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Topic: Gaff making: DMT recommendations?
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 24, 2009 01:17PM)
My latest attempt in my long run of failures at making gaff cards involved using Dry Mounting Tissue. I finally managed to track down a pack of Bienfang ColorMount DMT, wich gave me some pretty dismal results. Again the gaffs are buckled and nothing seems to make the warped split cards flat again. (See attached photo for a good laugh.)

The DMT in question is intended for RC color photographs and I suspect that this may be the explanation as to why it doesn't stick properly to my split cards. Flex them a little and a crunchy sound is heard as the stiff (too stiff) DMT starts to come loose.

Should I look for DMT for fiber based (Baryte) photo paper? I assume that this will closer match the open paper surface of the split cards than the Color RC DMT, which is more for modern more plastic like photo paper. But I don't want to buy more stuff now that might possibly work.

I already have all the DVDs and literature needed on the subject of gaff making, but I have no way of getting advanced things like presses here. So I will have to make do with a household iron.

What I would like to know is if any amateur who does not sell any products related to gaff making has ever managed to make a perfect double facer using DMT and a regular old iron. If so, what kind of DMT was used and can it be bought here in Europe?
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Jun 24, 2009 01:56PM)
Noobini, can you get (find) rubber cement (as recommended in Martini's DVD, "The Art of Card Splitting")? I use this all the time and have had excellent results.

Dom :) ;)
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 24, 2009 02:09PM)
Dom, I started out using Rubber Cement which gave me equally bad results. Rubber Cement is not intended for paper and there were some discoloration to most of my rubber cement gaffs. Also, I'm looking at an old unused gaff now and it is coming apart at the edges. All the other ones were so bad that I threw them away.

Also, with Rubber Cement I have gotten the same poor results with a wrinkle forming across the card when it has been handled and flexed a little. The halves never fully fused all over and the thin side will always wrinkle when the card is bent. I get this with the DMT gaffs as well.

And of course, I never did lick the problem of diagonal curling using that technique either. Once split the halves are forever inclined to curl up, as a lot of other gaff makers have written about in other threads in the past. I was hoping that the heat and pressure of the iron would flatten the DMT gaffs, but no. Being based on one thin and and one thick side, they will all curl in one direction when heated.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Jun 24, 2009 02:23PM)
Send a pm to martini and tell him the problems you are having he should be able to help you out.
Message: Posted by: jordanl (Jun 24, 2009 03:02PM)
Best-test rubber cement was recommended to me by a friend who makes excellent gaff cards, I do not know if it is available in Europe.

Message: Posted by: Carducci (Jun 24, 2009 03:34PM)
I think the problem is rubber cement means different things in different countries (the very fact that you say rubber cement is not intended for paper proves this).

When I lived in europe, it took me years to find anything that resembled rubber cement in the US. There were adhesives [i]called[/i] rubber cement, or that [i]looked like[/i] rubber cement, but I got the same dismal results that you did. This is what I found eventually [url]http://www.discountart.co.uk/_Studio_Gum_cat_149.html[/url] and it worked very well.

One of the hallmarks of rubber cement is that it [i]won't[/i] wrinkle.

Your best bet is to find your local equivalent to american Rubber Cement.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 24, 2009 04:56PM)
As I cannot find my stash of Rubber Cement (I put the tubes in a safe place so I would know where to find them), I cannot read exactly what the label said. The tubes were however the only rubber cement I have found in Norway at all so I never had a choice.

You may very well be right, Carducci. It is possible that the adhesive you speak of is what is called either Contact Glue or Mounting Glue here (skillfully translated from Norwegian) and those products do not mention paper of any kind among their many recommended uses.

I could never import US or UK rubber cement here as it is toxic and it would mean a huge tax and lots of paperwork. I don't remember the details but I did check that out at one point. So that is not an option, I'm afraid. If it's not on the shelves here (few things are as people here don't generally make anything, they buy readymade).

I thank you all for your information and advice! But I have read several comments in the past from people who say they have gotten better/cleaner/snappier results with DMT, so I would like to explore that route further.
Message: Posted by: edh (Jun 24, 2009 06:48PM)
Pete Biro also has some insight on the use of DMT. You might want to send him a PM.
Message: Posted by: edh (Jun 24, 2009 06:59PM)
BTW do you have the booklet called the Gaff Factory? Is this what you're Using?

[b]Bienfang/Seal’s Colormount 8” x 10”.[/b]
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 24, 2009 07:01PM)
Hmmm. I see now that I have overlooked the possibility of using only the thin card sides and more than one layer of DMT. I have used one thin and one thick side. How could I have missed that? I mean, I read it and then my brain filtered it out somehow. Probably because I have used both thick and thin together for the Rubber Cement trials. Perhaps this will resolve the issue of the curl of the cards based on different thickness sides with different tension.

edh, yes this is what I'm using. But there are more than one type of those with the same name and label, intended for different surfaces, plastic coated or fiber based papers.
Message: Posted by: edh (Jun 24, 2009 07:19PM)
Please let us know how you make out.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 24, 2009 07:52PM)
Yes, I suppose if I buy an iron myself I wouldn't have to go across town to make up a gaff. Things would progress quicker.

Perhaps I could rig up something, like a converted toast or waffle iron that actually presses and heats on both sides. Still... there would be no temperature selection option on any of those. An iron at least lets you choose between cotton, wool and linen. :)
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Jun 24, 2009 11:38PM)
That's sort of a good idea! Some of the more upscale waffle irons (At least here in the states) actually have a dial thermostat right on the iron itself. A little fussing aroung and making a few plates and figuring out the temps, and that would probably work great!

At least it may be something to try.

Thanks for the idea Noobini!

Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Jun 25, 2009 06:13AM)

This is what Martini recommends in his DVD. Note that there are two formulas and Martini recommends the Non-Wrinkling formula. As I have stated before, I use this brand (I buy it at Wal-Mart) and I get excellent results.

When you apply the cement you must apply a THIN layer on both substrates and allow COMPLETE drying before assembly. Also you MUST clamp the gaff between two flat pieces of metal or plastic. I use two 1/4" thick pieces of Plexiglass and a spring clamp to flatten the gaff over night.

Dom :) ;)
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 25, 2009 08:54AM)
Dom, there are no Walgreens or Wal-Marts in Norway. (much like there are no Jernia or Clas Ohlson in the States). ;)

You bring up a good point about the drying prior to assembly. I read this only a few days ago and I'm fairly certain that I never did that in my Rubber Cement experiments.
Message: Posted by: Carducci (Jun 27, 2009 11:20AM)
You've got a different rubber cement, I doubt that would help in this case. See if that art supply place in the UK will ship to Norway.

On another note, if you wanted to heat from both sides, you could use foil. In this case, put foil (shiny side up) on the board, then the cards, then the iron. The foil will reflect some of the heat.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jul 8, 2009 04:28AM)
Art of Card Splitting DVD.


"As an added bonus “Martini” demonstrates the most famous packet tricks that use gimmicked cards and explains how to make & perform them"
Message: Posted by: slim23 (Jul 8, 2009 11:14AM)
I do a lot of gaff cards using the techniques I found in Martini's DVD, "The Art of Card Splitting". There are two types of rubber cement.
I tried two version Elmer's rubber cement.
The one with Craft bond written on it whitch is suppose to be adequate for paper did the wrinkles you wrote about.
The one that works best is E904, as Martini as said.
In canada, it was impossible to find so I went to Elmer's website to find a number that fits. In my case, it was 61518. The stores have better ressources to find product equivalence. The point is you could find something on their site for Norway. With this rubber cement, everything work out find and I did not need to iron thecards. Only put them in clamps for 48 hours. I use them everytime. Of course, they will were out faster. But for my part, I needed other kinds of DF to do Vernon's mental force described by Hugard.

Hope this helps( although you look like you alresady tried )

Message: Posted by: Magiguy (Jul 8, 2009 11:01PM)
If you want to use DMT (which I personally LOVE), do yourself a favor and invest in one of Todd Lassen's [url=http://www.toddlassen.com/coins/lrg/card_gaft.jpg]Gaffing Genii's[/url].

The DMT and release paper I purchase is from [url=http://www.filmsourceinc.net/]Film Source, Inc. [/url]
Message: Posted by: QuailCreek (Jul 14, 2009 10:57PM)
Great information. I found this thread as I was looking for a place to buy gaffed cards. I'd much rather be able to develop my own.

Magiguy, do you think you could spare some time to get me started in the right direction? Fellow Washingtonian and all.

Message: Posted by: Magiguy (Jul 15, 2009 08:30PM)
Happy to help out. :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Tucker (Aug 3, 2009 05:05PM)
Don't bother making your own gaff cards. CALL MARTINI HE IS THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS.
Message: Posted by: QuailCreek (Aug 3, 2009 08:45PM)
You're right, Marty is great at making gaffed cards and he also makes the best rising card gimmick in the business. Neil over at Cards By Martin also does an incredible job at splitting and making gaffed cards. I have cards and decks from both of them. But making your own just provides another level of satisfaction and customization. And actually on this thread we're talking more about DMT and printing gaffed cards.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Aug 30, 2009 10:36AM)
Well, I have continued my experiments in gaff making using Dry Mounting Tissue and I can now say with absolute certainty that the Bienfang ColorMount RC DMT cannot be used for joining split playing cards.

This DMT isn't completely flat, it has a wrinkled texture and it just doesn't bond completely with the card halves and there are bubbles and uneven patches all over the card. Flex the card a little and the card crackles as the DMT comes loose. (It is intended for plastic coated paper)

So does anyone know of any brand of DMT which will work and which is sold in EUROPE? I don't need more DVDs or equipment, just a DMT which will bond completely with the paper surface of a split card.
Message: Posted by: Magiguy (Sep 2, 2009 10:35PM)
On 2009-08-30 11:36, The Amazing Noobini wrote:
So does anyone know of any brand of DMT which will work and which is sold in EUROPE? I don't need more DVDs or equipment, just a DMT which will bond completely with the paper surface of a split card.

Are you saying that Film Source (see the link provided in my previous post) does not ship to Europe? Their DMT works well for me, and their price (at least in the USA) is the best I have found.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 3, 2009 04:56AM)
Magiguy, they do ship to Europe but you have to call them on the telephone in advance. I cannot very well do things like placing international phone calls in foreign languages just to get some DMT. How are they going to handle a secure online payment if they are that backwards in technology?

There has to be a lot of options right here where I live. I just haven't found them yet.

BTW, what method do you use to apply heat and pressure for your gaffs?
Message: Posted by: Magiguy (Sep 3, 2009 12:08PM)
On 2009-09-03 05:56, The Amazing Noobini wrote:

BTW, what method do you use to apply heat and pressure for your gaffs?

I am using the Lassen Gaffing Genii. It is great for alignment and for applying uniform heat.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 3, 2009 12:16PM)
I've been wondering how that Gaff Genii works actually. It looks in the photo like the halves are put into a "mold" where they have nowhere to go? But where then does the excess DMT go? And how do you heat it?
Message: Posted by: billgarmsarmy (Sep 3, 2009 01:05PM)

I found this link elsewhere on the Café (don't remember where) where Lassen explains his Gaffing Genii and Matsuoka explains the process of using DMT briefly.

Re: heating the gaffing genii, Lassen says:
"clamp top piece on using small c-clamps. now set your iron to the highest setting and let it set flat on the top for a few minutes until you can wet your finger and the whole thing is hot. the aluminium distributes the heat fairly evenly"

I emailed Lassen a few weeks ago about getting a gaffing genii, but haven't heard anything back from him as of yet.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 3, 2009 03:40PM)
So the answer as I understand it is what I thought; that the DMT needs to be trimmed perfectly in advance or it won't fit into the genii pocket without climbing up the sides, if that explanation makes sense.

OK. I'm sure it is a great tool although you could probably have a good deal of cards custom made for the price of such a hand made specialty item.

In any case, I don't have any alignment problems because I have rather spectacular eyesight and a nifty little plastic clamp I use to hold the pieces together while tacking the surface a few places in the middle to fasten it before proper heating/pressing.

So all that is really needed is the proper DMT.

And of course I have now made around 30 failed cards which have used up my entire stash of Jokers and guarantee cards and whatnot with rare and beautiful backs. So now all gaffs would be boring old Bicycle cards anyway which I might as well buy.

This all started because I wanted a double backer to match one of my fancier decks for an effect in Mnemonica. Months later I have to simply write that project off as a failure.
Message: Posted by: Magiguy (Sep 3, 2009 09:08PM)
The smaller part of the Gaffing Genii is the exact size of a poker size card. You use it as a guide to cut out the DMT with an exacto-style blade, as well as the release paper (which is also a necessary material in the process). As a result, there is no excess paper to trim after the heating process.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan P. (Sep 4, 2009 10:21AM)
While making some tryouts in gaff-making, (I live in Europe) I just asked to a US guy if he would accept to buy a bottle of rubber cemnt and ship it to me. That was easy, rather quick and very practical. So I could buy a genuine US product without having to make complicated international order for a $5 item.

Regarding the DMT, I went to an art-craft shop and which has a "framing" department (you bring your picture and choose a frame, and the make it up for you). I politely explained my bizarre requirements and they gave me a sample of both DMT they use. So I could make my tryouts. Try to ask in the photographer shops, craft shop, and see what they have.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 4, 2009 12:17PM)
Thanks Jonathan, I think that a framing place is a good place to start asking, yes. As far as I know there are no craft or photo stores left here in Norway that would carry anything old fashioned like that.

About 5 minutes after digital photography was first introduced, every photography supply shop in my country had stopped selling paper and chemicals and that sort of thing. I actually had a mounting press which I bought maybe 15 years ago and I remember that it had to be ordered from Germany or somewhere as products like that were already extinct here.

Now even the stores where I ordered such things are all gone and it is all online shopping now, except for digital cameras and inkjet printers.

But there are still places that frame things. Although I cannot imagine that they use DMT anymore. I had some photos framed for an exhibit 3 years ago and they were using something self-adhesive then. But we'll see.
Message: Posted by: Steve Griffin (Dec 23, 2010 10:29AM)
I know I'm resurrecting a pretty old thread here, but does anyone know whether [url=http://www.fibrecrafts.com/ProductDetail.asp?Level1=1&Level2=22&Level3=0&PID=720&Action=]Bondaweb[/url] would work as an alternative to DMT? It's designed for bonding fabric together, so logically it should result in more flexible cards - should it not?
Message: Posted by: ciel (Dec 26, 2010 05:40AM)
For those in live in Europe Rubber Cement anti wrinkle is on The Card Collection web site. Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: CardMaker (Dec 26, 2010 06:14AM)
The thread is about "Gaff making: DMT recommendations?"

I believe in Seal/Bienfang. Although I have to import this at a quite horrible price.