Originally posted by David Regal:
[QB]This is slightly off thread, but relevant to the topic as posted:
Who knows the old recipe for roughing fluid? I remember seeing it somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it. I ask this simply because the alternatives, which all work to a degree, do not work as well as the old stuff. Nowadays, roughed decks will give up the ghost occasionally, but if you go to a swap meet and buy an Invisible Deck from the year 1966, it will work perfectly.
In "Card Tricks without Skill" by Paul Clive (1946, republished by Faber & Faber in 1968 - Probably out of print now), two formula are given.
The first has been mentioned already, but as the book gives some 'tips' on it, I'll share it here anyway:
Spirit gum and methylated sprits mixed about 50-50, but he says you need to experiment as Spirit gum varies depending on where you buy it from.
The problem with this formula according to the book is that it does discolor the cards, although if you get the mix just right it isn't too noticable. If you mix it too weak you will probably need two coats and if too gummy you can remove excess by wiping a ball of cotton wool with alchol on it across the cards.
The second, is much more interesting and is credited to E. A. Litzau is listed as:
1/4oz Gum Mastic
1/2oz Liquid Carbolic Acid
4oz Grain Alcohol (or Denatured Alchohol)
Put it all in a 6oz bottle and shake. When all the gums are disolved strain the liquid through a fine cloth
This mix is apparently colorless and leaves the card still looking glossy.
I'm not chemist, so I have no idea if any of these chemicals are unavailable and I've certainly never tried mixing this up.
Was this the formula you had seen David or are there more 'old formula' out there?