Shaftwood question
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commswatch
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Shaftwood question - 09-17-2019, 08:22 AM

Just looking for opinions from your vast compendium of knowledge -

I'm looking to have some shafts made - not sure who yet, but thats not my question.

Would/could a person use an old, straight, one piece house cue and turn it into a high quality shaft? I figure the woods plenty dried, and if it hasn't warped in 30ish years, its not gonna start with a little retooling.

Would there be any possible benefits? drawbacks? am I wasting my time while I'm sitting here at work? depends on who you ask!

Bring it on! basically...would the older wood be preferable to the newer wood in a new shaft.

Tks for all of your input!


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Black-Balled
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09-17-2019, 08:38 AM

You want too shelf wood, then contact some makers who use it.

House cues are not made from premium pieces.

I don't think you can just turn a house cue shaft down, without waiting a long time...due to its conical taper and the fact that good shafts have a far longer taper.

All that said, I am sure any competent repairman could cut it in half and throw a pin on it.
  
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erhino41
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09-17-2019, 09:08 AM

Any time you cut wood all bets are off. Simply cutting a house cue in half could see both halves curl like bananas, in theory. Good cue makers take time to season blanks and turn them in steps to ensure stability in the finish product, and still all bets are off.

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in summary
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in summary - 09-17-2019, 10:42 AM

well, thats the info/opinions I was looking for...appreciate the assist! now to find someone to build shafts!


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09-17-2019, 11:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by erhino41 View Post
Any time you cut wood all bets are off. Simply cutting a house cue in half could see both halves curl like bananas, in theory. Good cue makers take time to season blanks and turn them in steps to ensure stability in the finish product, and still all bets are off.

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Just asking a question here: I just had a 35/50 year old Dufferin House cue cut in half and am preparing to make a two piece cue of it. The cue was straight as a one piece from tip to bumper- you are saying that a 35/50 yr. old house cue standing in a wood rack in all sorts of 4 season temperature changes and staying straight for 35+ years may now warp significantly just because it was cut ? I am just asking not doubting your knowledge. Thanks
  
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Start with two
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Start with two - 09-17-2019, 11:34 AM

The old thick butted pool cues have been sought for conversions for a long time so they aren't easy to find. They also have acquired some value over the years so this project could get expensive in a hurry.

One thick butt to turn down for the butt portion of your custom. The shaft leaves no margin for issues if you try to use the portion from the tip back. However, I think you would have a better chance if you took the wood from just below the full splice and for thirty inches from there from another old cue, butt size doesn't matter, cutting much of the old shaft off. The smith will still have to turn a little, wait awhile, turn a little more. That is why you can expect this project to take about a year. Plus, after any turning the shaft section may warp into scrap. You supplied the blank, you eat materials and labor if it has an invisible flaw.

If you find a backyard smith that is curious to tinker himself you might have $500-$600 tied up in the project for a wrapless sneaky style cue. It would probably play like a similar Dufferin, good but not great. I don't know what the Dufferin goes for now, I would guess about $100. I bought one for a quick shaft for my Moochie in the mid-nineties from a fairly high end store that had a bunch on display so I could find one with a nice shaft. The Dufferin was forty bucks and I have to admit the shaft played just as good on the Dufferin butt as on the moochie tail end.

Just my opinions here. There is always the chance you put together some old wood and it plays fantastic. You have some good cues already. Gonna be tough to match them, much less surpass them. However, you would have a cue that was a bit different from pretty much anyone else since most conversions use just the butt section of the old cue and a properly aged shaft blank of known condition from their own shop. These blanks are often available well into the turn and wait process so that could shorten the time to complete the project considerably. A lot more wait time in building a cue than work time usually.

These kind of projects remind me of the old tale about combining a jackass with an onion. Nine times out of ten all you get is a long eared onion. One time out of ten you get a piece of ass so good it will bring tears to your eyes!

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09-17-2019, 11:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemosconi View Post
Just asking a question here: I just had a 35/50 year old Dufferin House cue cut in half and am preparing to make a two piece cue of it. The cue was straight as a one piece from tip to bumper- you are saying that a 35/50 yr. old house cue standing in a wood rack in all sorts of 4 season temperature changes and staying straight for 35+ years may now warp significantly just because it was cut ? I am just asking not doubting your knowledge. Thanks
Not exactly. If when it was cut it still is straight then you should be fine. maybe not, but probably fine.

Wood is full of stresses even after aging 50 years. When you cut it you have no ideas what type of stress it is under and how it will react to those stresses being relieved.

I used to mill rough lumber down to finished dimensions for assembly in a high end cabinet shop. I have seen maple do all sorts of funny things when surfaced, being ripped on a table saw or being cut to length on a circular saw. I had one piece of 1 1/2" x 3/4" maple that was probably about six feet long and as straight as you can mill a six feet long board. As soon as i cut it in half both ends curled up to unusable condition.

So it can happen.

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09-17-2019, 11:43 AM

Some on here with experience doing conversions will have first hand knowledge of any stability issues with old house cues.

I was speaking merely of the instability of maple in general.

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09-17-2019, 11:55 AM

Any cue maker worth his dollar has hundreds of shafts better than those .

Age does not change the grain orientation or how woods were originally dried.
Or how they were cut.


  
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09-17-2019, 12:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyInCali View Post
Any cue maker worth his dollar has hundreds of shafts better than those .

Age does not change the grain orientation or how woods were originally dried.
Or how they were cut.
There you go...

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