Steel Ball Through Thick Glass Trick Explained

Do you know how the steel ball through thick glass trick is done as seen in Reddit?

It is often refer to steel ball goes through thick glass Reddit.

Actually this is an old close-up trick called “U-235“.

It was marketed as “U-235” by Thayer Magic Manufacturing back in 1946.

According to an old advert, it mentioned “U-235penetration trick is the creation of S. H. Sharpe.

Sam H. Sharpe was a writer of books on magic theory and inventor.

Conjurers' Mechanical Secrets S. H. Sharpe

Check out the free book by Sam. H. Sharpe titled “Conjurers’ Mechanical Secrets“over here.

This old U-235 trick was recreated by George Robinson for the manufacturer of magical illusions, Collectors’ Workshop.

Today the Viking Magic Company has the exclusive permission to reproduce the “U-235” steel ball through glass trick.

To find out more about this penetration effect, let’s keep the ball rolling…

Steel Ball Through Thick Glass Magic Trick

The effect:

Place a specially-designed aluminium three-legged cylinder tube on top of a plate.

Next lay a thick glass piece over the cylinder stand.

Get another aluminium cylinder tube and set it on top of the glass piece.

Release a steel ball into the the top tube, and it hits the glass with a loud thud.

Apparently, the steel ball goes through the glass, and drops at the center of the plate.

The truth is, the steel ball does not falls right in the middle of the ceramic plate.

If you like to know how this magic trick works, keep reading…

Watch the demo video of the U-235 steel ball through glass trick below:

Currently, there is another version, but it uses a stone ball to go through a hand phone.

Basically, both used the same key props; two cylinder tubes.

Watch the demo video of a stone ball penetrating a hand phone or cell phone.

Again this is my only original article explaining how this Thayer U 235 magic trick is done in full details, together with supporting visual proofs and video snippets.

No, you won’t find this trick secret in YouTube and Tik Tok videos.


The Tik Tok Steel Glass Through Glass in the Google search results is misleading.

It is the same demo video clip as seen in Reddit, without any revealing bit.

Another one of my original blog posts is being copied and featured in Tik Tok video is the Ching Ling Coin Box Explained.

It even used my blog visuals (circled in red) in the video clip, as seen below.

Tik Tok video

Steel Ball Through Thick Glass Trick Revealed

My opinion how it is done is by observing how they handle the U-235 magic trick props.

Definitely this penetration effect uses only one steel ball.

I think there are two secrets in this steel ball through glass trick.

Both the aluminium cylinder tubes are gimmicked.

The plate is not rigged, however it plays a part in the trickery.

Hence, the U235 Thayer CW set comes with the ceramic plate.

Thayer's U-235 Magic Trick Set

You would find out soon. why it needs the plate to catch the falling steel ball.

Hole In Top Tube

There is an opening in the top cylinder tube to let the steel ball to roll out.

Probably the hidden hole looks something like this.

Steel Ball Penetrates Thick Glass Trick

Below is the reflective image of the top tube, as he places it down on the table.

Steel Ball Goes Through Thick Glass Trick

This is the close-up view from the same picture above.

Solid Through Solid Penetration Trick Revealed

The picture below is taken from Magic Patagonia demo video, where you can see the circular cut-out.

At 0:11, when he turns the top tube downward to get ready for the trick.

NOTE: You need to slow down the playback speed to 0.25 to see it clearer.

U-235 Magic Trick Revealed

It looks like there is an opening at the bottom edge of the top tube.

This cut-out part is facing backward throughout the act.

Hide The Secret Hole

In the Reddit video, the performer does not present the top cylinder tube to the viewers.

He focuses only on the thick glass, the bottom tube, the steel ball and the plate.

However in the China Magic video, the performer shows the top tube.

But he does it deftly, without displaying it openly to the camera.

He holds the cylinder tube up, with his fingers blocking the cut-out at the bottom at 0:29.

Closeup Penetration Trick

Again after the act at 0:45, he holds it the same way.

Then when he places it back on the table, the side with the cut-out facing backwards.

In fact, all the performers also handle the top tube in the same manner, as seen below.

Thayer U 235 Magic Trick Explained

U-235 Thayer CW Magic Trick Revealed

Magic Patagonia Trick Revealed

Now we know where and how the steel ball or the stone ball comes out from the top tube.

That’s through the cut-out at the bottom of the tube.

In other words, the steel or stone ball slips out and rolls off the edge of the glass or the cell phone.

How Steel Ball Rolls Out Each Time

But how to ensure the steel ball would definitely roll out through the back bottom hole every time?

The bottom cylinder is tilted backward slightly.

It is because two of the three legs are marginally shorter.

This pair of shorter legs are positioned at the back.

U-235 Penetration Trick By Thayer

Henceforth, the steel ball or stone ball would certainly roll backward and drop onto the ceramic plate.

The slight slant is not noticeable or apparent to casual observers.

But the performers know which are the two shorter legs, to be placed at the back.

Marking On Bottom Tube

There is a small discreet marking between the two shorter legs.

This is the secret spot to identify the pair of shorter legs.

Penetrate Ball Through Phone Trick

The same indication spot as seen from another view.

Ball Bearing Through Glass Magic Trick

You can also see the identical spot on the bottom tube from this U-235 trick video at 1:20.

U 235 Steel Ball Thru Glass Trick
Here are two more pictures captured from Magic Patagonia video clip, where you can see the dotted indication.

Steel Ball Thru Glass Trick Secret Exposed

U-235 Magic Trick by Thayer


As a matter of fact, there are other magic trick apparatus that used the secret indicator.

For instance, you can find it in these two penetration tricks:

The “Quantum Tunnel by Magic Wagon“.

Quantum Tunnel Magic Wagon Explained

The “Looking Glass” by Dan Wolfe.

Looking Glass Penetration Trick

Steel Ball Rolls From Edge Of The Plate

As explained above, the steel or stone ball rolls out through the cut-out, and falls off the edge of the glass or phone.

It means the steel and stone ball cannot plummet right in the middle of the ceramic plate, as it appears.

Watch carefully at the falling stone ball at 0:39.

U 235 Magic Trick S H Sharpe

In fact it drops down onto the edge of the plate, then it rolls down to the its center.

Whereas in the other demo videos, you cannot see the falling steel ball clearly and accurately.

That scene is a high angle shot, and the front leg of the bottom tube blocks it.

Summing up, this is my view how the steel ball through thick glass trick works.


steel ball thru card magic secret

Check out the steel ball penetrates through playing card trick called Marbo Card Penetration.