(Close Window)
Topic: Woodbury’s cloth covering method
Message: Posted by: omnibozo (Jan 7, 2002 12:45AM)
If you have used Rand Woodbury's method of covering wood with cloth via diluted glue, please share some insights as to how well the process worked for you. Does it crack? Does it absorb moisture? Have you tried clear enamal spray over it? Have you tried the technique on corrigated plastic? On foam core board?

Thanks for the info...
Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 8, 2002 12:43PM)
I will post since others have not. I do not know the exact Woodbury method, but I have used a thin coat of clear glue, diluted, to attach fabric to plywood. It works very well. I have attached the fabric and then put clear spray on it too. It seems to hold up better than paint, tougher. It will, if hit with something sharp, tear but it takes quite a hit. I would say the glued fabric is tougher than fabric would be or paint would be.... a good choice for many coverings.

I suspect Thomas Wayne could give you some excellent advice on this.

Message: Posted by: Mary B. (Jan 8, 2002 01:22PM)
Hi Magicduck, do you put a sealer on the wood before the glue coat, or just glue on the bare plywood?

:patty: Mary B.
Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 9, 2002 09:56AM)
Actually, since you are getting specific, I have done it both ways. I have thinned clear drying permanent wood glue (like Elmers) and put the fabric on the plywood. It has to be smoothed when you put it down and then check it again later to get any wrinkles out as it starts to set. I have also used tacky glue which, when dry is very strong although it is not "officially" waterproof. It does stick cloth and wood very well and it tells how to thin it on the bottle of some tacky glue's. Unless you are submerging your prop it is plenty waterproof for me.

As far as sealing: When I have put a fairly course fabric, say a burlap for some item, over a piece of wood, I will first paint the wood about the same color as the cloth. If you do not do that, the "light" color will be seen thru the cloth and that does not look good. That works fine too.

I think, as long as you use a glue that is good for wood and fabric, you can get by quite well just directly applying it. I have also, on occassion, used fabric on metal or plastic. It works well there too but requires a different glue, such as shoe goo, and lots of smoothing and no smearing. This is not as forgiving as wood/fabric.

Message: Posted by: Mary B. (Jan 9, 2002 10:05AM)
Yeah, I've found that one of those rollers like they use for glueing formica works well for smoothing any "bubbles" between the cloth and the surface. I've never made magic props with this technique, but I make a lot of other kinds of things. I'm sure the technique would work the same for props.

:patty: Mary B.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Jan 9, 2002 01:27PM)
Okay, Duck, I gotta tell ya I HATE giving this one up...

Go to a dedicated Crafts store, like "Michael's", or a similar chain branch, and find a product called "Mod Podge". It's a PVC adhesive/coating - very similar to Elmers Glue - but it comes in a wide mouthed bottle and is formulated specifically for spreading with a brush; foam brushes work well.

Although I always use automotive catalyzed polyuerethane to finish large props, I have used the above material to laminate fabric to wood, leather to leather and a number of other incredible bonding applications.


Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Jan 9, 2002 02:56PM)
Interesting Thomas. I have a bottle of that at home. I have used it to decoupage (sp?) some items. I turned a block that I use for a rope release into a block with pictures of Houdini. It makes the effect about 100 times better with a good patter line. It is more logical for a block that belonged to Houdini to be escaping than a big "die." I have used that glue for other things too, always on wood or cardboard, but not for that purpose. It is a great material.

By the way would be and experienced builders, Thomas is a master craftsman, and not just in magic circles. He makes custom wood items that sell individually for as much as some people earn in a year--take advantage of his tips. He is very well-rounded in all areas as far as I can tell, and I have been building for about 40 years myself. His base of knowlege is extensive.

Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Apr 18, 2002 01:11PM)
not to be a know it all.. but just to set things straight.
Mod Podge and Elmers glue are not PVC glue (polyvinylchloride)
they are PVA (polyvinlyacetate).
These glues are nontoxic to the point that they could be eaten and are not waterproof... they turn white when exposed to high moisture. They are good enough for most every illusionary use though and it's nice to hear that magicians are covering their props with something other than naugahyde and glitter paper....
I've been an advocate for more organic looking props since far before it was popular ( I started rebelling in the chrome obsessed early 80's.)
Best of luck to anyone that makes their magic look less like a magician's prop.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Apr 19, 2002 01:37PM)
You are correct about it being PVA, something I've known for many years; in my haste I made a typo...

Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: David Freeman (May 6, 2002 12:55PM)
What dilution do you use for "diluted glue"?
I have some props that need "fixin'"!


Message: Posted by: Magicduck (May 16, 2002 04:15PM)
It depends on what you are fixing. If you are fixing wood, something like Elmers wood glue, or even plain Elmer's white, will work and I use them full strength. The white dries clear which is helpful.

If you are attaching fabric, I use Tacky Glue usually. I do not dilute it much. Often not at all but sometimes up to maybe 15% water. I put glue in a bowl and add water, slowly, till it feels right...which is hard to describe.

Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (May 18, 2002 10:23PM)
On 2002-05-16 17:15, Magicduck wrote:
[...] I put glue in a bowl and add water, slowly, till it feels right...which is hard to describe.


But you know it when you see it, right?

Message: Posted by: Magicduck (May 20, 2002 09:16AM)
Yep! Feel it, see it.

Message: Posted by: jorgini (May 23, 2002 05:16PM)
FYI, FOLKS- This is an old and reliable theatrical technique for making flats and sealing the muslin....and, of course, for sealing muslin to the wood, and for covering wood ...so for added info and techniques, directions, etc, you might check out the theatrical books on the subject of scenery building...