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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Belt sander to make Svengali decks? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

revlovejoy
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Pennsylvania
765 Posts

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Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous. but has anyone tried it? If one has no access to a serious cutter, could this be an option if you could bind a few decks together really tightly?
biff_g
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Canada
240 Posts

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I tried once... and failed miserably. The cards simply aren't hard enough, so the edges get pretty hashed. If you were making a Svengali deck and didn't have a good paper cutter, you'd probably be better off just using a good pair of scissors.
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Even with fine grit paper the speed will just be too fast and the cardboard lacks proper grain, not a good idea.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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If you just want a Svengali deck or two, you'd be better off just to buy them, but if you want to make decks unavailable elsewhere, you might invest in an inexpensive paper cutter, such as those available at Staples. Attach a stop block to serve as a jig, and you can cut the cards identically, one after the other. It can be time consuming, but sometimes that's the best way to get something you can't find on the market. This is not practical if you want to make many decks, and is not economical if you only want to make one or two of something you can easily buy from a dealer.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
MickeyPainless
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Inner circle
California
6074 Posts

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I made a stripper using a belt sander once but it burnt the cards slightly. I was able to scrape the burnt corner but I think most of these decks are cheap enough to just buy! LOL
ClintonMagus
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Southwestern Southeast
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I have never seen sanding belts fine enough to use for something like this. If I were going to try it with a sander, I would use a bench-type disc sander with a speed control and a very fine sanding disc.

I would construct a jig from 1/2" plywood and some bolts, with an alignment block built in. Put in a stack of cards, align them properly, tighten the bolts so the cards can't move, and put it against the sander using light strokes.

If you have access to a multi-purpose tool such as a ShopSmith, You can fasten the jig to the tabletop and quill feed the sanding disc against the cards rather than feeding the cards against the disc.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
revlovejoy
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Pennsylvania
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Thanks for all the experienced input folks. I won't go the belt sander way.

I have 100 decks of cheap cards that I bought some time ago at Sam's club. I figured this could be a way to make up a ton of Svengalis someday. I took the whole lot to a print shop to be cut and the guy just never got to the project so I took them home. I think now that I have them all divided, the paper cutter route is best, as I have one in my office. I can do a couple at a time for when I need them for giveaways.
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
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What about a radial arm saw? I've never tried it, but thought that it might be worth a shot. Anyone else ever try to trim a stack of them with a radial arm saw?
ClintonMagus
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Whatever you do, you will have to clamp the cards together very tightly, or the edges will rip.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
MCM
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Minnesota
455 Posts

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OK, I just get this image of cards being launched into the air via a belt sander. Sorry, just had to post this Smile
rhiro
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Southern California
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Another data point for the Anti-Belt Sander Party:

I once bought a gaffed deck from a highly reputable name in magic. The deck relies on L and S cards to work. I couldn't get the trick to work, and neither could the trick's creator! (I showed it to him during one of his lectures.) He later did some investigation and discovered to his horror that his vendor was using a belt sander to fabricate these decks.

On a separate note, I do like MCM's idea of an accidental Card Fountain... Smile

Ross
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Just a note on the large guillotine cutters at print shops... I have used one to cut long short decks before. Fortunately, I was friends with some folks that ran a Mom & Pop print shop.

They obviously have a clamp that must be tightened to lock the deck into position, but getting the deck into position was a real trick in itself. The deck must be perfectly square when it is clamped, or your cuts will not work.

To do this, the deck must be squared along two adjacent sides. The cutter provided one... the side wall. Either this, or the bed will have measuring marks on it. It does no good to eyeball the measurements. The deck will slide askew when clamping. You can't hold the deck itself, or your hand will be in the way when the clamp gets tightened, and the overhang (the part you wish to trim away) is obviously not enough to grip.

I had to make a jig from pieces of cards that would square the end opposite where I wanted to cut. The jig had to be exactly the same height as a deck, in order to square all the cards equally, but could not be any taller, or the clamp would crush it before clamping the deck, moving things out of square. It was not a real easy process, as I recall.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
DStachowiak
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Baltimore, MD
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I remember reading about the sanding method somewhere years ago. The author (I can't recall who it was) said the deck should be clamped tightly between two pieces of wood, so you would be sanding the wood and the cards at the same time.
Another book mentioned a printer's guillotine, which (from Michael's experience above) is not without its own problems.
It sounds doing this on a small scale really isn't worth it, unless you are inventing a new effect or special deck, in which case you might want to do it to make a prototype.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On 2008-01-30 01:33, DStachowiak wrote:
It sounds doing this on a small scale really isn't worth it, unless you are inventing a new effect or special deck, in which case you might want to do it to make a prototype.


That's pretty much the whole point. Using the print shop cutter was a one time experience for me. I have however, used my own cutter for making things that are simply unavailable elsewhere... and the process can sometimes get tedious. The point is, you won't make special decks any more economically, or efficiently than you can buy them, assuming they can be purchased at all. In these other cases, you just need to make the decision on how much you want to see your idea in the flesh, and how happy you can remain knowing that you have a one of a kind item (or a few of a kind). Making entire decks with any intent to market, by cutting one card at a time... let's just say there are better ways to make a living. LOL
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Tate
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NC
211 Posts

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Some time ago I played around with cutting my own cards for a Svengali deck and came up with this method. Get a pair of Fiskar-type scissors, the kind where the blades are basically one-eighth inch flat metal. In other words, not the kind that gets fatter as it goes away from the cutting edge.

If you are right-handed, place a two or three inch refrigerator magnet on the outside of the right hand blade. This acts as a stop for the playing card. Since the blade is one-eighth inch, the cuts you make will be one-eighth inch. You hold the card with your left hand and -snip- drop it and go to the next one. I think this method will go more quickly than using a paper cutter.

I haven't tried this in a while, so I'm writing from memory. You may need something stronger than a frig magnet.

Tate
billy charisma
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You mention "give aways" why would you want to give the secret of your card magic away to punters!! magicians generaly just buy a deck or 2 of gaffed cards for personal use, if you have "cheap" decks , why invest time in making anything from them? just give them away as packs of cards, then the victim will not be able to copy you, making you look even better"!!
if you are thinking of making a bit of cash by selling them , then just buy a bulk load of Svengalis from a chinese importer, you cant compete with the price,
I always use red bikes so wont want one of your decks thanks!!!
hello everybody,,
oso2you
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Oregon
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Waaaaaay too dangerous on a radial arm saw. You couldn't get a fine enough blade anyway.
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