Source: Wellington Enterprises
Robert Harbin’s Blades Of Opah is being manufactured again after a 40+ year absence! John Gaughan originally made two of them in the 1970s and the new edition with major improvements by both Gaughan and Bill Schmeelk is now available in an extremely limited quantity.
The Blades of Opah was the final invention of famous Zig-Zag inventor Robert Harbin. Harbin developed the idea with a very basic and crudely made model built in the engineer’s workshop of a cruise ship he was travelling on. Harbin presented his creation to John Gaughan along with full rights to the illusion. John greatly improved Harbin’s original version adding extended blades, the ability to open the frame showing its empty interior, and superior construction design. John made only two of these, one of which was presented to Harbin. John has graciously given Wellington Enterprises permission to use his superior design and make this compact illusion available.
The Wellington version also includes a new feature to further enhance the deceptiveness of the illusion. An additional hole has been added just below the large opening in the stock that allows the blade to actually cut something just below where the lady is. This hole also allows the audience to see the blade pass just below the spectator. While this feature greatly complicates the construction of the blade, we feel strongly that the effect produced is worth the extra effort.
The Blades of Opah is Harbin’s second and much more compact method for this effect. The original version, The Knives of Opah, required a large cabinet into which the magician’s assistant was secured and hidden from view. This new version does away with the bulky cabinet and allows the use of a spectator. The new design achieves the same effect with more visibility and deception in a quite compact form.
An interesting aspect of this illusion is that there is no wood used in its construction. Aluminum and two types of plastic have been used. The red plastic used for the stock is red through and through and the black material used in the knife frame guides is a high-quality bearing material against which the knife frames slide. Most of the metal parts have been powder coated or anodized providing a very durable finish. The two stock handles are stainless steel.
Wellington has also designed a stand to securely hold the stock frame freeing the assistant from having to hold onto the frame. The two rear wheels easily lock providing rigidity. The large 3 ½ inch wheels allow ease in moving the illusion and allow it to be easily locked and unlocked during performance. The stand folds and packs small.
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