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lakeman77
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04-27-2019, 07:49 AM

Visit the Schmelke or Prather websites. See what cue building materials costs, butt blanks with veneers, rings, linen, joint pins, etc. Figure how much the builder has in material costs, then you decide what is fair.

Last edited by lakeman77; 04-27-2019 at 07:58 AM.
  
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How long do you wait for a paycheck?
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How long do you wait for a paycheck? - 04-27-2019, 11:51 AM

I haven't read this particular thread in it's entirety. I read the start, here and there, and the last post. This thread duplicates many before it. I will ask everyone here how long do they wait between the time they work and the time they get paid?

A reasonable shop rate for the investment most quality cue builders have in workspace, inventory and equipment would be $100-125 an hour. When he selects two shaft blanks at the 80-90% stage they will already have an hour apiece in them having been turned eight to twelve times. The butt wood has been in inventory with that cash tied up for several years or more, often much longer. Perhaps by mutual agreement of customer and cue builder a top quality butt blank was purchased. A good blank is pushing the price of some completed cues by unknown or little known builders.

From the time the cue butt is in blank state and the cue shafts are in 90% state, the cue builder will put in about twenty hours, not counting inlays or rings. This twenty hours will generally be spaced out for from a month to a year or more depending on the state the wood was in when the builder started. Fancy ornamentation can take five times that long or more and even some of the seemingly simple things can add many hours especially when added in as a change after the cue is started.

Any solid builder out there that sells a cue under two-thousand dollars is giving a better deal than a custom cabinet builder or most other woodworkers. A better deal than the man that works on your air conditioner or lawn mower, a better deal than pretty much any small shop you can name with the same investment in shop space, inventory, and hard earned expertise. It is also reasonable to expect to pay a surcharge for talent that doesn't apply to a skilled craftsman. Many cues are a work of art. Other artists aren't paid purely for their technical expertise and neither should that be more than the starting point in calculating the price of a cue.

If a solid cue builder wants a third to a half down to pay for his inventory and the fact he may be a year away from getting paid in full for the work he is doing today I'd give it to him without a murmur. I have done just that dealing with other builders.

If you don't trust a cue builder enough to give him a third to a half down, why the hell are you dealing with him?

I built a cue shop, bought lathes and other tooling including CNC, bought wood to get my river of wood started, did some minor work but never built the first cue for anyone else. I just didn't need the headache. I made the mistake of putting my shop next door to a short run jobshop machine shop. I could walk next door with no investment, not dealing with toxic fumes that play a part in the death of many cue builders and other wood workers, and make more than I can building custom cues. No customers calling twice a week just to visit on the phone, no fighting with suppliers botching my orders, none of the headaches of running a small business.

Every customer with work in progress thinks that they should be free to call and talk fifteen, thirty minutes, or longer whenever they are in the mood. A few dozen customers doing that and there is no time left to work but a customer gets highly indignant if told someone doesn't have time to talk. They would really crap a brick if phone time was added to the invoice! Then there are the dreamers. They will call and talk an hour daydreaming about a cue they will never have built, can't begin to afford. A few weeks later they will call with a whole new idea for a cue, equally beyond their means. They are just enjoying their fantasies on the cue builder's time.

If I added them up I have owned about a dozen small businesses. That is the reason I don't build cues. Too much business experience to step into that snake pit! If I ever take a notion to build any I'll build then on spec and offer them after they are built. Not likely to happen though, lost my river of wood in a hurricane.

Hu
  
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04-28-2019, 07:31 PM

i always offer to send a deposit even though most cue makers knw i always pay

sometimes the cue makers need the money or assurance,this is no reason to run

jerry rauenzahn always gets deposits and he is the most reliable cue maker in the world
bob owen gets deposits and he is mr integrity

paul drexler is as good as it gets,i heard his wife had some huge bills so i paid in advance,not that he needs money ,but it is sometimes nice to see a bad streak turn around

i guess each deal is unique,ask your cue maker,and don't be afraid of a deposit for a custom cue

it is good business for most people,i took deposits on the schon tributes just to make sure
my buyers were serious.

i have been pleased with almost every cue maker i dealt with
  
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04-29-2019, 12:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyco View Post
Are we talking cash or jewelry?
  
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Hu and Lake
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Hu and Lake - 04-29-2019, 02:08 PM

Hu with a great reply.

Lake...recommendation to check Prather site is good one as well.


Good Luck and Good Strokes,

RunninTable
  
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04-29-2019, 02:44 PM

most of these cue builders that screw folks are ones operating out of their house and dont have a reputation built. and the people that use them are doing it only as a way to save money on a cue thinking they get the same quality or a quick build.

as for most things you dont get paid for your inventory in advance you get paid upon delivery of the goods. custom is of course a little different but if you are a good cue builder and building cues that sell if a customer backs out you can sell easily.

and no initial deposit needed just a deposit as you start and can send a pic of what you are using that you have bought for him. asking for a deposit and being a year or more away and months before even starting is wrong.
  
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04-29-2019, 03:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
What's the usual down payment to a cue builder for a custom cue?
Mike F - I looked at your aZ signature.
Tim Scruggs, Alex brick, JB case, modified Predator, Palmer

those are steep credentials, i'm surprised the question stems from an experienced person


  
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04-29-2019, 03:29 PM

i disagree with the idea that custom cue makers working out of the house are
suspect

Balabushka,Szamboti,(gus and barry)

South west cues,petersen,libra,rauenzahn,pfd drexler are just a few of the greatones who at least started out of the house
hulsey,vigus,bob runde in case some of the first ones seem antiquated

i think it safe to say that custom cue making is a cottage industry

and it is a tough business,sales can be irregular and deposits are a commercial neccessity

dealers may prefer that you don't order direct,they think you shoulsd pay them an extra fee because they have the cues in stock

it may agree with you prejudice to not place a deposit,but without one i would not do business with you,it might not be large or it might not be,but that is the nature of the business

it pays to buy direct,customize your order and save money by dealing direct

if i didn't believe this , why would i put up deposits,or at least offer to

i have found cue makers appreciate consideration and they show it with good service and extra
benefits to me
  
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RichSchultz
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04-29-2019, 03:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L I F D 1 View Post
Mike F - I looked at your aZ signature.
Tim Scruggs, Alex brick, JB case, modified Predator, Palmer

those are steep credentials, i'm surprised the question stems from an experienced person
Did he say he bought all of those new from the maker??
  
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MikeF
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04-29-2019, 04:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L I F D 1 View Post
Mike F - I looked at your aZ signature.
Tim Scruggs, Alex brick, JB case, modified Predator, Palmer

those are steep credentials, i'm surprised the question stems from an experienced person
I started playing again 4 years ago this July after quitting for about 36 years, & I'm 66. I played sporty when young & the Model J Palmer, picked up in late '74, was my cue. When I started back, oh how the world of billiards has changed, lol.

The "modified Predator" is just a BK2 break cue.


Playing cues: Tim Scruggs
Break cue: Predator BK2 w/Hammerhead tip
Jump Cue: Alex Brick
Case: JB leather

Last edited by MikeF; 04-29-2019 at 04:18 PM.
  
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04-30-2019, 02:41 AM

I think that a 20/30% deposit is fair but only if you do all your research on the maker up front- I look at giving a deposit for anything as the responsibility of the buyer to research the seller, even then, things can and will occur beyond anyone's control- so there is ALWAYS risk in any business transaction. Seems like health issues for older cue makers or their family members has been the single biggest reason given when cue orders are going unfilled- so i do sometimes worry about dealing with an "over 50" cue maker", only for that reason. One of the most important things i have learned is to make sure EVERY aspect of the cue being built is discussed, agreed, and placed in writing via at least an e mail- I have seen cues from top makers where the inlays in the points do not line up 100% with the matching inlays in the butt sleeve- some off by 3/16 of an inch!! to me, that is a flawed cue that needs a redo and I would demand that to be done. Other issues like balance point, butt and shaft diameter/taper etc. need to be clearly agreed upon upfront.
  
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04-30-2019, 04:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanoc View Post
i disagree with the idea that custom cue makers working out of the house are
suspect

Balabushka,Szamboti,(gus and barry)

South west cues,petersen,libra,rauenzahn,pfd drexler are just a few of the greatones who at least started out of the house
hulsey,vigus,bob runde in case some of the first ones seem antiquated

i think it safe to say that custom cue making is a cottage industry

and it is a tough business,sales can be irregular and deposits are a commercial neccessity

dealers may prefer that you don't order direct,they think you shoulsd pay them an extra fee because they have the cues in stock

it may agree with you prejudice to not place a deposit,but without one i would not do business with you,it might not be large or it might not be,but that is the nature of the business

it pays to buy direct,customize your order and save money by dealing direct

if i didn't believe this , why would i put up deposits,or at least offer to

i have found cue makers appreciate consideration and they show it with good service and extra
benefits to me
Yep, I don't get that remark either.

I plan on meeting and discussing a cue with Pat Diveney in a couple weeks, at his home!

He has a pretty humble looking shop (from the outside) behind his house one might think is his garage.

Heard and read nothing but really, really good things about him and will be back in his area for a college graduation (was there in March but he was on the road) and really looking forward to the opportunity to talk about a cue!
  
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04-30-2019, 05:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L I F D 1 View Post
Mike F - I looked at your aZ signature.
Tim Scruggs, Alex brick, JB case, modified Predator, Palmer

those are steep credentials, i'm surprised the question stems from an experienced person
I found that funny too. Something fishy here other than me.
  
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MikeF
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04-30-2019, 06:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z-Nole View Post
I found that funny too. Something fishy here other than me.
Fishy? How so?


Playing cues: Tim Scruggs
Break cue: Predator BK2 w/Hammerhead tip
Jump Cue: Alex Brick
Case: JB leather
  
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05-01-2019, 08:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
I started playing again 4 years ago this July after quitting for about 36 years, & I'm 66.
I played sporty when young & the Model J Palmer, picked up in late '74, was my cue.
When I started back, oh how the world of billiards has changed, lol.

The "modified Predator" is just a BK2 break cue.
Any chance of seeing your equipment in the cue and case gallery
or here


  
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