Hey guys how’s it going? I hope everybody’s having a great day so I want to talk a little bit about this latest build which is a pool cue made of scrap wood that I have laying around the shop. It was a lot of fun to build and I enjoy building these pool cues and this was one of the early ones that I have gotten to work on with the new router sled for the lathe. So I just want to talk a little bit about the process and how the build went.
So like I said before I started off with some scrap Walnut that I had laying around the shop but it was cut up into small strips. These are some of the cutoffs left from making the Custom Trim on the chess board boxes. If you want to see that video you can click HERE. pretty much these were just small scraps that I had plenty of lying around but I didn’t want the straight edges like you would have from a cut and sewn piece of finished wood. so I started off by using a hatchet to break it down the scraps into small slivers. Not only would this give the wood a random shape and pattern in the mold but it would also break the pieces into smaller segments and allow it to fit inside the mold better. Then filled up the mold that I had made with the center core of the pool cue with the slivers of Walnut.
What’s all the slivers were inside the moldI could then move on to getting the epoxy ready. for this particular one I was going to be using a total boat thick set epoxy. Along with a black color and gold glitter as well as a gold color all of the pigments I was using is a black diamond pigments color and they look great. On a side note if you’re interested in some of the pigments are epoxy make sure to click the links in this article and you will get a discount at checkout on total boat and use code jpw 20 add blackdiamondpigments.com for 20% off there. For this particular one using the thick set I wanted to give it a try because it is a bit thinner in viscosity than other types of resin. And this works really well. It also mixes extremely easy and it’s Crystal Clear and accepts color really nicely so I was really happy with how the colors came out.
Having the thinner viscosity on the resin really helped with the pouring of this as it would go in between all of the pieces of wood very easily as well as it would push out the air from around the wood slivers better than a thicker epoxy. One thing I would like to say though is that it does take two to three days for this epoxy to harden. so it is a longer process with this particular epoxy. And while doing this what I did not anticipate was the black color taking over a bit of the gold. While there was still some gold left in the pool cue. Much of it had been overtaken by the black color and really left a solid base and wisp of black on the very bottom end of the pool cue. Well at first I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this and even contemplated remaking the blank after turning it to a rough cylinder I realized that I really liked the look of it.
The rough cylinder is the first time in this process you get to kind of see how the colors of the cue are going to lay out and look. Sometimes while doing epoxy casting the colors inside something like this once you turn away the outer layers look a little different. Not necessarily in the tent or shade of the colors but just the layout and how the colors melted together.
Once I had the pool cue cut into a rough cylinder I could then move on to installing the joint pin. this is by far the most important aspect of the build. if the joint pain is not installed perfectly straight and at the proper depth the cue will be useless. So to do this I use a step drill in system where I start with a self centering countersink bit. And work my way up through the drill bits until I have achieved the proper diameter hole to tap the threads in for the joint pin.
While using it the thread tap to thread the hole just made in the end of the pool cue. I do not use the lathe itself to power the spinning of the pool cue. You need to be able to reverse the bit out every few threads to ensure that you are removing debris inside of the hole and properly cutting the threads into the side. Once that is finished I’m able to install the joint pin using some two-part epoxy and allowing the epoxy to completely cure usually leaving it for at least 24 hours before moving on.
After the epoxy around the joint pin has completely hardened I am then able to cut a section of the pool cue down to the proper diameter to allow for the joint collar to be installed. This is also where I would like to say that I have been asked about keeping the pin centered on the pool cue. This is why I install the joint pin at this time and then use it to turn on the center. What this does is it uses the joint pin as the center of the Turning. Which means as long as you do not gouge out any areas or have any problems with the actual turning of the pool cue the pin will be dead center of the cue. To install the joint collar I mix up a small amount of the two-part epoxy and then place the joint collar in place and allow the epoxy to completely cure before moving on again, usually letting the epoxy set for at least 24 hours.
After the joint collar has completely set I can move onto cutting in the taper of the pool cue. The taper is what gives a pool cue its distinctive shape. It turns the pool cue from a straight flat cylinder to an angled conical shape. Pretty much this means that the joint section of the pool cue will be smaller than the grip section. Adjusting the angle of the taper can have a few different effects on how a pool cue works. Not only will it adjust how much material you have on the cue and adjust its weight. but it will also give a different feel to the grip section of the cue as this section will be thicker or thinner depending on the angle of the taper. when starting the taper using the router jig the first few cuts I make are extremely light passes on the joint collar and I did measure the diameter in between each pass to ensure that I am getting the joint section of the cue down to the proper diameter to match the shaft. I don’t cut the joint section of the Q down perfectly flush using the router jig. I want this section at this point to be a small amount larger than the diameter of the shaft. I will still remove material later on to make the joint caller line up perfectly. But I do this by hand and buy small amounts while sanding to ensure that too much material is not removed. Once I have the final depth of the cut on the router jig determined I can then use the step system on the router to slowly cut in the taper one pass at a time. Taking small amounts off of the pool cue with each pass until the proper size and taper has been achieved.
What’s the taper is cut on to the cue. I can then drill out the holes needed for the white bolts. This is done using the same step drilling system as with the joint pin. This again is very important to make sure that it is centered on to the cue and that the holes are drilled perfectly straight. Once the weight bolts are installed if they are to one side or the other it will give the pool cue a strange balance and it might affect its playability.
The next step is to sand the pool cue starting with 220 grit and I work my way up to around 400 Grit wet sanding the entire time before applying the CA glue finish. For the finish I am using Starbond adhesive CA starting with a medium then after three coats sanding the Finish smooth and then applying up to 10 coats of the thin CA after that before wet sanding up to 12000 Grit.
The final step in completing the cue is to apply some eee Ultra Shine Turners Wax. Using a medium to low speed at first to spread the wax along the length of the pool cue. You didn’t start to add more and more pressure and increase the speed. Be careful not to add too much pressure or to hold the cloth in a single place as it will burn the Finish. But the Heat and friction generated will buff out the micro scratches from the sanding process. And Polished eq2 an extremely high shine.
I’m extremely happy with how the poke you turned out. It looks amazing and plays great. I do want to talk a little bit about the Meucci Pro carbon shaft. I wasn’t sure if I would like this shaft are not at first. It was not ordered by me it was ordered by the gentleman who is getting the cue. So with his permission I was allowed to shoot with the shaft and do a bit of an overview. The Meucci Pro carbon shaft comes with a 15 inch Pro Taper. and according to the Meucci website is supposed to have zero rise at 15 in. Also it has a phenolic joint insert which is something I honestly really do like.The shaft threads down onto the joint pin extremely easily and then secures itself tightly wants cinched down. I am not honestly sure whether this is a PVC or phenolic ferrule but it does have a white ferrule which makes seeing the end of the Q much easier. They come standard with a medium layered tip. Well I have been too used to shooting with my cuetec Cynergy and absolutely loved it. It was a big difference in the cynergy and the Meucci Pro carbon. The Meucci shaft seems to have a lot of bite into the cue ball and this is totally on preference if you like this or not. Personally I like for the cue ball to be more reactive off the end of the pool cue than this Meucci seems to be. that being said the shaft does play very well and is extremely low deflection as most carbon fiber shafts are. So it is something that I would not turn people away from. It is offered in a 29 inch and 30 inch configuration. The particular one I was using in this video was 30 in. So all in all it is a good shaft and worth the money being in the price point of I believe between $400 and $450. and also with me being local to the Meucci Factory and pool hall it is something I might wind up offering with my cues as a carbon fiber option.
so guys I hope you have enjoyed this article and I hope you enjoyed the video. It was a lot of fun making this to you and I have a few more coming up along with some different crazier Builds on a couple as well as some crazy colors. If you are interested in a pool cue use the contact form here on the website and feel free to contact me with questions. Make sure you subscribe on YouTube and for more daily videos and photos check out @Jpaynewoodworking on Instagram. Make sure to sign up for the Jpayne Woodworking newsletter to see the new articles, plans, projects and more as they come out! It’s been a lot of fun guys and I will see you on the next one.