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What is a Titleist Conversion?
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What is a Titleist Conversion? - 04-02-2010, 10:38 PM

What is a Titleist Conversion? Do cue makers actually use old Titleist's and add to them?


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04-02-2010, 10:45 PM

It is an old Titlist cue that a cuemaker cuts down and makes a two piece cue. Sometimes they use just the forearm and sometimes they use the entire cue. Here is an example.
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04-02-2010, 10:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyboy716 View Post
What is a Titleist Conversion? Do cue makers actually use old Titleist's and add to them?
Titlists are one piece cues. Conversions are the two piece equivalents made from them by custom makers. They take the old Titlists and cut them up to make custom cues. The word "conversion" happened later on - maybe in the 1980's or even 1990's - but the first to make customs from them was Herman Rambow, followed by George Balabushka and Frank Paradise, Palmer, Ginacue, Tad and so on.

It's kind of the same concept in rifles. The rifle equivalent is the Mauser - custom rifle makers used the Mauser action and shortened them, then used a custom barrel and made "sporter rifles" from them - cue makers did the same thing.

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04-02-2010, 10:56 PM

Different things can be added by the cuemaker to dress up the cue also, such as different types of joints, butt styles, wraps, and inlays. These cues are also known for hitting like a dream.


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04-03-2010, 01:06 AM

The Brunswick 26 1/2 was the cue that the Titlist was patterned after, the Brunswick 26 1/2 was first made by Brunswick around 1908, and between 1939 - 1940 Brunswick Changed the name to Willie Hoppe Titlist.

Cue makers have been using this cues since the 1920's to convert into two piece playing. The first conversions of the Brunswick 26 1/2 and later the Titlist were made by Herman Rambo who was the production manager for Brunswicks cue department, and a few known examples were made by Harvey Martin. Later during the late 1940's Frank Paradise started using Titlist blanks to make his early cues. Then starting in the early 1960's every cue maker from Balabushka, Ernie G from Gina Cue, Palmer Custom Cues, Richard Helmstetter, Tad, Gus Szamboti and many many others also used Titlist cues in there early days.

I also have used Titlist and Brunswick 26 1/2 cues to build cues for myself and some of my customers, they make great foundations for a cue, they are full spliced blanks that are very stable if stored properly for all these years.

Below are some pictures of some my conversions:

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04-03-2010, 09:38 AM

What about the old Brunswick 2 piece cues. Don't they cut the butt smaller and change the joints. Are these considered "conversions" also?


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04-03-2010, 10:20 AM

I'm glad someone started this thread. I've been considering asking this same question.


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04-03-2010, 04:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by measureman View Post
What about the old Brunswick 2 piece cues. Don't they cut the butt smaller and change the joints. Are these considered "conversions" also?


You are certainly correct, in fact when ever a one peice cue is cut and a joint is added it is a conversion. In fact the most expensive brunswick cues ever made their model 360, was made as a one piece cue by Brunswick and then it was cut and a joint was added.

Here is a thread that shows some photo's of the Model 360 cues!!

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=181579


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04-03-2010, 05:34 PM

Interestingly enough, I was at the Crooked Cue, in Clearwater FL this afternoon, when I spied an older gentleman playing with a VERY old Helmstetter titlist cue. I asked to see it, and learned that it was originally owned by Carl Conlon, the 3-C player (this person also happened to be from MI). The cue was the only Helmstetter pool cue I've ever seen that had the fat wooden screw in the shaft, that screwed into the butt. It's a common joint for 3-C cues, but uncommon for pool cues, to my knowledge. The butt was a beautiful old Titlist, with an original Cortland linen wrap. The fellow who owns it, also got three shafts with the cue! If I see the guy again, I'll get some photos of the cue, and post them here.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by manwon View Post
The Brunswick 26 1/2 was the cue that the Titlist was patterned after, the Brunswick 26 1/2 was first made by Brunswick around 1908, and between 1939 - 1940 Brunswick Changed the name to Willie Hoppe Titlist.

Cue makers have been using this cues since the 1920's to convert into two piece playing. The first conversions of the Brunswick 26 1/2 and later the Titlist were made by Herman Rambo who was the production manager for Brunswicks cue department, and a few known examples were made by Harvey Martin. Later during the late 1940's Frank Paradise started using Titlist blanks to make his early cues. Then starting in the early 1960's every cue maker from Balabushka, Ernie G from Gina Cue, Palmer Custom Cues, Richard Helmstetter, Tad, Gus Szamboti and many many others also used Titlist cues in there early days.

I also have used Titlist and Brunswick 26 1/2 cues to build cues for myself and some of my customers, they make great foundations for a cue, they are full spliced blanks that are very stable if stored properly for all these years.

Below are some pictures of some my conversions:

Attachment 132270

Attachment 132271

Attachment 132272

Attachment 132273

Attachment 132274


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04-03-2010, 06:27 PM

Craig...It's interesting to note that 150 years ago, at least one company (B. Finck, of Germany) was producing a catalog with over 150 different 1- and 2-piece cues. I wonder if Brunswick took notice and copied some of their work? A photocopy of their catalog is Victor Stein's Billiard Encyclopedia.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by manwon View Post
You are certainly correct, in fact when ever a one peice cue is cut and a joint is added it is a conversion. In fact the most expensive brunswick cues ever made their model 360, was made as a one piece cue by Brunswick and then it was cut and a joint was added.

Here is a thread that shows some photo's of the Model 360 cues!!

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=181579


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04-03-2010, 06:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyboy716 View Post
What is a Titleist Conversion? Do cue makers actually use old Titleist's and add to them?
In addition to the excellent information here, not all cues made from Titlists were "conversions". Some were made from "blanks" supplied by Brunswick.

Brunswick did things in an assemply line process. Blanks are oversized cues and can be seen here on my site at the link below. Brunswick had huge sanding machines to make the blanks into the finished cue - ferrule, tip and all.

Blanks were sold to a few select suppliers by Brunswick. Palmer was a major buyer of Brunswick blanks until Brunswick shut down their cue making operation sometime around 1970.

http://palmercollector.com/Titlist.html

Chris


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04-03-2010, 07:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TATE View Post
In addition to the excellent information here, not all cues made from Titlists were "conversions". Some were made from "blanks" supplied by Brunswick.

Brunswick did things in an assemply line process. Blanks are oversized cues and can be seen here on my site at the link below. Brunswick had huge sanding machines to make the blanks into the finished cue - ferrule, tip and all.

Blanks were sold to a few select suppliers by Brunswick. Palmer was a major buyer of Brunswick blanks until Brunswick shut down their cue making operation sometime around 1970.

http://palmercollector.com/Titlist.html

Chris

Chris being a part time cue maker I have to disagree with you on one point, at least in my opinion if a cue maker doesn't build a blank the cue made from that blank is still a conversion. At least that is the standard I hold myself too, some will disagree I am certain and that is ok. But when I say I built a cue and do not use the word conversion in the title the only parts I did not fashion are the pin, bumper and possible a weight bolt if I use one.

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05-29-2014, 06:04 AM

This is a picture of a titlest from the 50.s. It was converted in 1990's by a local cuemaker in Long Island NY. It is one of my nicest cues.

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