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> Roughing Sticks by Harry Robson

A Useful Alternative to Traditional Roughing Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on September 17th, 2014
Technically, these "Roughing Sticks" do not created a rough coating; they utilize a principle that was employed before roughing fluid was developed decades ago: they apply a light tackifier that causes one card to cling to another.

This, however, is not a criticism as they do the job required and with less fuss for application. The coated surface is not sticky; just a tiny bit waxy to the touch. This is not an issue, in my opinion. And of course the coating is invisible.

Please note that if applied with the expedient procedure shown on the video-link instructions, a procedure which does not provide a coating on the entire surface of the card, your cards must be perfectly flat or else the method is given away. (A pair of cards may curl away from each other at the edges.) It is possible to coat the entire surface, but this takes more diligence to accomplish, though it is not an impossible task. If the cards are not curled, bridged, or warped, you have no problem.

That being said, an entire deck can be gaffed (creating 26 "clinging" pairs) in an incredibly short amount of time, and this is definitely in the product's favor.

It is easy to intentionally coat only a part of the surface and to "custom-prepare" the cards to accommodate any method for separating the pairs that the performer finds convenient. This is a definite improvement over the traditional roughing procedure, as fully roughed surfaces (using roughing fluid) are often difficult to separate and partial roughing requires rather fussy masking techniques when the fluid is applied. Not so with the easy-to-handle Roughing Sticks.

As with roughing fluid, a certain amount of maintenance(reapplication) will be required over time, but this is to be expected.

For me, the biggest asset to this method for creating "roughed" or adhering card pairs is that it is great for experimentation with new ideas utilizing this principle. Several cards can be prepared very quickly with no need to wait for drying, since it is a dry application as opposed to the traditional roughing method. Then, if the experiment fails or needs modification, one does not have to throw out the cards you have tested your idea with; the coating can be scraped off and you can start over. If the experiment is a success, your "test" cards may be suitable for performance conditions.

I do not plan on abandoning the use of roughing fluid as a result of obtaining the Roughing Sticks, but I will definitely add the sticks to my arsenal of gaffing techniques. The sticks are both practical and convenient for many circumstances for which secretly clinging card pairs (posing as a single card) are required.

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Oct 06th 2016 8:06am
Thank you Alan for your excellent review of the roughing sticks. I've been considering trying these out and your review did it for me. Great info!...

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