Making your own cue

the scorpion

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How easy is it to make your own cue from scratch and what type of materials and machines do you need as I have seen some of the cues on here and I would really love to design and make my own.
 

BarenbruggeCues

Unregistered User
Silver Member
the scorpion said:
How easy is it to make your own cue from scratch and what type of materials and machines do you need as I have seen some of the cues on here and I would really love to design and make my own.
This post could be a very long one but I will try to keep it short and simple.
It is NOT easy at all to under take a project like this. Could it be done?....
Of course........in the right frame of mind and an extreme amount of patience one can accomplish just about anything.
Without the proper tools and training (knowledge) I assume one could "whittle out" a very rough proto type that may be useful as playing instrument or may just end up as a project to admire from across the room.
Many,many $ and many,many,many hours go into perfecting the skills needed to accomplish anything that will stand the test of time.
I believe it is much easier today than it was just say...10 years ago for someone to become involved in building or repairing cues but is still a mountain that is one of the tallest.
I hope this in no way influences you not to try but just be prepared for things that you have NO idea that are going to happen sure as the sun rises. And you will spend many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to fix it.
By far ...........the best way to get started in this is to find someone already deeply involved and see if they would be willing to lend a hand and some advice and mostly some of their experiences that they have already experienced in the craft.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck and don't let anyone talk you out of it unless it is really something you don't want to take on.
Sincerely,
Dave
 

cheese_ball

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Greetings!

Dave!

I didn't know you posted on AZ... I've never seen you here before. Welcome! So, how long is your waiting list these days??? I've always liked your work, when can I contract a nice wrapless butterfly???

-little C-
 

SpiderWeb

iisgone@yahoo.com
Silver Member
Just do it

Its just like building cabinets, engines, boats, or playing pool very good. If you want to do it just do it and dont expect much until there is a pile of sawdust that you cant see over. It would also be helpful if you know a cue maker that you can take your finished cues to so he cna let the air of you now and then. When you get the finishing part down you wil be just about there.
Some can do lots of nice work with junk equipment because they can adapt it where others need good machinery to start with.
Post the pics when finished.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
the scorpion said:
How easy is it to make your own cue from scratch and what type of materials and machines do you need as I have seen some of the cues on here and I would really love to design and make my own.
From scratch would be very tough.
You can buy cue parts from Prather.
With points and inlays if you want.
Several makers buy their blanks from them.
 

CamposCues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Making Cues

A few years back I asked a similar question to a popular midwest cue maker and he pretty much snubbed me and said if I didn't have $50,000 then I was wasting my time...and he was an ass about it. I probably would have gotten discouraged along the way and gave up on my dream of cue building but his comments pissed me off and drove me to keep with it. Needless to say, I've never had any where near 50K and I'm building cues. I just had to buy a piece of equipment here and a piece there. It isn't an easy road (unless you have 50K ha, ha) but it can be done. I was really po'd about the way that cue maker tried to snuff out my dream but in the long run I guess I should thank him.

I wish I'd have know about this forum then. Everyone here has been a lot more receptive to my questions...thanks by the way.
 
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Canadian cue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you want to build a singular cue for youself to use or do you have ambitions of building multiple cues? If you only want to build one I would sugest finding a local maker willing to let you build one with you. Pick the materials from his stock and help in the process as much as you feel comfortable doing. If you have previous experience operating metal and woodworking equipment I think it is quite possible to build a complete cue of your own design (with the makers close supervision and guidance). To build a single cue at home by yourself I believe would be to much of an investment in equipment and time.
 

pawnmon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As a jeweler friend of mine said (about learning to make jewelry) "If you think education is expensive - try ignorance." I suggest you get some instruction in cuemaking before you dump a lot of time and money into your cuemaking project.
 

PoolSleuth

Banned
JoeyInCali said:
From scratch would be very tough.
You can buy cue parts from Prather.
With points and inlays if you want.
Several makers buy their blanks from them.


Would you like to make a LIST of Makers who buy cue parts from Prather:p
 

PoolSleuth

Banned
JoeyInCali said:
You can contact them.
Info kinda sensetive on that one.

Well you seem to have the inside SCOOP, but are unwilling to share that info... Or are you just talking TRASH???????
 

Hidy Ho

Missed 4 rail hanger!!!
Silver Member
PoolSleuth said:
Well you seem to have the inside SCOOP, but are unwilling to share that info... Or are you just talking TRASH???????

You got too much time on your hands ...
 

Craig Fales

Registered bubinga user
Silver Member
CamposCues said:
A few years back I asked a similar question to a popular midwest cue maker and he pretty much snubbed me and said if I didn't have $50,000 then I was wasting my time...and he was an ass about it. I probably would have gotten discouraged along the way and gave up on my dream of cue building but his comments pissed me off and drove me to keep with it. Needless to say, I've never had any where near 50K and I'm building cues. I just had to buy a piece of equipment here and a piece there. It isn't an easy road (unless you have 50K ha, ha) but it can be done. I was really po'd about the way that cue maker tried to snuff out my dream but in the long run I guess I should thank him.

I wish I'd have know about this forum then. Everyone here has been a lot more receptive to my questions...thanks by the way.

The gimp donkey was probably trying to discourage you so he wouldn't have more competition...:D
________
 
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MVPCues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
PoolSleuth said:
Well you seem to have the inside SCOOP, but are unwilling to share that info... Or are you just talking TRASH???????

I can't find any trash talking in the post. I saw Joey suggesting to someone who expressed an interest in getting into cuemaking that one possible route was buying some already made cue parts. He said it would be tough starting from scratch on your own. Telling him that several cue makers do that was only suggesting it was a viable option it seemed to me.

If no cue makers ever bought any parts from Prather, Prather would probably quit trying to sell them to nobody.
Kelly
 

MVPCues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
showboat said:
The gimp donkey was probably trying to discourage you so he wouldn't have more competition...:D

Or that could be his standard response to discourage people who are not serious and lacking the fortitude needed to get into cue making.

I heard Ben Afleck asked in an interview once what his advice was to people who want to try and become an actor. His answer was that he tells them to forget it, it is too tough of a career to get into, and chances of failure are so high it isn't worth it. His reasoning was if the people he says that to get discouraged they would not have made it anyway and he saved them the struggle, and if they weren't discouraged then there resolve was probably stronger after his negative comments and they had a chance.
Kelly
 

CamposCues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Maybe

Kelly_Guy said:
Or that could be his standard response to discourage people who are not serious and lacking the fortitude needed to get into cue making.

I heard Ben Afleck asked in an interview once what his advice was to people who want to try and become an actor. His answer was that he tells them to forget it, it is too tough of a career to get into, and chances of failure are so high it isn't worth it. His reasoning was if the people he says that to get discouraged they would not have made it anyway and he saved them the struggle, and if they weren't discouraged then there resolve was probably stronger after his negative comments and they had a chance.
Kelly

Maybe but I doubt it. I think he was pretty much just a d*ck. He is the closest cue maker to me or so I thought at the time. I just asked him how he got started and if he knew of any worth while videos or books that could help me. He just replied with a condescending email about if I didn't have 50K to get started I was wasting my time and he wasn't interested in giving me any advice. His attitude pretty much pissed me off. Many local players have his cues. I have yet to find one that isn't flawed by him in some way. That makes me strive for perfection, which I'm far from but I at least try not to make the same flaws I see him make. Like I said, I should thank him. He keeps me driven and critical of my own work.
 

MVPCues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
CamposCues said:
Maybe but I doubt it. I think he was pretty much just a d*ck. He is the closest cue maker to me or so I thought at the time. I just asked him how he got started and if he knew of any worth while videos or books that could help me. He just replied with a condescending email about if I didn't have 50K to get started I was wasting my time and he wasn't interested in giving me any advice. His attitude pretty much pissed me off. Many local players have his cues. I have yet to find one that isn't flawed by him in some way. That makes me strive for perfection, which I'm far from but I at least try not to make the same flaws I see him make. Like I said, I should thank him. He keeps me driven and critical of my own work.

I just noticed where you are from... Air Force brat here, I lived at the base there in Omaha when I was a kid.

I am close to getting a lathe myself. There have been a few people very helpful to me with advice and information (I will always be in their debt), and only one or two not so helpful. Getting pissed off about something like that and being able to use it as a positive motivation can be huge... I am glad it worked out for you!

Kelly
 

Cue Crazy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
CamposCues said:
Maybe but I doubt it. I think he was pretty much just a d*ck. He is the closest cue maker to me or so I thought at the time. I just asked him how he got started and if he knew of any worth while videos or books that could help me. He just replied with a condescending email about if I didn't have 50K to get started I was wasting my time and he wasn't interested in giving me any advice. His attitude pretty much pissed me off. Many local players have his cues. I have yet to find one that isn't flawed by him in some way. That makes me strive for perfection, which I'm far from but I at least try not to make the same flaws I see him make. Like I said, I should thank him. He keeps me driven and critical of my own work.


Maybe the direct competition was the issue, I don't know, but I could see that happening being in the same area. I was lucky enough that no one here was even doing repair, and I had been hand tipping for years already. I picked up some tricks on that from repair guys at tournaments in surrounding cities on improving My equipment to do that stuff. Later I starting thinking about building a few cues, before I really knew what all went into it as far as equipment and material, at that point I talked to one maker that produces alot of cues, and he was very kind, offering to let me come By and see his operation. Later on through work of mouth I was introduced to another maker that built very few cues, but He pulled a cue out of his case to show me, that I thought was just absoulutly beautifull, and from there I was pretty much hooked. He also invited Me by to see his shop, so My experiences were alittle different. I've actually met more people online like you mentioned then I did locally. Some makers are in It for the love of It before the money, others may have been at one time, but I believe at some point that felt they needed to start protecting their investment.

Some makers will give you the shirt off their back to help you out, those are the ones I remember, and hope to someday make it worth their while, but yes some others can be a real dick about It like you mentioned, or just blow you off. I firmly believe that everything comes around, and as far as being true to your craft in concerned, I believe part of that is sharing with others some of what was once shared with you. Ofcoarse I don't feel you can share everything, but that is out of respect for the source in which it came from.

I for the most part learned the basics hands on, but have learned many valuble things from here or other sources, and some of the fine makers that are secure enough to share their experiences. The best lessons sometimes seem to be hands on through trial and error, but sure helps to be pointed in the correct direction beforehand. ;) :D No matter how much I learn or pickup, I will probably always feel room for improvement, so I will always enjoy hearing others peoples thoughts also.

Anyway you look at It, it could be a huge investment for the average person, even for just the basics. I did the same thing, and aquired one piece at a time, something that I am still doing, and will continue to do until I feel like things are operating smoothly. I can build a nice cue, but between repair work & the need for stand alone equipment, I don't make many a year. My list would take between 10-20 years at this rate to fill, so I continue to work toward the goal of being able to supply demand, and maintain quality at the same time.

If I did not depend on repair work to help support it, then building more cues would be easier, so guess it depends on what all you plan to do, as to what all It takes to acomplish the goal. I am of the thought that repair work offers many experiences that are very valuable when it comes to building them, and also when matching an individual players style. Slapping a cue together is not all that hard with the equipment to do that & alittle instruction, but some of the best things that go into a good playing cue are hard learned. Sometimes sourcing the material you prefer does not come easy either.



Greg
 
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