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Subject: DIY Cards - Getting a Smoother Feeling? rss

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Lawrence
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I'm currently using Nick Hayes' Method of Making Cards. The snap and general feeling have been great, but I keep getting issues with the cards slightly sticking to each other. I'm using 65 lb linen cover. I've also tried spraying with Krylon Crystal Clear with a single light coat, and even made a second set with 2 heavier coats. Despite both efforts, I still don't get that easy gliding feeling I do with regular cards. I'm actually getting a slightly gritty feeling on the cards.

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?
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Celina
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Try lightly running steel wool over the card sheets before you cut them up.

Sometimes I do that, and then add another layer of spray.
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Andy Leedy

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Funny, I was wondering the same thing. I was thinking about using MinWax Polyurethane spray.

Check out this thread and watch the video.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1633827/spray-coating-c...

It would be nice to see a comparison done of several different finishes. Or at least a list of what brands and finishes have been tried and their results.
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Shalom Craimer
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Are you printing with an ink printer?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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mavericklancer wrote:
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

'Not using coating formulations which are closely held trade secrets in the card manufacturing industry', that's what you're doing wrong. Even if you could find a bottle of these compounds which miraculously fell off the back of a transport lorry, you'd need specialised equipment for application and curing.

In short: Don't expect handmade cards to resemble factory-made ones in this respect, ever.

In the past there was, for a while, some sort of industrial-quality coating in a spray can available, but I can't seem to find it now.
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Lawrence
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scraimer wrote:
Are you printing with an ink printer?


I've tried using both ink printers (HP Officejet) and laser printers (Fedex Printing). The laser does gives a somewhat smoother feel, but I still get cards that stick in clumps with them nonetheless.


cymric wrote:

'Not using coating formulations which are closely held trade secrets in the card manufacturing industry', that's what you're doing wrong. Even if you could find a bottle of these compounds which miraculously fell off the back of a transport lorry, you'd need specialised equipment for application and curing.

In short: Don't expect handmade cards to resemble factory-made ones in this respect, ever.

In the past there was, for a while, some sort of industrial-quality coating in a spray can available, but I can't seem to find it now.


This makes me feel better. After reading all of these DIY card threads and hearing about how everyone's cards feel just like professional cards, I was sure I had made some serious technique or processing blunder.
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Andy Leedy

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cymric wrote:
mavericklancer wrote:
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

'Not using coating formulations which are closely held trade secrets in the card manufacturing industry', that's what you're doing wrong. Even if you could find a bottle of these compounds which miraculously fell off the back of a transport lorry, you'd need specialised equipment for application and curing.

In short: Don't expect handmade cards to resemble factory-made ones in this respect, ever.

In the past there was, for a while, some sort of industrial-quality coating in a spray can available, but I can't seem to find it now.



Actually can get real playing card coating and card stock, but it is expensive.

http://www.lybrary.com/kardkoating-playing-card-coating-p-46...
http://www.lybrary.com/blank-aircushion-playing-card-cardboa...

I can't find the spray though.
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Jake Staines
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cymric wrote:

In short: Don't expect handmade cards to resemble factory-made ones in this respect, ever.


I generally disagree. I absolutely have PnP playing cards that slide as well as commercially-printed ones, it's just a matter of practice and perseverance... and finding the right combination of materials. The ways my PnP cards differ from commercial cards is a slightly lower 'snap', and a card thickness about 1.5-2 times that of commercial cards.

If your cards feel gritty, it generally means one of two things:
- Your linen paper/card is too rough/highly-textured.
- Your spray didn't apply well.

To fix highly-textured linen paper, try a different brand. To get a good spray finish you should spray in a dust-free environment with low humidity and warm temperature. Soaking the can in warm water before spraying can help, as can leaving it on a warm-but-not-too-hot radiator. If you can't spray in a dust-free environment, place an upturned cardboard box over the top of your cards while the spray-lacquer cures. Use an acrylic lacquer by preference, it cures more reliably than other types IME.

I've only ever used readily-available materials. It's quite likely that the exact brands I use aren't available in other countries, but I highly doubt that there's no suitable alternatives across the world!
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Lawrence
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Bichatse wrote:

If your cards feel gritty, it generally means one of two things:
- Your linen paper/card is too rough/highly-textured.
- Your spray didn't apply well.

To fix highly-textured linen paper, try a different brand. To get a good spray finish you should spray in a dust-free environment with low humidity and warm temperature. Soaking the can in warm water before spraying can help, as can leaving it on a warm-but-not-too-hot radiator. If you can't spray in a dust-free environment, place an upturned cardboard box over the top of your cards while the spray-lacquer cures. Use an acrylic lacquer by preference, it cures more reliably than other types IME.


This is probably my biggest problem. I spray maybe 8 - 9 sheets at a time. However, I only have a small balcony (I live in an apartment) in which I can do so. I then move the pages one-by-one into the apartment as they cure. Doing so likely kicks up a lot of dust in the process.

Quote:
I've only ever used readily-available materials. It's quite likely that the exact brands I use aren't available in other countries, but I highly doubt that there's no suitable alternatives across the world!


For reference, would you mind sharing what kind of coatings you use? I'd be interested to see if there's any difference in the acrylic spray I'm using.
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Jake Staines
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mavericklancer wrote:

For reference, would you mind sharing what kind of coatings you use? I'd be interested to see if there's any difference in the acrylic spray I'm using.


The short version is "acrylic spray lacquer".

For the longest time I used the own-brand stuff by Halfords, an chain of auto-parts and bicycle shops in the UK. Recently I've started using a brand called "Simoniz", which behaves very similarly to the Halfords stuff but it's a bit cheaper. To the best of my knowledge both are pretty ordinary acrylic gloss lacquers.

FWIW I also spray about nine sheets at once, most of the time - but I live in the suburbs so I have the luxury of an attached garage to spray in (UK houses built in the last century rarely have a cellar or basement).

Dust can be a problem, but as was suggested up-thread you can often deal with it with a bit of steel wool, which can knock the dust particles out of the coating without disturbing too much of the coating itself. The harder problems to deal with post-spray are humidity and cold spray cans, both of which often result in the finish itself going on a bit bobbly.
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Andy Leedy

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Are you using gloss, semi-gloss or satin?
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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I'm in close to the same boat as the OP. I'm using a slightly different method (~24# linen paper sandwiching a stiff 90# card stock). The general card feel & snap is as good as or better than pro cards. However, I use the Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss and experience the sticking (it also stinks upon application& takes a while to fade). It's not bad & I don't get the gritty feel mentioned. I expect that several plays should help, but it would be nice to avoid completely. I need a new can, so it's a good time to try out the Minwax option & see if that improves things.
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Daniel Rodriguez
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claudermilk wrote:
I'm in close to the same boat as the OP. I'm using a slightly different method (~24# linen paper sandwiching a stiff 90# card stock). The general card feel & snap is as good as or better than pro cards. However, I use the Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss and experience the sticking (it also stinks upon application& takes a while to fade). It's not bad & I don't get the gritty feel mentioned. I expect that several plays should help, but it would be nice to avoid completely. I need a new can, so it's a good time to try out the Minwax option & see if that improves things.


I've used the Crystal clear gloss and got the stickyness, I also used the triple thick stuff and it actually softened the cards. Best results for me has been the standard Rustoleum or Krylon acrylic spray, they come in gloss or matte. Both have worked well with me with the matte being less slippery.
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Jake Staines
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danrodz wrote:
Both have worked well with me with the matte being less slippery.


Matt is very likely to be less slippery for the simple reason that it's literally not so smooth a surface. Gloss lacquer self-levels and forms a very smooth coating, which is why it appears shiny and glossy; matt lacquer builds up a texture that scatters the light in all different directions.

This is relevant this way around for lacquers because naturally the acrylic that a lot of lacquers is made out of is relatively slippery. It's different for papers - lightly textured linen paper will be more slippery than plain printer paper - because the paper surface has a lot more friction than lacquer does. A light linen texture means that there's air pockets that prevent so much of the paper from touching and therefore reduce friction. A heavy linen texture starts to introduce interference and decreases slipperiness again!
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Lawrence
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I tried making a deck with Krylon Polyurethane tonight (the Michael's 50% off coupon was irresistable!). The finish was a much smoother, more satin-like feel than the Krylon Crystal Clear. I sprayed a single thin layer. The finish will likely become more plastic-y with thicker coats, so the most I'll likely try is a second coat. I think that polyurethane is really going to be the way to go for me. I may try the Minwax next time, as the quality is supposedly better.

I discovered that part of the stickiness was also due to the fact that the spray glue wasn't entirely dry. Residual glue from the edges of the cards were migrating onto the backs and causing sticky clumps.


claudermilk wrote:
I'm in close to the same boat as the OP. I'm using a slightly different method (~24# linen paper sandwiching a stiff 90# card stock). The general card feel & snap is as good as or better than pro cards.


What brand of 90 pound card are you using? I haven't been able to find any 90 pound card (only 110 lb) so far.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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mavericklancer wrote:
I tried making a deck with Krylon Polyurethane tonight (the Michael's 50% off coupon was irresistable!). The finish was a much smoother, more satin-like feel than the Krylon Crystal Clear. I sprayed a single thin layer. The finish will likely become more plastic-y with thicker coats, so the most I'll likely try is a second coat. I think that polyurethane is really going to be the way to go for me. I may try the Minwax next time, as the quality is supposedly better.

I discovered that part of the stickiness was also due to the fact that the spray glue wasn't entirely dry. Residual glue from the edges of the cards were migrating onto the backs and causing sticky clumps.


claudermilk wrote:
I'm in close to the same boat as the OP. I'm using a slightly different method (~24# linen paper sandwiching a stiff 90# card stock). The general card feel & snap is as good as or better than pro cards.


What brand of 90 pound card are you using? I haven't been able to find any 90 pound card (only 110 lb) so far.


I'll have to take a look at the Polyurethane, too. I just got a can of Crystal Clear I now will finish up the current project (Gunslinger) and ran out of halfway through. I'll try a can of the othjers on the next projects.

For the card stock, I found Canford paper at the local art supply place. They have a website & online sales, too. Here is the exact paper I've used so far: http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/prodDetail.php?id=7391. They also have white (http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/prodDetail.php?id=7397). This paper is really stiff and thin for the weight rating (150gsm/90#). I also tried the Wassau 65# stock that Target carries (http://www.target.com/p/wausau-75ct-8-5x11-white-premium-car...); but I found that--unsurprisingly--it had less snap & stiffness to it, and somewhat of a surprise was it ended up being a bit thicker than the Canford. So, while the Canford is a bit pricier, that is what I will use for card cores until I find something better (and not a exorbitant as the "real" card core material that one site sells).

Here's a comparison picture I took a while ago:

From left to right: Wassau 65# core, Canford 90# core, professional cards (Goblin's Breakfast--feels like ArtsCow stock). Also, my cards use 24# or 32# linen paper for the faces (what the local print shop stocks), and the pro cards are smooth finish.

I honestly like my Canford-core cards best of that image. Except for the bit of sticking that this thread was stared about.
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Lawrence
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claudermilk wrote:
For the card stock, I found Canford paper at the local art supply place. They have a website & online sales, too. Here is the exact paper I've used so far: http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/prodDetail.php?id=7391.


The irony of this is that I was just at Art Supply Warehouse last night picking up new paints for my girlfriend. For some reason, I never stopped to look at their papers. I've been so used to going to Staples / Office Depot / Walmart for that.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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laugh

For future reference, when you go in to the store next, head to your right down the fancy papers aisle (2nd one from the front wall). The Canford card stock is all on a tall wire rack next to the end cap.

Also, for other PnP materials, head to the back of the store. They have great prices on big sheets of greyboard (they call it news board). 1x, 2x, and 3x thick. AND better prices on foamcore than any of the craft stores. BUT, Jo-Ann's has better pricing on the Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic spray, and the 3M 45 spray glue (and tons of coupons to make it even better).

Edit: I did the Staples/Office Depot thing for a while, then remembered Art Supply Warehouse was there.
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Josh
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mavericklancer wrote:

This is probably my biggest problem. I spray maybe 8 - 9 sheets at a time. However, I only have a small balcony (I live in an apartment) in which I can do so. I then move the pages one-by-one into the apartment as they cure.


I have a similar situation: I live in an apartment with no workshop, etc., and spray outside on the terrace, so a DIY spray booth like mine might help you.



For protecting from dust while drying I first let the items dry for ~5 minutes in the booth and then transfer to a big flat box next to the spray booth (as seen above), which I describe in more detail in the thread.

I also have some grit problems, which I'm now attributing to too cold spraying temperatures. I'm gonna try Bichatse's suggestions of warming the cans...thanks Bichatse! thumbsup
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Chris Laudermilk
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IO completely missed is suggestion for warming the cans. This absolutely aids with smoother spray pattern, I've used that technique on some car projects and it was much easier to get a smoother paint finish with warmed cans.

Now, why it didn't occur to me to use this technique on the card clear coating before is beyond me.
 
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Dave Platt
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I use 160gms paper (will go through most laser printers) and use 115 micron crystal matt cold laminating film both sides (it's like a metre wide roll of clear tape) This produces cards that shuffle well, don't stick and are of comparable thickness to playing cards. Easy to make too, no messy gluing, or spraying.
You need to buy a cold laminator (reasonable price) and the film is a little more expensive than hot laminate, but the results and ease of production are well worth it.
 
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Josh
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@Dave: Got some pics of some of the cards you've made like this?
 
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Dave Platt
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erasurehead wrote:
@Dave: Got some pics of some of the cards you've made like this?




These are the only ones I've got at the moment. they show the backs because the fronts are just text.

Only problem is backs and fronts won't always line up exactly when printing double sided. It's only usually by a couple of milimeters and I get round it by leaving white borders to compensate.
Plus side is these cards are really easy to make in bulk.
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Josh
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look good...wish I could feel one. How's the snap?
 
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Dave Platt
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erasurehead wrote:
look good...wish I could feel one. How's the snap?


Not quite as stiff as playing cards. Probably would be with slightly thicker card but I prefer the 160gms stuff because it's cheap and will go into the main tray on my printer.

I hit on this way because I'm going to be printing a lot of sets and need to keep things simple.
 
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