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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Our new arrivals » » Greetings from the Deck Tailor! (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Don Boyer
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New user
greater NYC area
2 Posts

Profile of Don Boyer
Hello, everyone!

I'm new here and relatively new to magic, having been at it since December of 2010. I started getting a little more serious about it a year later, doing mostly volunteer work at a hospital in Brooklyn until about a year ago.

I was inspired to get into what I like to call "deck tailoring" - the hand-crafting of gaffed decks out of ordinary playing cards. It started when I made an order from Dan and Dave...

Now we all know about stripper decks, wizard decks, tapered decks, whatever you want to call them. Nearly every beginning magician gets one of two decks as his first "magic" deck; a stripper deck or a Svengali deck. My first was the Svengali, but the stripper deck wasn't far behind. But I bought a few from Dan and Dave that were, shall we say, rather different than what's typically found in most magic shops. They were professionally hand-cut to the specs of an underground card room, if the descriptive text is to be taken at face value. I'm inclined to believe it - the cut was so shallow, even with a reversed card I found it nearly impossible to see the stripped card that was reversed - I could only feel it. The deck was more expensive than most strippers at $25 a pack, but it was truly worth the price. To my chagrin, many of the people writing reviews for them complained that they couldn't work with the deck because of how shallow the cut was - they may have started offering more conventionally deep-cut decks after that, I'm not sure. But it clued me in to the fact that a better gaffed deck existed.

I began a quest to learn more about hand-made gaffed decks, which in time led me to finding Porper cutters (lovely but expensive and rare), home-brew devices made from shears and guillotine cutters (a little too primitive for what I wanted to do) and eventually to Eoin O'Hare's website in Ireland. Ah... I've invested deeply in his offerings since then and cobbled together some supplemental gear of my own to create my own personal "deck tailoring" kit, which (at least for now) fits neatly in a watertight Pelican briefcase designed for large laptop computers. I picked up some cheap Bicycle and Bee jumbo decks and started experimenting and practicing. Around October of 2017, I took my kit and test decks to a 52 Plus Joker convention (it was being held in Erlanger, Kentucky, home of the USPC) and made a few deals, gave away a few samples, and introduced myself to a few people in the card business, not the least of which being a buyer from Murphy's Magic Supplies. A demo video and a lot of cutting and punching later, and in early March, Murphy's is selling my inaugural product, the Blind Wizard Deck, which proceeds to sell out in under three weeks. I'm now working on their second order, which is scheduled to be in their hands no later than early July. There's another product in the works as well, but I'm still producing the demo video for that one, so mum's the word...

That's the short version of my magical life. I take custom orders, if anyone's interested in having a custom-made gaffed deck, especially if you'd prefer something other than the basic Bicycle Rider Back in red!

Cheers,
Don
The Deck Tailor - custom alterations for magicians and card sharps
www.thedecktailor.com

VP/Director of Club Forum, 52 Plus Joker, www.52plusjoker.org
Admin, www.playingcardforum.com
mroek
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New user
90 Posts

Profile of mroek
Welcome. Interesting to hear your story. I know next to nothing about "Deck tailoring" tools or the art itself, but you seem to have it mastered well. Smile
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3547 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
Welcome Don Boyer,

I enjoy a good story of the pursuit of excellence. Our industry is beholding to all kinds of secret artisans.

Do you still have time to get out and use your decks?

-Mary Mowder
Don Boyer
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New user
greater NYC area
2 Posts

Profile of Don Boyer
Quote:
On Apr 3, 2018, Mary Mowder wrote:
Welcome Don Boyer,

I enjoy a good story of the pursuit of excellence. Our industry is beholding to all kinds of secret artisans.

Do you still have time to get out and use your decks?

-Mary Mowder


Hello to you both!

I'm always carrying decks with me, but considering my day job is a nights-and-weekends job, it's not like I get to do a lot of performing in the first place! I had a volunteer gig for several years, but it was at a hospital in Brooklyn and I moved from Queens to Yonkers - it's a good, long trek between the two and got to be just a little too much. As things settle down more with the Blind Wizard Deck, I'm going to scout out a children's hospital in Valhalla (central Westchester County) that's much closer to where I live and even closer still to my aikido dojo. I'll see if they have suitable volunteer opportunities for a friendly, neighborhood magician!

Mary, you're in Sacramento? I never quite made it out there, the closest I got being Davis, and that was a good number of years ago. Hard to forget - it was August, and the hottest temperature I've ever experienced outside of an oven! I have a brother who lives near the southeast coast of the Bay and my wife lived in SF for a number of years when she was in her 20s. If you ever find yourself in New York, give me a shout and perhaps my wife and I can take you out for a cup of coffee!
The Deck Tailor - custom alterations for magicians and card sharps
www.thedecktailor.com

VP/Director of Club Forum, 52 Plus Joker, www.52plusjoker.org
Admin, www.playingcardforum.com
Wizard of Oz
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Inner circle
Most people wish I didn't have
4825 Posts

Profile of Wizard of Oz
Welcome Don Boyer!

I used to craft my own props, and am a graphic designer, so I appreciate an eye for detail and precision. I love where you're going with your hand-crafted decks! Always a pleasure to hear about someone putting pride in his or her work!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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