Case question
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Moonraker
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Case question - 04-20-2008, 06:46 PM

I've had about every kind of case imaginable in my 20+ years of playing pool. I suppose my favorite was an old 2X4 It's George, but that was sold long ago. I've been looking at Whitten, Instroke, and the new "classic" It's George cases but I want to get your opinion.

Is spending $300+ on a case really give you anything beneficial besides show-off rights? I mean will a $60 cheap-o protect my cues just the same or are their horror stories about those cases? "Ahh a staple inside my <insert cheap case name here> and I just scratched the bejesus out of my cue."

I appreciate your help.

Moonraker
  
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mullyman
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04-20-2008, 06:51 PM

You're probably going to get differing opinions on this but the fact of the matter is this, there's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a case. A cheap hard case will do just fine. I've heard Instroke cases are so tough that you can have a car roll over them......I can't remember the last time I rolled a car over my cue case.
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My opinion
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My opinion - 04-20-2008, 06:55 PM

Although I currently own a Whitten and a couple of Instrokes as my daily carriers and have also owned an It's George case. I think that for the price the Joe Porper originals are a very good case for the money. They are resonably priced, provide great protection and are very light as well.
Just my thoughts.

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GTF Cases
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GTF Cases - 04-20-2008, 07:05 PM

As far as those style of cases go, I think now that GTF cases are made better and you have more choices.

http://www.indyq.com/

They have a video with John Barton demonstrating the features. He was the founder of InStroke cases and has developed better cases now.
  
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04-20-2008, 07:42 PM

this one guy at work drives an 07 vette to work, almost all of it on dirt roads. another guy 10x as far on hwy in a 79 F150.

i drive new european cars, but i do wish i had my knitted case back.

priorities are weird.
  
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case
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case - 04-20-2008, 09:29 PM

If you have a cheap cue put it in a cheap case, you see where this is going :-) If you buy yourself a Jack Justis your problems will be over that case will last many years :-) Just add up what you have spent on cases over your 20 + years ? Just My thoughts :-)


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04-20-2008, 09:32 PM

I love my whitten case. I would buy it again, and if i paid more, I'd still think I got a great deal. Excellent cases and Joe is a super nice guy


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04-20-2008, 11:40 PM

I have a Instroke buffalo case ..I purchased it when they came out..I have expensive cues and want to protect them...IF you can afford a real good case then treat yourself and buy the one of your dreams..


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04-21-2008, 12:09 AM

For a little more than 300 I'd go with a Whitten or a Murnak. My Whitten is solid as a rock and looks perfect. If you do decide on a Whitten I would definitely get the top handle as an option... I think mine was like 75 bucks extra for the handle but it is worth every penny. It sucks not being able to pick the case up at the top. I think those new Justis West cases are going to start around 300 as well...
  
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Whitten Difference
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Whitten Difference - 04-21-2008, 04:26 AM

I too wondered if I was paying for a name. Are the spring shaft tubes worth the extra coin? Is the height adjustability for the tubes necessary? I really like the clean look of the case though. Whittens hold up very well over time too. What to do?

Then I learned something that did sway me: Ernie from Ginacue tested the leading cases with a hydrometer and found the Whitten case to be best at keeping the moisture away from the cue. Now Whittens come with every Ginacue. That impressed me; a qualitative difference that will prevent warpage is worth my investment. Add to it that Whitten stands behind the cases...I had a zipper tab repaired once...and you have top cue care that endures. I'm sold
  
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04-21-2008, 05:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by branpureza
For a little more than 300 I'd go with a Whitten or a Murnak. My Whitten is solid as a rock and looks perfect. If you do decide on a Whitten I would definitely get the top handle as an option... I think mine was like 75 bucks extra for the handle but it is worth every penny. It sucks not being able to pick the case up at the top. I think those new Justis West cases are going to start around 300 as well...
Dude, I just checked that link to your Justis case in your sig, WOW, Great looking case.
MULLY


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04-21-2008, 05:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drawman623
I too wondered if I was paying for a name. Are the spring shaft tubes worth the extra coin? Is the height adjustability for the tubes necessary? I really like the clean look of the case though. Whittens hold up very well over time too. What to do?

Then I learned something that did sway me: Ernie from Ginacue tested the leading cases with a hydrometer and found the Whitten case to be best at keeping the moisture away from the cue. Now Whittens come with every Ginacue. That impressed me; a qualitative difference that will prevent warpage is worth my investment. Add to it that Whitten stands behind the cases...I had a zipper tab repaired once...and you have top cue care that endures. I'm sold
When was this test done and which brands were tested? Just curious.

I think by now that everyone knows how much of a fanatic I am about cue case protection.

When I built the Instroke cases I wanted to protect against accidental removal first. That is when you tip the case and all the stuff falls out if you aren't fast enough to grab your cues.

As I started getting into it I found that the cue would bang against the sides of the tubes if the case were hit hard. I found that I could break a cue just above the wrap by dropping the case from about six feet. So I added more padding inside the tubing to protect against what I call oscillation stress - basically when the cue hammers the sides of the tubes repeatedly.

More into it and I found that the felt used in a lot of cases was very moisture absorbent. It really sucked up water. So then I found a fabric that didn't hold moisture but was also soft. You see there are fabrics that don't hold moisture that other case makers use but those fabrics are also hard and will dull or scratch the finish over time. In other words if I handed you a piece of that fabric and asked you to rub your cue's finish with it you would look at me as if I were nuts. But people don't realize it until a few years down the road when their cue finish is looking dull or has tiny scratches in it. So I was pleased to find the fabric that actually polishes the cue as well as keeps moisture away.

Then the next thing was the stress caused by temperature swings. I found that if I added several layers of material over the tubes that it would allow the case to maintain temperature longer and thus allow the cues to acclimate to different temperatures at a slower rate. I honestly have no idea if this helps or not to protect the cue but it can't hurt. So I put foam rubber and laminated cardboard between the leather and the tubes.

Basically the whole thing for me was and still is how to protect the cue against as much as possible while it's in the case.

A lot of people don't feel the way I do about it. I have even had folks who own high end cues tell me that protection doesn't matter as long as the case holds the cue. People have told me that looks are what matters.

But a lot more folks have told me that protection does matter. A lot of people who bought Instroke cases had those weird accidents happen to their cases and were really happy that the case protected their cues as it was designed to.

Some stories I received about Instroke in real life.

One woman left her case on top of the car as she was preparing to go to a big event, she pulled forward and the case fell down and she backed over it. Cues were fine, case was fine.

One bike messenger in New York was hit by a taxi and he flipped and landed on his back with only the case to protect him. He and the cues were fine.

One guy flipped his car and the car landed on the case and slid along the road. The case was torn up on the outside but the cues were fine.

One person's car caught on fire with the case inside. The case's exterior was burned but the cues inside only had slight bubbling.

Another guy was carrying a heavy backboard up his stairs and lost control and the backboard bounced down the stairs and hit his Instroke case right in the middle and knocked it through the wall. Case was fine cues were fine.

Another person was changing a tire ans when he let the jack down the car was still off the ground because his case was wedged under the car and was supporting it.

One time I put a case outside the conference center at the US Open in pouring rain with about $3000 worth of cues inside to prove that the cues would stay dry and the case wouldn't be harmed. The did and the case was dry in about 15 minutes.

A WPBA professional was on a scooter in Hawaii when she wrecked and her case went bouncing across the highway. She and the case and the cues were fine.

And there are many more like this that I received over the years. On top of all that I always leave my cues in the car all the time, summer, winter, rain or shine. I have been on 3000 mile road trips in the height of summer and the dead of winter with more than $50,000 in cues stored in Instroke cases and had no issues.

The point of all this is that if it's a tube case you honestly don't know what lurks below the surface. For the most part cases are pretty good these days thanks to other makers taking a closer look at how well their cases actually do protect as well as the many who copy Instroke finally stepping up and copying what matters, the interior protection.

You all would be horrified to see what I have seen in 15 years as a case maker. I have willfully dissected most cases on the market and I can tell you for a fact that if most of you knew what was inside the cases you stick your prized cues into then you would be pretty pissed about it.

In 2003 after I sold Instroke I did case repairs for a year or so. While doing that I came to deal with a lot of the Instroke copies. Some of them even had exposed nail points in the space the cue was being put into.

In fact, my own prized Joss was damaged when I put it into a brand new Whitten knockoff and the whole bottom came off and the cue slid out getting scratched up by the nails on it's way out. Mark Smith of Russelville Arkansas can tell you about it as he did the refinish job on it.

What does all this mean?

It means that if you do truly care about your cue then you make sure that the case you buy to protect it can really do the job. There are a lot of cavity-style top loading cases on the market. Think about what is below the first four inches that you can see and feel. Often on the el-cheapo knockoffs of well known brands it's not very protective and often harmful.

But, as I said on the whole cases are much, much better now than they were ten years ago.

Someone mentioned the It's George cases. Recently I was commissioned to create a case in the same family as the Fellini, Centennial, and It's George. I put all my knowledge into that case and outfitted it with the protective features I think are important.

The cases are GTF Cases and the website is www.gtfcases.com

Here is a link to a couple videos I recently did where I talk about the cases and why I built them the way I did.

http://www.jbcases.com/GTF-Beginning.WMV
http://www.jbcases.com/Loading-Instructions.WMV

I realize the vids aren't very professional but I hope you get the point.

The last thing I want to say on this topic is that IF you invest in protection then that protection is with you every day you use the case. If you skimp and buy a cheapo case then maybe nothing will ever happen but the danger is there that something will every day that you use it. Not to mention that if it has the type of liner that is abrasive that it starts scratching and dulling your cue's finish from the first time you put a cue in it.

The extra cost of quality is long forgotten while the frustration of inferior quality confronts you with every repair and mishap.

"Protection Matters". John Barton, Case Maker.

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04-21-2008, 07:55 AM

Agreed, there's a big difference, and absolutely no question about it...the right protection really does matter. Sure, it may seem pricey to put a large investment in something that will merely serve as a case, but if your cues are your babies, and they run the risk of real damage as you travel from point A to point B, you're going to be glad you spent that extra cash.

You won't always have to spend $300+ to ensure their safety (say, for instance, on *coughborderbilliardscough*), but I've seen a lot of cases, and know for a fact that the cheapest product on the market will simply NOT compare.


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04-21-2008, 09:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonraker
I've had about every kind of case imaginable in my 20+ years of playing pool. I suppose my favorite was an old 2X4 It's George, but that was sold long ago. I've been looking at Whitten, Instroke, and the new "classic" It's George cases but I want to get your opinion.

Is spending $300+ on a case really give you anything beneficial besides show-off rights? I mean will a $60 cheap-o protect my cues just the same or are their horror stories about those cases? "Ahh a staple inside my <insert cheap case name here> and I just scratched the bejesus out of my cue."

I appreciate your help.

Moonraker













Think you question is a very good one, and I will try and give you some advice based upon personal experience.

Some of the CHEAP Case have lining to protect Cues, and Shafts that may only go down the length of a Case 5-6 inches, after that it is bear tube that will scratch shafts, and butt sections.

Like most thing in life in a case you get what you pay for. What I consider quality cases are:

Giuseppe

Porper

Justis

Rangercap?s Nittany Leather

Talisman

Whitten

OnQCases

Porper

Ron Thomas

Swift

Old It?s George by Brunswick

Those are the ones,I have personally seen, handle, and touched.

I am sure there are other QUALITY CASES but those are the one I have handled.

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