Cored

seanandnik

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I apologize if this is a boring question,but are most new cues cored ? If so why? Do any cue makers simply use a solid piece of maple or any other wood for a forearm or butt ?
I realize coring stabilizes the wood but did they always do it like this ? Do you think a difference can be felt between cored and solid ? Just wondering...
 

MVPCues

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I apologize if this is a boring question,but are most new cues cored ? If so why? Do any cue makers simply use a solid piece of maple or any other wood for a forearm or butt ?
I realize coring stabilizes the wood but did they always do it like this ? Do you think a difference can be felt between cored and solid ? Just wondering...

Do an advanced searching. Search for "coring" in thread title only, and search only in the CueMaker section. You will get thread after thread on the subject. You will be able to intensely read for 2 hours straight and get 10 times more responses than you would from just this one thread.

I'm not saying a new thread isn't worthy, just saying.
 

WilleeCue

The Barefoot Cuemaker
Silver Member
Coring is a good thing as it adds stability to the cue but the downside is that it changes the way the wood reacts to striking the ball.
Two identical cues made from the same wood but with one cored will hit and feel differently.
Good, well seasoned wood should not warp under normal conditions and I think that most pool cues being made by production makers
(McDermott, Viking, Meucci, Lacusi, Pachauer, Schmelke, and such) are NOT cored forearms or handles.
Using a soft wood that has exceptional looks but is weak would be one case where coring would be needed to add strength.
It takes special drills and extra time to do coring and that relates to a higher price on the finished product.
Personally, all else being equal, I would prefer a custom cue that WAS cored over one that was not just for the extra stability alone.
I made a few cue forearms from Plexiglass and they had a fantastically solid hit and feel but were fragile at the "A" and Butt joints.
I have often thought of coring a forearm with Plexiglass to get that feel but with the strength of wood. Its on my list of things to do.
 
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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A lot of the more flashy woods used in modern custom cues would not be strong enough, or like the guy who mentioned plexi, would be brittle. Often, flashy wood is from a defect in the tree where the grain is unstable; coring puts some engineered stability back in. etc. E.g. most burls would be risky to use solid.

OTOH if you use OG straight grain maple in the forearm like the old masters usually did, with minimal BE or curl, coring is probably a step backwards.

smt
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I apologize if this is a boring question,but are most new cues cored ? If so why? Do any cue makers simply use a solid piece of maple or any other wood for a forearm or butt ?
I realize coring stabilizes the wood but did they always do it like this ? Do you think a difference can be felt between cored and solid ? Just wondering...

Coring protects the center of the forearm and handle ( if you core the handle ).
The center being on the core pieces is protected from the elements .
The cored sleeves ( forearms and handles ) can expand or contract from varying temperature and humidity, but that will have little effect on the core wood b/c they are inside those sleeves .
Non-cored cues are more prone to warpage ( no matter what wood ) than cored cues b/c the center of those cues are held by the woods whose outside are exposed .
Depending on the core dowels, you can add or reduce weight by coring.
You can also change the hit. If you have a really soft and light forearm wood such as burl, using rosewood as coring dowel will improve the hit of that forearm while adding weight .
Coring also relieves the stress out of woods by eliminating much of their mass in the center . A sleeve will less likely warp than a rod .

Probably half of the cue makers today would quit if you told them they can't core anymore.
Me included.
 
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Dave38

theemperorhasnoclotheson
Silver Member
One other advantage of coring.....no rattle can originate from the A joint.....:wink:
 

thoffen

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I apologize if this is a boring question,but are most new cues cored ?

Hard to answer. Do you mean custom cues? Production cues? New makers? All cues overall? I don't really know the answer to any of those questions, but I'd say there are plenty of reputable cues coming out of shops both cored and not.

If so why?

Different reasons. If you core, the hit of the cue is going to take on much more significantly the characteristics of the core. So it's used to stabilize a wood that might be prone to movement (e.g. burls, highly figured woods). It can be used for weight balance purposes. Some makers core everything because that's their process. Some want to make every cue they produce to have a hit as close to all their other cues as possible. Some want each cue to be it's own piece so long as the hit is good. Most often, people will core with maple because of it's familiarity, availability, weight, and general suitability for cues. But other woods like purpleheart and bocote could make excellent cores depending on your desired characteristics in weight or hit.

Do any cue makers simply use a solid piece of maple or any other wood for a forearm or butt ?

Sure there are 1-piece butt cues out there, and just about any custom maker would probably be willing to do this for you. For plain cues, merry widow or plane Jane cues are more popular having distinct forearm, handle, and butt woods. Several reasons for this. One is market. Another is ability to add a lot more in appearance with ease through wood combinations and decorative rings. Another is to affect weight and hit characteristics. Also, depending on species, large pieces suitable for a one-piece butt could be hard to find or expensive and require much longer to dry for use and potentially be more unstable.

I realize coring stabilizes the wood but did they always do it like this ?

I'm not sure in history of cue building when coring came about. Full-splicing really is the more historical way of joining different woods to stabilize and affect hit and balance. Quality of equipment and glues might also be a factor here.

Do you think a difference can be felt between cored and solid ?

Definitely, but it really depends on the woods chosen how much and in what way. Coring might increase the odds of a stable, well-hitting cue, but poor construction, duds in individual pieces of woods, shaft and tip characteristics, etc. can kill the hit of a cue. And there are some hit characteristics and species of woods where you could use coring to tweak, but really don't need to. Like coring Brazillian Rosewood (excepting perhaps with gnarly grain/runout/crotch). Some people might prefer the hit of it with a maple core, but hell, you're taking something with special resonance and great working characteristics and weight that is rare and exotic and super expensive to make it into a standard cue. It would be like putting a standard engine in a Ferrari. Yeah, you'd get better gas mileage, perhaps easier to control, but that's not what you buy the Ferrari for.
 

Kim Bye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You mean, one-piece core.
I'm not big on those. Sorry.

BTW, Bill Stroud was the first make to core forearms afaik.

I`ve made some break cues with full length cores, works great.
Another aspect of coring is that it gives you the ability to use woods you might not been able to use if it wasn`t cored, not technically wood, but black and red palm is the first two examples that comes to mind.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good, well seasoned wood should not warp under normal conditions and I think that most pool cues being made by production makers
(McDermott, Viking, Meucci, Lacusi, Pachauer, Schmelke, and such) are NOT cored forearms or handles.


Just to add to that list:

Schon does not core.

Joss has a threaded step core, full butt length. The joint collar and but cap are threaded on and the forearm, handle, and butt sleeve are sleeved over the core in between them.

Joss core: LINK to large pic

Jacoby? Not sure. I don't think they core but could be wrong.
 

whammo57

Kim Walker
Silver Member
I fully core all cues............ never had a problem and they all hit and feel the same


Kim
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Just to add to that list:

Schon does not core.

Joss has a threaded step core, full butt length. The joint collar and but cap are threaded on and the forearm, handle, and butt sleeve are sleeved over the core in between them.

Joss core: LINK to large pic

Jacoby? Not sure. I don't think they core but could be wrong.

Any idea what Joss does to get complete glue saturation sliding those long sleeves on the core?

JC
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Any idea what Joss does to get complete glue saturation sliding those long sleeves on the core?

JC

No idea. And I don't know what kind of adhesive they use in there either. Nor do I know their tolerances for that core and the parts that sleeve over it. I don't see any glue grooves there, but I don't know if that is a finished core as used.

We know Janes experimented with a variety of A joints in the 80's through the early 90's including a finger joint. As I hear it the finger joiner is collecting dust in their shop. This solution does away with the A joint completely.

I have yet to hear of any modern Joss that has developed any kind of buzz or rattle in the butt. Would love to hear it if there is one. I have also yet to see any one of them broken.

I think you ask a very interesting and pertinent question.

On their blog, where they originally posted pics and info about that core, Janes calls that the most expensive piece of wood in his shop, because of the years of development that went into it.

I have found it a very interesting point of construction since I first learned about it. I find the mechanical nature of it intriguing. The joint collar and butt cap threaded on retain everything in between in compression. It seems to make the adhesive secondary rather than primary, at least as far as holding it all together.

I am no cue maker, but I can say that I do understand the pertinence and importance of your question. Perhaps a discussion with Janes himself would be productive if you catch him at his booth at SBE. I may make it there this year and intend to engage him in discussion of his construction techniques. If that happens I will be happy to share.

I am just the humble observer. But I will say that this construction seems to inherently make sense to me. Obviously I am lacking in the finer details of it such as the adhesive type and technique as well as the tolerances. When I compare it to other things I have seen in this forum from "parallel" makers such as Mezz and Schon I am a bit taken aback. I have seen broken Schon cues with no core here, and I have seen broken Mezz cues with an eccentric core seemingly set in a big void filled with epoxy. Obviously those makers prices are a bit higher than Joss, and their resale is stronger. But I don't see the attention to the internal construction with them that I see with Joss.

I am no Joss "fan-boy". I have two block letter Joss cues, a Joss jump cue that Janes made for me about 1992, and a Joss made about 2003 that my wife bout for me as a gift. But I do follow the cue makers and what they do. I study the construction techniques with great interest. IMHO this stands out as being different from what everybody else is doing. So it grabs my attention.

Your question is one that I would expect from someone who knows what they are doing and knows what they are looking at. I wish I could answer it.

I will also add that it is intriguing enough for me to want my cue made with this technique. I have been saving a blank that Janes agreed to use for me using this construction, with two shafts made from his best shaft wood. I have waited several years and this is my year to have it done. Yes, I know...I could select a "custom maker". But to me, Janes is such a man and at the top of the field. It just will not have the resale it would if I had another do it, but I will not sell it so I don't care.

There is more than one way to skin this cat. And obviously some of the greatest never cored from George, to Gus, to Burton, etc. They could "tune" a cue to play and knew how to synergistically put wood together to make some of the finest feeling and playing cues. Heck, George put that furniture screw in the A joint and many of us desperately want to own one or play with one. No custom maker in his right mind builds a cue like that now unless he's trying to counterfeit George's work.


Sorry so long, but you really did ask a great question. I guess it just took me so many words to say "I don't know", but I sure am passionate about trying to understand.


.
 

HQueen

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m new to coring techniques. I read up a lot here and elsewhere about different methods. Many years ago I turned some pieces of purpleheart to .665 x 30”. After 15 years 4 are still almost perfectly straight, one of my gun drills is .650 and I turned one down to .645 and did a full core on the Birdseye cue I posted in the Gallery. Using West Epoxy. I didn’t know what to expect as far as the hit. More than satisfied with the results.
I could say “It hits a ton” etc but hit/feel is in the hands of the hitter. You’d just have to play with it to see if you liked it.

I don’t know if I’ll be coming all of my cues but it does add variety in cue construction methods.
 

Kim Bye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Any idea what Joss does to get complete glue saturation sliding those long sleeves on the core?

JC

No idea, but glue saturation isn`t a problem, I`ve tried with both epoxy (West) and PU (Gorilla and Titebond) obviously you can have tighter tolerances using epoxy, so that`s what I use. The core is stepped, so sliding on the handle part is no problem as the forearm piece of the core is smaller in diameter than the handle.
My measurements is .650" forearm, .750" handle and I adjust the buttsleeve as needed for balance, but usually 13/16"
 

whammo57

Kim Walker
Silver Member
I started out with a .687 core but switched to a .750 core shortly there after. West system and fairly thin epoxy will wick into dry wood and you risk having dry spots between the core and the wood that becomes the cue. Gorilla glue expands and will fill any gaps to make a solid bond. I gun drill the pieces and then turn the cores to about .740. Then I hand sand them for a slip fit into the tubular pieces.............

Kim
 

BarenbruggeCues

Unregistered User
Silver Member
Every time this question comes up the debate goes on and on about who's doing it right and who's doing it wrong.
My personal experience in coring is this................
Coring is good... for cue construction, it opens a window of unlimited possibilities when it comes to being able to use woods that are cue worthy but may have some grain runoff per say. [certain burls...woods that are heavy that one would like to lighten...woods that are light that one would like to make heavy]
Others will argue that if it isn't a straight grained piece of wood it isn't cue worthy and it shouldn't be used in a cue. This is old school thinking and to that I say "To each their own."
Glues...........
I've tried several and my confidence lays heavily in a properly prepared female core and a properly prepared male core and the proper epoxy glue.

Here's the main reason for my thoughts on this.....
The foaming poly glues I tested, yes several different brands, were....
1. very easy to use [no mixing, straight out of the bottle]
2. you could have more flexibility in how sloppy your core fit and still fill a gap
3. less time consuming...[may be important to some]
4. here's the BIG no go reason for me....The glue does NOT soak into the wood and only makes a thin mechanical bond on the outer edge of the two woods it is bonding.
I don't care or give a crap about what the manufacturer or any other "paid" tests printed tells you how great it is because it's their job to sell you their products or products being "paid" to test.
[MY test after test proved this to me and that's why it is a big no go for me personally.]
If that bothers you or doesn't bother you, have at it.

Epoxy soaks into the wood and will leave no voids or dry spots IF......
you do the correct procedure of prep and use the correct epoxy glue.
A much stronger and longer lasting bond is created IMO.

Why would you use epoxy to glue your collars on? and use poly for the core?
Why not just use poly for every thing? OH yea...I've seen some cues glued totally with poly glue! :cool: I'm sure they'll last for a good long time. ;)

The above statement is strictly based on my personal test experience using several different types of glues and is not intended to credit or discredit any other builders techniques or choice of glues.
 

cueman

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here's the main reason for my thoughts on this.....
The foaming poly glues I tested, yes several different brands, were....
1. very easy to use [no mixing, straight out of the bottle]
2. you could have more flexibility in how sloppy your core fit and still fill a gap
3. less time consuming...[may be important to some]


Why would you use epoxy to glue your collars on? and use poly for the core?
Why not just use poly for every thing? .
In 1,2 and 3 you answered your own question. In my opinion the epoxy core gluers need to seriously consider making tooling to ream the core to a slight taper and taper the wood core to match the hole. Then I could really see epoxy as the better choice. Until then not so much. Jmo.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
In 1,2 and 3 you answered your own question. In my opinion the epoxy core gluers need to seriously consider making tooling to ream the core to a slight taper and taper the wood core to match the hole. Then I could really see epoxy as the better choice. Until then not so much. Jmo.

There are things a person can do to overcome the epoxy problems without tapering the core.

With a tapered core though you can stop the core shy of zero clearance by exact measurement thus enabling you to know the precise clearance for the glue bond as each glue has a recommended perfect thickness for the best bond. Titebond may be an even better adhesive than epoxy for this application. Every test I've seen on wood to wood bonds titebond comes out on top over all other glues including epoxy.

JC
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chopdoc-

Thanks for posting that historical over-view. Useful information for a newbie, and also reinforces some of my personal predjudices. :D

I've used about 5 gal WEST/year most years since the early 80's for "other" woodwork (not cues). I tried gorilla glue, couple pints, a couple times when it came out. It is very poor and low strength even with a "good" bond, (except on fingers and clothes). When it foams, it is practically no bond. My admitted limited perspective: Why would an insulation product be desired in the core to deaden the hit in a cue?

Do cue makers who use West, use the fillers, like Cotton flocking, that WEST specifically describes in their tech bulletins, for good bonds? Much of the stuff i make with WEST is bent laminations, they will have voids and won't hold well, unless either 1.) both parts are saturated, let gel for about 30 mins - 1hr (temp dependent), then fresh batch mixed, and parts assembled. Or 2.) use the cotton flocking, mix really thoroughly, and don't over-do the cotton. It keeps a wet layer wicked to the surface; and though minute when squeezed out in a joint, it acts as a reinforcing fiber in the epoxy matrix that materially reduces crack or separation propagation. Do coat both surfaces. Assemble twisting and squeezing, gently, over a slight period of time.

I'm ambivalent about using WEST for full splice type stuff. Very easy to use and very definitely the best full contact, saturated, solid joint. But it can bleed into some wood and make the joint look less fine than it might actually be. As someone else mentioned, if the joint is well made, titebond (I use extend) is difficult to beat. The joint will appear as tight and fine as it was made. But it is harder to assemble in tight or complex joints because they can seize up before fully home. I admit that that is currently mostly down to experience with cues at the moment (Not enough, and not enough further experimenting)

I have not cored anything cue related yet, but am appreciating all the info on AZ while considering some burl options for FS forearms.

smt
 
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