Sneaky Pete Stability

LHP5

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Question to all the cue makers. So most cues nowadays are cored for stability. True sneaky petes are full spliced from my understanding. Are sneaky petes by design then less stable than the more modern cored designs of normal cues? Curious as I’ve seen sneaky petes from a multitude of makers that have had stability issues. Some of these are from the more well known sneaky pete makers.

Is this even a relevant question or are sneaky pete cues more stable than what I’ve come across? Thanks.
 

ideologist

I don't never exaggerate
Gold Member
Silver Member
Question to all the cue makers. So most cues nowadays are cored for stability. True sneaky petes are full spliced from my understanding. Are sneaky petes by design then less stable than the more modern cored designs of normal cues? Curious as I’ve seen sneaky petes from a multitude of makers that have had stability issues. Some of these are from the more well known sneaky pete makers.

Is this even a relevant question or are sneaky pete cues more stable than what I’ve come across? Thanks.


Try taking a house cue blank, and snapping it in half through the splicing. Good luck.

That diagonal splice with any decent glue or epoxy is more stable than anything. If someone uses poorly seasoned wood, the nose or butt could warp - that's where coring would be helpful, but the "stability" of the structure is quite fine.
 

LHP5

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Try taking a house cue blank, and snapping it in half through the splicing. Good luck.

That diagonal splice with any decent glue or epoxy is more stable than anything. If someone uses poorly seasoned wood, the nose or butt could warp - that's where coring would be helpful, but the "stability" of the structure is quite fine.

Okay, thank you for the insight. It’s appreciated.
 

Bumlak

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Try taking a house cue blank, and snapping it in half through the splicing. Good luck.

That diagonal splice with any decent glue or epoxy is more stable than anything. If someone uses poorly seasoned wood, the nose or butt could warp - that's where coring would be helpful, but the "stability" of the structure is quite fine.

I'd agree 100%. To be honest, if you were to core a full spliced blank, wouldn't you have to make a cut at the A joint and re-join it anyways thereby making it no longer a full splice? I can't see having a 30" gun drill but I could be wrong.
 

ideologist

I don't never exaggerate
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'd agree 100%. To be honest, if you were to core a full spliced blank, wouldn't you have to make a cut at the A joint and re-join it anyways thereby making it no longer a full splice? I can't see having a 30" gun drill but I could be wrong.

For arguments sake, you could core the pieces you use to make the full splice, but your core may end up off-center and that's a larger problem than uncored wood.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'd agree 100%. To be honest, if you were to core a full spliced blank, wouldn't you have to make a cut at the A joint and re-join it anyways thereby making it no longer a full splice? I can't see having a 30" gun drill but I could be wrong.

You can core a full-splice .
You can chop it down to 25" and sleeve the bottom.
There would no A-joint. You will to round off the tip of the dowel if it's not a through core .
Cored cues are more stable because the dowel is projected from the elements by the outside wood.
The outside wood can shrink and expand from the elements but the core wood should be relatively unaffected.
Drilled woods are also more stable because it no longer has the stress from it's center mass.
 

Bumlak

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You can core a full-splice .
You can chop it down to 25" and sleeve the bottom.
There would no A-joint. You will to round off the tip of the dowel if it's not a through core .
Cored cues are more stable because the dowel is projected from the elements by the outside wood.
The outside wood can shrink and expand from the elements but the core wood should be relatively unaffected.
Drilled woods are also more stable because it no longer has the stress from it's center mass.

Makes sense. That's going to be an expensive sneaky pete from the "well I have to pay myself for my time" perspective.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Makes sense. That's going to be an expensive sneaky pete from the "well I have to pay myself for my time" perspective.

It's actually easier to core sneaky petes than short pieces.
Take a straight pass on the top and bottom 3 inches ( between centers ).
Now, you have to ends to chuck up on that you know are dead concentric.
Drill/bore the pilot hole. Drill as you please.

Keep the coring dowel's top snug to the walls of hole. That will line up the dowel.
Since the hole has a bottom, you can easily use a thin epoxy.

That thing will be stronger than without the core for sure.
Worth the effort imo b/c you will likely not deal with warpage ever.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'd agree 100%. To be honest, if you were to core a full spliced blank, wouldn't you have to make a cut at the A joint and re-join it anyways thereby making it no longer a full splice? I can't see having a 30" gun drill but I could be wrong.

You can core a full splice butt. And some butt cores extend from the joint to the butt cap. One example is modern Joss cues. They are short splice but are fully cored, the joint collar and butt cap thread on each end of a single core, there is no true A joint in them.

.
 

qbilder

slower than snails
Silver Member
Don't confuse stability with strength. While the splice is strong, the nature of assembling it actually induces stress. A full splice doesn't fit together like a glove. It has to be forced together, spreading the prongs & pinching the grooves. Anybody who's ever actually made a full splice from scratch knows exactly what I'm talking about. If you do not have the pinch fit, then you have lots of glue gaps. I have seen plenty warp right across the splice, being straight above & below.

To answer the original question, yes full splice cues are more prone to be less stable, except if they are cored. As Joey pointed out, a cored piece of wood has no more internal stress pulling it one way or the other. So long as it was acclimated dry before it was drilled, then it'll stay stable. If it was not dry & acclimated before drilling, then you just wasted a piece of wood & lots of time. As it continues to dry, it'll reacquire stress. If said stress is enough to overcome the strength of the core wood, then it'll move.

Coring doesn't eliminate stress, and shouldn't be a method used to attain that goal. Core woods & host woods can have stress so there's no certainty that coring will keep wood straight. There are also plenty examples of non-cored cues that have been straight for decades or more. Staying straight has everything to do with ensuring the woods are straight, dry, acclimated, and stable to begin with. The biggest benefits or coring is controlling weight and utilizing woods that otherwise wouldn't be an option, such as burl. It will add some level of assurance that the cue will remain stable, but the woods must be stable to begin with.

In a nut shell, yes coring will increase stability, but only conditionally. Full splices that aren't cored do not have that assurance, but so long as the woods were stable to begin with, and not too much stress was induced from the splicing, then there will be no stability issues ever. The problem with any of it is that we're dealing with wood. I could make a cue here in TN and know for certain it's stable & straight, have it for years & it still be perfect, then send it to where I lived in NM and the sucker will warp. It's a possibility that we all have to live with.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Don't confuse stability with strength. While the splice is strong, the nature of assembling it actually induces stress.

Coring doesn't eliminate stress, and shouldn't be a method used to attain that goal.


I have often wondered, do cue makers pay attention to grain orientation when installing the core?

In other words, would that have anything to do with enhancing the stability?


.
 

Snooker Theory

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You can core a full-splice .
You can chop it down to 25" and sleeve the bottom.
There would no A-joint. You will to round off the tip of the dowel if it's not a through core .
Cored cues are more stable because the dowel is projected from the elements by the outside wood.
The outside wood can shrink and expand from the elements but the core wood should be relatively unaffected.
Drilled woods are also more stable because it no longer has the stress from it's center mass.

Excellent tidbit of advice, thanks for sharing that!
 

qbilder

slower than snails
Silver Member
I have often wondered, do cue makers pay attention to grain orientation when installing the core?

In other words, would that have anything to do with enhancing the stability?


.

Yes. Everybody I know orientates the grain of the core perpendicular to the host. Whether it matters or not, I don't know, but we do it that way.
 

ideologist

I don't never exaggerate
Gold Member
Silver Member
Don't confuse stability with strength. While the splice is strong, the nature of assembling it actually induces stress. A full splice doesn't fit together like a glove. It has to be forced together, spreading the prongs & pinching the grooves. Anybody who's ever actually made a full splice from scratch knows exactly what I'm talking about. If you do not have the pinch fit, then you have lots of glue gaps. I have seen plenty warp right across the splice, being straight above & below.

When I made blanks, I had a pretty smooth fit. You do definitely get a pinch on the inside of the butt prong, which pushes outward from center, but I had my angles down pretty darn nicely in my jigs to have a great fit without having to hammer the pieces together. I never saw any warp in this fashion, and a real hack was turning these down to final size far too quickly, but I'll concede that it requires a ton of work to get it good, where solid A-joint mechanics are faster to assemble and probably more stable.
 

ideologist

I don't never exaggerate
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yes. Everybody I know orientates the grain of the core perpendicular to the host. Whether it matters or not, I don't know, but we do it that way.

If both pieces warp, at least they might fight each other, is reasoning I have heard
 

LHP5

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for all the info. The cue maker section these days definitely has more info and knowledge than the main section. Good to know the sneaky pete style has some intricacies that have been thought out.
 
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