Components of a Cue
THE LEATHER TIP – is made from compressed leather. Very popular today are layered tips. The tip is glued to the ferrule, and then turned on the lathe to match the ferrule’s diameter. The surface of the tip is shaped and scuffed so chalk will adhere. Chalk creates friction that allows the tip to hit the cue ball outside of the center. Chalk reduces miscuing and allows control over the spin of the cue ball. Quality and shape of the tip contribute to the performance of every cue.
FERRULE – The ferrule strengthens the tip area of the shaft and reduces the vibration from impact. On most custom cues it is tapped, threaded and glued onto the end of the shaft, then turned on the lathe to match the shaft size. Ferrules come in two styles; capped, and hollow. Capped ferrules cover the end of the tenon; hollow ferrules allow the wood tenon to make contact with the tip. Ivory is often used for the ferrule on high-end cues. Linen-based phenolic resins and other plastics are also used. The length of the ferrule will also affect playing characteristics. Ferrules range from 1/2 inch to 1-1/4 inch, the most common being 1 inch.
SHAFT – Maple from cooler climates is favored for shaft wood because of its light color, stability, and resiliency. Carefully dried and aged wood is chosen, with emphasis on tight, straight grain lines. The raw wood endures several turnings in the process of becoming a shaft. Shaft length varies, average being 29 inches. The first 3 to 6 inches of wood, from the joint toward the tip will have a high-gloss finish that protects from dirt and moisture. From that point to the ferrule the shaft is open-pore wood with a very smooth surface. The common shaft diameter today is 13mm. Larger and smaller shaft sizes are available for comfort and particular billiard games. The shaft diameter remains constant for 6 to 14 inches below the ferrule, and then it grows larger to match with the joint. Shafts will vary in stiffness based on the length and taper to which they are cut. A short taper has less flexibility and is stiffer. A longer taper will create more flex/deflection and have a whippy feel.
Quality laminated shafts on the market today are from OB, Tiger, Predator and Jacoby. Here is some detail on the very popular Jacoby.
The Jacoby Edge Hybrid is the ONLY high performance shaft that can be custom ordered in different joint styles, various millimeters and shaft lenghts up to 31".
Reducing Cue Ball Squirt:
Cue ball squirt is caused when the cue ball is hit off it's centerline when applying English. As a result, your aiming point changes in order to compensate. The need to compensate is minimized by reducing front weight and increasing shaft flex, so upon contact the cue ball is able to push the shaft out of its path in order for the cue ball to stay on the desired path.
The typical unwanted shaft vibration present when extreme English is applied is virtually eliminated by the vibration-dampening core. This leads to being much more accurate.
A feather light ferrule and vibration-dampening core greatly reduce unwanted weight in the front end. This drastically reduces unwanted shaft deflection.
Sixty-four precisely machined individual veneers compose the shaft. The veneers are stacked on edge, 90 degrees to the centerline.
The spliced laminated construction yields unprecedented symmetry and balance found in no other shaft, providing maximum stability and radial consistency in play.
Becuase of the construction of the shaft, the individual characteristics of the veneers average themselves out. This yields a shaft that is more consistent than any other shaft in the way the shaft will react on each shot, along with the weight and playability of one shaft to another.
Our ferrules are comprised of rigid polyurethane that is very light and provides great impact resistance. They are machined with a unique hole pattern to further reduce weight and insure maximum tip adhesion.