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Tips for Performing and Repairing Sword Through Neck

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The sword through neck trick has been a favorite for audiences and performers alike.  So called "Danger" tricks create a make for more excitement and intrigue although there is really nothing dangerous about this one at all. Magicians also like it, because it is always ready to go. Once you complete one performance, you are ready for the next with no reset required.  The biggest drawback is the sword itself and it must be properly maintained and refurbished over time.

The trick is sold by many manufacturers and there are many different versions used but they all work in the same basic manner. There are the 2 parts: the neck stock and sword.  The sword based on its design does require maintenance and this short article will walk you through it.

Performance Tips

  1. Always have 2 swords with you. The one is your performance sword the second is new or newly taped one which can be used as needed. When, the primary sword wears out switch the other and repair the other. Dealers sell replacement blades.
  2. Use a sheath to keep the blade in when not in use to protect the blade. Some swords come with them if not make something out of some thin plywood (cardwood is not sufficient as you will want something the will not bend.)
  3. When pushing the blade in, place your fingers between the victims neck and the stock so you can make sure nothing goes wrong and you inserted the blade correctly.
  4. Keep the blade lubricated with Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) to reduce wear and make for smoother operation
  5. Place a balloon in the stock and burst the balloon prior to using on a real person. Lot's of comedy possibilities here with drawing a face on the balloon (maybe with a surprised expression).
  6. Let the victim feel the pressure of the blade on their neck (not too hard of course) and say "You don't feel anything do you?" and they will disagree.
  7. You can wrap a large silk around the victim's neck before placing the stock on. This can serve a few purposes, making it more comfortable and also allow for better cover when the neck is quite a bit smaller than the stock. You can also make a joke using a red silk reamrking that it used to be white or some other similar joke.
  8. Have the victim turn around once the blade in inserted all the way through so that audience can see it is actualy going all the way through the neck.
  9. Please note the size of your stock. Some are smaller and may not fit larger neck. Please note the size of the victim before selecting them. Women are often the best to choose and you will get better reactions from them in most cases.
  10. This can be an excellent children's trick but must be for the proper age. Younger children can be frightened in watching or being the victim so exercise your judgement.  It is always wise to warn that sharp objects should only be used by adults.  Some performers don't use any danger magic for children in their shows. It is best to check with parents or responsible party prior to using danger magic at any show for children.

 

Repairing Your Sword

The sword is in 2 sections which are adhered by tape. The tape with wear out and need replacement about after 20-40 performances. Here's how you do it:

  1. Remove all the old tape.  This is easier said than done. Try to peel it off in sections but getting an edge started and peel away. Small sections you will need scratch away with your finger nail. Be patient and the time necessary to get everything removed. Remove the residual adhesive with Paint Thinner or "Goof-Off" or similar solvent.
  2. Get the proper tape. Most tape sold is the invisible tape which has a cloudy appearance and should not be used. You must use the clear or transparent tape which is clear and not cloudy. I bought some at Target and is sold as "Transparent Tape."
  3. Use painters marking tape (6-8 small pieces) along one edge of the blade to hold the sections together and even.
  4. Pull off and long section of tape, the same length of the blade and place evenly on the other side of the blade so the tape overlaps the edge of the long edge of the blade by 1/2 the thickness of the tape. Concentrate on getting the tape perfectly flat with no creases or bubbles on the one side. One it is firmly in place, fold the tape around the edge of the blade. I start in the middle and work to the outside, making sure no creases form. No matter how careful you are some creases will usually develop. Just smooth them out the best you can by applying pressure.
  5. Remove the masking tape and repeat this on the previously masked edge the same as the first edge.
  6. If the tape is thin, you may also choose to apply a second layer for added strength and durability.
  7. Do not use the sword with worn tape and then will damage the sword.
  8. Apply a thin coating of Vaseline to the sword to prevent wear and to add to the ease of place the sword through the stock.

 

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Our valuable member Matt Ruetz has been with us since Thursday, 08 May 2008.

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