If you have not heard of Eoin's excellent offerings to the gaffing community, you need to check him out. You will see he creates devices, jigs and devious works of art that can take you from a muggle to a master gaffer if you are willing to take the time to learn how to do it properly and have a budget to get you there. Granted, you can do a lot without these (if you have practiced for a long time and figured out the best way for you to make gaffs) but these make gaffing a whole lot faster, better and give you way more professional quality.
I guess the best way to review so many devices is by taking you step by step thru the process and add a pro/con where needed.
Let's say you want to split some cards and make some double backers, double facers or a gaff that only comes in a bicycle back but want it in a phoenix back <-- (the main reason I got so into it).
We start with the "Snaker". This device is used to break up the glue between the layers and helps prevent wrinkles (that often happen thru hesitation or pulling unevenly on the glue). This is a very helpful device and a step worth taking for better splits.
Next, we go to the "Corner Splitter Jig". Rather than pounding the corner of the card you are about to split (hoping not to leave a seam where it bends) you gently massage the corner to open up and then you can rub the rubber grip on the jig on either the face, the back or both layers to separate enough to grip so you can pull it from the middle "glue" layer. After a while, you will be getting all 3 layers separate all the time to use for better gaffs.
Now that the corner is split enough to grip, you simply slide the card into the "Card Splitter Jig" and by simply pulling with steady and equal pressure outward, you will split one thin layer (face or back) from the thicker glue middle layer. You can then turn it around and split off the other thin layer.
Just to remind everyone, all of these will take some practice and there is a break in period where you need to figure out how much of this and how many times should I that… But, I can attest that it is all worth the wait and the effort. "Remember Daniel-Son, wax on… wax off" (You may not always see it but it is leading to perfection in your gaffing abilities).
Our next 2 tools are the "DMT Template" and the "Aligner Jig". DMT, for those who do not know, stands for "Dry Mount Tissue" it is a paper type adhesive that is activated by heat and gives your finished gaff that real "snap" that you want when done. Use the Template to cut out the exact rectangle that will cover your card side to side and end to end (you will trim the corners when done).
Now you put the new gaff together like a sandwich all lined up perfectly in the "Aligner Jig". At this point the heat is applied with a special iron at a set temp for the DMT (these type details vary and are not an important part of the "JIG REVIEWS" and can be gone over later or looked up in various books on the subject of gaffing). So we tack the corner in the "aligner jig" then pull it to the side and finish the heat application. Once cooled, hit the corners with a corner rounder to remove the excess that was left in the first place. Using a rectangle assures the adhesive takes in the entire corner rater than rounding it short accidently in the first place.
Now that the card has been pressed, heated and starting to cool, stick it between 2 "Press Plates" and clamp them together overnight. Now you will be assured a nice flat crisp gaff (just like it came from the factory).
In a nutshell, that is how to make your own gaffs using Eoin O'Hare's "Irish Jigs" to make better gaffs in a simpler way.
BUT, We don't stop there. He also makes some more nice items of interest to "card guys". First we have the "Breather Jig". This jig makes excellent (and adjustable depth) breather crimps that are virtually unnoticeable (compared to traditional breathers). It is set that you can center your crimp or use it on the end to make an "Offset Breather Deck" (similar to a one way deck). Secondly, we have the "Pinpoint Pegger" which is a card punch with an adjustable X and Y axis so marks will be consistent on both corners. The depth of the punch is also adjustable.
Now……. The best was saved for the last two. The "Stripper Jig" and the "N-Stripper Jig". These are super professional pieces of art. Movable gates, thumbscrews, notches for visual conformation of your settings. With the "Stripper Jig" you can cut a stripper deck with a wide enough brief that your 5 year old can cut the reds from the blacks or you can make a brief so thin that a fellow magician wouldn’t notice it was a stripper/tapered deck. You can make "End Strippers", Short cards thin cards, Belly strippers even N-Strippers if you wanted. This is a very versatile tool that is built to last. There are decks on the market that are made using this tool. As for the "N-Stripper Jig" It has adjustable fences to line up the same every time. You can put as little or as much work into the cut. You can also use multiple cuts to tactically mark say 3 cards like Aces Kings and Queens in different spots.
If these are not enough, stay tuned for upcoming new Jig releases later in 2020 according to his Instagram - the_perfect_shuffle it also shows his home as Kerry, Ireland. Follow for updates on new items and some sample "how to" videos on his page.
Overall, I have and use all of the items reviewed. I give every one of these tools a 10/10 rating because I have been self gaffing for several years and have done things the "old fashion way" for a long time. I do use a couple more items at times NOT from his site but want to keep it to ONLY the fantastic items made and sold by Eoin. Be sure and check out his site and follow him on Instagram for updates. I will be busy making gaffs in the mean time.