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View Full Version : Spoon bending trick - how?


jakesteele
04-03-2009, 06:31 AM
I have been trying to learn the spoon bending trick and so far, no luck. I've seene Shermer do it but his was just using optical angles where the spoon doesn't actually bend or break. I've seen Randi do it where the spoon 'actually' bends and breaks. I thought all you had to do is is bend the spoon handle back and forth a whole bunch until the friction heats it up and softens it but then it's too hot to pinch with two fingers. If I let it cool, even though in a weakend condition, it's still too strong to bend with my fingers.

What am I missing?

glee
04-03-2009, 06:39 AM
I'm not a magician.

There's a reluctance to explain tricks, because it undermines magic shops.

I do have one question:

You said
"bend the spoon handle back and forth a whole bunch until the friction heats it up and softens it but then it's too hot to pinch with two fingers".

You can heat a spoon by rubbing it until it's too hot to touch and the metal actually softens? :confused::eek:

Sigene
04-03-2009, 07:14 AM
You can heat a spoon by rubbing it until it's too hot to touch and the metal actually softens? :confused::eek:


No, the OP is talking about bending it to cause metal fatigue prior to the trick. If you try to flex the handle rapidly enough it will start to heat up at the flex point.

The OP was suggesting perhaps "preflexing" it to where the spoon if really weakened, then during the trick just snapping the very weak handle. I don't think it is done that way.

I did see a show with Randi on it, where he did the trick then showed how he deftly bent the spoon on his chair. I think a combination of things can and have been used.....two spoons, one normal the other bent. Bending one spoon while no one is looking; using one spoon that is prebent but holding it is such a way it looks straight.

New Beginning
04-03-2009, 10:20 AM
Many many years ago, I took a magic class with a well respected magician and we learned this one. We were taught it as a slight of hand trick. You have a spoon that is pre-broken (as described above, just keep bending until it breaks off) and another identical spoon that's untouched.

beowulff
04-03-2009, 10:37 AM
There is no spoon.

nivlac
04-03-2009, 01:05 PM
As in many tricks there are multiple techniques. That's the key to avoiding detection, as well as having the trick work in multiple settings.

Chronos
04-03-2009, 05:09 PM
Just a nitpick, but the repeated bending hardens the metal, rather than softening it-- This is called stress tempering. A soft substance will bend easily and without damage, but a hard substance will break if you try to bend it.

beowulff
04-03-2009, 06:34 PM
Just a nitpick, but the repeated bending hardens the metal, rather than softening it-- This is called stress tempering. A soft substance will bend easily and without damage, but a hard substance will break if you try to bend it.

That's true, but repeated bending will also fatigue the metal around the bend, making it weaker, if not actually softer.

HorseloverFat
04-03-2009, 10:22 PM
Its actually easy to do. The problem is that youre using high-quality spoons from home. The spoons many restaurants get in bulk from restaurant supply stores are made from less strong materials. My family was in the restaurant business and Ive done the "bend to break a spoon" trick a few times. Get some cheapo spoons to practice.