A Few Questions About Cue Construction---Need Answers.

BradenK

My Thight HURTS!!!
Silver Member
I know my way around a cue pretty well, but I am certainly no expert. I would like to increase my knowledge though.

First: What are knifed in points? I am guessing it is a certain technique of inlaying points, but I am not sure. So, what is this, and can it be done on full-splice cues, or is it only for inlayed points? What are the advantages of knifed in points?

Second: I know what recuts look like on a cue, but I do not understand what they are exactly?

Third: What are the different types of techniques for adding veneers? I understand gluing them together, but I think there are other ways of doing it. Can you inlay a whole point and then cut another channel to inlay another into it, and so on? Which methods are the best for playability, if any?

Fourth: What advantages does coring the forearm and handle offer? If it changes the hit, how so? Less vibration?

These are all the questions I can think of at the moment. If I think of more, I will add them. Thank you very much for any information given here.

Note: I am not, nor ever will be, a cue maker. This is only to further my knowledge of cues, which I truly love. Thanks.


Braden Kearney
 
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rlw

...............
Silver Member
you might want to put this thread in the Ask The Cuemaker section.
 

mdavis228

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
There used to be a really informative interview/info section on Joel Hercek's site about his construction techniques. Not all of your specific questions are dealt with, but it's excellent insight all the same.
Also, the search function on AZ will yield a wealth of expert opinion via the Cuemaker's area.
Best to you!
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
Ok here you go...

I know my way around a cue pretty well, but I am certainly no expert. I would like to increase my knowledge though.

First: What are knifed in points? I am guessing it is a certain technique of inlaying points, but I am not sure. So, what is this, and can it be done on full-splice cues, or is it only for inlayed points? What are the advantages of knifed in points?

Second: I know what recuts look like on a cue, but I do not understand what they are exactly?

Third: What are the different types of techniques for adding veneers? I understand gluing them together, but I think there are other ways of doing it. Can you inlay a whole point and then cut another channel to inlay another into it, and so on? Which methods are the best for playability, if any?

Fourth: What advantages does coring the forearm and handle offer? If it changes the hit, how so? Less vibration?

These are all the questions I can think of at the moment. If I think of more, I will add them. Thank you very much for any information given here.

Note: I am not, nor ever will be, a cue maker. This is only to further my knowledge of cues, which I truly love. Thanks.


Braden Kearney

1. Knifed in points are when a cuemaker uses a milling machine to cut a pocket in the approximate shape of the point, but because a mill bit can never cut perfectly straight (it spins around, so it is rounded) the cuemaker will use a knife to cut the tips of the points sharp.

The only other way to make sharp points is to use V-groove and glue in the points from the edge of a square or a square that was cut into a triangle with veneers glued on either side. The v-groove is cut at an angle (deeper at the base by the handle and shallower at the points) and the points are glued in at an angle to give angled points.

2. Instead of using a veneer in the points, recuts allow the cuemaker to leave no glue lines at the join of the veneers. They use v-groove points and then cut an additional v-groove into the existing point and glue another point on top of the original point.
3. The question you asked is what re-cutting is.

4. Coring allows for a more consistent cue, per cuemaker and more consistent weighting of the cue. Because different woods have different densities, their hits can be and are different from each, as well as their weights. By coring the cue with a specific type of wood (usually hard rock maple) you limit the variance from using different types of wood.

Hope this answers all of your questions...

Jaden
 
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BradenK

My Thight HURTS!!!
Silver Member
Much Appreciated!!

Thank you all very, very much. This really helps and answers my questions quite well.

As to those who mentioned I should have posted this in the "Ask the Cuemaker" forum, I do apologize. Honestly, I had completely forgotten that there even was such a sub-forum. If I would have remembered, I would have posted this thread there. I am sure I will have more questions, so from here on I will post them there.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to satisfy my curiosity. I really do appreciate it!

Braden
 

matta

Cue Snob
Silver Member
1. They are referring to a spliced forearm. Splices are created by cutting 4 90 deg V-grooves in the forearm. You then fill the grooves with wedges of your material.

2. A re-cut is where you take a basic 4 point blank without veneers and re-cut inside those points that are already there. In essence you are making an 8 point cue but the two points are on top of each other. The main difference between this and the standard veneer method is that the re-cuts don't leave a mitre joint running up the center of the point at the tip. Plus you have more options than just using colored veneers.

3. You can get the same veneer look with re-cuts. You can get a very similar look with flat bottomed points. Ernie Gutierrez does it to perfection. You can stack the veneers so that there is no mitre where the veneers join. There is more than one way to go about this. The mitre method is the most common among high end cuemakers.

4. Most cuemakers core parts of the cue to adjust the weight or to stiffen some part of the cue. Say you want an ebony forearm with a steel joint, you have to core the ebony forearm or it's going to be way to forward heavy. You core weaker woods to add strength.


Your third question gets right to the heart of cuemaking. You could literally spend a decade mastering each way to create blanks. There is no way it could fully be answered in a forum. I'll see if I can find some pictures for you though.
 

matta

Cue Snob
Silver Member
1. Knifed in points are when a cuemaker uses a milling machine to cut a pocket in the approximate shape of the point, but because a mill bit can never cut perfectly straight (it spins around, so it is rounded) the cuemaker will use a knife to cut the tips of the points sharp.

The only other way to make sharp points is to use V-groove and glue in the points from the edge of a square or a square that was cut into a triangle with veneers glued on either side. The v-groove is cut at an angle (deeper at the base by the handle and shallower at the points) and the points are glued in at an angle to give angled points.

Jaden


Not to bash you but, I don't believe any top cuemaker takes a literal knife to their points. The points are just razor sharp. AKA Knife Points.

They use something like this to cut the points.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/NNSRI...re=ItemDetail-_-ResultListing-_-SearchResults

That isn't exactly the bit. Cuemakers use one that is thicker. Points are wider than 1". When it gets dull, they have it sharpened. No knife needed for sharp points.
 

matta

Cue Snob
Silver Member
http://www.dzcues.com/veneers.html

Check that out. That is a half splice, the most common way to make a sharp pointed cue.

IMG_9361a.jpg


IMG_9363a.jpg


mathias_01.jpg


mathias_02.jpg
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
I didn't mean a knife specifically...

Not to bash you but, I don't believe any top cuemaker takes a literal knife to their points. The points are just razor sharp. AKA Knife Points.

They use something like this to cut the points.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/NNSRI...re=ItemDetail-_-ResultListing-_-SearchResults

That isn't exactly the bit. Cuemakers use one that is thicker. Points are wider than 1". When it gets dull, they have it sharpened. No knife needed for sharp points.

And BTW, I AM a cuemaker...

When you use a 90 degree v bit to cut the slots for the points, the points are naturally sharp.

Some makers use a mill to cut a uniform depth, I believe that Billy Stroud did this. When they do, the points are rounded, they KNIFE the rounded part to make the slots sharp at the end...

I don't know why a cue maker would want to use uniform depth mill cut slots other than to save time and or because they prefer the feel of a solid core without coring the butt, but some do. I prefer to use v-grooves. Some people liken v-groove pointed cues to hitting with a ton of glue...
Jaden
 
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matta

Cue Snob
Silver Member
And BTW, I AM a cuemaker...

When you use a 90 degree v bit to cut the slots for the points, the points are naturally sharp.

Some makers use a mill to cut a uniform depth, I believe that Billy Stroud did this. When they do, the points are rounded, they KNIFE the rounded part to make the slots sharp at the end...

I don't know why a cue maker would want to use uniform depth mill cut slots other than to save time and or because they prefer the feel of a solid core without coring the butt, but some do. I prefer to use v-grooves. Some people liken v-groove pointed cues to hitting with a ton of glue...
Jaden


Can we see some pictures of those spears you've been building?

Below is a Josswest with flat backed points as you drescribe. Notice the tip of the point is round. No knifing. His older sharp pointed cues were splices.

I've never heard of any reputable cuemaker taking a knife to the tip of the points. Sounds about like how Eddie Wheat would build a cue.

JOSSWEST.jpg


/THREAD
 

Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
Dude, seriously????

Can we see some pictures of those spears you've been building?

Below is a Josswest with flat backed points as you drescribe. Notice the tip of the point is round. No knifing. His older sharp pointed cues were splices.

I've never heard of any reputable cuemaker taking a knife to the tip of the points. Sounds about like how Eddie Wheat would build a cue.

JOSSWEST.jpg


/THREAD

I've never seen it done, I've only heard of it. I also said that I would NEVER do it. Also, I didn't say taking a knife to it. No one is taking a knife to it.

Not that I know of. IF it's done, it's done with a chisel or a dremel tool at an angle with an angled bit.

I had heard that Bill Stroud did it on some of his cues. That's why I mentioned it.

Also, you're right, it DOES sound like something Eddie Wheat would do, and then he would say that anyone that doesn't do it, isn't making cues right. I'm not going to say that any method that someone uses isn't right. There are still cue makers that do it with only chisels BY HAND... I know of a phillipino cue maker that made beautiful cues that way.

Ok looking back at the original post I see where the confusion is, I did say they would use a knife, I didn't mean a knife, I meant they would knife the rounded end to a point with a tool...

Jaden
 
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kvinbrwr

Skee Ball Monster Playa
Gold Member
I've never seen it done, I've only heard of it. I also said that I would NEVER do it. Also, I didn't say taking a knife to it. No one is taking a knife to it.

Not that I know of. IF it's done, it's done with a chisel or a dremel tool at an angle with an angled bit.

I had heard that Bill Stroud did it on some of his cues. That's why I mentioned it.

Also, you're right, it DOES sound like something Eddie Wheat would do, and then he would say that anyone that doesn't do it, isn't making cues right. I'm not going to say that any method that someone uses isn't right. There are still cue makers that do it with only chisels BY HAND... I know of a phillipino cue maker that made beautiful cues that way.

Ok looking back at the original post I see where the confusion is, I did say they would use a knife, I didn't mean a knife, I meant they would knife the rounded end to a point with a tool...

Jaden

Jaden

I don't know if Stroud did it, but I know Tad does it. People hold his pronged cues and swear they were spliced because the points are sharp and not rounded. I don't know what tool Tad uses, but I do know he is a cue maker at least on par, and possibly even a level above, Eddie Wheat.

Thanks

Kevin

For example, the points on this cue are dead sharp, yet not spliced, Tad, "knifes" the ends in just like you say:

taddery1.jpg


taddery3.jpg
 
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kvinbrwr

Skee Ball Monster Playa
Gold Member
And, not to turn this into a "what's the best way" fight, but you show this picture to Ernie Gutierrez and explain that that is how you think a cue should be built (I've tried) and he'll point to all that glue and all those different woods and ask you to explain to him how THAT makes the cue stronger? And, you know, at the very least, he's got a point there. Or. at least, a very strong justification for his method. Different strokes for different folks I guess. I'll tell you what, if I ever can convince him to make a spliced cue (he never has although he has used a few of others' blanks), the points on that sucker will be DEAD SHARP and DEAD EVEN. LOL

Thanks

Kevin

mathias_02.jpg
 
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Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
I was trying to avoid it sounding like it was a bad thing to do...

Jaden

I don't know if Stroud did it, but I know Tad does it. People hold his pronged cues and swear they were spliced because the points are sharp and not rounded. I don't know what tool Tad uses, but I do know he is a cue maker at least on par, and possibly even a level above, Eddie Wheat.

Thanks

Kevin

For example, the points on this cue are dead sharp, yet not spliced, Tad, "knifes" the ends in just like you say:

taddery1.jpg


taddery3.jpg

I prefer to use v-groove, but I didn't want it to sound like I was degrading people who knife in the points.

I guess it kind of did when I used the Eddie Wheat thing, I was more focusing on the aspect that I don't think it's right for anyone to say that there is only one way to make a cue RIGHT...

I would never degrade another cue maker UNLESS, I PERSONALLY saw shoddy work repeatedly from that specific cue maker.

I could never say that TAD doesn't make awesome cues.

Like I said, I had heard that knifing in the points was exactly how I described it, and that the v-groove way was considered splicing, not KNIFING.

I splice my points. Hell, I may tinker with knifing some points and fall in love with the way those cues hit.

Jaden
 

BradenK

My Thight HURTS!!!
Silver Member
First off, if I opened a can of worms here, I am truly, very sorry. Though, the information given here shows me just how much I did not know. Matta and Jaden, thank you for the great pictures. They helped even more than the words since I seem to learn more through visual processes. The pictures enabled me to really wrap my mind around the different ideas. So, my Boar has sharp points with two veneers. I know on the website Tony talks about "deep knifed-in points". Does that mean my cue was built the same way as Tad builds his? I know their are a ton of Boar fanatics out there who can answer this. Please do not scream at me for asking any of this. My cue is the best purchase I have made in years, and I just really want to understand it better.

And I love the fact that this site epitomizes the phrase: "Ask and ye shall receive." Thanks so much.

Braden
 

kvinbrwr

Skee Ball Monster Playa
Gold Member
First off, if I opened a can of worms here, I am truly, very sorry. Though, the information given here shows me just how much I did not know. Matta and Jaden, thank you for the great pictures. They helped even more than the words since I seem to learn more through visual processes. The pictures enabled me to really wrap my mind around the different ideas. So, my Boar has sharp points with two veneers. I know on the website Tony talks about "deep knifed-in points". Does that mean my cue was built the same way as Tad builds his? I know their are a ton of Boar fanatics out there who can answer this. Please do not scream at me for asking any of this. My cue is the best purchase I have made in years, and I just really want to understand it better.

And I love the fact that this site epitomizes the phrase: "Ask and ye shall receive." Thanks so much.

Braden

Braden

For me there are 2 major different ways makers end up with prongs in a forearm of a cue. Either those prongs are formed by spicing wood together as in the photos above, or they are inlaid (channels cut into the wood through a variety of methods and different wood "inlaid" in) into a solid forearm blank. Within these two methods, there are all sorts of variations of how the effect is obtained but I'd guess that Tony is saying that Black Boar is not spliced (which surprises me).

If you cut the channels for the prongs (using the inlaid method) using a CNC machine, you end up with rounded points from where the blade turns the corner at the prong tip (like in the Stroud shown above). Tony's Black Boar points are pretty sharp (I think) which is why I assumed he spliced his cues, sounds like (from what you posted) he cuts the prong channels in by hand so he can have the the effect of sharp points without splicing the woods. I assume Tony has CNC, there certainly can't be any way those crazy intricate precise flowery designs he does are hand cut (can there?).

Kevin
 
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RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Just to make it more complicated, there are ways to inlay (flat bottom pocket) points and still have sharp points.

I also don't know of many who would cut in rounded points simply because of the amount of work involved to do it. One of the biggest benefits of inlaying points instead of v groove or splicing them is the amount of time it saves.

Outside of that , pretty much anytime you see an inlay with a square corner or sharp point (diamonds) , those pocket corners are cut in by hand.
 

Tennesseejoe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you have photos of a full splice process? Not to highjack a thread,but it would help to differentiate.
 

kvinbrwr

Skee Ball Monster Playa
Gold Member
Do you have photos of a full splice process? Not to highjack a thread,but it would help to differentiate.

There are pretty good photos of the process in this thread, although those splices are "shorties" and not full-splice, the method is the same.

Thanks

Kevin
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Do you have photos of a full splice process? Not to highjack a thread,but it would help to differentiate.

Its generally similar to the short splice but quite a bit more complicated in practice.

Pretty much why very very few people do them anymore.
 

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