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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Shagbarks vs. SFS Street Shells? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

pslaughter
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270 Posts

Profile of pslaughter
Hello All!

I'm in the market for some new shells. I've been performing Gary Ouellet's Supershells for some time and have decided to move to something different. I don't like the foam pea, and am more inclined to use SFS's perfect peas. Don't get me wrong. I've gotten a lot of milage out of Supershells. It's a great routine!

Another big problem I'm looking to eliminate is the shells that I'm using now (Supershells set I picked up from Camirand) are pretty slick. They are kind of slipping out of my hands a lot more lately. (Of course I've had my set for probably 10+ years)

So I've narrowed it down to these two sets of shells. Aside from price I'm wondering what you guys think. I guess what I'm most interested in is the ease of handling. I'm inclined towards the shagbarks. It seems they have more of a "texture" to make handling easier and I'm guessing maybe even a little bit of additional weight as well. Does the texture of the shagbarks make them noticeably easier to handle? How does this texture compare to the Street Shells?

On the other side, the Street Shells look more what I-and I think most laymen-expect to see in a shell game. I've also notice a lot of people seem to modify the Street Shells to facilitate the handling. I'm not the handiest guy in the world, so I'm not sure how adept I would be at attempting some of these modifications.

So what do you guys think?

I'd be very interested in hearing your take on the two, especially from those of you that own both.

Thanks!
Glenn Morphew
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Chicago
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I own both sets and they are both great shells.

The shagbarks handle great right out of the package. The only thing that might surprise you a little, is their size. They are about 3/4 the size of the Street Shells,(which are also on the smaller size as far as shells go) so your loads need to be more precise than with the street shells. (this comes into play especially when loading on an arc)

In Regard to modifying the Street Shells? It's really a piece of cake. If you can use a can of spray paint, you can do it. That being said, if you decided to not modify the street shells I think you will find them a little slick.

It's a tough call because I really like both sets.

You could also try spraying the shells you currently work with. You might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Glenn
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Watchmaker
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I think I am following what you are asking but as you know the shell and the pea are two different issues all together. The first part of your question is the pea. You simply can not beat the perfect pea by SFS. I have found a type of insulation that I don't even know what it is, I found it on a construction site and I whittled down some peas from it that work great but I only use them when I'm using bottle caps because they seem to fit in more with that setup. But as far as a regular pea to use with a regular shell just get the perfect pea and never worry about it again.

The shells on the other hand are like so many other things, you will get as many different answers as people you ask. I do own both and love each. I might say the street shells if you made me pick but on another day I might pick another. It seems in my case the shells is the last thing which effects my mechanics. First the pea, then the working surface, followed my my hands which can be dry sometimes finally the shells. Shells are really not that expensive so why not treat yourself to both and let us know which you like best?

Good luck.

Phil
jakeg
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I have both shells and apparently have dry hands, (although I didn't think so until I started using the street shells.) I find them difficult to pick up, and cannot do certain moves with them as they come out of the box. I haven't modified them yet, which I intend to do. The Shagbarks on the other hand are a pleasure to use right from the get go. True they are smaller, and do not look like walnut shells, but no one has ever made comment about them. They are about the size of bottle caps, but much easier to handle. I also have Mags, (I started a small collection), and find them much easier to use than the Street Shells as well. The Shags are my favorite.
pslaughter
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This is still a tough call. I'm almost tempted to just buy both and see which one works best for me. (pretty good tip from above!)

In the mean time, I'm going to try to find the stuff necessary to modify the street shells as is described in excellent detail by Mr. Morphew in his shell game bootcamp. I'm just kind of nervous that some of the materials may not be readily available in my area.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Thanks!
Glenn Morphew
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You might want to check out Krylon "Fussion" paint as an option too. It has a very good grip and it's made for plastic surfaces. I found it in a Walmart and I like it. With any textured paint, you can feel the cap to see what you're going to wind up with.

The color of the "fusion" paint was darker than ideal, so right after I hit the shells with the fusion paint I immediately hit them with a coat of the Krylon satin finish brown boots color. My hope was that the paints would kind of blend together to give me a color I liked and keep a good grip. It worked out pretty well. No Testor's dull coat was added because it wasn't needed.

Regarding the Shagbarks, they can be painted with the brown boots color too. They still grip great and become a nice brown textured color. Although the color is not authentic for that type of shell, I like the way it looks since I always seem to work on a black surface.

Here is a Youtube link to a set of painted Shagbarks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSNRxntsiuA Warning... you might want to turn your volume down when you watch this because I just randomly picked some music for the sound track.

Glenn
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Dave V
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Las Vegas, NV
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As soon as you see them, you'll probably want to paint your Shagbarks. I chose a darker color, mainly to match Ed's prototype Shagbarks from a few years ago that were nearly black instead of the grey/blue of the commercial set.

I used wood stain and tinted varnish that I had laying around the garage and they turned out great although now that I see them, Glenn's painting efforts look closer to the real thing.

I wouldn't worry too much about them not recognizing them right away. That can be easily covered by your patter talking about regional differences in how the game was played with whatever was available.

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Jimmy Vee
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Jimmy Vee
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I have both sets of shells and I really do like them both. I painted my SFS shells with the Krylon Fusion Brown Boots paint. It's made for painting plastics and it really does work to increase the grip of the shell. I think I like the Shagbacks better though. I got my from SFS and they are a lighter brown. They look nice. The inside is that blue/gray color and I'm thinking about painting inside. I like them because they are smaller and higher. They move smooth, are easy to pick up and spread in your fingers. I have small hands and these work really well for me. I also have a set of the SFS copper shells and I have not worked with them enough to like them. They are heavy and I haven't doctored them to add the super grip. They are very slick and heavy and it's hard for me to hold them between my fingers. They are smooth though because of the weight.

Jimmy
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