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Subject: First attempt at "good" cards rss

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Chris Schumann
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I've made playing cards before. All of them lately have been ten-up, business card sized. I've recently gotten back into gaming, and print and play, and decided to try making "good" quality cards. I've ready many of the threads here, and read all the content on Lybrary.

I thought I would try a three-layer setup, since I thought that would give me the strength, texture, and opacity I wanted. The outer layers are a 24lb linen writing paper with no watermark. The middle layer is the thinnest black sheet I could find, which is a little thicker than I wanted. I still don't know the weight of it, but it was by far the thinnest the paper supply store had and is totally opaque, so I got a few sheets. Thankfully, this place sells by the pound, so I got 20 sheets of white and 10 black for under $4.

I downloaded the Decktet PDF, converted the sheets to high resolution bitmaps, imported into Inkscape, laid down white rectangles to obscure the lines, and printed the six sheets. Now I know that my printer has trouble reproducing colors in the green-brown area, and that Inkscape in Windows prints with a considerable offset. Argh!

I downloaded a card back image and made an 8-up sheet to match the other sheets and printed those.

Today, after a long process to align the layers, I used some Elmer's spray adhesive to affix a scrap set together, and a rotary trimmer to separate the cards. I'm only moderately pleased with the results. The cards are somehow softer than factory playing cards - they lack the stiffness and snap I was hoping for.

I think I'll buy a can of one of the recommended coatings (and a corner cutter) and see if that will help, and finish up my Decktet at least.

Just thought I'd share.
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Chris Schumann
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Second Attempt
I spent a good part of a weekend repairing my printer. It makes prints as good as new again. I bought a can of spray coating, and a very beefy corner cutter.

I used the same layers, but before gluing, I sprayed on Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating (1303). I used a heavy coat as suggested by some. The linen paper I use for the outer layers is very thin, and the coating seemed to loosen the toner and it seeped through the page and when the page curled from getting wet, one card in particular (or rather the yellow toner on one image) seemed to start to slide off the card.

My technique needs some improvement to keep the colors in place, but the cards are nearly the same thickness as my last try, but are much stiffer, and nearly feel like professionally made cards. They have an excellent snap, and while they still remember any bends, they do it in a way that factory made cards do. It's hard to describe, but perhaps once I have it down I'll make a video.

The corner cutter is this one: http://www.joann.com/crop-a-dile-corner-chomper-tool/xprd103... and can handle at least five at a time.

I am almost there!
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Whizkid wrote:

The corner cutter is this one: http://www.joann.com/crop-a-dile-corner-chomper-tool/xprd103... and can handle at least five at a time.


I've recently bought that corner chomper too. It works great!

I actually tried a cheaper $15 corner rounder from EK ... it worked well on plain bond paper, but had a lot of trouble with anything thicker. Close examination actually shows some ragged edges.

The Crop-a-Dile is about $30 retail, but since it really has TWO sizes built-in, you're getting good value for something that can handle thicker material.
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Arcadian Del Sol
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Just a tip, but moments ago I tried making a playing card out of... a playing card (standard poker deck), and it turned out 500 times better than any of the posted methods I've tried so far.

Lazy? Sure - i stand convicted. Just saying - if, like me, you have a kitchen drawer that has a deck of 51 poker cards, this might not be a bad idea to try.
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Chris Schumann
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Arcadian Del Sol wrote:
Just a tip, but moments ago I tried making a playing card out of... a playing card (standard poker deck), and it turned out 500 times better than any of the posted methods I've tried so far.

I don't know what this means. What did you "make"?
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Arcadian Del Sol
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Whizkid wrote:
Arcadian Del Sol wrote:
Just a tip, but moments ago I tried making a playing card out of... a playing card (standard poker deck), and it turned out 500 times better than any of the posted methods I've tried so far.

I don't know what this means. What did you "make"?


Printed the cards on presentation paper, then cut them out and glued them to standard poker playing cards, and trimmed them to the proper borders.
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Chris Schumann
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Arcadian Del Sol wrote:
Printed the cards on presentation paper, then cut them out and glued them to standard poker playing cards, and trimmed them to the proper borders.

How do you align the paper to the card?
How close is the size?
Do you trim the paper to size before or after gluing?
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Arcadian Del Sol
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Whizkid wrote:
Arcadian Del Sol wrote:
Printed the cards on presentation paper, then cut them out and glued them to standard poker playing cards, and trimmed them to the proper borders.

How do you align the paper to the card?
How close is the size?
Do you trim the paper to size before or after gluing?


First, I make sure I've scaled the cards before printing so that there is some extra to trim from the card when its done. I trim out the entire back and glue it down onto the card. When dry, i use a blade to carefully cut off all the excess so that looking at the back, it now looks like a complete finished card.

When cutting out the fronts, I cut out two sides right where the edge of the card should be - so that I have one corner of the cutout tight and ready. The other two sides I leave some extra for trimming.

When mounting the front, I carefully align the one pre-cut corner to the corner of the card, carefully lining up against the two edges of the card. You have to get within a millimeter here as I've found you can 'scoot' the printout only about this much before it bonds. Then I press carefully and let dry.

When dry, its easy work to trim the extra from the final two sides of the front of the card, just carefully use a razor knife using the edge of the card as a guide.

its not Artscow quality, but its functional for my needs.
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Chris Schumann
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Thank you very much for that description. However, I'm going for better than Artscow quality. I don't plan to do this with every game, but I want to find out just how awesome my home made cards can be.
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