What are the most stable and playable cue wood?

desi2960

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
my playin cue

straight grain maple full splice into straight grain maple, wood pin, no joint ring on the butt, shaft straight grain maple, natural color ring, no ferrule
looks like crap, plays unreal
 

AK-Stick

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For a butt I believe any of the Tone woods. For the what’s I’ve only played maple and Purple Heart.
 

DeeDeeCues

Well-known member
For a butt I believe any of the Tone woods. For the what’s I’ve only played maple and Purple Heart.

Like the spruce used in million dollar violins, huh? How many spruce cues do you own? Played with? Seen? Heard of?

I'm hitting a ball, not playing a concert at Carnegie Hall.
 

Coos Cues

Coos Cues
The best butt without coring? Probably a combination of straight grain maple and bacote/purpleheart/Pernambuco/BRW or other medium density Rosewood's.
Depends on how much steel you are wanting to install along with your wood to make it weigh right. 58lbs per cubic foot will make a cue as shown in the image. I like this as a goal since I don't use A joint screws.

What woods come in around that weight that are stable? Heavy PH, Pernambuco, heavy Goncalo Alves, light Brazilian Cherry, Bolivian Rosewood, Tulipwood, Marblewood, some Bocote. This is off the top of my head. Many of the woods listed in this thread are considerably lighter and will require substantial steel weight somewhere to compensate.

test 58.JPG
 
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Sheldon

dontneednostinkintitle
Silver Member
My current cue is one piece of bacote with a G10 pin. Oil finish, because I like the feel of it. Hits as nicely as anything I've used.
I've deliberately trained myself to not be picky about my equipment though. Played a pretty substantial tournament a week ago with a cue I'd never used before, ended up undefeated. 😁
 

Kim Bye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Depends on how much steel you are wanting to install along with your wood to make it weigh right. 58lbs per cubic inches will make a cue as shown in the image. I like this as a goal since I don't use A joint screws.

What woods come in around that weight that are stable? Heavy PH, Pernambuco, heavy Goncalo Alves, light Brazilian Cherry, Bolivian Rosewood, Tulipwood, Marblewood, some Bocote. This is off the top of my head. Many of the woods listed in this thread are considerably lighter and will require substantial steel weight somewhere to compensate.

View attachment 748937
Yes it seems we're thinking about much the same woods, how the cue is put together definently has an impact on the final weight, balance and feel.
 

AK-Stick

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Like the spruce used in million dollar violins, huh? How many spruce cues do you own? Played with? Seen? Heard of?

I'm hitting a ball, not playing a concert at Carnegie Hall.
Never used spruce, Jamaican Cocus, African Blackwood, Ebony, Brazilian Rosewood, Ziricote, Pernambuco to name a few.
 

DaveK

Still crazy after all these years
Silver Member
Ernie if you are still reading the decade-old thread please know that the cored Macassar ebony and maple burl blank you made (and Jim Baxter finished) is still straight and playable a decade later (y)

Dave <-- bought the cue about the same time this thread was started
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
most wood species have subspecies. as an example this page shows 13 species of maple..

another factor is how big the tree is and how it grew.
an old growth tree that grew up in a forest, had to compete for light and grew less within each year, so when you look at wood , pay attention to the proximity of it's growth rings. I commonly see fir here with as high as 1/8" per year and some is 100 years per inch, big differences..

another thing is where in the tree the wood is sourced, If it is a long tall straight tree and wood is taken from a straight part of the trunk where there are few branches then the wood's grain is straighter than if it were from near branches, branches mean knots, knots and the areas nearby will have twisty grain patterns.

the straighter and ore consistent grain patterns will bend and twist about less , then straight grain..

I bought a bunch of maple crating lumber and used it for cabinetry, some was so disturbed as it was near knots it had lovely grain patterns.. That's not what you want for a cue unless it is the butt and the grain is used as an attractive feature. perfect wood looks boring. exciting grain patterns are lovely to see..

a lot of those maple planks I ha to rip into about 3" pieces, they would often tend to wanto bind on my blade and even stop my 3 HP saw,, you cna use a splitter or riving knofe to help it not trap the blade.. Id often neeed to flip the board end for end to finish the cut because it squeezed the blade,, this is beacuse the sawcut releases the inherent stresses and the plank finds a new "attitude"

If I second cut all the planks and joint and plane them to be truly straight and set them aside a few days upon return I will see that they have moved further.. to work around that Ill often trim them more than once after allowign time to naturalize.

a cue maker may do similar and turn a bunch of blanks to close to the finished dimension and then let them sit, then he can throw out the ones that went too twisty..

Its never a perfect sciece because wood always has imperfections and stress within it's grain but there are things that can be done which help.

if you pick up 20 50 year old cues and find 2 straight ones in the lot then you are doing more selection,, those couple of cues that did manage to stay straight are probably pretty stable.

go buy some new made in china cue, it may come off a production line and roll straight,, wait ten years, you can likely see the cue warp, but it is a game of odds.


If you find an old cue you can stop and think what the conditions of the forests were like when it was made. As time goes on we will never again see the kind of forest conditions that some of that lumber grew within. A lot of the trees cut 50 years ago were from virgin forests. renewable resource? well not really but we can grow more trees, just not in the same conditions where they grew in competition for so many years and were undisturbed.
 

Cyclone

New member
Like the spruce used in million dollar violins, huh? How many spruce cues do you own? Played with? Seen? Heard of?

I'm hitting a ball, not playing a concert at Carnegie Hall.
I make laminated spruce shafts. They hit “a ton” lol. Iighter and stronger than maple, they make airplanes out of it.
 

cueman

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Unless we are talking about one piece butts, the handle section of wood and wrap are mostly about weight and balance. The forearm is the second most important part of the cue as far as hit and feel goes. The shaft is number one. That is why coring has made cues of varying forearm woods play very similar. Where as in the old times an ebony forearm cue hit flat, and a maple forearm had a lively hit. But core ebony with maple and it creates a more lively hit. Purple Heart, Lighter weight Bocote, Wenge, Pau Ferro, and Sheduah, are hard to beat for one piece butts.
 
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