How to retip cues...... without a lathe

RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here is a step by step set of instructions on how to retip your own cues. It requires a minimal investment in tools, that pays for itself in the first 10-12 tips you replace. This took years to learn and perfect. I tried lots of different glues, clamps, gizmos etc etc etc..... But it all comes down to what I'm about to show you. Its the easiest, most cost effective way I know how to retip cues. Here is a retipping job I just did on a Judd sneaky pete.
First things first...... the tools
A Porper Big Shaver (you can use a mushroom grazer.... but these work so much better), a rapid cue top sander (for getting the top of the ferrule flat), superglue gel (I prefer Loctite brand), metal trimmer for roughing the top of the tip only, a couple of post it notes for protecting your cue shaft from the rapid cuetop sanders clamp, the new tip, a razor knife, and assorted autobody sandpapers (600 grit to 2000)

This was a cue I just bought, the tip it came with was loose and not looking all that great. So take the razor knife and cut it off. Leave between 1/32" and 1/16" of the old tip for safety reasons.

Next, trim and scrape some more of the old tip off until you can see some of the ferrule.

Use the post-it notes to wrap the shaft as shown. Use a couple or 3. It protects from the sanders clamp.

Clamped.

Use the top sander as per instructions..... I like to use the outer hole first, then the inner for a "cleanup pass". Be careful here, the sander works quickly, stop after all the old tip and glue are gone. No need to go deeper.
Sometimes with softer ferrule materials, you will have "hairs" of plastic hanging off the edge. Very lightly knock them off with 600 grit and almost no pressure.

Next its time to prep the tip, I use the sander for this also. Its metal plate with the sandpaper makes for a nice flat surface to sand the back of the tip. Like the ferrule....... no need to go crazy here. I stop right after all the "sealer" is gone. You are making sure the tip is flat and ready for glue only. Also before I forget about it, do not touch the newly prepped tip or ferrule.


Now its time to glue. I start lightly on the tip. Let the glue soak in, rub it around with the applicator on the glue bottle. Then put a little bit more on. its like laying tile, you don't want or need complete coverage. Use the bottles applicator like a notched trowel and spread and "notch" the glue. Same thing on the ferrule. If you don't use enough the tip will not adhere. If you use too much, it will ooze out and make a mess. If you use just the right amount..... it will barely form a bead between the tip and ferrule when you put the tip on and seat it.

Center the tip by eye (always use a tip bigger than the diameter of your ferrule) And lightly apply pressure with your finger tip for one to two minutes.

to be continued......
 
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RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Prop the cue against something, so the shaft is vertical, and nothing is touching the tip. Wait 15 -20 minutes (you can wait less time, or more time...... but I like the 15 minute rule. Its usually more than needed, and I'm in no big hurry) Afterwards, you have a tip on the shaft ready for trimming.

The Big Shaver comes with directions, I will add this. Go slow, don't try to trim the tip in one pass. Make several cuts, doing just a little bit at a time.
Remember to leave a little excess material for the next step. If you don't, the finished tip wont look as good.


The next step is sanding the tip and blending it into the ferrule. If you did not leave enough, you will have to sand too much and you risk damaging the ferrule. If you left too much, it will just take you longer. With some experience, you will figure out how much you need to leave to get the tip sanded well, without having to sand the ferrule significantly. I start with 600-800 grit and roll the tip between paper that I'm holding like I am burnishing the tip. Go slow, don't build up excess heat in this step. Layered tips de-laminate, and single layer tips can cook.

Work your way up to 1500 or so grit.

Then you are ready to burnish. I personally use a scrap of leather that I just realized I did not photo....... :D

After burnishing, you are ready to start roughing the tip to shape with the metal/sandpaper trimmer.(the top only with this tool, never use it on the side of a tip)

Then you can finish shaping it with your preferred tool. I like a dime shaped willard.

After that, you are done and ready to chalk up and play!


I hope this helps those who needed a leg up on retipping your own cues. If you want to practice, buy some cheap tips and go to a pub and offer to retip their cues for a very small cost, or even free.
Its not difficult, just take your time, and have some patience. The results are worth it!
Chuck
 
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chilli66

the chilli is back!
Silver Member
Excellent stuff! Very informative. I retipped my cue on New Year's Eve but I didn't have the sander or trimmer so it was a fairly time consuming job! I think I'll have to invest in those tools for the future.

Rep for your efforts, sir!
 

rackem

SUPPORT CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Silver Member
Very informative post. How does one determine which is the glue side of a tip? If there is writing should it always face out on all tips?
 

Deadon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Would humbly disagree with any sanding of the ferrule. Doing so creates a bevel (for lack of a better word) on the end of the ferrule, especially after several tips, and it soon ends up with a repair guy for correction. Ask them, new ferrule or completely taper the ferrule you have. Or you can play with it and it just looks funny. Won't affect play, but will devalue your cue.

After the tip is applied and dried. Take a smooth block of wood and hold the shaft vertically tip down on the wood. Use a razor blade or a good utility bland and trim down from the ferrule to end of the tip. Using the edge of the ferrul as a guide. Take small pieces and rotate the shaft as you cue through. Whe you get finish, if you want a smoother edge, mask the ferrule and use a little 400 on just the tip. Then burnish. Always liked Pepsi, the sugar made a nice color and seal on the edge. There are many devices to make your tip shape. Pick the one that works best for you and the curvature you like
 
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RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
rackem said:
Very informative post. How does one determine which is the glue side of a tip? If there is writing should it always face out on all tips?
Most tips are marked or pre shaped (domed). If you have doubts about your prefered tip, contact the tips manufacturer to make sure.
Chuck
 

RiverCity

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Deadon said:
Would humbly disagree with any sanding of the ferrule. Doing so creates a bevel (for lack of a better word) on the end of the ferrule, especially after several tips, and it soon ends up with a repair guy for correction. Ask them, new ferrule or completely taper the ferrule you have. Or you can play with it and it just looks funny. Won't affect play, but will devalue your cue.
Then you would really hate to see cuemakers blending a ferrule to a shaft and a tip to the ferrule wouldnt you? :D
Again, Im talking about paper no coarser than 600, I personally dont like to go lower than 800. Grits that high do not remove a significant amout of material at hand sanding speeds. The material I remove from the ferrule is around .001 off the diameter (thats about a third of the diameter of a human hair). 99% of the sanding is focused on the leather tip, not the ferrule.
Chuck
 

acedotcom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the post. I had already convinced myself that it was worth paying somebody ten bucks to change tips for me. Now, I'm tempted to try it again. Anyway, for those without a clue or those with just half a clue, this thread will become the definitive how-to tutorial. :)
 
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Wylie

I like beer!
Silver Member
I will say that Sybert's has an entire deluxe retipping kit for about $60. Very nice kit and very similar to your instructions. it makes it very easy to do and they have downloadable step-by-step video instructions. I've done 3 tips so far with ZERO problems what so ever. And they have been profesional looking installs. That was one of the best pool investments I have made.
 

macguy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
RiverCity said:
Then you would really hate to see cuemakers blending a ferrule to a shaft and a tip to the ferrule wouldnt you? :D
Again, Im talking about paper no coarser than 600, I personally dont like to go lower than 800. Grits that high do not remove a significant amout of material at hand sanding speeds. The material I remove from the ferrule is around .001 off the diameter (thats about a third of the diameter of a human hair). 99% of the sanding is focused on the leather tip, not the ferrule.
Chuck

That may not seem like much but by the 10th tip replacement you have taken off 1/4 mm.
 

Charlie Edwards

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
River City...your method is the best. Before I got a lathe I did tips almost exactly the way you explained. Worked great! One small thing I'd like to add is when it comes to the final shaping of the tip, and not having access to a lathe, I found the best shaping tool was Trogdon's shaper. http://trogdoncues.com/tip_shaper.htm It's very quick, easy, and accurate.
 

Inzombiac

...
Silver Member
STICKY THIS DANGIT lol!

Great work! Its things like this that layman like me need. I've yet to do any "home repair" of my gear but I've always liked to be more hands on with any kinds of fixes instead of taking it to someone. And now the knowledge is passed!
 

jgpool

Cue ball draw with this?
Silver Member
Tips

The hint about the sticky is what I needed! Thanks. Rep for you!!
 

StevenPWaldon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think he meant .001 mm, not .001 inches -- in which case, I don't think .01 mm would be of notice to anyone.

800 grit sandpaper on a ferrule is too fine to take off .001 inches with a quick hand sanding job.

macguy said:
That may not seem like much but by the 10th tip replacement you have taken off 1/4 mm.
 

catscradle

<< 2 all-time greats
Silver Member
Inzombiac said:
STICKY THIS DANGIT lol!

Great work! Its things like this that layman like me need. I've yet to do any "home repair" of my gear but I've always liked to be more hands on with any kinds of fixes instead of taking it to someone. And now the knowledge is passed!

I would suggest practicing on a shaft you don't particularly care about or an old house cue until you know exactly what you're doing. I have done my own tips on less expensive cues and do a pretty good job, but I maintain it is a rare person who does as good or better job by hand than a cuesmith with a lathe does. I've watched Mike Webb do tips amazingly fast and always perfect, my tips done by hand are never perfect.
It can be done, but it takes patience to do a good job. Rivercity probably has the patience and this is a good post, but if you find you don't have the patience don't try this on your good cue. Of course, it is also true that having a lathe doesn't guarantee a good job, it takes practice and skill.
 

Aaron_S

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great post! This is precisely the method, right down to the glue, that I've used for 10+ years putting all sorts of tips on my cues, and I can definitely vouch for this method. I also spend a fair bit of time burnishing the tip and ferrule. It gives a nice, finished look to the tip, and it restores the luster to the ferrule that is lost during sanding. The only tip I have not tried this method with is the Sniper; I was just too scared considering the cost of the tip. I have tried it with other layered tips, though, and with great results.
 
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chefjeff

New Green Zone
Silver Member
I would add one step: Clean the shaft before/during/after with a little alcohol on a cloth. Any chalk near your tools can scratch the ferrule/shaft.

One other caveat re. that particular brand of sanding tool for the end of the ferrule: I've seen some of these that are NOT exactly 90 degrees square. So, when buying one at the store, double check to be sure it is perfectly square or else your tip will be slanted.

Nice thread for us cheapskates.

Jeff Livingston
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
Nice post with good pics!!! I pretty much use this method when I re-tip my cues. Still don't have enough confidence in my abilities to do my good shafts yet:( , but I do all my house cues. One thing I do differently is that instead of Post-It notes, I wrap the ferrule with blue masking tape (the kind painters use), even all the way down the entire shaft so there is no chance of Super Glue getting on my shaft. It don't cost much and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Maniac
 
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