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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Gaffed & Funky » » The "splitting" in card splitting (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ThePhilosopher
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Menlo Park, CA
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I searched a bit, but could not find the answer to a question I have. I have struggled to make my own gaffed cards. I am using bicycles, but cannot get them to split well. The thinner side always tears. Can anyone give some advice or point me to a previous thread. Thanks.
- Nathan
Woland
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There is a DVD featuring Mr. Marty Grams (Martini's Magic) teaching how to make gaffs, including split cards. He is a master, so the instruction is probably good.
ThePhilosopher
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That's actually the one I have, but I feel like I am missing something...
- Nathan
Steven Keyl
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If you've watched that DVD a couple of times then the only thing you're probably missing is practice. Sit down in front of the TV with a whole deck and try to just get one good split card out of it. I've been splitting cards for quite a while and I still tear probably 1 out of every three or four. I don't do it much now with the cost and quality of printed gaffs being so low, for both commercially produced DIY cards.

The first time I really sat down to work with it, I probably went through a dozen or more before I successfully split one. Just keep at it and it will come. Good luck!
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Chris
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lybrary.com
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I have to second Steven's comments. I used to split cards in the past but have completely stopped doing this in favor of printing my own gaffs and entire decks.
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
k
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Marseille
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I have found that by soaking the cards in boiling water for 5 minutes, they just come apart very easily.

You'll find the inside is black (i think it's the glue, so by putting back the gaff you want, they stick again together without adding extra glue.

Be sure to let them dry on a flat surface covered by some books, of card press.

Worked for me.
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DelMagic
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I noticed a color difference in the cards when I used the boiling technique - though admittedly that was decades ago.
viler
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Norway
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The age of the cards makes a difference too.
My experience is that newer cards are easier to split.
Irishghost
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To split the card correctly I use the dry split way, then press the card stock. Water only discolours the cards.
I get to gaff some cool stuff for some cool people
ThePhilosopher
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Thanks for all the advice!
- Nathan
Chris
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It is not the water that discolors the cards but the black glue in the middle. The color leaches out into the water and then stains everything else. If you want to go the water-assisted route I suggest to do it over steam. Soak a card in steam rather than water and it will split very easily, too.

However, water and steam do change the structure of the cardboard. The card will not have exactly the same snap and spring to it once it got in contact with water.

I have mentioned this several times before. The fastest and surest way to 'split' a card is to polish off one side with a belt sander. This has worked very well for me in the past. Nevertheless, now it is all printing for me.
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
ggarcia
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A couple of key tips to splitting a card.

first is if the card is a new card, soften the corner youre going to split by bending it back and forth a few times. you will be able to tell by feel that it is a lot softer then the rest of the card.

give the corner a few light taps on a hard surface to break the layers. I also give the corner a slight rolling action away from the layer that will be the thin layer.

with my finger nail I then begin to seperate the thin layer. once it starts to peel away I place the thin corner over the edge of a table and hold it with the right thumb against the side of the table. with my left index finger and thumb I grab the thick layer and peel it back.

now here is the key to keep the thin layer from ripping. peel the thick layer back a little at a time but constantly place your right fingers where the card is peeling at.

once you get the hang of it you can peel a card in a matter of seconds and with about 3-4 pulls. I just peeled one and it took me 10 seconds from start to finish with three tugs. I could have done it faster buy my eyes arent what they used to be.

I don't ever boil a card. water totally alters the card and will warp it. I tried it many years ago and I never could get the card to be flat again. plus dry splitting is much quicker.

I also do a lot of printing to make gaffed cards but the one problem I have yet to 100% solve is the roughing aspect. in order to keep the ink from smearing and to give the card some luster back (you need to remove the clear finish before you print on a card) you have to spray it. I use a fixative spray that works great but it also acts as a roughing agent. so two gaffed cards face to face will stick. right now I lightly sand the card to smooth the card off but there has to be a better way.
Magiguy
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RE: Splitting...
Marty's method is perfect. Very important to split from the non-pipped corner. Take your time when tweezing the corner's front from back (or back from front). Additionally, I would recommend that you read Marty's lecture notes, and also Craig Matsuoka's "The Gaff Factory" ( available from Lybrary.com ). With practice, splitting will become second nature. Very important to use new cards. This is not something that you do with the used up deck that you are trying to find a use for. In that case, you are better off practicing your Mercury Fold, or T&R routine.

Once you have perfected your splitting technique, look into using dry mount tissue. This is loosely described in Matsuoka's ebook. If you decide to go with the "dry mount" method, I would strongly recommend a Lassen Gaffing Genii. Frankly, I don't even know if these are still available, but I love the Genii and hope that you are able to find one.

Bottom line...
Thanks to Chris Wasshuber (Lybrary.com)I don't split as much as I used to. For a modest investment in materials, and a considerable investment in trial and error, I now print the more obscure gaffs. I still split and iron about 50% of my gaffs, which I think is fine, and I am glad to have multiple methods at my fingertips.

Best of luck!
ggarcia
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If you get into dry mounting the lassen genii is good but I would also recommend at actual dry mount press. I have two that I bought off ebay for $150 each. I use the lassen genii to line everything up and use a tacking iron to hold things in place and then put it in the press. I have some tips I came up with to get the feel and thickness pretty close to an actual card. I would be happy to share with you if you get into this that far.
slim23
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I also did card splitting 2 or 3 years ago using Marty's DVD. to me it works like a charm after some practise. I use to practice with some old cards. I then found out it was way easier to split new cards! I already had my practise and split a lot that I then kept under press for later use. Personnaly,I used to like the feeling of splitting them myself.
One tip that as not been written; if you miss your shot and there is a little rip, start at the other corner. You can then usually save one half of the card. Also, for specific things (or tricks), by a one-way force deck so you can have all the card you need. For me, it was the 9 of diamonds ( Vernon's unlucky card) that I needed for a specific trick I created using gaffs.

Slim
Cincy_Mojo
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Cincinnati, OH
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Sorry for bringing a 4yr old thread back to life, but for those who might be searching for this topic as I was, the following might be helpful. With all due respect for the above posters, they are making it more complicated than it needs to be. I just made an extra thick double backer using the two composition layers and a single thickness db using the composition layer from only one of the cards. I followed the directions in Expert Card Technique and it worked like a charm.

The trick, I found, is to start the split carefully and then go rather quickly, keeping the fingers of the hand not doing the splitting pressed firmly against the point where the cards are coming apart. It shouldn't take you more than a few seconds to separate the layers and about 3-4 good jerks on the upper layer. The slower you go the more likely you'll tear, as counterintuitive as that sounds. The layer you want without the composition (blackish glue) layer should be the one pressed against the table. Also I just used an Elmer glue stick to reassemble the layers, applied to both sides. Line then up as perfectly as you can (if you get one corner perfectly aligned the rest should fall into place). Make sure the corners and edges are securely glued but before you fasten the last corner, run your fingers or a credit card over the surface towards the unfastened corner to push out any air bubbles. Once you've got your card made up, place it between some heavy books to dry, let it sit for an hour or so, and presto: a flat and perfect double backer.
mcmc
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Does anyone have any leads or info on people who do card splitting for a fee?
Bill08
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I used to sell split bicycle cards in small batches - and Im sure others do as well. send me a pm and I can see what I have left in stock
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