how to dye flash paper

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Postby Andres Reynoso » 01/02/11 10:11 PM

Hi, somebody knows if it's possible to dye flash paper?

I have white flash and neeed green one. I don't remember to have seen colored one in local stores. Tonorrow meets the club, I will to investigate. But if somebody knows if its possible to tint the white one without affect the flash properties I would thank you very much.
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Postby Frank Yuen » 01/03/11 12:32 AM

I'm pretty sure that I saw a reference in someone's lecture notes that you could color it with markers. You may have to wait a minute to make sure the ink is dry.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/03/11 09:09 AM

Is there some work on safe dyes (which won't mess up the clean burn) and copper salts to change the color of the flame to match the new color of the paper?
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Postby Bill Palmer » 01/03/11 01:15 PM

Joe Webster, who lived in Houston for about a decade, was a research chemist for Shell. He had a huge book he wrote on chemical magic, that had everything in it from making colored flash paper, making flash paper that burned in different colors, clock reactions, you name it.

He submitted it to several different publishers, and they all turned him down. The liability was just too great.

So, there are methods, but because of the safety factors, you won't be able to get them. Also, most of the colored flame reactions used barium salts. They stink to high heaven and can be toxic.

Use a magic marker.
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 01/03/11 02:31 PM

Two votes for the marker.

Now I remember "chemical magic" by Leonard A Ford, I assume its more commercial than Joe Webster one. It exists in foreign languages (at least spanish)

Yes Bill, you are right. The risks involved are high. Indeed, in some legislatures the sole possession of some flamable substances are prohibited (specially in pure state)

I don't want to make my own flash paper from zero, only tint it and I think the marker is the sollution.

Thank you very much Frank and Bill.
Bill, this isn't the first time you give me an answer, thanks.

If I find another option tonight at local magic club I will comment you.
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Postby Spellbinder » 01/04/11 12:35 AM

I always used food coloring dyes, mixed in water, painted on and let dry completely. No color flames, but the paper can be any color you want. Also, you can print on flashpaper with an inkjet printer, so card designs, etc. are possible.
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 01/04/11 11:58 AM

last night I asked in local club meeting. The buddy magicians told me isn't possible and I must to buy it coloured. But as I said in the original post I don't know any dealer who sell it dye.

thanks Spellbinder and sorry, sometimes I have problems with my english. "painted on" do you mean apply the coloured water over the paper as with a sponge? Originally I thought to use aniline and soak the paper in the dish, but maybe it could wash the flash chemicals. If you mean damp with a sponge .... it could be, why not?

inkjet printer ..... interesting. Here in Mexico the common flash paper is like onionskin one. I don't know if over the world all the flash is so thin. Exists commercially flash bank notes printed over bond paper. But I havn't never seen white bond flash paper. Could onionskin be printed on an inkjet?

And I only would use inkjet, no laser printer, in this case it could be dangerous (only if anybody thought about laser)

uhmmmmmmm typing this now I remember .... napkins exists ... I think coloured, in fact bi-coloured to make the rose. I'm not sure if only one colour.
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Postby David Garrity » 01/04/11 12:55 PM

Andres,

I believe that D. Robbins carries colored flash paper. So, any magic dealer with a wholesale account with D. Robbins can order it for you. They seem to carry it in a number of different colors including the green you are looking for.

Sincerely,
David
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 01/04/11 03:37 PM

Thank you David.

I watched D Robbins website and it seems they have white, red, green and black.

I will to investigate what dealer has an account ;)
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Postby Nathan Allen » 01/05/11 02:22 AM

I used to color flash paper with Crayola Magic Markers. It works just fine. Just let it dry out overnight (the flash paper, not the marker). If I remember correctly, it did slow the burn a little bit, but not enough to affect the... effect... I was using it for. Just try it for yourself and see.

Using a marker is certainly less of a hassle than hunting down colored flash paper, and by far less dangerous than trying to make your own.

Good luck.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 01/07/11 02:03 AM

For years, I used a piece of flash paper inside the envelope I burned when I did the Bill in the Lemon. In the US, there were three basic thicknesses of flash paper offered. One was called "super flash." It was very thin and burned rapidly. There was a medium grade paper that burned a bit more slowly. And there was a fairly thick one that burned a bit more slowly than that.

I needed to be able to hold the envelope up to the light so the spectator could see that there was something inside it. I didn't really call much attention to what it was, but I needed for the spectator to see a shadow inside the envelope. Flash bills were out of the question, because of the expense.

So I arrived at the following solution. I used 1/4 of a full sized sheet of flash paper to make a folded packet. I coated the inner layer of the packet with a black magic marker. Then I placed this inside the envelope with a little bit of rubber cement to hold it in place.

This did the job nicely.

One caution about dampening flash paper -- if it doesn't dry completely, then it burns very strangely. If you are one of those people who has a habit of igniting a piece of flash paper in someone's home and allowing it to fall on the floor, don't do it with flashpaper that has been dampened and not dried properly. It will ignite, fall on the floor and burn. If it lands on a carpet -- you are "en caca profunda."
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 01/09/11 04:17 PM

Thank you very much.

I tried with a magic marker and it seems to work fine. I think it burns at regular speed and normal flame, and works for me

I think topsmagic and madhatter sell D Robbins paper. Starlight has more colores.

Bill I will have in mind your advise about dampening paper.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/09/11 05:12 PM

I know that Flash Paper is often stored in a wet state these days: how does that tie in with coloring it with a magic marker?
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