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Topic: What do you use to get mem decks back to the one card on top?
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (May 31, 2006 08:13PM)
Hi all-
What kind of card or technique do you use for your mem decks to get them back to the one card on top- Sh##ts, corner sh##ts, breather etc?
In AronsonŐs new dvd he said he shaves a little off the side of the one card. Any thoughts on this, how do you cut it and how to use it? What do you use, how do you use it and most importantly, why do you use that method?
Thanks for the advice and the help in advance,
--Frank
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jun 1, 2006 09:24AM)
If the order of the deck is not important, then personally I'd cut short (the top) mem key card and then spray some roughing fluid or Testors dull cote on the very first top card that's in contact with the mem key card as well as the mem key card. It's easy to separate them as one card is cut short. You can do false shuffle and the two cards should remain in the same order. Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Jun 1, 2006 11:38AM)
Dennis Loomis showed me (I think maybe someone told him) his method. He uses a fine fingernail file and rubs it back and forth over the edge and grinds a shallow groove in the center portion on the edges at both ends. Mike Close trims a pretty deep half moon in the center portion of each edge. I like the Loomis method better.
Message: Posted by: sgrossberg (Jun 1, 2006 12:33PM)
Frank - the shaving of an edge of the card has been around for awhile. Indeed, you can find mention of it in the Steve Forte materials and on the DVD's by Richard Turner and Sal Piacente, for example. Candidly, I find the breather the most reliable and only use the in-stripper for plastic cards (e.g. Copag). - Scott
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 1, 2006 12:47PM)
When you guys talk about the 'edge' are you talking about the long edge of the card or the short edge? If you are talking about the long edge (this is the one I've never seen) do you just cut from the center to restore the order? I think the long edge is what Aronson was talking about on the DVD.

Also, evolve629, why rough the first two cards how does that help?

Thanks for the help guys and gals,

Frank
Message: Posted by: sgrossberg (Jun 1, 2006 01:06PM)
Frank - you use the long edge. While you only need to do this procedure on one of the edges, I actually do it to both sides (safer for me that way). It is then handled like a normal str****r d**k - the portion you grasp is just a little different. There is somewhat of a knack to getting the "feel."

For what you want to do, the breather is simpler and affords you great flexibility in handling IMO.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 1, 2006 01:53PM)
I'd go with the breather for the simple reason that it's an impromptu setup.
No sense in getting used to requiring a nail file, grinder, lathe, drill press, or roughing fluid.


Frank #2
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 1, 2006 05:03PM)
My on issue with breathers, shorts, and corner shorts, is they kind of screw up the farro shuffling. I use the memmonica stack so there is lots of farroing(is this a word?) into different stack orders. Do you have this problem? This is why I am interested in side shaving. It would seem to me that this would still allow the ends to farro well.

Thanks again,

Frank #2.5
Message: Posted by: sgrossberg (Jun 1, 2006 06:49PM)
Frank - I use faros with breathers all the time. If it remains an issue for you, perhaps you could check into Nash's Infinity Cr**p, instead. Similar to a breather but more concentrated towards the center of the card.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jun 2, 2006 08:28AM)
I use a corner crimp on the bottom card. I find it lasts longer and is a little more sure for me than a breather.


Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 2, 2006 09:47AM)
Thanks to my friend Lefty for mentioning the work I put into a card. I put it into the short ends of the top card. (Jack of Spades in the Aronson Stack.) While the work is fairly fine, I like the fact that if I glance down at the top of the deck I can see the slight scallop and I know for sure that I'm "home."

The term nail file suggests the metal objects, but I much prefer the softer and sometimes fatter files of a heavy foam material. The usually come with a fairly coarse grit on one side and a fine grit on the other. I use the coarse side for the initial work, and then finish it off with the fine side.

Frank is right that you need to carry something to do this work, but I have two comments. First, when I open a new deck I immediately put my work in and I'm usually at home where I have easy access to my files. Second, you can find these in drug stores and department stores almost anywhere for a very small cost. So, if you do find yourself without a file it's not hard to pick one up. I keep one in my van, one in my close up case, and one or more at home.

Dennis Loomis

P.S. With a scallop short, the corners are unaffected and so faro work is not impeded in any way.
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Jun 2, 2006 01:22PM)
I'll add that the nice thing about having a card with a breather, scallop or corner work put in is that you can use it for other effects outside of the context of memdeck work. These days I c.short and b.crimp the 9 of diamonds...

As for the availability of tools for putting this sort of work in, you can easily carry it in your coat if you're that worried about having an impromptu situation pop up where you don't have your own deck. Also many people have nail scissors or emory boards in the cupboard in their bathroom - I made good use of this fact a few weeks back when some one shoved their ratty old deck my way. I'd spotted it on the shelf earlier, took a card out and headed to the bathroom, so I was good to go already when handed the deck.

God forbid that anyone ever finds out how much prep work is done by magicians in the bathroom...
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 2, 2006 05:42PM)
Would love to get the real details on how people scallop the sides of the card and how they make their breather card. The way I make my breather is by running my nail on the back of the card with two fingers on face, making a gully diagonally from corner to corner and then doing the same thing going diagonally the other way. Any help or directions to a reference for scallops or breathers would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Frank
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 2, 2006 05:45PM)
Also Dennis,

I was thinking about putting a punch into the top card, right corners, so with just a feel I would know if I was home.

Thanks,
Frank
Message: Posted by: kerpa (Jun 2, 2006 05:49PM)
On a slightly related subject - anyone ever mark the backs with the stack number?
kerpa
a/k/a Michael Miller
Chicago area
Message: Posted by: Jim Mullen (Jun 2, 2006 07:07PM)
Previously I used a short corner as recommended by Don Alan and others. Don used a fingernail clipper to shorten the two index corners. However, the altered card can present a problems when using the deck for multiple effects. The comments on Faro problems are probably correct. Now I put a crimp on the non-index corner of the bottom card (when the deck is held in the dealing position). This is easy to apply with the left pinkie (for right handed magicians). This crimp is explained in many places including Bill Malone's DVD giving his great version of "Sam the Bellhop."
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 5, 2006 07:35AM)
To Frankm6,
I do use punch work for for some things (Histed Heisted Deck, Eyeless in Gaza Set Up) but it wouldn't replace the scallop short because you can't quickly and easily find the punch work when the card is lost in the deck. But, using it in addition to the scallop short is a great idea and I'm going to try it. Knowing that you're "home" by feel would have advantages.

If you're looking for a good punch, Jim Riser makes excellent one. In a pinch, however, you can put punch work into a deck with just a needle or thumbtack.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 5, 2006 03:12PM)
Dennis thanks for your response. ThatŐs what I meant: Work( sh**t, corner sh**t etc.) on the bottom card of the stack and a punch on the top card under the thumb would be a good combo. It would mean you didnŐt have to be so careful with your cuts, just cut and if you missed it, cut again with out ever looking down at the deck.

Dennis do you have problems with the scallop sh**t and farro shuffling?

Thanks,
Frank
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 14, 2006 08:23AM)
To Frankm6,
I don't do Faro work personally. But Mike Close says that the scallop cut does not interfer. He should know.

I do use a combination of scallop work and punch work in the deck for the Stephen Minch Eyeless in Gaza routine. For that, the locator card I use has scallop work on all sides of a deck. That's because I need to to be able to cut that card to either the top or bottom during the routine. In addition, I start out in Aronson Stack Order. The original Minch version uses an 18 card set-up devised for his routine, but I found I can do the whole thing with the first 18 cards in the Aronson stack. The only reason for that change is that I can reset easily since I already know the Aronson stack.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Jun 14, 2006 03:26PM)
Not in the same league as Mike Close, but I do use a faro and the "Loomis" scallop doesn't affect the faro at all. I usually scallop the "one" card (JS in Aronson's)for all my decks, just in case I want to use the stack. Also, if you are into mem decks, check out the Mem Deck solitare on Dennis' web page to get familiar with the stack.
Message: Posted by: Flying Magus (Jun 14, 2006 08:18PM)
[quote]
On 2006-06-02 18:49, kerpa wrote:
On a slightly related subject - anyone ever mark the backs with the stack number?
kerpa
a/k/a Michael Miller
Chicago area
[/quote]

Yes I've done this. I used a ***ised version of the Lesley marking system. It was good in that I always knew what card they had taken, and when in stack order I didn't need to use a glimpse to know where I was. I even played friendly card games with the deck just to see how invisible the marks were. I didn't actually cheat though. I'm not good enough at card game to do that.

Also, on the faro topic, even corner sh**ts won't adveresly affect the faro provided you put them in the correct corner. Which one that is depends on how you faro.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 15, 2006 02:49PM)
Lefty referred to the "Loomis" scallop card. In fact, it should probably be called the "Vernon" scallop short. You'll find it pictured on page 111 of Vernon's Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic.

You can put "punch" work into a deck with just your thumb nail. Glenn Bishop who is a member of this forum has out an excellent DVD on a lot of uses for punch work. If you're into this, you should get his DVD.

As far as where to put your punch work, this depends on the size and shape of your hands, how you hold the deck, and what you will be doing as you read the punches. Experiment with some old cards. The punches can be put in from either side and you need to determine if you prefer reading the cards from the faces or from the backs. For the Eyeless in Gaza Routine of Stephen Minch, the main locator card has punches in a variety of places. If you know this, consider putting the punch work into this card from both the face and back, as you will need to read this card while dealing face up and also face down.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Flying Magus (Jun 16, 2006 03:02AM)
A couple of people mention using the 52nd card a the locator. If you're using a scallop card, then how do you find it without turning the deck face-up? If you just riffle as per usual, surely you will end up with the locator on top of the deck.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 16, 2006 08:08AM)
Yes, Michel, the locator card is card number one in the Aronson Stack and ends up on top of the deck. The scallop is quite fine and there's nothing to see unless you know what you're looking for. For Eyeless in Gaza I am experimenting with a scallop in the side of the deck (in addition to the short ends( in various locations so that with the deck held in dealing position in the left hand I can riffle down from the top of the deck and cut the locator card to the bottom. For that routine, it's helpful to be able to cut the locator to both top and bottom. Of course, you can always cut it to the top and then double undercut it to the bottom.

You may prefer to scallop the bottom card in your stack so that you cut it to the bottom. Whatever works for you.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 16, 2006 08:08AM)
Yes, Michel, the locator card is card number one in the Aronson Stack and ends up on top of the deck. The scallop is quite fine and there's nothing to see unless you know what you're looking for. For Eyeless in Gaza I am experimenting with a scallop in the side of the deck (in addition to the short ends( in various locations so that with the deck held in dealing position in the left hand I can riffle down from the top of the deck and cut the locator card to the bottom. For that routine, it's helpful to be able to cut the locator to both top and bottom. Of course, you can always cut it to the top and then double undercut it to the bottom.

You may prefer to scallop the bottom card in your stack so that you cut it to the bottom. Whatever works for you.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Danny Archer (Jun 26, 2006 10:18PM)
I use the Breather ... and if you use a Breather, check out Pit Hartling's great effect called Flicker ...
Message: Posted by: Matt Pulsar (Jun 29, 2006 03:31AM)
I pull down the corner of the bottom card with my pinky. And then if I need to get back in 1-52 order I am just a charlier cut away. A good refrence for this is Bill Malone doing his "Sam the Bellhop," there are so many good false shuffles and card control ideas in his teaching of this routine. I have done the shortened corner. I use this more in more rigged deck. At Staples you can find a corner rounder punch for doing scrapbooks that workd perfectly.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jun 30, 2006 09:32AM)
I've always used breathers, a breather on card #1 and a reverse breather on card #52 as insurance, plus my memorized deck is marked so with a glance I can verify that card #1 is on top.
Message: Posted by: clamon86 (Jul 7, 2006 11:26PM)
I spread through face up, and cut the deck at the point. Why do anything complicated to do acomplish something so simple. I've tried crimps before and they work but only up to a certain point and then it wears out or the card is creased. I cut directly to it.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 8, 2006 01:35PM)
I use a ProControl card. There's a book written about it by Gary Ouellet. I can easily sense it by touch, yet spectators don't notice it when they handle the deck - doesn't seem possible, but that's the case.
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Jul 11, 2006 03:29AM)
A little off topic but some people mentioned marked cards along with a knowen stack. I know some people will think that maybe this is obvious, even if the marks aren't that well hidden, but let me share a small story. I was practicing the Tamarez stack one day at the bus stop and 20 highschool kids found out I did magic and asked me to perform. All I had on me was my deck that I had drawn all over. When somebody asked why they had markings all over them (they only noticed the front, although the backs were marked too with the stack position) one other girl said "He must have lost his coloring book". Which was perfect and made for a bit of a joke. Later on another kid was present who wasn't before and asked why they were marked and I said "I lost my coloring book" and he took that as a valid explanation.

So I doubt your small pencil marks are going to be seen, or cared about. :)
Message: Posted by: Jonathan P. (Jul 12, 2006 06:28AM)
Regarding the scallop, You can have two key-cards: one trimmed in the short ends, one trimmed in the long edges. Two locators in one single deck. That is Joshua Jay's way to set his mem-deck up.
Message: Posted by: uri (Jul 16, 2006 06:54PM)
You know, I never thought of using this, but the cards got so used to their positions that if I give my deck a charlier cut it will set everything back in order...
Plus, the top card's back design got a little blurry where my left thumb contacts it, so I have a marked card as well...
But I tend to use the same deck for a looooong time, so I'm not sure how practical this is, but I found it amusing...
Message: Posted by: teejay (Jul 16, 2008 04:08AM)
Sorry for being a bit ignorant but:
Is the purpose of the exercise to get your number one mem card to the top of the deck? Why all the trouble?
Surely you can just glimpse the bottom card and work it out?
The 2 effects that I use the deck for, I let them cut the deck and work from there
I am rather puzzled because I have memdeck and I am also always looking for more
info. My deck is a journey/memory one. So I know that 28 is AH and vice versa.
If the 2H is on the bottom then AH is 14th card from the top
Perhaps the above work is necessary for other stacks?
:)
Message: Posted by: churken (Jul 16, 2008 10:03AM)
I too use a corner short. Actually I use two. I have corner shorted #52 almost since I started using a memdeck, and after seeing Joshua Jay's lecture, I started corner shorting #27. The two shorts in conjunction make estimation a lot easier. At least for me.

Paul
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jul 18, 2008 09:46AM)
To Teejay,
Well, yes, you can always "work it out." But some effects require that you begin in "home" position and it's very handy to be able to just cut the deck without any glimpse and to be there.

In fact, I would warn those that do routines with a mem-deck that it's not wise to always cut the deck back to home position. The spectators should not see the same bottom card (#52) on the face of the deck repeatedly as it's a giveaway that something is not right. On my web site, I give the details of how I move around in the mem-deck to get to where I need to be using the Hay mow shuffle. For example, to do my Prediction a la Kruskal, you need to start with the 5D on the bottom of the deck. (In Aronson Stack, it's the 27th card.) This is easily done in two ways: my "Hay Mow" technique, or just cutting the deck from home position a la a Faro initial cut, and then moving one card from the bottom half to the top.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jul 19, 2008 08:32AM)
I think it's a matter of taste... I prefer to use only a regular deck as I often give the deck away (as an gift), one strategy to destroy any thoughts of marked cards or similar ideas which are occuring so often doing MD routines. If you can estimate well I would always suggest to cut and glimpse only. There are many routines in which it's not crucial to have the bottom 5 or 6 cards in order. In such cases I cut these (approximately) amount of cards from the bottom to the top and reshuffle them back to the bottom using an overhand shuffle. As the cards are getting reversed in this process you have the effect of different cards at the bottom. Jan
Message: Posted by: TerrorInt (Jan 11, 2014 10:47PM)
The weirdest way I ever did it was to fan the deck to show they are not in any order, which was a guise to find the first card. Then in closing the fan, keeping a break and then doing a turn-over pass to reassemble the deck with the correct card first.

It sounds a little indirect, but it works really well.