A Couple Tips for Using the Rubber Walnut

Copyright 2011 by James P. Riser

The Walnut Trick has been a favorite of mine for years. Until recently, a good rubber walnut has been unobtainable. Good news! Michael Mosher has been experimenting for the past year trying to perfect the color and texture required. He has finally done it and is now making his realistic walnuts available.

The rubber walnuts shown on this page were both prototypes with a few air bubbles but they were perfect for my experimentation. You may order first class defect-free walnuts directly from Michael.

A weakness in many routines developed for the classic effect was that the same method was used for all of the required "vanishes". This is not good technique. I am going to show two ways to alter extra rubber walnuts which will allow the performer to vary the methods used in the effect.

The Walnut Reel

The first method involves utilizing a small clip on reel that I often sell to magicians. The rubber walnut gets attached to the end of the vinyl covered steel cable of this tiny reel. The reel gets clipped on to the performer's belt. Below is explained how to attach the walnut to the reel.


Here is a front and back view of the reel.


The wire is extended and clipped in the extended position.


A good sharp knife is required. Notice the bead at the end of the wire.



A deep slot or pocket is cut into the end of the walnut.


The end of the wire with its small ring and bead is inserted into this pocket.


A couple drops of super glue and pinching the pocket closed complete the task.



The completed walnut reel now looks like this.


If you do not know how to utilize such a reel, read these tips:

This walnut reel is what I term a "mechanized pull". Many inexperienced in magic do not understand the idea behind a pull. A pull is to secretly remove an item from the hand. Those new to the use of such devices often think speed is desired and the item is to be "vanished" at arms length. Such is not the case. If the performer wants speed and arms length, then a lightening pull should be used.

To use a mechanized pull such as this walnut reel, the unit should be clipped on the performer's belt, waistband, or suspenders for most purposes. Most performers will attach the unit to the left or right side of the body where the rubber walnut may readily be obtained but hidden by the coat or vest. The retrieved walnut hidden in the hand is extended out in front of the body. The loose walnut is supposedly placed into the hand holding the rubber walnut which is connected to the reel. The loose walnut can then easily be loaded elsewhere while showing the reel attached walnut. It appears that the walnut was merely transferred from one hand to the other. The cord of the reel remains hidden by the forearm. The item to be vanished is then clearly shown and "placed" into the other hand.

Now this is where beginners have trouble. They think hat the reel or pull should quickly snatch the item away. This not correct. A speedy withdrawl from the hand will noticabely flutter or move the performer's jacket giving away the fact that something just went under the coat. This telltale movement is avoided by bring the hand back to the edge of the vest, coat, or jacket then releasing the rubber walnut. The reel only has to pull in the item a few inches this way and there is no wardrobe movement and the rubber keeps things silent.

This bringing the hand closer to the body must appear as a relaxing natural movement while commenting to the spectators or asking them a question. It should be done slowly and casually.

After the rubber walnut is withdrawn, the hand supposed holding the walnut is slowly extended again before the item is shown as vanished. It appears that everything was done well away from the body.

The vanished item may later be retrieved if desired.

Creative performers will know what to do with this item.


The Loop Walnut


This procedure turns the rubber walnut into a looped walnut (just like the old looped ball).


Items required are nylon thread, a good knife, rubber walnut, and a small nut or bead.


Here I tied a loop of the nylon thread to a small steel nut.


This nut or bead serves as an anchor to prevent the loop from pulling out of the rubber walnut.


As before, a deep pocket is cut and the "anchor" inserted.


Things look like this once super glued closed.


Standard loop ball moves may be utilized with this gimmick.


I like to rest an "empty" hand flat on the table edge as part of the routine.


Once again, imaginative performers will see how this can come in handy in the walnut trick.

Hopefully, the above two tips will allow more variety in the vanishes during this effect.

There is a chance that next winter I might make a nice bottomless glass for the classic version of this effect - it depends upon time and interest.

Note: This is another in my series of magic tips. If there is enough interest in such tips, I will do more.

If this was of any use to you, please send me an email so that I might measure usefullness. I most likely will not have time to respond to all emails but input = more such tips. No emails = no more tips.