A CM can balance it out to your preference just using wood - not all maybe but most of them. Well some use metal pin for a A joint but that´s a different story. I´m no CM so this was maybe a it of a simple description and there is a lot more you can know about balancing cues out.
Most CM´s have their vision and specific wishes where the BP should be and knows how to make it using different kind of woods, most precise without using metal though I think they have to core it, different wood, different weights but if you core it you can choose different weights on the core.
And if they use metal they will do it in a way that it´s not noticeable (balance shifting fast).
Can´t speak for all CM´s of course.
One thing I look for in a cue, or when order a cue is that the CM is good in balancing it out evenly, - meaning that the cue has a specific bp of course but when shifting your shoot hand up and down (different positions on the table, jacking up etc etc) I wan´t it balanced anyway - a bp point you can achieve on anything but you don´t wan´t a cue that shifts in balance very easily. The hole cue is balanced evenly.
I hope that made sense, I can describe it very easily in Swedish:smile:.
For the record, my desired BP - done correctly is 19,5 or close from the butt, I can play with all kinds of course but this is what I prefer. A back heavy cue feels real bad to me.
One other thing that you can do is use the the shaft weight. This is also one thing I´m very picky about when buying a cue to my specs, the shafts need to be of same weight or very close. For guys or girls who buys production shafts this would be a good recommendation to look for, if you like your cues balance, weigh the shaft and get a shaft that is close to it.
A custom cue to your specs can really make a big difference to you. Takes a little to learn what to look for but it´s not that hard. Begin with weight, balance, taper, stiffness, deflection etc and you are on your way. If you describe the feel of the hit you want to a CM also then most of them knows what you are looking for. But if you like a Meucci hit don´t ask SW to make you one like it. Find cue makers that are known to make a cue close to your desired specs, then you just have to tweak it to your specs - if all.
Hmmmmm and the question was about balance..., well take the info you like:smile:
I've played with many different cues but there are four cues that I've never parted with. One day I decided to measure each cue to find the length from butt to balance point in all four cues the distance was 18 inches.