An Old News Story About DP Custom Cues

This article is about 10 years old,  I thought it was pretty cool when it was written.


Mastercam Helps Create Artistic Pool Cues

“When I saw what real software (Mastercam) could do, even though I couldn’t afford it, I spent the money. I’ve been very glad that I did. The local support has been great too.”
- Dale Perry, Owner
DP Custom Cues
Orange Park, FL
During the day, Dale Perry made his living but at night he enjoyed his passion of building cues. Later Dale quit his job to build cues full time and is now the owner of DP Custom Cues and works on custom, one-off $5,000 pool cue sticks. Every part of the cue is made by Dale, except for the tip, joint screw, and rubber bumper.

The Challenge

For making a custom cue, inlay pieces need to fit together precisely which in itself is a piece of art. DP Custom Cues had to find a software package that gave them high precision but at the same time was easy to use.

The Solution
Mastercam Mill
  • Mastercam allows DP Cues to customize any part of the cues, quickly and easily.
  • For their detailed inlay designs, Mastercam provides DP with precise toolpaths so their pieces fit together.
  • Allows DP to be creative – if they can think a design up, they can draw it in Mastercam.
  • Edits can be made quickly with Mastercam’s full associativity.
  • Excellent local Reseller support when needed.
Project Details

Precision is one thing that’s needed when you’re working on a custom, one-off $5,000 pool cue stick. Another is having the ability to design one that meets a customer’s expectations for quality and uniqueness.

Dale Perry, owner of DP Custom Cues, uses desktop engineering technology with hand crafting techniques to make distinctive cues sold the world over.

Years ago he learned woodworking in high school. Even though he enjoyed it, he got himself a real job in bank auditing. Because he liked to play pool and had a custom cue, he found that cue makers were very rare individuals when he had a hard time finding one and had to wait six weeks to get ten minutes of work done on his cue. He thought, “I can make cues too.” So, during the day he made his living, but at night he enjoyed his passion of building cues.

Later he quit his job to build cues full-time. Along the way, he acquired a 3,000 square foot shop in Orange Park, FL and advanced tools used for cue making. “My way of building cues is a vertically integrated system that allows me to start with raw lumber and finish with true custom cues. I make every part of a cue except the tip, joint screw, and rubber bumper.” Perry notes, “I’m currently on my third generation of cue making equipment, most of which I have built or modified to fit my needs. I draw all of my cues using Mastercam and it is also used to program my CNC routers. This equipment allows us to customize any part of our cues.”

Perry builds his cues from exotic woods like ebony, cocobolo, and birdseye maple. To set his standard and custom one-off cues apart from others, he used beautiful inlays that consist of either contrasting woods, synthetic ivory, mother-of-pearl or other materials. For these pieces to fit precisely together is truly a work of art. To get this precision, Perry goes one step further by using the CNC router that gives thousands of an inch precision on the inlays and pockets.

Perry says he started out using some low cost CAM programs to save money. But he quickly realized that they didn’t offer him the capabilities that he needed. “When I saw what real software (Mastercam) could do, even though I couldn’t afford it, I spent the money. I’ve been very glad that I did. The local support has been great too,” he says. Perry says that the ability to program with Mastercam has definitely helped with his cue-making creativity. “It gives me the ability to do whatever I want. If I can think of it, I can draw it.”

Perry has been using Mastercam for about eight years. He states that the drawing tools help him with designs, but the biggest advantage of Mastercam is the local support. His Mastercam Reseller, CamTech in Palm Bay, FL has been a great help to him. “When I have a question, I pick up the phone and call. I always get an answer. I haven’t had any problem. If you’re making a living with Mastercam, I don’t know how you could NOT spend the money and just be done with it. It solves so many problems over less expensive software. Mastercam makes going from an idea to a reality fast. When I’m drawing a new shape or design, sometimes I’ll have three or four versions of it before I’m satisfied with one. So I may draw a part four or five times before I’m happy and with and Mastercam lets me do it quickly,” he adds.

Perry is passionate about his cues and keeping his customers happy. Mastercam is one important component in his cue making that makes a difference.

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