Cutting a butterfly splice

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
Trying my hand at a butterfly splice. I have been searching for info and not finding much. AZB search has a couple old threads with broken links so not a super big help. I built a jig for my bandsaw to hold the pieces in place and experimented with some success.

I am working on an existing cue butt so it is already round. Obviously, I want both surfaces flat and the same angle, so the seam is clean. Not sure if the blade is walking too much, or the jig is the issue, or it is just me. Getting them to match up is my issue.

Sanding the pointy end is simple enough to get a flat surface. The V side is not as easy. Had to do a lot of sanding, filing, fitting - repeat to get it acceptable.

Not very efficient. Looking for some advice for someone that does not have a big workshop with table saws, mills, or CNC to tighten up the cuts to match better.

IMG_7523.jpeg


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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Are you saying you only have a small bandsaw for making cuts?
It looks like the outside angle cut is at the thick part of the butt?

Do you have boring capability?

One way to index it would be to make a small but substantial wooden block with parallel sides, and bore it to fit the "other" end snugly. Ram the end in the hole. Tape all around so it can't shift. Now flip the cue one way to do one side, and back the other for the other side. That allows you to use the current taper jig.

If you plan to do more of this type work, and other option for *short tapers only as you show* would be to buy a cheap Chinese spindex & a couple collets.

Your BS is going to have trouble entering the cut on a solid without wandering.
You can cut both parts, assemble with perhaps a dowel? and recut the joint with the parts together. Any divergence on one side is mirror on the other and with practice can come out ok.

Dinner calls, but maybe i can dig up that old BBC photo of some guy in the 19-teens or -20's cutting full splice joints with a handsaw. :)

smt
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
Are you saying you only have a small bandsaw for making cuts?
It looks like the outside angle cut is at the thick part of the butt?

Do you have boring capability?

One way to index it would be to make a small but substantial wooden block with parallel sides, and bore it to fit the "other" end snugly. Ram the end in the hole. Tape all around so it can't shift. Now flip the cue one way to do one side, and back the other for the other side. That allows you to use the current taper jig.

If you plan to do more of this type work, and other option for *short tapers only as you show* would be to buy a cheap Chinese spindex & a couple collets.

Your BS is going to have trouble entering the cut on a solid without wandering.
You can cut both parts, assemble with perhaps a dowel? and recut the joint with the parts together. Any divergence on one side is mirror on the other and with practice can come out ok.

Dinner calls, but maybe i can dig up that old BBC photo of some guy in the 19-teens or -20's cutting full splice joints with a handsaw. :)

smt
Yes to the band saw. I do not have a table saw.

The spin indexer is interesting, but from what I saw so far is says the bore is only 1-1/8. Maybe it could work on an existing cue but not sure if a cue not turned to the finished diameter would fit.

I like the idea of boring a block. I should be able to figure out a way to do that. Less expensive but holding the piece in place could be tricky.

Love to hear any additional information if you find any.

Thanks
Scott
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Trying my hand at a butterfly splice. I have been searching for info and not finding much. AZB search has a couple old threads with broken links so not a super big help. I built a jig for my bandsaw to hold the pieces in place and experimented with some success.

I am working on an existing cue butt so it is already round. Obviously, I want both surfaces flat and the same angle, so the seam is clean. Not sure if the blade is walking too much, or the jig is the issue, or it is just me. Getting them to match up is my issue.

Sanding the pointy end is simple enough to get a flat surface. The V side is not as easy. Had to do a lot of sanding, filing, fitting - repeat to get it acceptable.

Not very efficient. Looking for some advice for someone that does not have a big workshop with table saws, mills, or CNC to tighten up the cuts to match better.

View attachment 738795

View attachment 738796

I'm only a terrible hack, but I think it's a lot easier to start with perfectly planed and dimensioned square stock if you are going to do butterfly joints (or full splice for that matter). Mariposa Cues on Facebook sometimes posts pictures of his butterfly glue ups. And Shruiken cues on here (the guy from Ukraine) has posted pictures of his process.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The spin indexer is interesting, but from what I saw so far is says the bore is only 1-1/8. Maybe it could work on an existing cue but not sure if a cue not turned to the finished diameter would fit.

Brain fart on my part. Of course you are correct.
The most you can fit through some (& by no means all) 5c collets is about 1-1/32" Some makers 1" versions will not actually pass 1" the whole way through, but most should.

The index itself with drawbar removed will just pass 1-1/4" after the collet pin is also filed flush, but then it needs a chuck on the front, and no actual way to attach one if you do not have a machine shop.

I agree with K & A that it is easier to start with perfect squares.
OTOH it sounds like you do not have the means to generate them, either?
The parallel block attached to one end is effective if you can contrive it.
Then it is down to being able to make a roughing cut on each piece, and a finish cut with them assembled.

If you can make an accurately fitted block that is parallel and long enough, you could fit the work end of the cue into it, and make the cuts through both pieces, which would yield less deflection at the start and finish of the cut, but i think you would need at least a *good* tablesaw, and preferably a milling machine to make the jig. In which case you would not need it. :)

Do you have a router?

smt
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
Brain fart on my part. Of course you are correct.
The most you can fit through some (& by no means all) 5c collets is about 1-1/32" Some makers 1" versions will not actually pass 1" the whole way through, but most should.

The index itself with drawbar removed will just pass 1-1/4" after the collet pin is also filed flush, but then it needs a chuck on the front, and no actual way to attach one if you do not have a machine shop.

I agree with K & A that it is easier to start with perfect squares.
OTOH it sounds like you do not have the means to generate them, either?
The parallel block attached to one end is effective if you can contrive it.
Then it is down to being able to make a roughing cut on each piece, and a finish cut with them assembled.

If you can make an accurately fitted block that is parallel and long enough, you could fit the work end of the cue into it, and make the cuts through both pieces, which would yield less deflection at the start and finish of the cut, but i think you would need at least a *good* tablesaw, and preferably a milling machine to make the jig. In which case you would not need it. :)

Do you have a router?

smt
I do have a basic table router and one for my Mid America lathe.
 

Canadian cue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If that's how cues are spliced together with butterflies it looks like a terribly weak joint.
Hey John, why do you assume that it is weak? The idea behind a butterfly or full splice cue is you are gluing long grain instead of endgrain. The longer and more surface area you can create in the joint, the better.
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
Hey John, why do you assume that it is weak? The idea behind a butterfly or full splice cue is you are gluing long grain instead of endgrain. The longer and more surface area you can create in the joint, the better.
It just looks way too short to be strong in that photo

Sorry if I was confusing. I am doing a conversion of an ebony Dufferin house cue. This is at the butt end and has a core running through it.

IMG_7550.jpeg
 
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snookered_again

Well-known member
I dont know lots about cue making, like to learn more.. but this is fitting..

what you can do is, Sparingly, put a little paint or ink on the mating parts. put it together and see where the ink transfers, only remove that, not anything else. repeat. You will eventually end up with a good fit once you get to the point of full transfer everywhere.

you can also fold a piece of sandpaper, trap it in the joint, pull it out, repeat. that sands both sides where the sandpaper is trapped and not where it is loose.

keeping the two pieces aligned is another challenge. You can't really get a finished cut on a bandsaw, nature of the beast. Epoxy will fill gaps if you want to go there you can try to dye the epoxy to match but if it isn't a true precision fit then there will probably be a visible line at the joint.

sometimes with antiques I have a chunk missing and Il use a bit of similar wood, If that is impractical I mix wood dust and epoxy , you can go about 50/50. faster than fitting a dutchman, usually nicer to fill any gap with similar wood if possible, sometimes I'll use a combination of the above.

you might be able to use a sharp chisel with a "paring" or twisting action to carefully remove wood, in place of sanding.

the way I see it the problem is you are trying to fit two things and both need to be precison, the fit and also the alignment of parts. If you can't turn or sand the outside I think you are in for quite a challenge there. If you can remove some of the outside material to help with allignment that will help.
 

slim123

Active member
Trying my hand at a butterfly splice. I have been searching for info and not finding much. AZB search has a couple old threads with broken links so not a super big help. I built a jig for my bandsaw to hold the pieces in place and experimented with some success.

I am working on an existing cue butt so it is already round. Obviously, I want both surfaces flat and the same angle, so the seam is clean. Not sure if the blade is walking too much, or the jig is the issue, or it is just me. Getting them to match up is my issue.

Sanding the pointy end is simple enough to get a flat surface. The V side is not as easy. Had to do a lot of sanding, filing, fitting - repeat to get it acceptable.

Not very efficient. Looking for some advice for someone that does not have a big workshop with table saws, mills, or CNC to tighten up the cuts to match better.

View attachment 738795

View attachment 738796
I'm sure Brent Hartman would help you out. He doesn't make cues anymore, however, he made really nice splices like the ones you want to make
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
a japanese saw might be a nice thing to have without spending much and you can always make up your own little miter box with the angle you like. They cut with a thin kerf and on the pull stroke. Just google "japanese saw"

since you have a bandsaw , sometimes what you can do is take some scrap plywood or whatever and make yourself a custom throwaway jig to hold what you are cutting in a good ergonomic way. I'll sometimes do that, for example, to clamp weird shaped parts together like the arm of a chair where there is nothing flat to clamp against, You can always staple a rag of cardboard on, as a cushion to protect the workpiece.

a card scraper is another good thing to have that won't break the bank, you can use it like a wood plane but finer. If you want a free one just sacrifice some old handsaw ( good use for an old cracked rusty handsaw) and cut a piece about 2.5" x 4" with a zip disk..
sharpen with a mill file, you can burnish the edge or sharpen it with square edges like an ice skate. You can buy holders sharpeners and different thicknesses of card scrapers if you want to spend. I'll use mine in place of sandpaper quite often, and for a lot of things relating to fitting.

some live in apartments and have a bandsaw. they are usually quiet enough that it's more practical than having a tablesaw due to noise dust etc.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You made me do it! :)
Here's the BBC guy cutting FS joints with an oriental handsaw, "back in the day" (1920's and before).
Brunswick oriental handsaw FS joint.jpg


You can't really get a finished cut on a bandsaw
Well, you can get one that is quite close by choosing a good blade, and maybe tuning it.
AFAIK, all FS makers including myself use a bandsaw for the prongs. BBC cues were made that way after they didn't have guys that could handsaw them anymore. :)

DSC_0014_01.JPG
DSC_0015_01.JPG


a card scraper is another good thing to have that won't break the bank, you can use it like a wood plane but finer.

I use one with a clamp for a handle, to make it easier to pull. But i only knock off any gross "boogers" or divergences. It is a fools errand to try to make the cut "smooth" like a plane.

DSC_0021.JPG


OTOH, on the male part which is far more accessible, i will make a bit of effort with planes. But again, don't get nuts - it will all go to heck quire quickly after you merely knock off bumps and jiggles from the machining process, if any. (The satinwood part is fit into a scrap ashwood prong, to brace and hold it for planing. The scrap prong is roughly relieved. It is just a fixture to work against)

DSC_0018.JPG


Semi-finished parts on the right are actually Hond. rosewood/curly hard maple art deco table legs.
On the left are 6 pt cue butt blanks.

DSC_0040.JPG
 
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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It just looks way too short to be strong in that photo

That was the first thing i noticed, too. But figured it is mostly cosmetic, and that he might be going to put a dowel in the center.

Ideally for structural joint, it should be 12:1. 15:1 for airplane spars. Probably strong enough for general cosmetic use around 7 or 8:1. Shorter if dowel center, elsewise you probably can only offer a tail light warranty. :)
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
a japanese saw might be a nice thing to have without spending much and you can always make up your own little miter box with the angle you like. They cut with a thin kerf and on the pull stroke. Just google "japanese saw"

since you have a bandsaw , sometimes what you can do is take some scrap plywood or whatever and make yourself a custom throwaway jig to hold what you are cutting in a good ergonomic way. I'll sometimes do that, for example, to clamp weird shaped parts together like the arm of a chair where there is nothing flat to clamp against, You can always staple a rag of cardboard on, as a cushion to protect the workpiece.

a card scraper is another good thing to have that won't break the bank, you can use it like a wood plane but finer. If you want a free one just sacrifice some old handsaw ( good use for an old cracked rusty handsaw) and cut a piece about 2.5" x 4" with a zip disk..
sharpen with a mill file, you can burnish the edge or sharpen it with square edges like an ice skate. You can buy holders sharpeners and different thicknesses of card scrapers if you want to spend. I'll use mine in place of sandpaper quite often, and for a lot of things relating to fitting.

some live in apartments and have a bandsaw. they are usually quiet enough that it's more practical than having a tablesaw due to noise dust etc.
Thanks for the information.
I was using a utility blade like a card scraper. It was small and kinda fit down in the groove.

You hit the nail on the head with me. Spare room in my apartment. Making do with what I have right now.

IMG_6828.jpeg
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
You made me do it! :)
Here's the BBC guy cutting FS joints with an oriental handsaw, "back in the day" (1920's and before).
View attachment 739639


Well, you can get one that is quite close by choosing a good blade, and maybe tuning it.
AFAIK, all FS makers including myself use a bandsaw for the prongs. BBC cues were made that way after they didn't have guys that could handsaw them anymore. :)

View attachment 739641View attachment 739642



I use one with a clamp for a handle, to make it easier to pull. But i only knock off any gross "boogers" or divergences. It is a fools errand to try to make the cut "smooth" like a plane.

View attachment 739643

OTOH, on the male part which is far more accessible, i will make a bit of effort with planes. But again, don't get nuts - it will all go to heck quire quickly after you merely knock off bumps and jiggles from the machining process, if any. (The satinwood part is fit into a scrap ashwood prong, to brace and hold it for planing. The scrap prong is roughly relieved. It is just a fixture to work against)

View attachment 739645

Semi-finished parts on the right are actually Hond. rosewood/curly hard maple art deco table legs.
On the left are 6 pt cue butt blanks.

View attachment 739644

Amazing what people did by hand that I struggle with power tools.

Those are beautiful. Do you make completed cues or just blanks?

Question. I just have a small bandsaw. Do you have a blade recommendation (size tooth count etc.) for cutting these?
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
I think that's a dovetail saw, similar to the backsaw, the difference between that and a Japanese saw is the back of the blade is a dovetail or backsaw blade has a rigid metal part. The dovetail one has a round handle and the backsaw has a handle more like like a handsaw. In days gone by every carpenter or woodworker would sharpen his own saw, it was dropped from modern training. now you'll find very cheap saws with very sharp teeth and some profiles that would be difficult to sharpen, many just toss them now and buy new rather than sharpening them. That said I'm sure there are lots more types of saws.

love the little shop , looks comfortable, even a nice little woodwork bench.

for fitting another thing you can do is use carbon paper like used in making dual copies on an old typewriter. you can slip that in and pull it out and look for where its touching which will transfer. perhaps a little less messy..

I believe there is sort of a culture in Japan where some woodworkers pride themselves on making very small precision objects from wood. If you look up "two chip carving" its interesting , perhaps that could be a technique used to embellish cues. some of it doesn't look so hard to learn, I figure it is a lot easier than making 3D shapes and mastering other carving skills.

Personally I dont make cues, I have a little southbend metal lathe, and Im basically a self taught machinist, Millwright by trade.. so I've been thinking I can set it up to retip or make my own ferrules, maybe do some repairs. I'd like to learn more about it. I need to buy or construct a steadyrest. the bed length is limited.

Ive been toying wiht the idea of taking a piece of heavy pipe about 3" diameter, cutting a slot down one side so its got a window to look in and threading a bunch of places to insert plastic screws. the idea is that I could examine cues with a bit of bend , mark them up with masking tape,, and leave them in there to try to apply pressure in the correct spots to straighten them, maybe apply steam if needed. thought I'd experiment with some old junk and see how I do..

good idea to use table legs as a source, old piano parts too. Im constantly seeing them advertised free and tried selling a big dining room table. They both dropped in value to the point I constantly see them advertised free and some are quite old. the wood is often more valuable than a table or a Piano. Ivory from old keys can be reused too.
 
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boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
a japanese saw
These things are the bees knees. I've seen a few in the US under Irwin brand that were called "pull saws" since they cut on the backstroke. It's pretty amazing the precise work you can do with this style of saw. If you ever want to go down a rabbit hole look up old Japanese house building, temple building, woodwork in general. You can do so much with precise hand tools. It might not go well in a full on production shop but these cut so clean and true it doesn't take much more effort than with a band saw.

Check this out if you have a few minutes to spare a bit off topic but really neat:
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
I'm learning here too. You have no idea how long Ive tried to imagine how such a joint is cut and I now see the reason for doing that on a bandsaw. The picture was worth a thousand words, now I understand the process much better, Thank you for that.
 
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