Archive for August, 2010

The “bar pool” experience!!

August 18th, 2010 | 1 Comment

I am constantly amazed when I go to a unfamiliar bar or tavern, find a pool table so I decide to hit a few racks……and the “NIGHTMARE BEGINS”!

The tables are usually coin-op and in bad to just awful condition.  The house cues are in sad shape, there is chalk dust and hand talc all over the floor, rails and cloth.  If the house cues have a tip, it’s usually a slip on tip/ ferrule combo, a bridge is nowhere to be found.  If there are table lights, 9 out of 10 times, it’s an incorrect light or a bulb is out.  The balls that are with the table have never been kept up (as in ‘polished or wiped clean’).  The cueball is either oversize or magnet core and virtually unplayable.  There are 10-12 pot-bellied ol’ guys and 2-3 barfly women and they’re talking about absolutely nothing and laughing like it’s something!  They’re sucking down diluted Old Milwaukee, or PBR drafts because it’s cheapest and gives them a ‘buzz’ better that a bottle!  Ask the bartender if they have a beer that “I would actually buy to serve my guests”,  and they look like “What’s a Sam Adams?  Blue Moon? a lager?  Newcastle Brown Ale?  “  Don’t bar owners hire anyone with experience w/ people?  Do barkeep’s even think, “maybe, if I go to this patron’s table and take their order…..they’ll tip me better than 95 cents after 20 draft beers”????  Ever think, “hmmmm, smokers!  Maybe, if I keep their ashtrays empty and clean, suggest food or snacks…..they’ll tip me better than 95 cents after 20 draft beers????  No wonder these dive bars don’t have any lighting in their bar! 

Then, I overlook the poor, NO! Pathetic Service!  I go to the table, pay the coins and rack ‘em!  Of course, then comes the guy that wants to play pool……….on someone elses money!  Heck, if the guy’s short of cash and can play better than 2 balls an inning, I’d front for the games!  Nope, they can’t believe I run 4 balls or draw the cueball 6″ and think I’m some kind of professional!  I say, “GET OUTA THE HOUSE ONCE IN A WHILE”!!

Worst thing is, I’d almost stomache everything that the 2 previous paragraphs mentioned, if someone actually knew how to play 8 ball with real rules and WANTED TO! 

How about voting for the worst bar or tavern and mention what made you vote for it?  Only requirements, must have 2 pool tables minimum!

simple steps to keep you pool cues in playing condition!

August 9th, 2010 | 0 Comments

Hey Players,

The heat’s on!  it’s dead summer and heat is bad for children, pets ………and pool cues!  You would NOT lock your kids in a hot car (if you say sure, I’ll slap ya myself!) not give your pets water and shade…..don’t stuff your cues in the trunk of your car!!  Also, when you arrive at the table, give your cues a few minutes to acclimate to the temp changes before you screw them together…..wood moves!  Course, if you have one of them $20 Wal-Mart metal cues, none of what I am saying applies!!!

Carry a small terry cloth or towel in your case and wipe your hands occasionally while playing.  When you’re through playing, wipe the shaft and butt down and store the cue in case so the tip of shaft goes in the case first, and if possible, store the bumper end of butt first so that the joint pin is visible in the case.  This way, the pin can’t get damaged by dropping it in first and won’t accumulate grit from the bottom of case.  An important item to have for all your cues are joint protectors.  They aren’t just for show!  “CueWorks, etc.”  has joint protectors for most joint sizes/ threads and we can make custom JP’s using fancy exotic woods for that unique look and function! 

You have to have a tip tool……leave your wallet @ home but DO take your tip tool when you play!  If your friends want to borrow yours, do it for them, then tell ‘em to “GET YOUR OWN!”  DO NOT LET A TIP TOOL OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!  they will steal it faster than a $50.00 bill!  Many style/ types of tip tools are out there and “CueWorks, etc.” stocks the most useful, quality ones available.  We recommend ‘Ultimate Tip Tool’ if you have a single layer leather tip on your cue because it shapes, nickle, dime radius, dresses the edge, burnishes and taps.  I’ve had mine for 9 yrs (because I don’t let it out of my sight) and only replaced the abrasives once!  BTW, we carry the refill abrasives, also!  If “CueWorks, etc.” sells any product accessory, we show you how to properly use all it’s functions…..ain’t gonna get that service anywhere else.  Others take yer money and say bye-bye!  We sell Williard scuffers, Brad scuffers, ‘CueTec’ bowtie tools, ‘Turtle Tappers”, as well as tip maintenance tools by ‘Porper’, Tweeten Mfg. and others.

Another important accessory……….a simple piece of leather!  Use it to seal your shaft(s) by producing friction heat as you rub the shaft w/ the leather.  Obviously, you want the shaft to be clean and free of chalk dust or grit before you do this step.  “CueWorks, etc. sells leather burnishing pads made by ‘Tiger Products’ (made in USA). these leather pads are an inexpensive accessory and we stock them.  Also, McDermott Leather Pads are in stock.  I DO NOT RECOMMEND “SCOTCH-BRITE” green abrasive pads…these are the very worst way to clean your shaft!  You might as well get a piece of 80 grit sandpaper because your shaft will be a toothpick in no time!  Trust me, throw that crap away!!  If you must use sandpaper, use a micro-grit style that is wet-dry and 600 grit minimum.  McDermott, and Que-Clean make an abrasive set that has 600,  800, 1000, 1200, and 2000 grit.  You get this type and go thru each grit sparingly and infrequently!  If you buy from me, I’ll walk you thru the steps or give you an instruction sheet! 

GET A CUE HOLDER!  The most effective one is called a “Que-Claw” and they are made of rubber w/ a leaded-base (for weight stability) and available in 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 cue configuration.  WARNING!  If you get the 5 cue holder, your friends and/ or teammates will want to put their cues in it and won’t even ask you if they can.  next time you go to set up your break cue and grab your run cue, your spot in the Que-Claw will be gone!  Irritates the heck outa me!  I use a 3 cue “Que-Claw” because it holds my break and run cue as well as my bridge head cue!  Your biggest worry is that you might forget to put it back in your case after you finish playing.  I recommend you sit your girlfriend or wife next to your cues and Que-Claw and delegate their authority to be responsible for reminding you to take your Claw with ya!  P.S. DO NOT let your girlfriend sit next to your wife!  I cannot be responsible if they compare notes about your prowless!  Actually, I’m kidding!

What’s on your cue?

August 6th, 2010 | 0 Comments

The question, “What’s On Your Cue”?, is a quote from Kamui Tips, USA…..but it is an excellent question, one that every reasonable proficient pool player should be able to answer.  Why should you be able to answer this question?  It means that you know why your cue performs the way it does.  If you need to change the feel of the hit, how do you accomplish that?

First, knowing what you have as far as a tip and particularily, a ferrule, will be information to give a cue repairman, such as myself, to help us tailor the hit differently (or same, if you like all the ways the cue hits presently).

If you have not had a tip or ferrule replaced, and your shaft is from a production cue brand such as Predator, Lucasi, CueTec, Viking or McDermott, then a repairman should be able to tell you what tip/ ferrule combination you have.  With this information, the repairman can recommend a ferrule, tip or combination of the 2, to give the cue a softer hit, a harder hit, a higher action or lower deflection.  Knowledgable repairmen will carry a larger supply of all major ferrule material and in rod form, to allow for complete customization of the ferrule and thus, the feel of the hit.  A thru ferrule has a hit that is evident when you hit the cueball (more feel) whereas, a capped and threaded ferrule will produce a harder, more firm hit.  If you have an implex ferrule (such as Meucci Original) and have a hard tip installed, the ferrule will mushroom and crack, causing the tenon to split, the shoulder of the tenon at the shaft to crack or mushroom.  The implex and other softer ferrule materials, such as, Juma, PVC are the worst for hard tips and will not last as a breaking cue ferrule.  They will deflect and not hold up to the hard hit! 

What’s good for a break cue?  Must be a reinforced material such as, LBM (linen-based Melamine) or Ivorine III or Ivorine IV.  Another hard and acceptable ferrule material is linen-based Phonelic.  It is also used widely in custom cues by American Cuemakers….a mark of higher quality.  Applications include butt caps, joint/ shaft collars, and recently, shaft inserts.  You might have heard of a glass and linen material known as G-10 being used as ferrules, tips and especially, joint pins. 

If you play in leagues such as APA, BCAPL, TAP and VNEA, break cues must have an all-leather tip to be legal in National and Regional events eff: 06/2009.  The reason for this rule is that the harder phonelic materials damage the cue ball and are harder on the table cloth, causing burns.  Cue Tip manufacturers, such as Talisman, Moori III, KamuiTips, Samsara (also, a well respected cuemaker) and Tiger Products, produce break/ jump specific tips of single layer leather or laminated (layered) leather.  These tips generall lie within 92-99 hardness range and while a super hard leather, they all hold chalk well, and not damage the cueball.  The composite tips made of Phonelic, G-10, LBF (linen-based fiber) are acceptable for jump shafts because they don’t attain the speed necessary for break shots.  You cannot use a jump cue to break with but you may use a break cue to jump with.

Say you want a soft hitting shaft but want to “save the elephants”, there are several materials acceptable as Ivory substitutes, including Elforyn Ivory and Ageis II.  Since they are softer tips and subject to splitting/ cracking or chipping, it is recommended they be machined as a capped and threaded ferrule and a fiber pad installed between ferrule and tip (usually available in Black or red color).  Pure, legal Ivory is available but it should be unbleached by solvents and left in a natural state.  Otherwise, the Ivory becomes brittle and more at risk of cracking.  You definately don’t want to use a hard tip or even medium hard for an Ivory ferrule or a shaft that is thinner than 12.50 diameter at the ferrule.  One manufacturer, Predator has a shaft model Z2 that has an 11.75 diameter tip w/ a medium Tiger Everest laminated pig leather  but that is also a conical shaped shaft rather than a pro-taper.  Thus, it has a stronger hit the 12.75 diameter Predator shaft w/ a 16″ pro taper.

Many of my customers who have been using a linen phenolic tip/ ferrule combination on their break shaft have gone with my recommendation to change to a hard leather tip for break cues.  I carry all the styles and brands but highly recommend ‘Samsara’ 9 layer pig leather break tip even for a jump shaft.  They are a premium tip and worth twice the $40.00 I charge for the tip/ installation.  Another, less expensive but still strong performer is from Tiger Products.  The Tiger Break/ jump tip has 2 separate types of laminated leather.  lower 1/2 is a harder leather (black) and upper is brown pig leather splits.  This configuration allows for power w/ control.  The tip sells for $35.00 installed and will far outlast and outperform any phenolic tip, as well as IT’S LEGAL IN ALL Leagues, events and venues!