View Full Version : Shaft care.

04-13-2003, 12:22 PM
I recently bought a new Schon and have been trying my hardest to keep the shaft/ferrule clean to avoid turning an ugly washed out blue/green color. Shaft care hasn't been my highest priority in the past, but I'd like to change my ways. What do you all do to keep your cues looking new & shafts feeling as smooth as the day you bought them? Thanks for any advice.

- Jeremy

Tony C.
04-13-2003, 02:56 PM
To just clean the ferrule, i take a wet paper towel and put a little comet or ajax on it and rub SLOWLY. Will come out clean as new. I also clean the shaft the same way. Wet the towel and add some cleaner and rub the shaft slowly and then take a damp paper towel and clean off then dry thoroughly and then burnish with a good piece of leather.

04-13-2003, 07:54 PM
I read in some magazine a while ago to use alcohol on your shaft to get the dirt off. It won't look like new, but it'll be clean. I keep packages of alcohol swabs (can buy them in drug stores) in my cue case. Just wipe the shaft with it and throw it away when you're done. I try not to get it on my tip, but it's safe on your shaft.

04-13-2003, 08:12 PM
sorry i think i would have to disagree and say not to put alchohol on the shaft. I've had bad experience with it. I tried rubbing this nasty stain with (it wasn't wet or damp with alchohol) with some cloth...well it eventually warped my shaft, and all i did was rub it on a small portion of the shaft. Although i do use it on the ferrule, it cleans it well.

Walt in VA
04-13-2003, 08:48 PM
Try squirting old-fashioned Ronsonol-type lighter fluid on a clean soft cloth - cheap, cleans well and leaves the shaft slick after burnishing with leather.

For ferrules, a lot of people swear by Pearl Drops Tooth Polish.

Actually, I don't clean my shafts that often - just burnish the hand oils in to seal and create a patina.

Cleaning your tip before putting it back in the case will keep chalk out of the case tube and may help keep the "new" color longer.

Walt in VA

04-13-2003, 10:05 PM
When you say burnish with leather, you mean take a raw peice of leather and just "wipe" the shaft? Damp cloth? Won't the dampness only help "warp" the shaft? That's one of the reasons I've been afraid to use even a damp papertowl. Thanks for the advice everyone, very helpfull, thanks. :)

Walt in VA
04-14-2003, 05:26 AM
I've had an old McDermott burnisher for years - leather disc about 5" dia., one side rough, one side smooth. Just wrap the smooth side around the shaft and polish briskly until you generate some heat from the friction. You can use any thin piece of smooth leather; if you can find one, a shoe repair shop may have something similar.

A damp cloth or paper towel should be followed by a dry one, and burnishing until some heat is built up, IMO.

Walt in VA

04-14-2003, 04:31 PM
I would recommend just keeping it clean by wiping it down with a soft rag, no water. Then, once in a while, take it in to a reputable cue maker or cue repair person and have it tuned up. They'll put it on a lathe, fill in any nicks and clean it up nicely. If you can, do it at least once or twice a year. This should ensure that your shaft will remain in great condition for years. I had my shaft tuned up just before a big tournament, and it felt so good I'm convinced it added a little something to my game.

04-14-2003, 11:13 PM
wouldn't a lathe make the shaft thinner...can't keep doing that......maybe it'll better if a sand paper is used(not the rough one)or a scotch pad(is that watchu call it) you know the green thing on the sponge except they sell it seperately

Walt in VA
04-15-2003, 08:01 AM
Any use of sandpaper or Scotchguard (the green stuff),whether by hand or in a lathe, will remove wood and eventually reduce the shaft diameter. That's why I only burnish my own shafts with leather.

I've had people bring me shafts that have been DESTROYED with Scotchguard. If you are going to use an abrasive, go to the auto supply store and get some 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit finishing papers and use SPARINGLY.

Walt in VA

04-15-2003, 08:49 AM

Alcohol, used sparingly, is an excellent way to clean a shaft--it is absolutely safe.

Your shaft did not warp because you wiped alcohol on and then wiped it off again.

I have no doubt that you used alcohol and I have no doubt that your shaft warped, but suggesting the two had anything to with each other is ridiculous.


Billy Jungle
04-15-2003, 12:19 PM
I tried one about two years ago and it worked so well,now it's the only thing I use. Q-WIZ it seems nonabrasive just picks off particals

04-15-2003, 10:16 PM
I also play with a Schon and I have been using a little bit of Soft Scrub to keep it clean. I then use 1500 grit sand paper very lightly to keep it smooth.

04-15-2003, 10:47 PM
Using a lathe to clean the shaft does not by itself have anything to do with wearing down the wood on your shaft. If you use sandpaper or that green plastic scrubber, then yes it will wear down the shaft. Professional cue makers and cue repair people do not necessarily take the wood down on the shaft when they use the lathe. They use a cleaning fluid and I believe a very fine emory paper.

04-16-2003, 01:06 PM
Here are some things I believe that might help in this discussion:

1) Water (in soft scrub, out of the tap, on a cloth, in 70% alcohol) will raise the surface grain of wood. Assuming you're not submerging the shaft in water, and you just wipe it on and off, you will only be affecting the surface of the wood. The grain will swell up, and give a rough feeling. This is not necessarily bad. In fact, it can remove many minor surface scratches and light nicks.

2) Alcohol is available at CVS in two forms. 70% isopropyl alcohol, and 91% isopropyl alcohol. The 70% stuff has enough water in it to raise up the grain. The 91% doesn't. Just get the 91%. It's like $1.49 for a liter. It works great for removing oil and grime.

3) ALL sandpaper, by definition, removes material. The lower the grit number, the more material it removes. 1500 grit paper is very fine, and thus removes very little material. But it does remove material, otherwise it would do NOTHING. That is why you should use it as little as possible.

4) Fast Orange hand cleaner (with pummice) works great to clean dirt out of the pores of the shaft. It is abrasive. However, it also sweats out the wood a bit, because it contains water. It seems to me, someone correct me, that if you only use sand paper after raising the grain, you will not reduce the diameter of the shaft that much at all.

5) Another great technique for cleaning the shaft is to wet a clean white towel and put it in the microwave for a bit, so that it is steaming hot. Vigorously wipe the shaft clean. This VERY effectively cleans the shaft and removes all but the nastiest dents. However, it also VERY much raises the grain of the wood, necessitating sanding. After this operation, I use 600 paper to smooth the shaft out, then go over it with 1500, then burnish the hell out of it with leather. This procedure I do about once every 6 months. It has not resulted in any loss of shaft diameter (over about 3 or 4 years)--I checked with a micrometer. My shaft looks great, feels great--it seems like a good system. Can any body point out any dangers of doing this??

6) I've never used comet, soft scrub, or any other bleach containing product. How is it? Is it bad for the wood? Does it make the wood really white? Opinions please?

7) Sotch brite is AWEFUL. NEVER USE IT! It's like the equivalent of maybe 120 grit sand paper. It works GREAT, however, on a crappy beat-to-hell house stick or bar stick that is soaked in beer, grease, and full of dents, and is going to be thrown away in a couple of months anyway.

8) A lathe is just a device for spinning the shaft in a very straight way. You can cut the shaft down (reduce the diameter), sand it, polish it, clean it, or just look at it spinning (just so that is clear).

Pop And Slop
04-17-2003, 03:39 AM
For sanding my cue I use McMAGIC by McDermott cues. The grain goes up to 7500 grit and leaves a great smooth finish, actually shines. As for cleaning my shaft, I use a soft cloth right after I finish playing and once in a while a shark oil cleaner (someone bought it for me as a gift once). I play with an old Mali and although it has darkened with age, after both treatments (cleaning then sanding) it feels great.