Do you know the secret of the steel ball through thick glass trick as seen in Reddit?
It is often refer to steel ball goes through thick glass Reddit.
By the way, this is an old close-up trick called “U-235“.
It was marketed as “U-235” by Thayer Magic Manufacturing back in 1946.
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…
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.
To find out, 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.
This Thayer U 235 magic trick explained with supporting visuals and video snippets.
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.
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.
Below is the reflective image of the top tube, as he places it down on the table.
This is the close-up view from the same picture above.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The same indication spot as seen from another view.
You can also see the identical spot on the bottom tube from this U-235 trick video at 1:20.
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 “Looking Glass” by Dan Wolfe.
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.
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.
Check out the steel ball penetrates through playing card trick called Marbo Card Penetration.