres are made of rubber.

And the Wiki on the subject.  Who knew rubber bands were so interesting?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_band

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GregB

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Hi GregB - I like the way they feel. They're a little thinner than I like, though. But they feel good and get the job done. I wonder about longevity?? Does real rubber have a shorter shelf life than latex?
Mike


I tried using regular office supply rubber bands, as well as an assorted bag of rubber bands I picked up from walmart and the Alliance rubber bands have outlasted both by a longshot for me.

Also, RayJ, there's a lot more that goes into a rubber band than I thought haha!
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB


I tried using regular office supply rubber bands, as well as an assorted bag of rubber bands I picked up from walmart and the Alliance rubber bands have outlasted both by a longshot for me.

Also, RayJ, there's a lot more that goes into a rubber band than I thought haha!


True, that is not a stretch by any means....[rolleyes]

How's that for a snappy comeback?
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


True, that is not a stretch by any means....[rolleyes]

How's that for a snappy comeback?


[biggrin][rofl]
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers

...
Not sure why the blue are so much more expensive. ...


Mike, if they are the same ones I have, the blue have some sort of anti-bacterial property that makes them useful for medical applications, which the orange ones do not.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #47 
Got around to buying some of the rubber bands GregB recommended and 1750 bands is a much bigger bag than expected. The price has been fluctuating between $5-something and $10-something on the Amazon page, so catch it on the low end if you can.

I'm no band connoisseur, but they seem pretty good to me.
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