How about "designer cues" instead of custom cues?

Shawn Armstrong

Abooboo No Neck
Silver Member
I've been having numerous discussions with people on the board, and I think I have come up with a way to describe cues, without tagging them as "custom" or "production". I, for the life of me, cannot see ANY difference between a custom cuemaker and a production cuemaker, so I propose the following. Custom cuemakers should call themselves "Designer Cuemakers", and the production cuemakers should call themselves "Line Cuemakers". By the definition I've been given by everyone on this board, it comes down to pure volume of production as to if you are custom or not. If Schon made 100 cues per year, they'd be a custom house. Seeing as they make over 1000 cues, now they're a production cuemaker. Could someone tell me the magical number where this all changes? 499? 512? 613? I'd love to know.

So, let's go with the fashion industry's choice of terms. If it's off the rack, it's a line of cues. If it's made by a limited production operation, it's designer wear. I love it - "(insert name here) Designer Cues". It has a ring to it.
 

poolhall maven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a custom cue which I helped design from top to bottom.
I do not wear designer clothes or carry a designer purse.
I vote no on designer cues.
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
I'm not sure why the term 'custom' is so confusing at all.

Numbers really have little to do with it.

If you call your self "Production" then yes , numbers are factor.

I run a 'Custom' machine shop and a 'Production' machine shop.

In production we make a living on volume, efficiency and cost.

Custom is when I build to the customers supplies specs at sacrifice of speed and cost.

Custom Homes = Built to the buyers specific wants and needs.

Custom Bikes = Built to the buyers specific wants and needs.

Custom Car = Built to the buyers specific wants and needs.

Custom Cue = Built to the buyers specific wants and needs.

Handbuilt/crafted alone does not mean custom.

Machine built alone does not mean production.

How hard is it to understand ? Did you find/buy an item that suits your needs or did you give a list of specifications and have an item built to suit your requirements ?

IDK.
 

Cuaba

Livin Large
Silver Member
Makes sense to me.

Actually, it makes a lot of sense. That's a great way to label the grey area between "custom" and "production."
 

worriedbeef

The Voice of Reason
Silver Member
with some issues there can be a slight confusion of terms, but it's really quite simple. with a custom cue you can have it made to your exact specifications.
 

Shawn Armstrong

Abooboo No Neck
Silver Member
This is too simple, yet no one can see the forest for the trees.

There are a number of cuemakers that make cues without a particular customer in mind. They build the cue to THEIR specs, in terms of shaft taper and butt dimensions. They weight it to 19 ounces, but allow bolts to be taken out or added to change the weight. They sell it to a dealer, who sells the cue as "custom". There is absolutely nothing custom about it. It's the exact same thing as a production cue. It was made with the maker's specs, and has gone out onto someone's shelf. If I order the cue from a cuemaker to my specs, such as taper, balance point, wrap and wood choice, etc, that cue is custom made for me. If I sell it to Bob, a guy who really likes the way the cue hits, that cue is not longer a custom cue - it's just a brand name. The cue was never made with his specific inputs, it was made with mine. I bought the XX CUSTOM cue. When he got it from me, it's now an XX cue. Custom gets removed, as the cue wasn't made for Bob. Custom implies tailored, or made to specific order, or designed for a particular end user.

So, you decide to hop on a cuemaker's website, and find a cue under their "Current Inventory" tab. You look at the cues, and one really jumps out at you. You call up the maker, and say "what are the specs on that cue?". You then tell him you want a different wrap, retaper, tip choice, whatever. This is how most custom cues are bought today. Now, let's say I want to buy a Viking. I look at their website, and see a cue that really jumps out at me. I call Viking. I ask for a different wrap, different tip, different weight, etc. They fill the order the exact same way as the other guy. Here's the difference - one guy's is "custom", the other is "production". WHY?
 

s'portplayer

Midnight Rambler
Silver Member
Huh

If the works custom and production are that confusing, I would suggest dedicating more time to watching the grass grow or making little rocks out of big rocks.

Do you really expect us to believe that you cant tell the difference between, Bill Schick and Mcdermott or Tim Scruggs and Viking? Cmon now.
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Shawn Armstrong said:
This is too simple, yet no one can see the forest for the trees.

There are a number of cuemakers that make cues without a particular customer in mind. They build the cue to THEIR specs, in terms of shaft taper and butt dimensions. They weight it to 19 ounces, but allow bolts to be taken out or added to change the weight. They sell it to a dealer, who sells the cue as "custom". There is absolutely nothing custom about it. It's the exact same thing as a production cue. It was made with the maker's specs, and has gone out onto someone's shelf. If I order the cue from a cuemaker to my specs, such as taper, balance point, wrap and wood choice, etc, that cue is custom made for me. If I sell it to Bob, a guy who really likes the way the cue hits, that cue is not longer a custom cue - it's just a brand name. The cue was never made with his specific inputs, it was made with mine. I bought the XX CUSTOM cue. When he got it from me, it's now an XX cue. Custom gets removed, as the cue wasn't made for Bob. Custom implies tailored, or made to specific order, or designed for a particular end user.

So, you decide to hop on a cuemaker's website, and find a cue under their "Current Inventory" tab. You look at the cues, and one really jumps out at you. You call up the maker, and say "what are the specs on that cue?". You then tell him you want a different wrap, retaper, tip choice, whatever. This is how most custom cues are bought today. Now, let's say I want to buy a Viking. I look at their website, and see a cue that really jumps out at me. I call Viking. I ask for a different wrap, different tip, different weight, etc. They fill the order the exact same way as the other guy. Here's the difference - one guy's is "custom", the other is "production". WHY?

In that example , if Viking will retaper a shaft , rewrap the butt , intall the tip of your choice than I would call it a custom viking model XX.

Pretty much the same as the builder you referenced altho most small builders don't have "models".

I guess the question lies in how custom an item can be. Is it a stock model modified or was it a scratch built ? But that is how I would widdle it down from "Custom".

Many people would like 'Custom' to imply some amount of value , uniqueness or highendness (is that a word? ) Many business would like that too. :D Doesn't make it so of course.

I'm having a couple cues built right now and when I asked I say I'm having a scratch build custom cue made.

The real question is why it's so important to some people. :)
 

Shawn Armstrong

Abooboo No Neck
Silver Member
s'portplayer said:
If the works custom and production are that confusing, I would suggest dedicating more time to watching the grass grow or making little rocks out of big rocks.

Do you really expect us to believe that you cant tell the difference between, Bill Schick and Mcdermott or Tim Scruggs and Viking? Cmon now.
If you bought the Bill Schick because you thought it was pretty, then it's not custom. Bill makes one hell of a cue. Bill makes cues. He doesn't make custom cues. He makes pool cues. Same as Joss. Same as J&J. Same as Dufferin.

If you want to resort to name calling, that's your business. Little rocks, big rocks, whatever. The point is that custom implies tailored. It doesn't mean produced in small batches, otherwise I drink custom beer. It doesn't imply high resale value, otherwise Titleists, which were a house cue, are custom. The big names demand big pricetags for their cues, and deservedly so. However, would you pay less for a Bill Schick cue than a Bill Schick custom cue? The "custom" adds nothing to the statement. "Custom" somehow implies a higher reputation, and that's wrong. If you mention anyone by name, I know my impression of them. Remove the word "custom" from Dennis Searing's cues, they are still a sought after commodity. The man's integrity and attention to detail make the cue. The title "custom" is thrown around by every cue maker and cue assembler under the sun these days. I guess I can go buy some parts from Prather, slap a cue together, and call myself a custom cuemaker? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, yet there are a lot of individuals who do this very thing.
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Shawn Armstrong said:
If you bought the Bill Schick because you thought it was pretty, then it's not custom. Bill makes one hell of a cue. Bill makes cues. He doesn't make custom cues. He makes pool cues. Same as Joss. Same as J&J. Same as Dufferin.

If you want to resort to name calling, that's your business. Little rocks, big rocks, whatever. The point is that custom implies tailored. It doesn't mean produced in small batches, otherwise I drink custom beer. It doesn't imply high resale value, otherwise Titleists, which were a house cue, are custom. The big names demand big pricetags for their cues, and deservedly so. However, would you pay less for a Bill Schick cue than a Bill Schick custom cue? The "custom" adds nothing to the statement. "Custom" somehow implies a higher reputation, and that's wrong. If you mention anyone by name, I know my impression of them. Remove the word "custom" from Dennis Searing's cues, they are still a sought after commodity. The man's integrity and attention to detail make the cue. The title "custom" is thrown around by every cue maker and cue assembler under the sun these days. I guess I can go buy some parts from Prather, slap a cue together, and call myself a custom cuemaker? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, yet there are a lot of individuals who do this very thing.

It's not limited to pool either BTW. :)
 

Shawn Armstrong

Abooboo No Neck
Silver Member
RRfireblade said:
It's not limited to pool either BTW. :)
Totally agree. However, our industry tosses it around like a badge of honour. "For $500, you should consider a custom cue instead of production". Then, the guy goes on the F/S section, buys a house cue with a joint installed by the local whiz-kid who tears up the board with his fancy J/B cues, and he got a custom? Uh huh - he got a refinished Dufferin with a Schmelke/Dominiak/Prather/Atlas shaft. REALLY custom cue.
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Shawn Armstrong said:
Totally agree. However, our industry tosses it around like a badge of honour. "For $500, you should consider a custom cue instead of production". Then, the guy goes on the F/S section, buys a house cue with a joint installed by the local whiz-kid who tears up the board with his fancy J/B cues, and he got a custom? Uh huh - he got a refinished Dufferin with a Schmelke/Dominiak/Prather/Atlas shaft. REALLY custom cue.


Very true . . . and I thought we were arguing about something. :)

I guess you just can't let it bug you. Those people are not going to use any other term anyway or it would defeat thier bigger purpose (and/or demoralizes them). All you can do is edjucate those who want to learn and hope it all evens out in the end.

Custom , Modded , Hot-rodded (I want to smack someone for that one) perhaps even fitted is a possble term . . . people are going to call it whatever makes them feel better about the price they paid or the price they are trying to get. :)
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
Gotta go with Shawn on this one. And with that I guess Eddie Wheat is the only "custom" cuemaker on the forum. :)
 

HawaiianEye

Banned
I've been having numerous discussions with people on the board, and I think I have come up with a way to describe cues, without tagging them as "custom" or "production". I, for the life of me, cannot see ANY difference between a custom cuemaker and a production cuemaker, so I propose the following. Custom cuemakers should call themselves "Designer Cuemakers", and the production cuemakers should call themselves "Line Cuemakers". By the definition I've been given by everyone on this board, it comes down to pure volume of production as to if you are custom or not. If Schon made 100 cues per year, they'd be a custom house. Seeing as they make over 1000 cues, now they're a production cuemaker. Could someone tell me the magical number where this all changes? 499? 512? 613? I'd love to know.

So, let's go with the fashion industry's choice of terms. If it's off the rack, it's a line of cues. If it's made by a limited production operation, it's designer wear. I love it - "(insert name here) Designer Cues". It has a ring to it.

Really? You can't see the difference?
 

megatron69

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"Custom" to me implies tailor made; something you can't just walk into a store or go online and buy.

"Production" is a product made similar to other manufacturer's products with cost in mind.

Years ago I tied flies for money. Fly fishing flies. I had two lines. One was production. Flies that were carbon copies of the flies that every fly shop had in stock. Things like BWOs, San Juan worms, Elk Hair Caddis, etc. They were exact copies of the flies that everyone made. Now, I might add a bit of flash or colored wire here and there to a production fly but essentially they were exact copies.

My custom flies were flies that no one else tied, at least on a commercial level. Some were variations on commercially available flies, such as BWOs with a weaved dubbing body,and others were completely invented by your truly, like my MOAB streamer fly or my Googly-eyed Monster, or my Purple Terminator. And many of them were flies that I tied at the request of specific customers. Purple pheasant tail nymphs with articulated legs, mating damselflies and what-nots. Now if my whole business at the time was just those custom flies, I'd consider myself a custom fly-tier. But I tied plenty of production-type flies, so I always considered myself a contract fly-tier that had a side business tying custom flies.

Getting back to pool cues . . .

Of course, some production cue makers also make custom cues so there is some cross-over. But if most of your cues are production cues, then you're probably in the same boat I was in. You're a production cue maker that has a side business making custom cues. If most of your cues are one-offs, then you're a custom cue maker.
 

HawaiianEye

Banned
"Custom" to me implies tailor made; something you can't just walk into a store or go online and buy.

"Production" is a product made similar to other manufacturer's products with cost in mind.

Years ago I tied flies for money. Fly fishing flies. I had two lines. One was production. Flies that were carbon copies of the flies that every fly shop had in stock. Things like BWOs, San Juan worms, Elk Hair Caddis, etc. They were exact copies of the flies that everyone made. Now, I might add a bit of flash or colored wire here and there to a production fly but essentially they were exact copies.

My custom flies were flies that no one else tied, at least on a commercial level. Some were variations on commercially available flies, such as BWOs with a weaved dubbing body,and others were completely invented by your truly, like my MOAB streamer fly or my Googly-eyed Monster, or my Purple Terminator. And many of them were flies that I tied at the request of specific customers. Purple pheasant tail nymphs with articulated legs, mating damselflies and what-nots. Now if my whole business at the time was just those custom flies, I'd consider myself a custom fly-tier. But I tied plenty of production-type flies, so I always considered myself a contract fly-tier that had a side business tying custom flies.

Getting back to pool cues . . .

Of course, some production cue makers also make custom cues so there is some cross-over. But if most of your cues are production cues, then you're probably in the same boat I was in. You're a production cue maker that has a side business making custom cues. If most of your cues are one-offs, then you're a custom cue maker.

Any maker can make a custom cue.

I'm not saying they are always going to be the same quality.

Custom means something other than their "standard".

People on here seem to think only a "one man" shop can make custom cues and that is because he doesn't have 40 other workers. That is irrelevant. Custom is custom, whether one guy touches it or a 1000.
 

megatron69

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Any maker can make a custom cue.

I'm not saying they are always going to be the same quality.

Custom means something other than their "standard".

People on here seem to think only a "one man" shop can make custom cues and that is because he doesn't have 40 other workers. That is irrelevant. Custom is custom, whether one guy touches it or a 1000.

I think we're mostly in agreement. The one thing I'll modify is that "Custom" should mean "better than their standard." Otherwise it's just another product in a new suit, same as all the rest.
 
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