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Profile of mindfreak2.0
Hey everyone,

I recently made a close up pad using felt for the finishing layer. It looks and feels great; however, I regularly perform the three shell game and the felt doesn't seem like it will hold up over time (it is already starting to ball up). What material would you guys recommend to finish a close use pad?
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Profile of Poof-Daddy
I have made several out of car headliner material (black and light grey) from Joann Fabrics. Perfect for shells, matrix, cards...nice sponginess.
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Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Profile of Bill Hegbli
The best felt to use for a close up pad, is Billiard Ball felt. Get it at you local billiard ball table store. The ones that sell the high quality. This felt is different then the felt at the fabric stores. It is also more expensive.
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Profile of DelMagic
Tabman recommended Mali brand billiard cloth.
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Profile of Circuit_Breaker
Velvet is a popular choice for shell game. There are several types available.

If you are interested in velvet, go to a store that sells fabric and look for the following. Regular velvet, velveteen, and crushed velvet which comes in several types. There maybe more types of velvet, these are the ones I have seen on mats.

Make sure to check if the material is stretchy or not. Sometimes they will be made with spandex. I think all these types come in non-stretch now.

Also see if the material leaves trails when you run your fingers across it. I don't think leaving trails is a big issue. However it is possible for the pea and shells to leave trails that will tell on some of your moves. You just have to adjust your handling a little to fix it. If it is even a problem at all.
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Profile of dclxvinyc
I've had some nice success using thin cotton fabric which has been stretch tightly over foam rubber and polyester batting mounted on plywood. My pineapple patterned closeup board has held up much longer than my velvet or felt and there are more options available for patterns and colors.

I'd like to stress the importance of being modular though: if there's a fabric you like, even if it doesn't hold up, there's no harm in removing the old, stretching and remounting a new piece every few weeks/months if needed. I understand this may be a nuisance for some (most) people but I enjoy the process and I get to always change up my equipment ;-)

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Profile of lnlver
I think suited speed cloth, like the type used in poker tables, would be fine. This comes in many colors and has the 4 card suits depicted on it.
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Profile of imgic
I recently made a close up mat/top to put on my metal suitcase.

Took a piece of temper board and cut to fit tip of my case. At Walmart I found felt for crafts, large section and cost about $3. I cut piece to fit board and used Elmer's glue to fix it. I don’t like the way I had set up, so cut a larger piece of felt, so edges overlapped the board and I glued it on the underside of the board. The two layers give it nice cushion and I’m pleased on quality of felt from Walmart. May not last for every, but easy enough to replace.

I glued magnets on underside of board, so I can slap it on on top of my metal suitcase and it stays put. I made mistake of putting magnets on each corner and one in center. Pr2cticong my Chop cup, I found the gimmicked ball would go right to the center magnet...oops. Had to take it off and rep,ace out anal felt pad.
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