Dale Talks Billiards
Well...several years ago a nice american living in China contacted me about building cues for the Chinese market, I was intrigued. We talked and exchanged a million emails, I really liked the idea. My new customer/partner made a visit all the way from China to my shop in Florida.
A plan was devised and ideas for the cues were penciled out, with the details largely left up to me.
We had a 4 cue plan with lot's of different themes, there are pictures of a lot of this way back on my Facebook page and some here on this Blog.
Well anyway, we wanted a Lantern cue because that is a popular theme in China The Lantern cue was to be our statement cue. So I sent a lot of hours designing the perfect cue, except that it took three times what I had expected it would take to build, and I had to build 10 of them (or maybe 12 I don't remember right now, but it was a lot of cues).
This first one (Artist Proof) has 5 columns of double cut lanterns, with black borders and orange centers, very detailed ring work, diamonds and dragons and a lot of other stuff. This cue was so over the top that I was shocked at how long it took to build.
This cue was not finished then, I just put in a case that I seldom go into and it was forgotten.
So... I redesigned the cue four rows of columns and some other details changed so that I could make the cue, it still took about twice as as long to make as I had expected....my loss. All the cues were finished and sent to China, that customer/partner and I still talk.
I opened that case the other day and rediscovered this unfinished cue, we stained black and finished it. The 10 that when to China were stained a lovely color of brown. I wanted this one to be different and smoky black stained turned out to be the perfect answer.
I destroyed all of the plans and programs for this these cues when they were delivered, they will never be repeated.
This cue is the only one in America and the only one with 5 columns lanterns and all the other extra's.
The Building of a 4 Piece Set for a Customers Home Pool Room
Points and Inlays Complete
In the Finish Room
All Finished with an added Bridge Cue
Pictures from around the Shop
Shafts in Process
Butts in Glue
Fronts in Glue
DP Hot Dots
Not used in Cuemaking...But we buy a lot of it !!
Finished Cues : http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
All the time people ask if I sell seconds or cues that aren't perfect....no.
It happens, just part of cuemaking
Some cues you can buy : http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
Cues From The Mystery Box
I posted this picture of a box of cues lost in the back of my wood room the other day.
This is one of the cues from the box.
More Cues from the mystery box
Cues you could actually buy : http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
14 Points in Blood Wood
Bloodwood and Amboyna Burl made a beautiful combination for this 7 point up and 7 point down cue. This cue was a special order that I had a great time building.
7 points cues are unusual, I explain why here : http://www.dpcues.com/blog/post/3619268
What is it and why would a cuemaker have one?
Post the answer in the comment section here on my blog. First correct answer gets a DP Tee Shirt.
Hint: Gravity at Work
Post your answer in the comment section here, not on Facebook.
Four cues, two that are collector grade Cocobolo, and two that is Museum Quailty Cocobolo.
I'm waiting on a supply of special order cutters to do the inlay work on these cues. The cutters
I ordered are super small and expensive, but the resuts are worth it. I will update this space as
the cutters come in and work progresses.
Four great Cocobolo Cues
It doesn't get any nicer.
I Really Like these.
Other Cues : http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
Updates coming soon !!
Amboyna Burl is rare and expensive and everything else that makes cue collectors want it.
I just retrieved this little stash and will be building cues out of it in the near future. This stuff
goes great with Ebony and Ivory and Turquiose and Cocobolo. I have built many famous cues
using Amboyna Burl.
The Cocobolo Brothers
Sometimes I build a group of cues that are special. There is something that is cool and different about these groups. Could be the design or inlay materials or, as is the case this time, the wood. This group is called the Cocobolo Brothers.
Three of these cues are superior and better grade Cocobolo in a 6 point, 3 high and 3 low design. The rings are simple but fit the elegance of this design. These are pool cues that look like pool cues, no squiggily inlays or wild colors, simple elegance.
The fourth cue is exhibition grade Cocobolo, with amazing ringwork and highend inlay materials.
The first one is the exhibition grade Cocobolo, two through four are Superior or Better Grade Cocobolo.
The tops are AAAA Grade Curly Maple.
Keep watching, I will add pictures as the cues are finished.
No, No, No !
I get this call once a week. Can I buy a joint screw, NO !
Then I get a million reasons why the caller needs a joint screw, cuemakers call it a Joint Pin.
Believe it or not I'm helping you.
Spinning a shaft on an electric drill on just a Joint Pin will wobble out the wood threads or loosen the brass insert in
other style shafts. It may not happen the first time but, over time the shaft will be ruined.
Clamping your drill in a vise will ruin the drill bearings
Your drill is way too slow, we spin shafts at about warp 9, in a lathe, to clean and polish them
You don't have the right stuff to seal the shaft and leaving it bare will warp it, period
You need something that looks like the end of you cue so that the shaft is fully supported, no wobbling.
If the person working on your shafts doesn't know this...
Walk in my shop and I will clean your cue shafts and shape the tips for free, is someone charging you ??
The Best Player I Have Seen Play
OK, I'm going to show my age here !!
The Best Nine Ball Player I have seen play in person was was Buddy Hall in his prime,
it was Boring to watch!! He was in line with perfect shape over and over and over again.
He played with seemingly no effort, it was like the cue ball had eyes and a purpose,
roll into perfect shape.
The Best One Pocker Player I ever saw play was "Chicage Buggs".
His name in real life was Leonard Rucker, in the pool hall he was simply know as "Bugs".
I saw him play in a tournment in SC about 25 years ago, I was mersemrized.
There were an are a lot of great others, but these two guys are my personal high points.
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.
All About Snakewood
Snake wood is beautiful, rare, expensive and a real pain to work with and that's not just my opinion.
This is from : ndmknives.com
Snakewood is an incredibly beautiful wood which originates, mostly, in Suriname, South America. This is one of the worlds hardest woods. The part sold as snakewood is really the heartwood of the larger tree. The wood is usually felled with axes and carried on the back of hard-working natives over streams and through snake-infested jungle areas. Each tree felled is monitored since the government has developed a strict permit process to control harvesting. Much of the wood has inferior or no figure, but the small amount that has attractive figure is exported.
I have made a cue with Snakewood inlays: http://www.dpcues.com/product/SW
Snap Shots From Around The Shop
These are one time designs, the inlay colors are completely random
and a real pain to assemble. I destroyed the patterns late last night
so that I never have to deal with them again. I saw a design like this
in ring and thought it was good idea....no.
This picture is about 15 minutes old, these cues
are running right now.
Other cues: http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
My First Limited Edition in 1996
Riding back from the Super Billiard Expo in 1995 I came up with the idea for a limited edition of 50 cues, 25 each in two different woods. I selected Cocobolo and Ebony. Back then it took months to do an adv in magazine so I didn't publish the cues until January 1996. I could tell where the magazine was being delivered across the country by where the phone calls came in from. One day I sold 13 of these for $795.00, that was a good day in 1996.
Anyway the one in these cues walked into my shop about and hour ago, it is still in great shape, it is #9 of 25, it was fun to see it again.
# 9 of 25
Back of the adv, say's they sold out in May of 1996.
Current cues here :http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
Who is Harley Bryant and What He Means To Me
I saw Harley the other day and spent an hour or so talking with him, it was time well spent. Harley is a legendary player from back in the day, he was probably past his prime the first time I ever saw him play and he played in another dimension then. I can't imagine what his money game was like back when it mattered, and btw, he can and does still play real well.
Harley grew up in pool room on 3rd and Main St. in Jacksonville, it was a tough place. I drove by it a couple times, but never went in. They played world class snooker in there and by all accounts Harley was right in the middle of it. Anyway in the 1980's he opened “the” and I mean “the” pool room in Jacksonville, it was called Harley's Rack and Cue. I played a lot in there, won some and lost some as is always the case I suppose.
When I started making cues I figured that Harley's was the place to be seen, but, I had enough sense to ask Harley first. So one Saturday in the middle of the afternoon,when I figured he would have time to talk I went in and showed him my work. This was my very earliest work, but I guess it was good enough. Harley looked me up and down and then at my work and told me I would could do whatever I wanted in his place. I offered him a percentage, I offered him a flat fee, I offered whatever I could think of, he wouldn't hear of it. He wouldn't and never did take a dime, nice guy.
In the late 80's no one in Jacksonville had a cue lathe except me, no one did cue repair except me. So on Saturday nights Kathie and I would show up at Harley's and get mobbed. We would take over a table in the middle of the room on the busiest night of the week, for free, and return last weeks repairs and take in another week's worth of repair work. Some nights it took and hour to get everything returned and the new work written up. It was amazing then and still is, Harley and I laughed about it again the other night. And yes I did sell more than a few cues in Harley's too.
What does Harley Bryant mean to me....well... without Harley's help I probably wouldn't be a full time cuemaker today, that means a lot !! DP
A few of my current cues http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
What Happens When You Order a Custom Made Cue
Well....first we talk...then we usually trade emails...then we talk...we trade ideas...I guide you down the path to the cue you want using my years of experience. But I always keep in mind that we are building the cue you want, not the one I felt like building that day.
You get to pick the colors and the textures, old school design or brand new designs with cutting edge materials, maybe a leather wrap...who knows...you get what you want. I'm just here to help. If we do it right you end up with something special like this.
Boxwood grows in Laos which is a very long way from Jacksonville Florida. I bought these pieces in 1996, I only bought 2 pieces so a Boxwood cue never made it into one of my brochures or advertisements . Back then I mostly built cues from my catalogs or brochures and couldn't keep up with that, so things like this Boxwood were sometimes bought and then ignored.
I found these pieces the other day and decided to build a cue, I was pretty amazed when I started cutting this wood, it was like fine grained butter in both color and texture. I've never seen anything quite like it, have a look.
They look dirty on the ends because they came sealed in wax and dust sticks to the wax.
Cored and a cleaning pass to make them round.
A cue is created.
Butt inlays are cut.
Points are cut.
Finished, see the whole cue here, http://www.dpcues.com/product/EMT
Why 14 Point Cues are Special or what is 51.1428
51.1458 is what you get when you divide 360 by 7.
There are 360 degrees in a circle, so if you want to make a 4 point cue you divide by 4 and get 90 degrees, a nice even number. 5 is 72 degrees, 6 is 60 degrees 8 is 45, 10 is 36, all nice even numbers.
We build cues metal working equipment that for the most part works on even numbers. 20 years ago there were no 7 point cues. Then I built a machine could divide a circle in to 51800 parts. That let me accurately divide a circle into 7 parts, suddenly I could build 7 point cues and get this little gap right.
If that little gap between the points is off just a little bit the cue looks really bad. Back then there were maybe 3 guys in the world that could make a 7 point cues.
A customer brought this page from a book that says you can't buy 7 point cues.
See a couple 14 pointer's here: http://www.dpcues.com/category/35212772
My Best Break Shot
1982-83, Val's Billiards, San Juan Blvd, Jacksonville Fl. table #9 sometime in the evening.
I was playing a walk in for 5 bucks a game, good money back then, it was a game I could easily win so I was free stroking. I made 6 on the break and had 2 hangers, most of the guys I played back them would have just reached for the rack, but no, this guy wasn't a player and waited for me to make the 3 balls.
I missed the ball that was not hanging and didn't get back to the table.
So I made 6 on the break and lost the game...I still have the scar.
What's on the walls at DP Custom Cues
Limited Editon Advertisment
1st and 2nd Limited Edition Ad's, the first one was 1996.
Freedom and my first two brochures
Japanese Magazine Article 1996
Article in the Local Paper
Door to my Inlay Room
Poster in the Shipping Room
She's In College Now
Another Local Newspaper Article
In the main shop, we don't enough fingers and toes to
do decimals without this chart.
Maybe not, but close
Thanks for looking around at the same wall I see every day.
The Most Expensive Pool Cue Picture Ever Taken
Most of you have never heard of “The Snap” magazine.
It came and went up in flames (literately) in just a few years, my first advertisement was in this magazine. It was a great read, they did articles on cue makers back then that still influence cue buying to this day. Lot's of things that were said in those articles are accepted as fact today, even though most people have no idea where these “facts” came from in the first place.
I was a new cue maker at the time so I was never covered. But I did meet the publisher, a Mr. Rick Boling at my first BCA Trade show in Nashville, 1991. He helped me with my first advertisement and bought me a fine breakfast very early one morning before the show. I will be forever grateful for his help, sometimes a little push from here or there makes a big difference.
Anyway, this was the cover of the second issue, 1989.
Both David Howard and I are from Jacksoville, Fl.. I was a local pool player, David Howard was a Pool Star. David was winning everything and had a big time sponsor, people listened to what he had to say and tried to copy the way he played.
Before this cover shot was published, no one, and I mean no one, but David Howard broke like this He loved to follow through and put a big bend in his cue. But within six months of this cover shot everyone was doing it, it was like a plague that swept the pool world. This techinque has broken tens of thousands, maybe millions, surely a billion cues.
Cues were free to David at that point in his life, the rest of us had to buy or make them.
Simply said, bending a cue like that will break it.
Maybe not the first time, maybe it will take a year or two or three, but it will break, period. It is impossible to break a pool cue by hitting a five ounce cue ball head on, but if you bend the cue like this picture....
I get this call every week and I have for twenty some years, some of the broken cues I made, some are cheap cues, some were great cues. But I can tell you this about all pool cues, bending them in the middle will break them right behind the joint, eventually.
Maybe you don't even know you do it, , maybe you loaned your cue to a friend two months ago and he does it, maybe it only happend once, but way down deep inside the cue it is cracked or broken and it is only a matter of time.
If you come to my shop with a cue broken like this, I hand you a new cue blank and a 16 ounce framing hammer. I will have you hit the cue on the joint end, with the butt end on a concrete floor, straight on, as hard as you wish until you get tired or the cue breaks. I have never seen one broken in this manner. It takes the leverage of the shaft and the bend in the middle to break a cue at the joint.
It's simple, pool cues are not designed to bend. they are designed to hit a cue ball head on.
BTW, there is an article in this same issue written by Creole Freddie (Fred Yates) on David Howard's break shot. The first line from the one page article says, and I quote, "First, you should keep the cue level.".
The copy of the magazine used in this posting was given to me by dealer at the Super Billiard Expo this year, thank you sir !!
The Building Of Some Special Show Cues
They look like a pile of fire wood at this point !
Cleaned up a little.
Paired up by grain and color.
Joined together forever.
Let the machining begin. It took forever to machine these pockets, I used a little tiny tool
and it had to run slow and these pockets are huge.
One with points in, one without.
Pretty cues all in a row.
See it here : http://www.dpcues.com/product/MGIAC
Cue of the Year Participant
See it here : http://www.dpcues.com/product/COTHYP
Thanks for looking !
Derby City Classic Pictures
Just so we know where we are.
Now we know the rules.
Ambassadors for the sport.
Looks like a nice place.
Looks like they had plenty shopping for the crowd.
Some people try to win in the tournament room, not many do.
Much more money is made in the practice room.
Maybe these guys won.
Probably the finals.
A Completely New Design in Pictures
A very thoughtful customer wanted a wrapless cue with alternating woods and points so I built him one. The was a completely new design in terms of both construction and design, so I took a lot of pictures. I ended up building 2 cues, twice the work but I think it was worth it. .
I'll let the pictures tell the story.
One Sunday afternoon during football season I built the parts.
Parts glued up
I took forever to cut this many points.
Blanks with pockets.
I like this design
This one's for sale in the cue section of this site.
Finished customer cue.
Thanks for looking
I watched Efren Reyes play a One Pocket Match last night for $6000
I watched Efren Play a guy named Emmons a race to 7, giving 9 to 6, for $6000. Where did I see this cool action? Some local pool room, no. Some tournament or big time pool room, no. I saw this live on my computer in my living room, it was live from last night from Hardtimes Billiards. Someone put a link on Facebook, I clicked and there it was.
This is all new to me and pretty exciting too. The people at POV Poo l http://www.povpool.com/
were streaming this match live with great commentation. I guess they charge for some shows, but this one was free. As I type this on Sunday afternoon they have some of the same type of coverage on for 4 more hours. The link for the live shows is: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/povpool
The Last Day of 2013
Wow what a year, is it over, really? I would like to thank everyone for their help and support. The DP Family of customers, supporters and employees are joy to work with. Thank you !!
Just some pic's from around the shop on the last day of the year.
I dug up the last piece of this amazing red leather.
New ring work developed in 2013
More new ring work
Cues for 2014 on the work rack
A Tulipwood cue for 2014, I'll take pic's of this as it makes it's way through the process.
Feed tube for a lathe
Japanese magazine article from 1996
Making shaft wax
That was a long time ago
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!
Professor Q Ball
Professor-Q-Ball's National Pool & 3-Cushion News is published by a guy you should know, Mr. Paul Frankel.
Professor-Q-Ball's National Pool & 3-Cushion News is a website that started out as a magazine and is the real deal. The hard copy magazine is still published and I read it cover to cover every month. Promoting pool and billiards is a labor of love for Paul. I first met him 18-20 years ago and he is a fixture at almost every pool event of note. His reporting is excellent and his love for the game and the players is evident every time you talk with him.
Paul is also one of the leaders in promoting the beautiful game of 3 Cushion Billiards. His publications have more news and information about 3 Cushion than anything else I'm familiar with. 3 Cushion is a game you should know about; read Pauls work, watch some youtube videos and you will be amazed, I promise.
Paul is also a world-class playing card magician. I have watched him do tricks with playing cards that defy description; his hands are FAST. I had the honor of sitting beside him at dinner one night and watched him do card tricks for the person on his left. I could see the cards and his hands from an angle that no magician lets you see. After 10 minutes of watching him I still had no idea how he did what he did.
If you see Paul at a pool or billiard event, shake his hand and say thank you.
New wood is always exciting !
Sometimes it's hard to wait, but I did, and finally the time came to cut this wood. I have been very excited about this wood ever since it got here. Peru is along way from Florida, but these boards look really comfortable in the DP wood room. I waited to talk about this until I had something in the works. We call this Pervian Blackwood an it is beautiful. Keep watching I will update the blog and show the cues as they progressed along.
I decided on my fourteen point design for the Amboyna Cue, that is seven up and seven down. This is kind of a famous design because way back when I was one of the very few cue makers that could do seven points.
Back then four points was normal, that's indexed (rotated ) 90 degrees for each point. Five was special, that is at 72 degrees, but seven is a different animal. Seven is indexed at 51.1428 degrees, very few cue makers could do it. I made several series of fourteen point cues, most went to Japan, they all went to cue collectors.
That piece of Curly Maple in the pictures will part of the design. That was sent to me by a supplier many years ago to use as a display piece. That is most special piece of Curly I have ever seen, time to put it in a cue.
Simple and clean with great wood, I like it.
Cocobolo is Going Away
Cocobolo is now subject to an International Treaty, and from what I can gather from many trades, guns, knives, birdcalls, etc.. no one will be importing it anymore. Yea I have some, but no supply lasts forever. If you like Cocobolo now is the time.
This note is from the website of one of the main suppliers in America:
This is the final shipment of Mexican Cocobolo that we will be getting. There is too much political and internal conflict in Mexico to continue buying so this is the last chance to get some! This is old stock that was pulled for rich colors and classic Mexican colors. It is all kiln dried, surfaced on two sides, and ready to use.
Lots of you probably remember when the Ivory limitations happened, well this the samething. Here is an story about the US crushing ivory:
It really doesn't matter where this is right or wrong, it just is...
2011 Cue Maker of the Year
In 2011 I had a hand in helping pick Tim Scruggs as Cue Maker of the Year
( I was the head of the committee at the time). Tim doesn't make cues anymore, but I still enjoy seeing him at cue shows. The first time I met him was in SC at the first American Cuemakers Association meeting, about 20 years ago. I am one of the charter members of the ACA, as is Tim. The first meeting was at a huge One Pocket Tournment in a hotel that was closing for good the next week Now our Annal Meetting is at the Allen Hopkins Show.
I was talking to another cuemaker and inquired about Tim, I didn't know what he looked like at the time. The other cuemaker kind of smiled and said he's right over there. I turned and looked but there were pool players with pool cue cases everywhere. Where I asked again, there he pointed and leaning against the wall was this normal looking, totally unassuming guy, I don't know I expected....superman ?
I walked over and introduced myself and shook his hand. Always a gentleman he pretended to have some idea who I was. I was honored introduce him as Cue Maker of the Year in 2011.
Great Guy, Great Cues.
These pieces of Cocobolo are very unusual, they have a split personally. Part Cocoobolo grain and part a rich solid grain. I'm going to make cues with these by leaving the wood alone and letting the two grains compete for attention, I'm not going to put a butt cap on these, the wood is rock hard and I it will be interesting to see the two textures run right out of the back of the cue.
Keep watching an I'll post pictures as these move along, the cues are almost finished now.
A Great Cuemaker Is Gone
Mr. Tad Kohara has passed.
Tad, as he and his cues were universally known, was a legend. I met him many times, he was always very nice to me, once at a LA show he even bought me sushi. He was a kind and gentle man and his cues are legendary. He will be missed.
A beautiful Tad Cue.
How often do you see something really new, not simply rearranged, but new.
I know, not very often, me either.
I constantly search for new ideas, new technique’s, new materials or simply new ideas. I look at other industries, I look at art, I look at landscape designs, I look at architecture, I travel, any place I can think of for inspiration.
Well this time I looked to the sky in a big Florida thunder storm, I saw lightening.
I have never seen that in cue...ever. Oh, I've seen cartoonist looking lightening bolts as inlays. This is different, I have created lightening in a cue. Each cue has a different pattern, just as in nature.
Each cue has bright lightening bolts against a jet black sky, just like I saw on that dark and stormy night.
See the whole cue here:
Product Review - - B.A.T. Shaper
The folks at Black King Tips have a new product, the B.A.T. Shaper. B.A.T. stands for Bridge, Aerator and Taper. It's a 3 in one tool that actually works. It's nicely molded plastic that wouldn't scratch your cue.
First it's a Bridge Head, the mounting hole is a nice tight fit on a 13mm shaft. There are at least nine places to rest your cue when you have to reach. If your tired of looking for a bridge in the pool hall putone of these in your bag.
Second it's a tip aerator with two sections, one with mild plastic spikes, the second has much more aggessive metal spikes and a lot of them. Roughing up your tip will help it hold chalk without removing part of your expensive tip
Third it is a tip shaper, again with two dome shaped sections, one with a nickel radius and one with a dime radius, nice touch. The shaper uses replaceable sandpaper abrasives, if the clog up with leather just replace the abrasive.
Priced at around $22.00 I'd say this is a very good value. **** Four out of Four Stars
Super Rare Leather Wrapped DP Cue http://www.dpcues.com/product/OTB
What is it and why would a Cuemaker have one ?
Well actually I have two.
That is the valve body for a large air compressor. I have 2 compressors wired together so that they act as one. That way when one fails I still have some air. Almost everything we do when making a cue requires compressed air. That part failed and had to be replaced. So I drove across town to buy this part, when I got ready to install it here.
The gaskets were broken, so I had to drive all the way back across town for good gaskets. They also sold me the wrong intake filters, so there is another drive in the future, the fix was $350 plus half a day.
There's Zebrawood and then there's Great Zebrawood
Zebrawood is usually available to me, but suddenly my supplier had nothing but boring, grainless pieces. No way I'm going to buy bad wood. So the search started and I found a new guy with a supply like this, or at least he claims to have a supply like this. All I know is that the first pieces I got are amazing.
I'll post pictures when the cues are finished
Summer Time Day Dreaming
This is the lodge at Yellowstone. Five stories of classic wood and stone, we stayed there a few summers ago. It's not that expensive but you have to have reservations a year in advance . We spent an amazingly civilized afternoon one day just hanging out in the open space. It is 5 stories of balconies and a open space by the huge fire place. They had tables full of games for the kids and the air was filled with is classic music played on a piano on the 3rd or 4th floor, by a nice lady that took requests. As I remember the kids requested something from the Harry Potter movies. Once an hour or so Old Faithful erupts and they have a second floor balcony over the front entrance, complete with benches and a bar.
The place just feels quiet, no TV, no phone, no radio, day old newspapers (sometimes not at all), no cell phones and no internet, truly a little slice of heaven.
Here is a link to the Old Faithful webcam. http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/live/live4.htm
Oh well, back to work.....
DP Custom Cues catches it's first shark of Shark Week
Shark Week At DP Cues
I am in Florida, so why not a shark week cue. Here is the drawing.
The radio say's its 91 outside.
This is just outside my front door.
Maybe my favorite place on earth
It was 99 in the shade here yesterday, of course my shop is air conditioned, but just walking to the mail box was almost unbearable. But I bet it was nice in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I love that place, nice in the summer and beautiful in the winter and just a hour or so from Yellow Stone.
Jacksonville, Florida...Jackon Hole Wyoming, similiar names maybe but everything else is different.
I watch these webcams all the time.
We sell stuff 7 days as week, so on Mondays we ship a bunch of cues.
It's a lot of work, print the paper work, match a shaft to the butt, weight the cue, make any changes to the cue, tip, etc. Wrap and box the cues, print labels and be ready for UPS in the afternoon.
But we appreciate every sale.
This is a new Oriental themed cue I have been working, Lanterns and Dragons, there is a ton of work in this cue, but I like it. These pictures are of the cue right off the turning machine, so they may look a little rough, but that is part of seeing the process of cuemaking.
These are the cues made from the Cocobolo I found hidding under an inch of dust in my shop. I will post more pictures as they move along.
I'm not kidding, we found these incredible pieces of Cocobolo in my turning room way up on a shelf under an inch of dust. These must of have been put away years ago for special cues because these are beautiful pieces. It amazes me what I find in my own shop sometimes, we put stuff away because it is so nice or special or rare and forget about it. I found a piece of wood the other day that had 1996 hand written on it.
I'll follow these cues along on the blog.
Wow, this is what happens to in to me. I play a good safe and then this.
If you don't play snooker you should. Smaller balls, a bigger table and rounded pockets, sounds like a nightmare, it's the most fun you can have with a cue in my opinion. In college there was a room between home and college, they had a snooker table that was often the only game going on, but there would be more people waiting to get in the6 red ball, 4 handed , team game, than were actually playing. I have waited hours just to get in the game. In the morning's there was a group of old guys who played for hours on end. In the afternoon the car salesmen and insurance saleman would show up and play when they should have been working. I got play before and after class so I played in bothday groups, then at night it was singles with a little action. Anyway here is a link to a perfect 147 point run.
Maybe I need adult supervision.
Sometimes I come into the shop on the weekends when it's quiet and I design new things. Some of these things are probably not smart if your trying to make a living, but I get the idea in my head do it anyway.
Well...recently I had a series Limited Edition Cues to design, the rings were made but they needed inlays. Where these cues are going the number 8 is considered a lucky number, so I decided to put a series of 8 number 8's in the ring work. The problem was the rings weren't very wide so the inlay had to be small, very small. The inlays are in 4 of cues, now I have to build the rest, I'm not looking forward to putting these little devils, it's difficult even with tweezers. I'll post a picture of a complete cue when they are finished.
You do what? Part 2
I'm a Cuemaker, how the heck did that happen you ask , well......it's a long story.
In part one I talked about working as a banker and I said I started building cue between the last two bank jobs. Well... I started in ernest between the last 2 banks, butthe story actually started with this article in 1986.
I played a lot of pool around 1986 and I saw this article, I bought the magazine andI must have read that article a millioin times. Over time I have proven that not a single word was useful for a professional cue maker. I don't know who "Tex Smith" was, but he wasn't the type of cue maker I wanted to be. But with article in hand I bought that first lathe and tried to make cues off and on for several years. Finally between the last two jobs I had a month to get serious. I bought a brand new metal lathe and fabricated a taper bar long enough to make a pool cue. Back then you didn't buy cue making equipment you, built it. Within six months I was sick of converting the single machine back and forth from tapering work to joint work, so I bought another brand new lathe. Now I was cramming all this stuff into a single car garage, two metal lathes, the wood lathe, a table saw, and in a few months a manual panagragh. I 'd open the garage door and spray cues with them hanging on the edge of the garage door. "The first show" next time.
I just discovered this amazing burl wood, maybe I can make something nice out of this !!
20 years ago I bought a stack of Pink Ivory Wood, this stuff is oh so rare and expensive. Most of it was Pink and not very nice, but there were these 5 or so pieces that were Red and a had a Curly Pattern. I had never seen any before, and I have never seen another piece. So those pieces hung around, last year I built some cues with those pieces and sold them, using up what I thought was all I had, but way in the back I found on last piece. So I built a cue for myself, I have very few of my own cues, the last one I kept was the Artist Proof for my 10 year Anniversary Cue, that more that 10 years ago. I have been showing pics of the cue on facebook as I built it, now it is finished, and I like it !!
Five Minutes with Shari Stauch
Shari is the Editor of Pool and Billiard Magazine, in other words she decides if that picture of you playing pool makes the magazine. I first met her in Texas at the very first American Cue makers Association' cue show. This week she is attending the Billiard Congress of America Expo in Chicago.
This the first time for the BCA Expo in Chicago, how do you like the new venue?
No it's not - we were here last year. It's very nice - rooms close to convention center, nice restaurants around, and of course this is my old stomping grounds so fun to see old friends and family.
Trade shows are all about new products, what is the coolest new thing you have seen?
Paul Gerni has an interesting telescoping bridge extension that fits in a cue case. Love the Aramith Fusion table - what's way cool about it is the ability to lower it from pool table height t o dining height through clever spring loaded legs… a GREAT option for the dining to pool conversion top.
There are a lot great cue and table makers in the Chicago area, have you seen a lot of industry people even if they aren't displaying at the Expo?
We have - it's like "old home week" here… Think the best "celebrity sighting" though had to be Jim Bakula, former BCA and Brunswick Billiards president. He came for a visit and at 78 years young any of us would swear he's still in his 50s - looks amazing and is upbeat as always.
How is the concession stand coffee?
Sucks :) But there's a Starbucks between the hotel and conference center walkway so it's all good :)
You're in Chicago, are you going to make it Buddy Guy's place?
Shari says: In summary - not many bodies at the show, but exhibitors still happily writing orders from those attending!
More show pic's at https://www.facebook.com/PoolandBilliard
I have two killer jump handles, these are fully inlaid just like on of my cues. I only build a few of these a year. Price includes the Jump Handle and a Shaft. $150.00 Each, Free Shipping. Call today and it will ship Friday.
DP Custom Cues (904) 215 7161
This maybe the nicest cue I have made so far this year. It has an amazing piece of Cocobolo, real Ivory and what I think is a nice design. I will include two shafts and joint protectors, shipped for free.
This is a model #14 from my first brochure in 1990 or 91. I found this picture in the net. Ebony Butt and Points with a Birdseye Maple Top. Two shafts and real mother of pearl diamonds....a blast from the past. This collector bought many cues from a lot of us and never chalked them. He was a humble man with a great collection of cues, I miss seeing him at the shows.
A long time ago I watched Johnny Archer help Allison Fisher with her nine ball break. The were both at the BCA Trade Show in Vegas. He was very patient and she was very attentive, seems to have worked to for her. Short Video of Johnny Archer helping an unknown person with their break.
I was in a booth next to Mike Massey at a Las Vegas Show. For $10 all challengers were given a tee shirt and a chance to play Mike. I watched for 8-9 hours, he played constantly and I don't think he lost a single game of 8 Ball. Amazing..... Here is link to some of his more famous shots.
I cut up a lot of wood and sometimes you find special pieces. I made 2 cues with really unusual and rare piecs of Bocote.
The first has a Bull's Eye pattern just above the wrap, I centered it in the middle of the cue for maximum effect. http://www.dpcues.com/product/OTB
The second on has a pattern like birdseyes, it is both wild and beautiful. I have never seen a piece like this. http://www.dpcues.com/product/BEB
You can put stuff in cues, turquoise, silver, gold etc, anyone can do that, but to have really rare pieecs of wood is another thing, this is the stuff collectors look crave. I have priced these cues so that a player can buy them.
Even on the long weekend we are making cues, life is good.
You do what?
I'm a Cuemaker, how the heck did that happen you ask , well......it's a long story.
I was born, raised and still live in Florida. I was a C student in most classes, in any
shop class I did better. I loaded trucks, lived at home and made it through the local
college. I got a degree in Business/Accounting. Along the way I borrowed a home
work assignment from a girl in class, the honey moon was a cheap cruise to Mexico.
30 years later she packs and ships your cues, we have a daughter that helps. During
college I became a 3-5 hour a day, 365 day a year, pool player. I'm sure I bought
the local pool hall (Val's) one hour at a time.
Accounting, really? Yeah...., I needed an elective and they talked about money in
there. I didn't have much money but I sure wanted some. Jobs, well, finally I found
a job as an Assistant Internal Auditor at Florida National Bank. Every bank I ever
worked at is gone now.... Assistant Auditor, Auditor, VP, CFO, 5 banks in 8 years,
every one sold or merged out from under me. I started trying to make cues between
bank numbers 4 and 5, I started with this lathe.
Phone or Email I answer both, Dale@dpcues.com or 904 215 7161
I'm doing a series of custom cues with Domino's, what do you think ??
A note from Dale Perry,
A long time ago I had a real job, it involved Banks and Accounting and an office with a desk. I sat at that desk and watched 8 hours a day just waste away so I could finally go home and build cues all night. I can remember looking at my watch before 9:00 am on a Monday morning hoping that several hours had passed, but I had only been in my office a few minutes!
So after many years I quit my banking job to build cues full-time. It was huge step and probably not the wisest, but I was young and full of energy. It was tough at first but because of my wonderful customers I made it. Now 20 years later I love my job as a Cuemaker and look forward to Mondays!!
My advice is if you hate your job, find something you love to do and then do it. The money will follow, you may not get rich, but you will have a good chance to be happy.
Along the way I have acquired a shop with 3,000 square feet of cue making space and some of the most advanced tools used in cue making today. My way of building cues is a vertically integrated system that allows us to start with raw lumber and finish with true custom cues. We make every part of a DP cue except the tip, joint screw and rubber bumper.
I am currently on my 3rd generation of cue making equipment, most of which I have build or modified to fit my needs. We use a UV light drying system for cue finishing. I draw all of my cues with a CADCAM system. For machining we use very high end NSK spindles, and routers from Germany. All of this equipment allows us to customize any part of a DP cue.
The “we” in DP cues is myself, Brian and Mark. Brian is a long time professional cue builder, Mark is a hell of a craftsman. They are a large part of the DP way of building cues.
I have been involved on the leading edge of cue making for a long time. I am a founding member of the American Cue Making Association and served on the Board of Directors for 2 terms. I am also a member of the International Cuemakers Association.
One of the most difficult parts of cue making is finding the suppliers that sell the real stuff. There is only so much true exotic cue making wood available. To find great materials and negotiate a price that is simply expensive instead of shocking takes more and more time every year. Of course Air Freight from Europe doesn’t help the cost. But the result is true exotic cues and fantastic maple for the shafts.
We take quality very seriously at DP Custom Cues. Every cue is built one at a time and is only handled by three people, myself, Brian and Mark . If a cue isn't right we don’t sell ……….Period.
My Blog will be starting soon-Please check back in a few days!
Stay Connected With Us!