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Author Topic: Padlock in Bottle
Trevor Kniffin
Member
Member # 918

posted March 21, 2006 10:50 PM     Profile for Trevor Kniffin   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Kniffin     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
After reading of Harry Eng's bottles in a magic book of mine, I was intrigued and immediately hooked. Thus far I've been successful in getting couple of decks in various bottles with a number of other things, but, I need your help. After looking at some of the pictures on the puzzle world main site, I think putting a padlock in a bottle with the cards would really get people thinking. Problem is, I have no clue how it is accomplished. I went to Home Depot and bought a few different locks, the construction of Masterlock brand looks the most promising for bottle insertion, but I'm still stumped. I would really appreciate any tips from you impossible bottle masters out there (brand of locks used, maybe a hint on the actual act of getting it into the bottle?) Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Tom Howe
Multiple
Member # 132

posted March 22, 2006 04:14 PM     Profile for Tom Howe   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Howe     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The impossible object "secrets" are quite closely held. Somewhere I read that there are as few as 12 people who make impossible objects. (I think that number is higher) Most of us will answer questions truthfully but will not "tell you how to do it". You are welcome to email me offline with questions.

Tom


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Laurence Crichton
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Member # 1056

posted September 26, 2006 03:18 AM     Profile for Laurence Crichton   Author's Homepage   Email Laurence Crichton     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum, as a contributor, but have spent many hours lurking... and learning.

Trevor, what is very apparent, is those who have succeded in making an impossible object, have spent many hours researching, trying, breaking, spending and trying again. Not to mention thinking.

I am no expert, but must agree with Tom. Once someone has spent a lot of energy mastering a solution, why would they make the information public?

ImpossiBottles

This is a link to an ImpossiBottle that I am very proud of. Will I tell anyone how I did it? No ways !

An ImpossiBottler I once asked how to do something was perhaps my most influential advisor. His advise was this, "I had to show/tell him what I had tried (away from any public forum), and he'd correct my thinking or make suggestions". At no time did he offer his method. This got me "thinking outside the bottle" so to speak.

I know, for a first timer, I'm waxing lyrical, but it's just my first 2 cents.

Thanks for listening.

--------------------

Be realistic... expect miracles.


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Bradley M. Small
Multiple
Member # 1562

posted February 10, 2009 11:19 AM     Profile for Bradley M. Small   Author's Homepage   Email Bradley M. Small     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In this particular image, the lock does not appear to be larger than the neck of the bottle. Is it?

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-- Absinthe


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John Rausch
Chief Metagrobologist
Member # 1

posted February 10, 2009 01:26 PM     Profile for John Rausch   Author's Homepage   Email John Rausch     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
When Harry helped me get started, he would only give hints. I had to make a serious effort, then I might get another hint. So that's what I will do here.

The lock choice is VERY important. I used Master 9D locks. For narrow bottle necks, the 9T would often work. You will (should) quickly learn that the neck opening on most bottles used with be nearly the same. Larger and smaller neck openings are for special bottles where only a deck of cards, a baseball or maybe a Rubik's Cube or put inside. The neck opening for a one-gallon jug is the same as most salad dressings and other bottles that have a twist-off cap that is about 1.5 inches wide. The opening will be under 1 inch.

There are two basic strategies for putting things in the bottles:

1. You have to squeeze it so it can be forced through.

2. You must disassemble athe item outside the bottle, put in the pieces and reassemble inside the bottle.

That's it, there are no other choices!

It should be obvious which items require which method. If it's not, you probably shouldn't be attempting impossible bottles.

For method 1, caution is required!! I stopped making bottle when I was forcing a tennis ball into a bottle and it exploded and nearly disappeared from where I was working. I held up my hands and remarkably, there were no cuts. I made a few more bottles to fill order, but duct taped the necks heavily and the rest of the bottle lightly, and I used welding gloves. The tiniest nick or flaw in the neck weakens the bottle. Don't learn this lesson the hard way.

Now, about those locks. The locks do not fit through the neck -- not even close. You might think about delaminating them. Give it a try so you can convincingly tell people how impossible it is. Big hint -- the locks work fine once they are in the bottle. I always locked mine through something and left the keys in the bottle. Test the lock body on your bottle. The fit is so close that you might have to reject the bottle or knock some sharp edges off the lock with a file. Last hint -- some violence required!

Back to the basics. You will need some tools for all of this work. Minimally, 1 curved 12-inch hemostat and one straight one. Also,a pair of 10- to 12-inch tweezers. Where to get them? Go to your nearest LARGE flea market. There will be a Pakistani person selling inexpensive medical instruments -- assuming, of course, that you are in North America. You might be tempted to buy some of the other instruments, but trust me, you don't need them. Also, get a couple of long-handled wooden spoons and some thick double-sided foam tape.

Like locks, you must choose you items carefully. Not all scissors will work, nor will all tennis shoes and some tennis balls have thicker skins than others, and ...

--------------------

John Rausch


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John Rausch
Chief Metagrobologist
Member # 1

posted February 10, 2009 01:37 PM     Profile for John Rausch   Author's Homepage   Email John Rausch     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
A couple more things:

If the stuff obviously fits through the neck, or even looks like it would, don't bother. It won't impress. Ping Pong Balls, for example.

After making a lot of bottles, I decided that I would not put "illusions" in my bottles. That is, I would not put a golf ball that had it's insides hollowed out and the hole hidden. If there's a golf ball in there, it's whole. IT might not be worth a damn for playing golf after I'm finished with it, but it's complete. Likewise for a pack of cigarettes. At first I stuffed the packs with foam, then I figured out how to get all the cigarettes back in the pack. All of the cards are in there -- maybe a little wrinkled, but good enough to play with if you had to. You could wear the tennis shoes (if they fit) and the Rubik's Cubes worked just fine. This is a much more satisfying result than making it look as though the items were okay.

My first lock's shackle was sawed off and superglued back in the lock body in the bottle. Not very satisfying.

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John Rausch


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Bradley M. Small
Multiple
Member # 1562

posted February 10, 2009 02:28 PM     Profile for Bradley M. Small   Author's Homepage   Email Bradley M. Small     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I guess one could always use locks that have replaceable shackles, they simply remove with a pin or screw and can be replaced with differing length ones. Like some of the pro series american or master.

Thanks for the replies

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-- Absinthe


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John Rausch
Chief Metagrobologist
Member # 1

posted February 10, 2009 03:13 PM     Profile for John Rausch   Author's Homepage   Email John Rausch     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bradley,

Or rubber bottles.

It has to be "impossible".

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John Rausch


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Bradley M. Small
Multiple
Member # 1562

posted February 11, 2009 09:53 AM     Profile for Bradley M. Small   Author's Homepage   Email Bradley M. Small     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
What do you mean by "rubber bottle" or were you joking?

There are a few gags I have figured out enough to give a try, however, the ones that seem to defy space, like the bolt and nut through the deck of cards that is as wide as the inside of the bottle, I can come up with a few ways to create that illusion, but I am still at a loss for doing it in actuality "for real". Certainly, I guess if you are making it as an item to display/sell and no one is going to disassemble it, it doesn't matter if it is an illusion or real.

However, I was kind of looking for a "rule of thumb." Or at least a degree of ethics of the craft. Certainly, a magician doesn't really saw a woman in half, but we pay to see him create the illusion of doing so.

However, is that the same? If I glue the head of a bolt on one side of a deck of cards and the tip of a bolt onto the other side and it looks like there is a bolt through it is that good enough?

Do you see what I am asking? And please if I get to close to revealing anything even by accident, stop me and I will be happy to continue in eMail.

--------------------

-- Absinthe


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John Rausch
Chief Metagrobologist
Member # 1

posted April 04, 2009 11:03 AM     Profile for John Rausch   Author's Homepage   Email John Rausch     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sorry for the late reply.

You can do whatever you want, and I did for awhile, but decided that bolts with the heads cut off and locks with the shackle cut off and other modifications to the item such as this were better omitted.

When making an impossible object, there is more to it that just fooling the people who see the completed object. After all, we are puzzlers and solving puzzles is a big, if not the biggest, part of the attraction. So, the person making the object is just as important as the person seeing the result. For example, would you say you had solved a difficult burr puzzle if you cut the pieces and glued them together in the assembled state? Or have you created a good impossible object if you cut a wooden arrow in half and glue it back together in the classic arrow through the bottle? I don't think so. A plastic arrow through a soda can was presented several years ago at a puzzle party. It did not take long to come to the conclusion that it was really impossible and upon cutting the can open, we found the arrow glued together. as expected. Recipients are still grumbling!

I think the expectation of a puzzler is that such shenanigans are not present in puzzles, whether burrs, boxes, impossible objects or whatever. That's why I quit putting things like bars of soap cut in half, hollowed out golf balls, locks with cut shackles, scissors with a rivet cut in half and glued back in place, etc. I could tell the observer that all of the items in the bottle were whole and still "functioned". A good example of this is Rubik's Cubes I put in bottles were no different inside the bottle than they were out. Perhaps my only "violation" of this imposed standard was puncturing tennis balls. I suppose you could say they would still function, just not for tennis, or at least not very well. Obviously, the playing cards would still function as well, but they might be a bit "tattered" to actually play with them.

The master of the impossible bottles, Harry Eng, always wanted people looking at his bottles to think. He could always dismiss outright the most common comments like "you cut the bottle", "the bottle was blown around it", "cut the ...", etc. Instead, he wanted you to get a deck of cards, a pair of scissors, etc. and a bottle and figure it out for yourself -- in other words -- think.

So, if all you want to do is fool someone, do whatever you like, but don't show it off to a puzzler. I don't think I can explain it any better.

--------------------

John Rausch


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Franklin Gonsalves
Multiple
Member # 337

posted April 08, 2009 04:47 AM     Profile for Franklin Gonsalves   Author's Homepage   Email Franklin Gonsalves     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This is a terrific string of thoughts, without once giving even a teeny-weeny hint on how to achieve 'the impossible'. The only hints are on what one should not do. But, the hint on tools that one would need is good.
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Brian Pletcher
Multiple
Member # 1572

posted April 08, 2009 09:09 AM     Profile for Brian Pletcher   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Pletcher     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yeah, this has been an interesting discussion. I hadn't really been particularly interested in impossible objects, but now I can see the appeal a bit more. I think it helps to know more about what hasn't been done, like that the shackle of locks haven't been cut.

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- Brian

Brian's Damn Puzzle Blog


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John Devost
Multiple
Member # 792

posted April 08, 2009 02:24 PM     Profile for John Devost   Author's Homepage   Email John Devost     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Rausch:

A plastic arrow through a soda can was presented several years ago at a puzzle party. It did not take long to come to the conclusion that it was really impossible and upon cutting the can open, we found the arrow glued together. as expected. Recipients are still grumbling!


Sorry, but that's funny right there!


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James Sanford
Multiple
Member # 775

posted August 19, 2010 06:02 PM     Profile for James Sanford   Author's Homepage   Email James Sanford     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I am trying to find information on Impossible Objects. I have been able to get a deck of cards into a bottle and then a bolt through the deck. I am working on a tennis ball but it is not cooperating yet. Next is the padlock. Young nieces and nephews are easily impressed.

I am looking for suggestions/clues about how to get other objects into the bottle without danger to "life and limb".

Any suggestions about where to look/read?

Thanks


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Primitivo Familiar Ramos
Multiple
Member # 444

posted August 20, 2010 08:41 PM     Profile for Primitivo Familiar Ramos   Author's Homepage   Email Primitivo Familiar Ramos     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Here an interesting link about Impossibottle: The Impossible bottle website. Visit the gallery!

http://www.impossibottle.co.uk/index.html

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Puzzling greetings,
PFR


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Saul Bobroff
Multiple
Member # 24

posted August 20, 2010 11:09 PM     Profile for Saul Bobroff   Author's Homepage   Email Saul Bobroff     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Have you look at stoppers for your impossible bottles? Many of the ship in bottle books show impossible stoppers for the bottles.

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James Sanford
Multiple
Member # 775

posted August 22, 2010 04:51 PM     Profile for James Sanford   Author's Homepage   Email James Sanford     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Do you have any suggested books to look into?
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Saul Bobroff
Multiple
Member # 24

posted August 23, 2010 11:53 AM     Profile for Saul Bobroff   Author's Homepage   Email Saul Bobroff     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I would look at Ship models in glass,
ISBN 0-85174-676-4 by Peter Hille &Barry Young.

Ting Og Sager I flasker ISBN 87-87807-76-9
Tom Maliden from Europe

The Art of Whittling USA


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