You are all missing the boat!! Ned Morris cues are the best playing cues I've (and my buddies) played with!

chenjy9

Well-known member
I don't think anybody would say that CNC operators aren't skilled.

It's not the point, either. If I wanted a cue churned out by a computer controlled machine, I'd just buy a production cue. I see no reason to pay a rather extreme premium if the cue is produced more or less the same way by an individual with smaller machines. Ok, you get someone selecting materials to MAYBE a higher standard (though Mezz for instance is doing this too), and maybe you can get a unique design (but maybe not, since the cues seem to be rather standardized and very few venture outside the norm).

I'd say buying custom, I'm paying for the cue being handmade and one of a kind or one of extremely few. The name of the guy programming a machine makes no difference to me. I'm rather more interested in the cue being handmade. That, to me, is what makes it special. If I didn't care for that at all, I could just as well order custom from a production/custom maker and skip the wait almost entirely, getting the cue within months or perhaps a year at most. It would still be somewhat unique.

I feel that you and others are confusing what a CNC mill can actually do. So first of all, using a CNC mill as part of the cue making process does not mean the cue is being churned out by a computer controlled machine. Let's just understand that and get it out of the way. Whether or not a cue is production or not, is defined by process and scale. Take McDermott for example; they have basically a factory with assembly line equipment designed for making cues so they can churn out as many quality cues as possible. This is different than from say Ned Morris or Chris Nitti or Bob Owen who are each individuals or part of a very small group that use similar equipment and manufacturing techniques to churn out a cue months at a time. It has nothing to do with whether CNC mill is involved or not.

Now, where CNC technology comes into play is the type of detail and precision you can put into the cue or anything for that matter with the assistance of computers. Now sure, you can have all your production equipment be controlled by computer programs and you just sit back and drink coffee and watch cues get made and that can be considered "production". However, that's not how most custom cue makers using CNC technology are doing it. Most are using it to create inlays that are not possible without a CNC mill, which actually makes a cue even more unique and "custom" that would have been otherwise. For example, Bob Owen uses CNC technology to assist in creating his cues. I challenge you to look and them and still honestly try to call them not custom.
 

logical

apart of their 'semi public'
Silver Member
I don't think anybody would say that CNC operators aren't skilled.

It's not the point, either. If I wanted a cue churned out by a computer controlled machine, I'd just buy a production cue. I see no reason to pay a rather extreme premium if the cue is produced more or less the same way by an individual with smaller machines. Ok, you get someone selecting materials to MAYBE a higher standard (though Mezz for instance is doing this too), and maybe you can get a unique design (but maybe not, since the cues seem to be rather standardized and very few venture outside the norm).

I'd say buying custom, I'm paying for the cue being handmade and one of a kind or one of extremely few. The name of the guy programming a machine makes no difference to me. I'm rather more interested in the cue being handmade. That, to me, is what makes it special. If I didn't care for that at all, I could just as well order custom from a production/custom maker and skip the wait almost entirely, getting the cue within months or perhaps a year at most. It would still be somewhat unique.
Buy whatever you see value in. I was correcting the misrepresentation of what CNC is, not claiming it is inherently good or bad.

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chenjy9

Well-known member
Buy whatever you see value in. I was correcting the misrepresentation of what CNC is, not claiming it is inherently good or bad.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

Agreed! CNC is just another tool / skill a cue maker can have to help them create better, more unique cues. It's no different than a hammer or lathe.
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
I think the line between custom and production has been blurred to an extreme degree, especially in the US. Mostly it had to do with people going over the cue with a magnifying glass, demanding that the shafts are so straight they could spin at high speeds in a lathe with no wobble what so ever and demanding every inlay to line up perfectly in every direction. So they have demanded machine precision, and that's what they've gotten. The cuemakers all bought CNC's and all sorts of automated equipment and by now are small scale production companies, rather than old fashioned craftsmen making cues by hand. There are of course some craft intensive operations, putting the inlays in and other cleaning up of the CNC and they still have to be drawn and programmed into the machine, though such drawings and programs can also be bought. However you also have people buying "blanks" of various kinds for almost every part of the cue. It makes me wonder what the point of buying a cue like that would be? It's like the cuemaker bought a diy kit and assembled it for you.

In the snooker world, and in other countries where US cues are made, there are still people making cues the old fashioned way. Snooker cues are often made even without as much as a lathe, though lathes are used for joints most of the time. No blanks, every part is bought and shaped by the cuemaker, apart from maybe the joint and the ferrule, though many make those as well. Say what you want, but I kind of like the idea that my cue is entirely hand made, maybe even without major elecric machinery in most operations. It would never pass a "US cue buyer inspection" but it is as straight as it needs to be , and has put PLENTY of balls into pockets. US cues made in the Phillipines have been given a bad rep, sometimes deserved and sometimes not, but they are usually hand made because they often can't afford half a million dollars worth of machines. So these cues, which are mostly scoffed at in the US are at least hand made, as opposed to being in effect small scale production cues.
 

chenjy9

Well-known member
I think the line between custom and production has been blurred to an extreme degree, especially in the US. Mostly it had to do with people going over the cue with a magnifying glass, demanding that the shafts are so straight they could spin at high speeds in a lathe with no wobble what so ever and demanding every inlay to line up perfectly in every direction. So they have demanded machine precision, and that's what they've gotten. The cuemakers all bought CNC's and all sorts of automated equipment and by now are small scale production companies, rather than old fashioned craftsmen making cues by hand. There are of course some craft intensive operations, putting the inlays in and other cleaning up of the CNC and they still have to be drawn and programmed into the machine, though such drawings and programs can also be bought. However you also have people buying "blanks" of various kinds for almost every part of the cue. It makes me wonder what the point of buying a cue like that would be? It's like the cuemaker bought a diy kit and assembled it for you.

I would say the line is pretty well defined. An easy way to tell if a cue is custom or production is to simply go into a store or visit an online store. If you can find multiple versions of that cue and pick one off the wall, that's a production cue. I can go to Seyberts right now and pick a Lucasi / Viking / Pechauer / Schon. I cannot do that for a Josey / Owen / Lambro. Where I feel a lot of people confused is when a production cue maker makes a custom cue, which they can totally do. Just like with a Josey / Owen / Lambro, you can't just go into a store or go to an online retailer and easily pick one up.

As for preferring hand tooled, I totally get the preference. I feel the same about certain things, which is why I have my Amish dining table. It's absolutely stunning and it's imperfections just make it more gorgeous. That said, where does it start and where does it end. For me, it's when hand tooling starts to potentially affect functionality. There is a reason we moved on from stone and wooden wheels.
 

poolplayer4ever

New member
Amazing workmanship. Zero CNC machine. Everything he does is by hand and BY himself. I'm able to go talk to him just as I did with Jerry Franklin in SW cues in the 1980's. I've owned both... BUT Ned's cues are much better workmanship and very playable cues. I suppose you've got to play with both to realize it. Just ask anyone that owns his cues and ask them. I expect crap from pool players that KNOW, but have you played with both? Hell NO. But I have. Do NOT mean to cause enemies but it's the truth.

I am told by a very well known collector who really knows cues, that Ned's cues are one of very very best out there. I have been told by several people that Ned's cues are amazing, and really great playing cues.
 
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