Shaft Conditioning/Finishing

cuejunkie

"In the Shadows"
Silver Member
I have never been good at maintaining my pool cue shafts, but would like to break that bad habit.

Before shopping around blindly for shaft maintainance products, I was hoping someone could make a few suggestions.

I'm not looking to spend a lot of money, so pretty much just the bare essentials basic starter package.

Thanks in advance. -Marlo
 

JimS

Grandpa & his grand boys.
Silver Member
It takes very little... take it from a guy that was completely new to this 10 yrs ago and who bought EVERY product on the market to make the shaft clean and slick and most of it was just money down the rat hole.

I discovered you need very little.

1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get the dirty shafts clean.
2. 800 grit sandpaper or 4000 grit micro mesh cloth (same thing as 800 sandpaper)
3. 1000 or 1500 grit sandpaper or 6000 grit micro mesh cloth.
4. A piece of undyed leather about 3"x6".

The Process:

1. Clean the shaft with the Magic Eraser slightly dampened with a little alcohol or water. When done the shaft will be incredibly clean but will feel a little "hairy" or fuzzy.

2. Lightly sand it with the 800 to get the deeper scratches out and the "hair" off.

3. Sand with 1000 or 1500 grit to get it really smooth.

4. Use the leather to burnish it. Which means to wrap the leather around the shaft holding it with some pressure and move it up and down rapidly. The shaft gets incredibly smooth and it gets hot which closes the pores of the wood. You can use a brown paper bag or a dollar bill instead of leather if you want.

That's all you need. You don't need any waxes or chemicals. They all build up and get sticky.. especially when the humidity goes up.

You can make an electric drill shaft spinner which makes it easier but you can do just as good a job by hand. It's actually fun to do while watching some dumb TV show and the pay off is well worth the effort.

I now have about 100 shafts and every one is as smooth as a baby's butt.
 
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cuejunkie

"In the Shadows"
Silver Member
saved me time AND money

BIG thanks to you Jim for your very helpful post!

It would have taken me HOURS to compile all of the free advice that you have given me.
When time is money, it is nice to know that some people are still willing to donate theirs to help out someone else.
So thank you.

Well, here's where I am at this point:

I found the magic eraser at the grocery store (very inexpensive yet very effective)
I went to the hardware store but only found 400 grit sandpaper, so decided to pass.
I think I can get a shaft burnisher from eBay for just a few bucks.

So I just need to find the higher grit sandpapers and/or micro mesh?

Should I check on eBay? I recall seeing some shaft care products being sold on there while shopping for a cue case.

If you can point me in the right direction that would be great.

Either way, many thanks for your help. -Marlo
 
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rhncue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
BIG thanks to you Jim for your very helpful post!

It would have taken me HOURS to compile all of the free advice that you have given me.
When time is money, it is nice to know that some people are still willing to donate theirs to help out someone else.
So thank you.

Well, here's where I am at this point:

I found the magic eraser at the grocery store (very inexpensive yet very effective)
I went to the hardware store but only found 400 grit sandpaper, so decided to pass.
I think I can get a shaft burnisher from eBay for just a few bucks.

So I just need to find the higher grit sandpapers and/or micro mesh?

Should I check on eBay? I recall seeing some shaft care products being sold on there while shopping for a cue case.

If you can point me in the right direction that would be great.

Either way, many thanks for your help. -Marlo

You get finer sand paper at auto supply stores who have body supplies.

Dick
 

gwjackal

Paradigm Cue Sports
Silver Member
Get yourself a Qwiz! That and a magic eraser will solve just about anything you want. Everynow and then you can use something like the nick edge micro grit papers. I would also suggest getting one of those glass rods to get deep nicks out with.
 

Tommy-D

World's best B player...
Silver Member
> If you look at Wal-Mart in the section where the Bondo and auto touch-up paint are,you should be able to find 1000 and 2000 grit 3M paper.

As mentioned earlier,auto parts stores like Advance,Autozone,etc usually have a selection. My suggestion is do NOT stop searching until you find sandpaper in as many steps as you can find. 3M has a sampler pack that has 220,320,400 and 600 in it that are available in a LOT of places. I'd also search for 800,1200 and 1500.

Whether you are polishing wood or metal,the whole polishing process is simply about hiding scratches with smaller scratches. The fewer large jumps you have in the process,the better the end result.

A GOOD,silicone-free carnauba paste wax like Meguiar's,or Mother's California Gold is almost a must as a final step after some kind of sealer,which makes it easier next time. If you're not sure on the waxes,if you open the can and the product is a bright/deep yellow and smells like bananas,you're good. Avoid pink/blue products.

Also,I find it quite useful to wipe the wood down with a tiny bit of a liquid cleaner on a paper towel every so often,like denatured alcohol or even plain water as long as you don't use much. This removes all the sanding dust,which attracts more gunk. You can also fool yourself into missing a little bump,sticky spot,etc with all the sanding dust present.

You'll save a lot of elbow grease and time if you have a way to spin the shaft. Tommy D.
 

cuejunkie

"In the Shadows"
Silver Member
many thanks to all who posted

This thread got a lot of great advice and suggestions which is just what I had hoped.

I have compiled a shopping list and all that remains is to track the items down and get busy conditioning some shafts.

Thanks once again to everyone for their help :D
-Marlo
 

JimS

Grandpa & his grand boys.
Silver Member
You get finer sand paper at auto supply stores who have body supplies.

Dick

He builds cues and knows more about them than I'll EVER know. Auto Zone, O'Reillys, Advance Auto.. all have fine sandpapers. No waxes.. they get sticky. No Q wiz. It's just 800 grip abrasive and fake leather. Better to have the finer grits and undyed leather or brown paper bag paper. It'll get hot so the thicker leather is better to hold on to.
 

olsonsview

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
See your local shoe repair person and ask them for a scrap of leather. The thinner leather they use for soles should last you several lifetimes of burnishing.
 

MEMPHISBULLFROG

Hippety Hop
Silver Member
i always use a magic eraser and sandpaper but that is because i have a lathe. but before i had my lathe i bought the cue smooth product. and had them for two years with no wear on the them. but if i was you i would take it to your local cue repair men pay him to clean then keep it clean from then on. because you can get it so much cleaner and smoother that way.
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... I would also suggest getting one of those glass rods to get deep nicks out with.

Actually, the glass rod is just compressing the wood fibers around the nick, i.e., flattening the shaft in that area. There are lots of better ways to remove nicks; many of them involve water or steam.
 
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