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(1 review, 4 customer ratings) ★★★★

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Rough Stuff by Joe Berg & Al Aldini & B. W. McCarron

A great ebook for those interested in creating their own mechanical (rough and smooth) trick decks or restoring old ones.

The mechanical decks described in the first part of this ebook were brand new when first published, and represented a value - in today's dollars - of nearly $195 if purchased from a dealer. But that's not all. In this revised and expanded edition, you also get complete instructions for making your own Brainwave and Pop-Eyed Popper decks. While you can buy them ready-made from a dealer, making them yourself allows you to create custom decks, such as with airline or other backs not available from your dealer.

Also new to this edition are ready-made roughing compounds that are as close as your local hardware or hobby store. Try them all to see which works best for the card design and finish that you prefer.

As for the decks themselves, you get complete details on the effect, working and preparation of cards, etc., all fully described so that every one of these great decks can be easily made up by you. Plus: How to use Roughing Fluid properly.

Partial Contents:

  • CARD MATCHUM - A surprising matching effect with a Red and Blue deck.
  • RASPUTIN DECK - From a Blank deck the magician materializes any card so designated by the spectator.
  • MENTALDINI - Spectator's named card vanishes from the deck leaving only 51 cards, plus - a clever rediscovery of the selected card.
  • ALDINI'S DECK PRESS - Visible printing of named cards which are passed for examination.
  • SOCRATES DECK - A prediction made by the performer and a freely selected card by the spectator are found to be identical.
  • DECKMASTER - This deck has been specially designed to accomplish the same effects otherwise done with three individual trick decks now on the market. Three effects with this 3-in-1 deck are described.
  • NOSTRADAMUS DECK - An amazing mental card effect you will like. Many other features described.
  • POP-EYED POPPER DECK - R. W. Hull's great mechanical deck that you can make up yourself.
  • BRAINWAVE DECK - One of the best mental card effects that's great for TV or stage. Make it up for your own use or for resale.
  • PLUS - Roughing solutions and alternatives to commercial products.
  • Also includes a list of marketed rough and smooth decks.

"Not since the late R. W. Hull pioneered with his rough and smooth decks have we had so much information on the subject. Any one of the decks described could be a reputation-maker for you." - John Braun

"This is one book that should be in every magician's library." - John J. Crimmins, Jr.

"The data on 'Super Roughing' will open up all sorts of possibilities for the inventive performer." - Milbourne Christopher

1st edition 1956, expanded 2021, PDF 47 pages.
word count: 11468 which is equivalent to 45 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Bill Halmi (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Monday 08 August, 2022

OK. The booklet is OK. I am sure it can be helpful for people who want to 'make' totally gimmicked decks. There are several different deck setups that yield several strong effects. I was hoping for more tricks that involved only one or 2 roughed cards. I also was looking for guidance on using roughing fluid. It turns out there is really not too much to learn there beyond what common sense would tell you.