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View Full Version : What do you look for in a cuemaker?


The Piper
01-17-2014, 06:57 AM
I'm looking to get my first custom cue and I have narrowed it down to a couple of cuemakers based upon reputation and price. but now it's at that point that I need to choose which one.

I know some of them if not all of them are on the forum and I don't feel like making waves etc.

But what things do you really look for in a cuemaker? turnaround time? etc?

Shakeyfly
01-17-2014, 07:07 AM
Also, how long does a custom cue take to make? or is reasonable? 3, 6, 9, 12+ months?

hang-the-9
01-17-2014, 07:18 AM
I'm looking to get my first custom cue and I have narrowed it down to a couple of cuemakers based upon reputation and price. but now it's at that point that I need to choose which one.

I know some of them if not all of them are on the forum and I don't feel like making waves etc.

But what things do you really look for in a cuemaker? turnaround time? etc?

For a true playing cue, I'd probably go with a local maker. Even if not name-brand, lots of states have several cue makers that put out good work even if no-one heard of them outside a 100 mile radius. You can also have a chance to play with several of their cues since they I'm sure they have several models around in the shop and plenty of local players would have their stuff as well.

Luckily my local makers include the likes of Mike Webb, Paul Drexler and Joe Calalluca :smile:. Zinzola is only a few towns from me but that ship has sailed hehe.

jhanso18
01-17-2014, 07:18 AM
I look for a "K" on the bumper but that's just me. ;)

In all seriousness though, a lot of it depends what your looking for. If your not going for something fancy, the first thing I would look at is how each cue plays. Play the ones you can, and buy the best playing one of the bunch. This is of course assuming all are reputable and what not.

Lesh
01-17-2014, 07:37 AM
I'm looking to get my first custom cue and I have narrowed it down to a couple of cuemakers based upon reputation and price. but now it's at that point that I need to choose which one.

I know some of them if not all of them are on the forum and I don't feel like making waves etc.

But what things do you really look for in a cuemaker? turnaround time? etc?

Speedy fast, experienced cue maker that can crank out a plain jane merry widow player that can shoot the liver out of my opponent and hand it to 'em. No need for inlays or fancy swirly wood or aesthetically pleasing exclusive baby sealskin wraps.... no.... Stick of death, nao! That is all

http://forums.azbilliards.com/picture.php?albumid=1694&pictureid=12108

Lesh

The Piper
01-17-2014, 07:40 AM
For a true playing cue, I'd probably go with a local maker. Even if not name-brand, lots of states have several cue makers that put out good work even if no-one heard of them outside a 100 mile radius. You can also have a chance to play with several of their cues since they I'm sure they have several models around in the shop and plenty of local players would have their stuff as well.

Luckily my local makers include the likes of Mike Webb, Paul Drexler and Joe Calalluca :smile:. Zinzola is only a few towns from me but that ship has sailed hehe.

Then you are local to me. I've been to Mike Webb's place in RI, albeit 7 or 8years ago. I tried sending him a message, but I haven't heard back from him. From everything I read, he is really busy working on repairs 80% of the time and only making cues 20% of the time. I wish I had the cash 8 years ago to get this design done... I've sent him a couple of emails but no luck so far :( (THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GUY, I've met him and he's top notch, he's just really busy and in demand)

How are Drexler and Calalluca? I'm looking for a players cue. Not a wall hanger. My design is really super simple. I just want a nice playing cue that has the simple design I want.

Quesports
01-17-2014, 07:45 AM
I look for a history of making great playing cues first. Then I look at his history of professionalism, both as a person and a cue maker. Have there been any reports of concern about either? If so I am looking elsewhere. Without knocking any newcomers I have had my cues made by folks with over 15 years in the business that is just my choice. There are lots of great guys with less time in this field, the comment above is just my choice. It also depends on the estimated build time which is as much your choice as it is for the builder. How long are you willing to wait for instance? Being self employed can be feast or famine and newcomers can quickly be overwhelmed by orders and find themselves in over their heads if they do not manage their time, inventory and work load accurately. There is a learning process to running your own business and managing that can be the make or break of a cue maker. JMO, good luck!

Cornerman
01-17-2014, 07:51 AM
I'm looking to get my first custom cue and I have narrowed it down to a couple of cuemakers based upon reputation and price. but now it's at that point that I need to choose which one.

I know some of them if not all of them are on the forum and I don't feel like making waves etc.

But what things do you really look for in a cuemaker? turnaround time? etc?
Oh, I don't know. I usually look for the qualities all found in Andy and Vicky Gilbert as people and cue makers.

Freddie

Ken_4fun
01-17-2014, 07:54 AM
Im sure people are sick of hearing me say it but you ask so I will share.

IMO, folks buy cues from "local" cuemakers. Thats fine as long as you know some issues with it.

I too, have had local guys build a cue, and then when I wanted to sell it, I lost money.

Secondly, you have guys that are relatively new, and they charge similar to what vetern cuemakers charge.

I recommend working with known cuemaker that has a reputation for their cues holding their value. Then when you want sell or trade you keep most of the value.

If you can get Paul Drexler to build you a cue and he is local, I would recommend you talk to him. I have one of his cues and I am impressed.

Ken

wawacue
01-17-2014, 07:56 AM
Here some of my opinion.

1. First you need to know what your price budget
2. How patient can you be before you order with XXX maker
2a. What the max time frame you willing to wait
3. Sound like you already know what cue maker you heading towards to, why not name the maker so everyone can have their opinion or their experience with them
4. STAY AWAY FROM TONY ZINZOLA !!!!! This guy is the embarrassment of billiard industries history.

Ken_4fun
01-17-2014, 07:56 AM
Oh, I don't know. I usually look for the qualities all found in Andy and Vicky Gilbert as people and cue makers.

Freddie

If you are holding them as examples, there arent going to alot of folks that meet that.

Andy and Vicky are top notch folks.

Andy makes a damn fine cue.

They would make a great choice, IMO.

Ken

DAVE_M
01-17-2014, 07:59 AM
Honesty.

So many cue makers out there (big and small) that will feed anyone lies.

The Piper
01-17-2014, 08:02 AM
man the amount of private messages I got is nuts...

ok,

Right now I'm looking at

Bob Dzuricky
Russ Espiritu
Drexler (wow just responded to me within 15 minutes of emailing him)

Other names and quotes:
Jacoby, J. Pechauer, Bill Webb, Mike Webb, etc.

In doing my due diligence online research, the internet is flooded with people who either love or hate a guy, or had one bad experience buying a cue, etc. So I'm more curious about what you are looking for in a cuemaker from people who have bought custom cues.

macguy
01-17-2014, 08:06 AM
For a true playing cue, I'd probably go with a local maker. Even if not name-brand, lots of states have several cue makers that put out good work even if no-one heard of them outside a 100 mile radius. You can also have a chance to play with several of their cues since they I'm sure they have several models around in the shop and plenty of local players would have their stuff as well.

Luckily my local makers include the likes of Mike Webb, Paul Drexler and Joe Calalluca :smile:. Zinzola is only a few towns from me but that ship has sailed hehe.

I really really agree with what you say. I believe in a relationship with people I do business with. Being able to meet the cue maker in person and both being on the same page can go a long way to you being happy with your cue. The OP should not get caught up in wanting a cue whose name he can drop.

There are so many good cue makers today with equipment available and information readily available there is a good chance almost anybody in the US is a short drive from a cue maker. If you meet the cue maker and are happy with what you see and hear, give their cue a try. They do not have to be a household name.

hang-the-9
01-17-2014, 08:36 AM
Then you are local to me. I've been to Mike Webb's place in RI, albeit 7 or 8years ago. I tried sending him a message, but I haven't heard back from him. From everything I read, he is really busy working on repairs 80% of the time and only making cues 20% of the time. I wish I had the cash 8 years ago to get this design done... I've sent him a couple of emails but no luck so far :( (THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GUY, I've met him and he's top notch, he's just really busy and in demand)

How are Drexler and Calalluca? I'm looking for a players cue. Not a wall hanger. My design is really super simple. I just want a nice playing cue that has the simple design I want.

Mike does not use the internet anymore LOL. Go to Snookers, he is there just about any day. You're right , he is in demand and does not put anyone on a waiting list anymore according to what he told me. I would suggest you just head to Snookers and talk to him in person. If you are local to RI, send me a PM with your # and I can give you a call if I see him in Snookers. I will be there this Saturday and Mike is often hanging out there in early evening. While there is "no people going on waiting list" for him, if he likes you, you'll get a cue from him.

I met Paul Drexler a few times, he is a very nice guy and looks to communicate very well with his customers. I have not dealt with Calalluca myself but have gotten recommendations about him from other local players. All three of those guys are not only local to you it seems but also well know nationally so you get both a local guy making a cue and a cue that you can "name drop" LOL.

kollegedave
01-17-2014, 08:52 AM
I'm looking to get my first custom cue and I have narrowed it down to a couple of cuemakers based upon reputation and price. but now it's at that point that I need to choose which one.

I know some of them if not all of them are on the forum and I don't feel like making waves etc.

But what things do you really look for in a cuemaker? turnaround time? etc?

Don't look. Just hire Josh Treadway. There is no better person to trust with your cue. Josh made me a fantastic playing cue and fair price. He accommodated my strange requests on shaft tapers, joints, inlays, etc. He is great.

http://www.treadwaycues.com/

kollegedave

jburkm002
01-17-2014, 09:14 AM
Are you looking for something totally unigue. I have seen a few people post their budget in the wanted for sale section. Their have been some many fine offers. Some are even new or just test hit. When I can get some money together that's what I will be doing.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

The Piper
01-17-2014, 10:33 AM
Are you looking for something totally unigue. I have seen a few people post their budget in the wanted for sale section. Their have been some many fine offers. Some are even new or just test hit. When I can get some money together that's what I will be doing.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Nothing super unique. It's a very simple design that uses only two woods in the forearm. 4 points

minimal butt work, irish linen wrap, wood to wood joint, elforyn/wood collar. and 2 shafts. althought I'm considering just getting one because honestly, since it isn't a super custom job, I could always get a predator/ob or something later on.

It's just a design I've had on a scrap piece of paper for 15 years in my cue case. Time to make it a reality.

gsxr750rr
01-17-2014, 11:39 AM
that's actually a pretty tough question. For me, I dig through my archive of testing as many cues that people will let me hit with and going with the cue maker that provided not the best hit but the most consistent good hit from cue to cue that I have tried. Because when you are ordering a custom cue you don't know what you are going to end up with as far as a hit and a cue makers ability to consistently replicate a similar hit is important. Along with that is the cue makers typical tapers, joint, etc. That's what I go for and if they are local then it's gravy but if they are across the country, oh well. Last cue I had made came from the opposite coast. Only thing that steers me away from this selection process is if I have personally or personally know of someone where the cue maker literally gave them the shaft. Ex. I had a cue built for me and through numerous emails with attached photos for reference, etc. When I got my cue it was not what I ordered, pretty close but ringwork was completely different, etc. Not enough to make me want to voice a complaint but what got me was the cue maker decided to hold my cue hostage unless I payed an "extra fee" to move it "to the top of the list" for completion. It wasn't the money it was the principle. Suffice to say I dumped the cue the week I received it, and have not ordered since, even though he makes a solid cue for a very reasonable price. But that's just me.

3kushn
01-17-2014, 01:23 PM
don't look. Just hire josh treadway. There is no better person to trust with your cue. Josh made me a fantastic playing cue and fair price. He accommodated my strange requests on shaft tapers, joints, inlays, etc. He is great.

http://www.treadwaycues.com/

kollegedave

this is your answer

Travis Niklich
01-17-2014, 02:07 PM
One that will bring me back a cocktail when they make a run to the bar at a trade show.