How to Turn 2 Pieces of String into 1

Learn how to turn two pieces of string into one from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic tricks video.

My name is Ben Nemzer, and I’m a magician. One of my specialties is close-up magic, which is magic with ordinary objects, decks of cards, ropes, rubber bands, and I do that all over New York City. I’m going to teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away.

I’m going to show you how to do something really cool with these two pieces of string, but first I need my lovely assistant. Will you please set your hand like this, palm up please? And all I do is I place the ends in your hand. Close nice and tight. Perfect. And on the count of three. One, two, three. We have one piece of string.

So let me show you how that works. First of all, you need a special type of string. It’s called twine, and you can get it at almost any drugstore or hardware store. Now the interesting thing about twine is it’s not just one piece of string. It’s actually several different pieces of strings, all twisted together. So here is how the secret works. Before you start, you do the secret setup. That’s the part that nobody’s allowed to see. And you find the center of the string.

Now you’ll notice if you twist one way, the strings become tighter. If you twist the opposite way, they become a little bit looser. What you want to do is untwist the strings until they’re almost all in a straight line together. Then you find that center, and you use your fingernails, and you just separate them. Now there’s different types of twine. Some will be four strands. Some will be five, six, so you want to do about half and half. This one is four strands, so I’m using two on each side.

Then what you do is you twist each end back the other way so they’re tight. You’ll notice this way is the wrong way, because they become looser. This way, they become tighter. So here’s where the magic part happens. If you pinch where they intersect, it looks like an x, you cover that with your fingers. You want to create the illusion that there’s two continuous pieces of string. So you straighten this here and there. Then you ask for your spectator’s hand, and you place it inside the hand, and you have them close. That way you can’t see what’s actually happening inside the hand.

Now what you do is you pull the two pieces of string in the opposite direction, and the string restores itself. And if you open your hand, now we can get the inside look of what’s actually happening when her hand is closed. And they go right back together, and there’s no evidence left. And that’s how you turn two pieces of string into one.