Chalk Experiment Results, with Video

JB Cases

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About 10 years ago I had a student who had his own table. Being a 49ers fan, he had covered the table with red cloth and had red chalk to match. I avoided vomiting and began the fairly basic lessons. When we got to draw, he kept miscuing. I said, "Let me show you how the stroke should look," and proceeded to miscue several times. The chalk he had simply did not work well. I got some other red chalk for the next lesson as did he. None of the red chalk worked for either of us, although blue chalk (which leaves really ugly marks on red cloth) did work OK. The student changed his cloth to green and his chalk to blue.

My conclusion: some chalk does not work nearly as well as other chalk.

Maybe bad chalk is hard to find but I suspect it still exists. I've encountered some really bad chalk in taverns.

And I will echo this experience for China and "fake" Masters. Sometimes here you will go to a pool room and the house chalk will be either Triangle or Masters but as soon as you begin to use it you know it isn't right.

Bad chalk makes it an adventure to play with side spin. You find your self staying very close to center ball and trying to plan your routes where you won't need to use any draw, follow, left or right.

Bad chalk defintely shrinks the miscue limit considerably.
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I will follow this up with an example from jump cues. Everyone here possibly thinks that all short jump cues work and except for minor differences in feel they all do about the same thing.

One year my booth and Mike Gulyassy's were back to back. He was selling jump cues and I was selling jump cues. I picked up one of his cues to try a fairly routine jump shot, nothing hard at all and I could not make this shot. I tried every possible stroke I knew and I could not get the cue ball to clear the object ball. I tried the Bunjee Jumper we were selling and made the shot the first try. Mike was busy while I was doing this so I didn't talk to him immediately. When he done I asked him to try it.

He couldn't clear the ball either. Not on our table or his. We then tried another one of his cues and both of us could make the shots easily.

Mike noticed that the taper was significantly different on the non-jumping jump cue. He had taken this cue in on a trade deal and thought nothing of it, hadn't tried it and hadn't noticed the taper change. I just happened to pick this exact cue at random from his rack to mess around with it.

We both learned that day that it's not ALL in the ferrule and tip as many had assumed is the key to a jump cue.

Composition matters.
 

JB Cases

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I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here. I carefully cleaned the CB (and rubbed the chalk marks off) in between every shot in every experiment (except the chalk-mark retention experiment).

And with the spin-generation/miscue-limit test, I did many, many shots with each chalk. The ones shots I included in the video were the ones that were the most consistent in terms of tip contact point on the ball (because I looked for the chalk mark on the Elephant Practice Ball after each shot). I also chose the shot (from many) from each chalk that had the largest tip offset (and most spin). And if you look carefully at the CB trajectories for each of the miscue-limit tests, you will see that they are very consistent from one chalk to the next. The miscue limits were also extremely close (too difficult to perceive or measure a difference) from one chalk to the next.

Regards,
Dave

The point was that we know chalk at the contact point is "bad". Not neccesarily how bad though as your video clearly illustrates that the amount of throw varies greatly through the brands tested.

And I did look carefully and I don't agree that the trajectories were very consistent. Maybe to you but I consider a variance of more than two ball's width off the second rail to not be very close. Either some chalk is imparting more spin or the cue ball is actually hitting in a different place on the first rail with the same amount of spin or a combination of both.



I didn't set out to test any specific marketing claims. My goal was to test different brands of chalks as objectively and completely as possible, using clear performance-based measures.

Having said that, I think the video clearly demonstrates that many of the statements we often hear about chalks are probably wrong. Here are some examples:
- pre-flag Master plays better than flag Master.
- Kamui chalk lets you get more spin on the ball.
- Kamui chalk results in less squirt (CB deflection).
- Blue Diamond "plays better" than Master
- the brand of chalk makes a big difference

Regards,
Dave

I just think that when you say you wanted to test "marketing claims" and general concepts you should have spelled those claims out at the beginning of the video.

I didn't include squirt-measurement data in the video; however, I did record squirt measurements off the rail ruler template during my video editing for the "number of hits until miscue" test. The CB deflection averages (for shots of similar speeds, where swerve is similar for each shot) were very consistent from one chalk to the next. In other words, the type of chalk does not affect the amount of squirt. My previous video dealing with squirt testing also showed that the type and hardness of tip also make no practical difference concerning squirt. For those interested, here it is:

NV D.15 - Cue and Tip Testing for Cue Ball Deflection (Squirt)

Regards,
Dave

And on this video I disagree with your conclusion that the differences are insignicant. If a ball had lain on the rail to be shot into the corner then it's quite obvious the an 1/8th difference in cue ball arrival would not make the shot assuming one arrival spot makes it and all others do not. Your variance is then not insignificant and the type of tip absolutely made a practical difference.

In other words if you had a shot making contest and you said each competitor was allowed to run through it once with their own cue and once with various cues with different tips, then it's highly likely that the results would be much worse when different cues were used due to the variance your tip test illustrated.

If that's not a practical and important difference then I don't know what is. Statiscally to me it seems that even if a strange cues "feels" ok that difference in deflection due to a change in tip can certainly lead to missed shots due to the unfamiliarity with the amount of deflection that tip produces.

So using the same data input (yours) we have come to completely opposite conclusions concerning tip induced deflection.
 
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JB Cases

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As ever, my own personal experience contradicts much of the good doctor's findings.

I find the notion of all chalk, tips and shafts essentially producing the same results to be palpably absurd.

A chalk test cannot even begin without having a cube of Pioneer as the starting point. :eek:
exactly. I have a cube I would gladly donate to science.

01a907daf3baff9d3e7879b871a13c83.jpg
 

JayKidd

Grammatically Challenged
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Until you can demonstrate that those "sounds" that you are hearing are caused by slippage, and always caused by slippage (which for starters requires proving slippage even exists), then just because you hear sounds that seem unusual to you does nothing toward showing if there was any slippage or not

there are those draw shots that you hear strange sound but still drew back handsomely. When you look at the tip afterwards, you might see and semi-bald impact mark that hints a partial-slip, it started with a patch of shining edge near the center of the tip and a normal "grabbed" impact mark coarse surface.
 

JayKidd

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Not exactly Pioneer. We see a lot of fake chalks in China. In fact I have never trusted any "Master" and "Triangle" or "Brunswick" I encountered to be genuine. Pioneer seems to be the "honest" brand among them.

Why they are so bad. I am not sure, "could be no abrasive at all" as Chris suggested, could be "bad filler/binder" , could be "too soft", could be "too damp", the fact is they are so cheap on the market that you can never avoid. One cube of "decent" Master counterfeit sells $0.05 to $0.12 retail in China, I don't know how much cheaper the bad ones can go.


exactly. I have a cube I would gladly donate to science.
 

JayKidd

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The first two images shows one of the fake Triangle that might come out of the same manufacturer of Pioneer.

The magification is around 190X.

The next 2 images are of Adam Chalk

Since there are a 5 image per post limit, I will post the Predator images in my next post.
 

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JayKidd

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All shots have the same resolution, roughly 1 pixel represent 1.05 micrometer.

First image was taken after I scatter the sample chalk dust on a glass slide and the last image of the set shows what they looks like after a drop pure alcohol (ethanol) dispersed them and air dried.

I am still trying to figure out the difference, Chris may be able to tell more from the images. Type/Size/Build of the abrasives and filler, etc. Basicly, the more sharp edged crysal like abrasives remains the better the chalk. They are clearly imbeded on top of the tips after shots, I have microscopic photos to show that after a couple of shots, the small particles were all gone, but the larger abrasives still remains on the surface.
 

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JB Cases

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The first two images shows one of the fake Triangle that might come out of the same manufacturer of Pioneer.

The magification is around 190X.

The next 2 images are of Adam Chalk

Since there are a 5 image per post limit, I will post the Predator images in my next post.

These are so cool. I can assure you though that the fake Masters/Triangle doesn't come from the same source as Pioneer. In fact you can't get Pioneer chalk in China as far as I know. It is typically sold at Sears in the USA in their anemic billiards section iirc.

PanXiaoTing brand chalk actually seems to work fairly well and I would be surprised if it wasn't made in China. You should be able to get some of that for your analysis as well. There are two grades, pool room and professional, would be interesting to see the differences if any.
 
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JB Cases

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Also, you can upload your images to photobucket and then at PB you can get the
 

The Renfro

Outsville.com
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All shots have the same resolution, roughly 1 pixel represent 1.05 micrometer.

First image was taken after I scatter the sample chalk dust on a glass slide and the last image of the set shows what they looks like after a drop pure alcohol (ethanol) dispersed them and air dried.

I am still trying to figure out the difference, Chris may be able to tell more from the images. Type/Size/Build of the abrasives and filler, etc. Basicly, the more sharp edged crysal like abrasives remains the better the chalk. They are clearly imbeded on top of the tips after shots, I have microscopic photos to show that after a couple of shots, the small particles were all gone, but the larger abrasives still remains on the surface.

These are awesome!!!! Would love to see the pictures of the tips... You should see the embedded abrasives rupture and become smaller with each shot..... As far as identifying... Will take a quick shot from just the pics....

1) Crushed mica... moderate abrasive -cheap -widely available... Wonder if they make chalk and toothpaste both....

2) Corundum Mahs scale of a 9... Great abrasive but not the purest or best if you are trying to be consistent in batches...

3) White crystal aluminum oxide..... Not as hard as the corundum but ultra high purity and very ruptile.....

You should be able to do some test marks on other surfaces to check hardnesses to help detemine for sure...

Sincce they are all dyed blue the binders and fillers will harder to tell but you can take a burner to them and possibly get a color that will indicate something... Mica will give off a yellow flame and while I think it is the abrasive in the cheap crap it may be a filler in the other 2 ;)

Chris
 

JB Cases

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Quick chalk story.

So I was in Taiwan and we went to a large manufacturer of cues. Walked into the warehouse and the offices were on the right. I glance left and see pallets of chalk stacked to the 30ft ceiling marked Masters and Triangle.

I don't think much of it and we get on with the business of cue talk.

A little bit later my Taiwan contact asks me to help him buy chalk directly from Tweeten. It is explained to me that the pool rooms in Taiwan want to have a source for genuine chalk. So I called Tweeten to inquire about buying a container load of chalk. But my contact wants to know if they can do something to the label to make it different so that the pool rooms will know it's genuine. Before we get that far I am told that they already have a distributor in Taiwan.

I asked Skip how many gross that distributor buys per year. Skip said 1000 gross. I said, so you know how many gross of Masters they buy but do you know how many they sell? He got my point and the fact that my buyer was willing to buy five times as much in the first order was enough.

So I said can you do something about the packaging and he said they would put a US Flag on it and that's the first time we ever got chalk with the flag on it.

Anyway, we ended up buying almost a million cubes of chalk, two containers' worth.

-----------------

Last story....I was in a conversation with the owner of Kamui, Hiroka, and I mentioned to him that I used to sell layered tips and I had created a slogan that went, "the most important thing between you and the cueball is the tip". He said, "no John, there is one more thing between you and the ball."

A year later Kamui chalk was introduced to the world.
 

JayKidd

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Funny that you mentioned PXT chalk. I did shot them as the baseline to compare new chalk made by Tungho, who I believe is the maker of Pioneer.

The first two images were of the Buck experimental receipe #2 made by Tungho, the next two were of PanXiaoTing blue chalk, the basic version. PXT do have 2 more expensive versions, which I haven't inspected.


These are so cool. I can assure you though that the fake Masters/Triangle doesn't come from the same source as Pioneer. In fact you can't get Pioneer chalk in China as far as I know. It is typically sold at Sears in the USA in their anemic billiards section iirc.

PanXiaoTing brand chalk actually seems to work fairly well and I would be surprised if it wasn't made in China. You should be able to get some of that for your analysis as well. There are two grades, pool room and professional, would be interesting to see the differences if any.
 

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JayKidd

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Well, speak of the devil. after I posted the previous post, My connection to AZB were blocked for 10 minutes... Everything is censored, everywhere.:mad:
 
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JB Cases

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Will try that, but it would be likely blocked by Chinese government.

Well, speak of the devil. after I posted the previous post, My connection to AZB were blocked for 10 minutes... Everything are censored, everywhere.:mad:

I can get to PB without a vpn from Xiamen. But I agree with you and in 19 days I am gone from this country. I can't stand the way the internet is handled here and will be very happy to get back to the USA and have uncensored access to the net.

Even with VPNs it's gotten ridiculous and sometimes takes me forever to get a stable connection that isn't taken down.

Be super happy to be back in a land where the pool rooms are air conditioned and the Master chalk is real.
 

ibuycues

I Love Box Cues
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Thanks

I thought of mentioning this in the video, but I wanted to stay as neutral and non-critical of the companies as possible.

Regards,
Dave

Dave,

Thanks for all the hard work you do. It is certainly appreciated by legions of pool enthusiasts,
most of whom will not let you know their appreciation. Again, we know how much labor (of love) you dedicate to your work.

By the way, I would think mentioning prices of the chalk is not critical or prejudicial, just factual. And of note.

Thanks again. :thumbup:

Will Prout
 

ChicagoRJ

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I can get to PB without a vpn from Xiamen. But I agree with you and in 19 days I am gone from this country. I can't stand the way the internet is handled here and will be very happy to get back to the USA and have uncensored access to the net.

Even with VPNs it's gotten ridiculous and sometimes takes me forever to get a stable connection that isn't taken down.

Be super happy to be back in a land where the pool rooms are air conditioned and the Master chalk is real.

Where u moving too ??
 

sawtex

AzB Silver Member
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Raced for six hours yesterday with both using Predator, NOT ONE chalk mark on the table when we finished. Table next to us using house master was filthy. Two dollars not three and worth twice that. Why you didn't include Predator in the test is a mystery.
 
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