Do It Yourself: Common Pool Cue Repairs

Wasting money on getting your cue repaired? Here are a few common repairs that you can make to your cue right at home.

Everyone loves a good, competitive game of billiards, but everyone knows that your best game must always be brought to the table if a win is desired. An important part of this concept is keeping your cue in tip-top shape. Here are some useful tips for taking excellent care of your cue.

The best protection for a cue is a case that will protect it from humidity; moisture will warp it. A soft case will do, but a hard case is better, especially if it travels with you a lot. Always store your case upright and not lying down. You can hang a soft case on the wall or in the closet with a nail. If you have a hard case and it gets bumped much, a set of joint protectors that screw onto the joint ends wouldn't hurt to add extra protection. If your cue does happen to get slightly warped, it's not a big deal. Just be sure that you hold your cue the same way on each shot. Also, you might be able to bend the cue back into the right shape if the warp is just slight. In case of severe warping, your best bet is probably to buy a new shaft for it.

Cleaning and maintaining the shaft also plays an important role when caring for your cue. Be sure to remember that wet things will warp your cue, and sand paper will just grind it down until it's too thin. The easiest way to get dirt off is to spray some window cleaner onto a paper towel and clean it off quickly. Never spray the cleaner directly onto the cue! If you like your shaft to be smooth and slick, you can polish it with paper (i.e. grocery bag), but, if not done carefully, the heat caused by friction can warp your cue. You can also purchase shaft wax, but be sure you know what you're doing before you begin.

Always read and follow the directions on the product very carefully.

In general, a rounded tip is better than a flat tip. A good way to shape your tip is with a piece of sandpaper or a file. Most people like their tips rounded with the same radius as a nickel or a dime. Simply hold up a coin next to the tip to use as a reference. However, with well-rounded tips, miscues happen when the tip is packed down from hitting the cue ball and the surface is slick. This means that the tip is not holding chalk. Simply tap the tip with a coarse file. This will make the tip coarse again so it will hold chalk better.

Finally, when your tip gets worn down too thin (there isn't any side of the tip showing above the ferrule), you'll want to replace it. Playing with a tip that is too thin can possibly crack the ferrule. Here's what you'll need to replace your tip:

New cue tip

Cyanoacrylic glue (in gel form)

Razor blade

Loctite 454

Paper towel

60-80 grit sandpaper

400-600 grit sandpaper

First you'll want to remove the remains of the old tip using the razor blade. Then use the 60-80 grit sandpaper to sand the top of the ferrule flat and the bottom of the new cue tip until it is rough. Apply a thin coat of glue to both the bottom of the new tip and the top of the ferrule. Carefully place the new tip in the center of the ferrule and hold it in place for about a minute. It is best to let the tip set overnight before continuing with the next two steps. Then trim the excess overhang to make the tip flush with the ferrule. Next, gently dampen the sides of the tip and buff it with the 400-600 grit sandpaper. Finally, shape the tip as instructed above and you're all ready to play again!

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