ruffing (roughing?) fluid

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Postby Guest » 02/02/03 07:46 PM

Hi. Is it possible to make my bicycle cards not slippery without using rughing fluid? If so, how? I want to make my cards so that when I do a fan with just 3 or 4 cards two of them will stick together and show as one. Thanks.
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 12:57 AM

Instead of going the gaffed route, why not learn the Ascanio Spread, a not-too-difficult sleight of hand move that will accomplish the same thing?

--A
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 02:31 AM

I need to fan out the cards without exposing the hidden card. That's why I want to know other methods of gaffing the cards. I don't have access to a magic shop where I live (rural Japan) to buy the roughing fluid.
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 06:33 AM

Try a cheap hairspray, like aquanet. The cheaper, the better. You'll have to experiment with how much to use. Spray it from a distance so that the droplets are very fine.

Hope this helps,

Geoff
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 10:58 AM

It is possible by using very little pressure to fan a stack of four cards so that only three actually fan and the fourth remains hidden. I did this once for Slydini and he said
"Let me try that."
He took the cards and gave it a try and all four fanned. He leaned over and whispered to me (we were in the Blackstone Room at the Magic Castle and others were milling about):
"Not enough roughing fluid."
I leaned over and whispered to him:
"Tony, no roughing fluid."
The next word he said I won't quote, but will leave to your imagination.
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 02:34 PM

Pick up a can of Testors brand dull coat spray finish. It is used to drop the gloss on a photograph and it works a treat as a roughing spray. I've been using it for many, many, years.

It can be picked up in any photo shop.

The trick is to go light when you spray the cards.

Best,

Dan-
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 05:12 PM

Originally posted by Danny_Hustle:
Pick up a can of Testors brand dull coat spray finish. It is used to drop the gloss on a photograph and it works a treat as a roughing spray. I've been using it for many, many, years.

It can be picked up in any photo shop.

The trick is to go light when you spray the cards.

Best,

Dan-
That'll work fine, too, but the only real difference is the price. My dad (an artist by trade) taught me the Aquanet trick. The hairspray went for 99 cents a can at the time, and the art supply stuff went for $5.99 or so. Both more today, but the relative value should be the same. Every artist he knew used hairspray as fix, deglosser, etc. (they didn't make a lot of money in those days, and what they did make, they preferred to spend at the White Horse Saloon).

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Guest » 02/03/03 09:38 PM

I second the idea to try an asciano type spread. In card college Globbi offers a handling in which the cards are held as a fan in one hand after completion of the move. Its in # 3 or 4 I think.
Jer.
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Postby David Regal » 02/05/03 01:35 PM

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.

Someone told me that Joe Berg used a chemical since outlawed as one of the ingredients, but I don't know if this is true or not. This same person told me Joe's hands were often all messed up due to chemical burns from making gaffed decks.
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Postby Matt R » 02/05/03 01:57 PM

I think the old recipe used "Spirit Gum" (wig glue) and Alcohol, but not entirely sure. Other
solvents may work as well
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/05/03 02:48 PM

Another useful tactic is to rough only a part of the card. For example, if you rough only the middle third of the backs of the cards, they will still stick together if you do a thumb push-off near the middle, but if you push off near the end the cards will separate.

This makes a lot of R/S-based tricks a good bit more natural in appearance.

Can't remember where I learned this a while ago, but I believe it was an old idea even then.
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Postby David Regal » 02/05/03 04:29 PM

Half-roughing cards, or so-called "Super Roughing" has been written about at length by Aldini and Berg - some amazingly subtle effects are possible with this system, including but certainly not limited to a few monte effects that have been marketed over the years. Alan Shaxon has a killer application for half-roughed cards, but I can't find the solid type of rough the effect demands. I'd very much like to know of the substance(s) that produce a resilient "rough".
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Postby Andy Hurst » 02/05/03 04:51 PM

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.
[QB]
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 Sandarac
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?

Regards,

Andy Hurst.
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Postby Guest » 02/05/03 07:44 PM

I recall reading an Abbotts formula manual back in the forty's. To make roughing fluid they cooked violin rosin in alcohol.
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Postby Frank Yuen » 02/05/03 10:33 PM

The formula that a friend uses is rubbing alcohol and rosin mixed 1:1. No cooking. You have to shake it up (the rosin tends to settle) before applying.

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Postby David Regal » 02/06/03 10:11 AM

This is great information, guys. Thank you very much.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 02/06/03 10:55 AM

The only thing missing from this useful thread is the recipe for diachylon. BTW, D. J. Lonergan wrote a booklet titled DIACHYLON DECEPTIONS (1934) that was published by The Moderne Magic Studio of Chicago. Diacylon is nothing more than lead plaster. Also, let's not forget HOW IT'S DONE by Edward A. Litzau, which is the Abbott's booklet mentioned already. This booklet also has a Slicking Paste formula. Sam Berland marketed an adhesive called Wiztax, plus a bunch of tricks (20) and applications in a booklet called BERLAND'S TWENTY TRICKS WITH WIZTAX.

Over the years, there have been all kinds of Stickum used and marketed by magicians. Remember "Glue Spots"? How about "Stick-Tak"? (Charlie Kalish discovered this stuff and passed it onto Marlo, who devised many applications, which also generated a satire or two.)

I love this sort of trivia and minutia. I'm now stoked to write the definitive HISTORY OF STICKUM. I'm sure there are 10 people out there who would be interested.

Hold fast...
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Postby Guest » 02/06/03 01:55 PM

Jon:

Then there's that chapter I've always ignored in Encyclopedia of Card Tricks , "Card Mysteries Employing Diachylon" because telling me diachylon is lead plaster is absolutely meaningless. Lead plaster? Good night Nickee... Let me hawk into my spittoon, strap on my gaiters, wax up my moustache, and grab Asta, and tool down to the chemist in my Roadster.

My cynicism most likely stems from the days I wasted visiting local pharmacies in a futile search for zinc stearate (as an affordable substitute for Fanning Powder).

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/06/03 02:38 PM

I asked Max Maven to write about diachylon when I reprinted Greater magic: you can "harvest" some by (I think--and don't blame me if it doesn't work) boiling some off bandages and band-aids.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 02/06/03 07:14 PM

Lester Overton drank a quart of diachylon one Halloween while he waiting past midnight for Houdini to speak. He was last seen clinging to last straws...

So...

How many of you will sign up to read ROUGHLY SPEAKING: The History of Stickum Through the Ages?

Onward...
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Postby Ira Rush » 03/06/03 11:48 AM

Originally posted by David Regal:
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.


Genii Magazine (where else !!), Volume 23, Number 4, December 1958. In an article called "Nectar of Aladdin" by Bower High.

I really think that the recipe is somewhat of a problem in obtaining the items these days and not to mention the danger in preparing it, but here goes... one ounce stick of prepared Canada Balsam and "Lighter Fluid" .

Shave half the stick of balsam and dissolve it in about 2 to 4 ounces of the lighter fluid (Boy is this an accident waiting to happen!)

Put it into a bottle, shake it, let it stand overnight.

Anyway, here it is, for those that have the old issues check it out,

and please, please DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME... you know the drill !
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/06/03 12:08 PM

Jon:

I will definitely sign up to read ROUGHLY SPEAKING: The History of Stickum Through the Ages, despite the fact that I'm not sure roughing fluid counts as "stickum."

Interestingly, it was only a year or so ago that scientists were finally able to figure out what makes things sticky. I always thought it was just that they were, you know, sticky.

Finally they found out that the combination of a pitted surface and a thick viscous liquid creates in effect a huge number of microscopically small suction cups, which produces adhesion.
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Postby Guest » 03/07/03 11:15 PM

Hmm.... And I always thought it was just a side effect of not doing laundry often enough.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/16/03 08:19 AM

I like the hairspray method best, but don't forget the other half of the equation -- you have to also make some surfaces slippery.

I've tried various things, including auto wax with teflon (however this tends to take some of the ink off). The traditional, "fanning poweder," is zinc sterate -- but even though it works, it attracts dirt.

However, I'm on the track of what could be perfect and I will report.

Rough and smooth decks also work better if they are warm, so always keep them in an inside pocket.
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Postby Guest » 03/16/03 01:18 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
I like the hairspray method best, but don't forget the other half of the equation -- you have to also make some surfaces slippery. [...]
Many people have complained that the hairspray method doesn't work for them, but that is probably because they have failed to first shampoo and condition thoroughly.

Also, I'm pretty sure I read Ganson to recommend "Simoniz" brand paste car wax for the smooth half of the equation. Unfortunately, while the brand still exists, the formula may have been changed to protect the innocent.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby Jim Riser » 03/17/03 08:50 AM

Back in 1971 I was at Ron Haines' House of Cards in Norwood (where my grandmother lived). It was his house, of course, and card motif was seen everywhere - even in the refrigerator. Ron was an amazingly nice person. Anyway, Ron was thinking of retiring and hoping I'd be interested in buying his business and was showing me around. Down in a side closet off of his basement was a small spray booth and vacuum system. Ron told me that this is where he sprayed his rough/smooth decks. He had a rack with strips for holding all 52 cards in a deck. The cards were placed side by side on this wooden rack and sprayed with a commercial spray gun. The overspray behind the rack was about 3" thick! Ron sprayed lots of decks. He did not mix any special solutions. The substance he used was ordered from a chemical supply company and came in 5 gallon cans. He had around 6 of these cans nearby. I did not write down the chemical name at the time and over the past 30 some years have forgotten its long name. It most likely was something you would not want to play with anyway. Chemicals were handled a lot more loosely in those days. I just add the above info to add a little "color" to this thread.
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Postby Guest » 03/17/03 11:30 AM

From what I understand the best mix going is made by a fellow at Magic Inc in Chicago.
Steve V
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Postby Todd Robbins » 03/17/03 11:44 PM

You know, this formula for Roughing Fluid, when mixed with ginger ale makes a refreshing summer time drink.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/17/03 11:59 PM

:)

Is it just me, or is it really cool to have the world's greatest geek here?

(Notice I said "greatest" not "richest")
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 03/28/03 02:42 PM

While browsing the aisles of a hardware store a couple years ago, I happened upon an interesting alternative to roughing fluid. The product solved a few gaffing issues for me, so I thought I'd share it with you guys.

It's called "Plastidip Clear Spray" and is manufactured by Performix:

http://www.plastidip.com/consumer/c_productsheet.pdf

Plastidip Spray leaves a clear thin coat of rubber on the card. Yet, it isn't sticky at all. When dry, this rubberized surface provides just enough friction to keep cards stuck together during a spread.

Naturally, this means that if you want a pair to adhere, you'll only need to treat one card. It also means that the cards don't emit that awful scraping noise typical with conventional roughing fluids. It's virtually silent.

Plastidip certainly shouldn't be a considered any better or worse than traditional roughing fluids. However, it does have unique properties worth exploiting.
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Postby Guest » 05/25/03 04:06 PM

I happen to have a can of Winsor & Newton artist's workable fixative. This one is for pastel, pencil and charcoal. It provides protective coating to your drawings and it's colorless. Hmmm, this stuff is not sticky, dries super fast, and does not leave dull finish on a card. I will experiment with it and let you know, so far I've applied it once to cards and it worked however I didn't apply enough of this stuff, I will try a heavier coat next time.11 OZ. can of this product goes for about $8.

Searching for roughing materials under my kitchen sink! I found a can of Niagra spray starch original "professional finish crisp classic look" LOL
Well, I got opposite result to rough. card became super slippery and there is no residue or dirt. But instead of spraying it directly next time I will spray it on a cloth or something like that and try to rub and polish it in. I will let you know the results...
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Postby Guest » 05/26/03 05:25 AM

Testor's Dull Cote 1260 spray IS roughing spray!

Most magic shops just slap a new label on the Testor's can and triple the price.

Dull Cote is used to matte-finish model card, boats, etc. because the high-gloss enamel finish is usually too shiny to look authentic (never mind that the car, boat, or whatever is only about one-one-thousandth the size; I mean, how unauthenic is THAT!). LOL!
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Postby Guest » 05/26/03 11:23 AM

I've heard it suggested that for an Invisible Deck it's easier to use if one masks off the middle 1" of each card. This unroughed band across each card facilitates the separation of the required cards.

Now, if one already has a common-or-garden fully roughed ID, what's the best way (if any) to "unrough" such a band? Silicone polish? Or what?

Any ideas gratefully received.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 06/11/03 04:01 PM

I would chime in my 2 bits and advise the Ascanio Spread solution. I am by no means against gaffs, but, the Ascanio Spread is such a joy to use and miracles are possible with it.

For a cool one handed Ascanio handling check out Bernard Bilis's book "French Pasteboards". The sleight is entitled "Electric Spread".

I am uncertain whether this book is still in print so you may want to check with one of the better magic dealers or a used book seller such as H&R.

Regards,
Vlad
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Postby Guest » 07/11/03 11:20 AM

Originally posted by Craig Matsuoka:
...It's called "Plastidip Clear Spray" and is manufactured by Performix:
http://www.plastidip.com/consumer/c_productsheet.pdf ...
Erm, on that same page they have a product called Super Grip, maybe that would work?
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Postby Magic Ian » 07/21/03 05:18 AM

You can imitate the effects of roughing fluid on any single card instantly and impromptly using a simple method described in my book "best Dam Tricks" 1980 (also in current editions "Rubber penetration tricks").
Cut a 1/4" to 1/2" piece of washed rubber dam (powder removed). place that on the top of any card.
Have the card or cards you wish to hide placed on top of the piece of rubber. The rubber will emulate roughing fluid by binding the cards if you put slight pressure on them, thus a fan of the cards will hide them. Just flick off the rubber when finished.
-Magic-Ian www.stagetricks.com
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Postby troublewit » 07/21/03 08:59 AM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
I like the hairspray method best, but don't forget the other half of the equation -- you have to also make some surfaces slippery.

I've tried various things, including auto wax with teflon (however this tends to take some of the ink off). The traditional, "fanning poweder," is zinc sterate -- but even though it works, it attracts dirt.

However, I'm on the track of what could be perfect and I will report.

Rough and smooth decks also work better if they are warm, so always keep them in an inside pocket.
Bob, I am looking for something to "slick" some cards, in the fashion of teflon wax, etc. (not zinc stearate) you said you were close to a solution which might work. Any suggestion? Thanks, Christopher
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 09:49 AM

Greetings to all; this is my first post.
Diachylon's solvent is described by Hilliard in Greater Magic as being Carbon Tetrachloride. This was (until the 1970s) a common hardware-store solvent and was often used for home dry cleaning. Benzine was also used for that purpose and was also a common hardware-store item. Both were removed from the household market because they are seriouly carcinogenic and their fumes also cause liver damage.
Many of the old recipies are no longer usable because the ingredients are not easy to obtain. Even if you can obtain them, lead compounds and carcinogenic organic solvents should probably not be used unless you have the proper safety equipment.
Testor's Dull Coat is $2.87/can in the toy department at my local Walmart and works very well.
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Postby Guest » 09/04/03 10:14 PM

Mr. Kim,

What Mr. Kim needs is a method to spread 4 cards appearing to actually be 3 cards.

Applying some saliva (as in one of Regals books and Blaines book) on the 2nd card from the top of the 4 card packet will cause the two to stick together for a short amount of time.

I tried it minutes ago and it works like a charm.

Hope this helps...
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Postby Guest » 09/07/03 09:55 PM

For what it's worth. I recently made up a custom rough & smooth deck using Krylon Matte Finish, #1311, as recommended by mentalist/manufacturer Mark Strivings.
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