View Full Version : Cue finish review

11-26-2003, 11:49 AM
I hope the board administrators don't take this down because it is not an ad but more of a review. I am a hobby cue builder although it is a hobby, I have a very complete shop with six lathes,(I like machinery).
I wanted to say something about finish. I have been using a finish for about two years that is by far one of the best finishes I have used. It is caller "Enduro" http://www.compliantspraysystems.com/enduro_water_base_coatings/enduro_coatings.htm

The reason I am writing this is because it is a water based finish, very safe to use. Nonflammable and won't kill you using it. It gives you a finish that is clear non yellowing and tough as hell. When you use the cross linker I would say is as tough as anything I have tried. I am a bug for trying stuff and will try most things I read about if it gets my interest. Needless to say I have a lot of unused finish laying around that it tested that just was not good. The water based finish has come a long way. I know a lot of cuemakers work in at home shops and spraying is one of their biggest worries. I don't care for the auto finishes, (I have used them) aside from being very dangerous to use, they are not formulated for wood, difficult to repair, and can often produce blisters if the cue gets bumped, ( I am sure you have seen them). The Enduro finish will do everything you want a finish to do on a cuestick. It is easy to use, easy to clean up, has good pot life and produces an amazingly clear high gloss finish that when you use the cross linker is practically bullet proof. I don't know how it could be better. I am just writing this because so many guys are using those unsafe finishes and actually putting their health at risk just to build a few cues. . If some of you have tried water based finish some years back, it is worth looking into again. Technology in finish like everything else has come a long way. I would also be interested to hear if anyone has been using anything themselves, ( water base) that they fell is very good.

Cueless Joey
11-26-2003, 12:10 PM
Pop, God bless you for your unselfishness.
I've been thinking of making cues as a hobby.
Most of the finishes I've encountered are auto-finish.
Here in Cali, they are very strict about finishes.
A friend stumbled upon a good Dupont finish. It is water based but still makes me dizzy when he sprays it even if I'm a little ways out.
I will forward him your review.
Thank you again.

Rich R.
11-26-2003, 12:17 PM
Popcorn, since you like trying new things /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif , you may want to look into giving this glue a test drive.

Last year, at a woodworking tool show, I saw some amazing demonstrations using this stuff. It will glue almost anything together in a matter of seconds.
It is a two part system. You spread a small amount on one surface and then join the two surfaces together and spray the glue line with a small amount of the second part, of the two part system.
Within seconds, it makes a bond so strong, you cannot rip it apart, although, they say, for full strength, it needs a 24 hour curing time IIRC.
They were gluing wood to wood, metal to metal, metal to wood. They were also cutting rubber O-rings and gluing them back together with it.

Although I have had no use for it personally, I have been keeping the web address, just in case.

I'm sure there may be a down side. The guy couldn't tell me how it acted with finishes. But, for what it is worth, I was impressed, with what I saw.

11-26-2003, 12:56 PM
What kind of equipment & pressure are you using with this finish? How much does it cost?...JER

11-26-2003, 02:14 PM
I have a Graco HVLP. The stuff is about $40.00 a gallon.
gallon and the crosslinker is $24.00. I mix it in little 3 ounce plastic cups and set them in the larger cup on the gun. You just have to be careful not to tip over the gun. That way I can use 1 ounce or so if I want. You can recoat in 30 minutes. You can also speed up the dry time (don't know why you would want to) using an inferred lamp. My concern is safety. There are a lot of guys out there who have Porper lathes and the like that are building pretty nice cues. Their main problem is usually the finish. If they are trying to use some of the stuff they read the big time cue makers are using they can be putting themselves at serious risk. Some of this stuff requires a full body suit and respirator as well as an air scrubber to use it safely. Besides, they don't produce any better finish and have problems. I am not sure where the trend to use auto finish on cues got started. I think a lot of new cue makers think it is the thing to do because cue makers they respect are doing it. The fact is, they can get a beautiful durable finish with something safer and better. The technology has come a long way. I have wanted to write this for sometime now but did not want to sound like I was being critical of anyone or promoting anything. There may be other products out there as good that are safe and do a great job, I don't know, I just don't want to see some guy in his spare bedroom spraying some kind of auto finish of other highly toxic product, when there is no need to. Of course, the finish is made up of solids that can not and should not be breathed in and a respirator should be used spraying any kind of finish.

Cueless Joey
11-27-2003, 03:06 AM
Pop, how does Enduro look fresh in the can?
Is it almost clear or does it look a little milky?
Have you sprayed it on dark wood and not get a blue haze?

11-27-2003, 08:45 AM
It is milky looking in the can, but when you spray it on it dries clear. One of the problems with water based finishes has been that when you used it on a dark wood like ebony it would have a blue tint, but that problem has been solved. To answer your question it dries crystal clear with no blue tint. If you call them they are very nice and helpful.

Cueless Joey
11-27-2003, 01:09 PM

11-27-2003, 02:16 PM
I've tried very glue out there...but I notice on the site, there is a product for some of the thermoplastics that resist adhesion. Sounds like it's worth trying out.
Also, I just read:

( Cyanoacrylate (super glue) is an acrylic resin that cures (forms its strongest bond) almost instantly. The only trigger it requires is the hydroxyl ions in water, which is convenient since virtually any object you might wish to glue will have at least trace amounts of water on its surface.

White glues, such as Elmer's, bond by solvent evaporation. The solvent in Elmer's all-purpose school glue is water. When the water evaporates, the polyvinylacetate latex that has spread into a material's crevices forms a flexible bond. Super glue, on the other hand, undergoes a process called anionic polymerization. Cyanoacrylate molecules start linking up when they come into contact with water, and they whip around in chains to form a durable plastic mesh. The glue thickens and hardens until the thrashing molecular strands can no longer move. )

I've been wetting the tips prior to installation, but thought it wasn't really necessary for a good bond
Now it seems that water is necessary...but "most things have trace amounts..."????

11-27-2003, 02:29 PM
Thanks for sharing that...I know a few guys that are spraying, without proper ventilation
Got into that mess myself, years ago, with my "bathtub refinishing" business...got out of that fast, when I realized, we were just ripping off folks...the application could not hold up

11-27-2003, 04:44 PM
I started making Qs in 1996 & for the 1st few years I glued everything together with super glue gel. After a few years my Qs were coming back to me for things like Tip & ferrule repairs. During inspection of these Qs, I noticed that the finish was cracking around the joint rings & collars. Even on Qs that I refinished, would eventually show the same problem. I went to 5 minute epoxy for everything but the ferrules & tips. Since then I've never had any problems...JER

11-27-2003, 05:50 PM
OK Jer, but why would Super Clue Gel cause the finish to crack around joint rings and collars ???

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> I started making Qs in 1996 &amp; for the 1st few years I glued everything together with super glue gel. After a few years my Qs were coming back to me for things like Tip &amp; ferrule repairs. During inspection of these Qs, I noticed that the finish was cracking around the joint rings &amp; collars. Even on Qs that I refinished, would eventually show the same problem. I went to 5 minute epoxy for everything but the ferrules &amp; tips. Since then I've never had any problems...JER <hr /></blockquote>

11-27-2003, 06:31 PM
I'm not a chemist,but I think the glue failed, for some reason &amp; then the parts moved &amp; the finish was forced to move enough to crack through. All I know is, I've never had a ferrule come loose,but then there is no finish over that intersection. Since switching to the epoxy, I don't have the problem. "IF IT WORKS,DON'T MESS WITH IT", that's what my Dad used to say...JER

Cueless Joey
11-27-2003, 06:44 PM
A friend of mine who builds superb cues says the 5-minute epoxy does not have the same shear strength as the 24-hr epoxy (DP460) and that it does not stand to higher temperature as the 24 hr. variety.
He only uses the 5-minute epoxy on ferrules for customers in waiting.
He doesn't use CA's on his cues either (like some do on purpleheart to fill up the grains) because they turn yellow over time.

11-27-2003, 07:00 PM
Your friend may be right...or not,I don't know. Like I said, "I'm no chemist"...JER

Cueless Joey
11-27-2003, 07:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> Your friend may be right...or not,I don't know. Like I said, "I'm no chemist"...JER <hr /></blockquote>
Another cuemaker told me, (don't they all have opinions?), ALL epoxy crystalize after two years or so.
I am sold on the 24-hr variety. I bought a cue off a friend who lived in the desert area. The cue was subjected to abuse. The cue had no rattles or buzz even though it had not metal stud or phenolic ring between the forearm and the handle. The buckhorn collars were also perfectly intact.

11-27-2003, 08:52 PM
I am no chemist, all I know is from reading, watching and personal experience. When it comes to epoxy, for building cues, boat work or anything where the bond must be trusted, you should not use any of the epoxies you buy in the hardware store that uses a 1 to 1 mix, either 5 minute, 24 hour or what ever. With epoxy there is no such thing as a 1 to 1 mix. What you get when you buy the 1 to 1 mix epoxies, is a tube of resin and a tube of hardener. What they do is put an inert filler in the hardener that does nothing to help the bond so it will be a 1 to 1 mix.. If the real mix for the product is something like 4 parts resin to 1 part hardener, the hardener has in the tube an 20/80 mix of hardener and filler. Here is where the real problems can happen. The hardener you squeeze out may not be mixed properly in the tube. You could make a mix with too much hardener or no hardener at all and you have no way of knowing. You should only really use epoxies where you do the proper mix yourself such as West System.
http://www.westsystem.com Good product by the way.
The stuff you buy in the store in the tubes may be good for gluing up a model, but I would not be gluing up an ultra-lite and taking off. It is really no problem mixing your own. I use a gram scale, and keep the epoxy and hardener in small pump dispensers. They dispense a drop at a time so I can mix even small amounts accurately. Mix by weight and by volume can sometimes be different you sometimes have to call the manufacture to get the weight mix. With West for example, for the 105 resin and the 207 hardener the mix is 3 to 1 by volume and 3.5 to 1 by weight. You also must mix them well. I mix a minimum of one minute. With wood I would say 5 minute epoxy is an all around bad idea. You want to do a "Wet-out" with the epoxy letting it soak into the parts to be glued. You apply the epoxy to the parts and set them aside for 5 or 10 minutes. You then apply a second coat and assemble the parts. If a glue line doesn't matter you may want to use fiber filler with the second coat for added strength. Epoxies are very dependable, failures are almost always due to the user not knowing how to use the product or using the wrong product for the application.

11-28-2003, 02:38 PM
Popcorn, I agree with you. There adhesives are the best &amp; most reliable that I've found. I've been using them for about 12 years. Even those who use a 2 part epoxy from the hardware store, should weigh the equal parts or they can have poor adhesion...JER

Cueless Joey
11-29-2003, 02:16 AM
Jer/Pop thank you for all your unselfish sharing of knowledge.

11-29-2003, 06:45 AM
Yes! Thanks to you Popcorn, Jer and all you cue makers who are willing to "give it up" for us. I saved all the info and web adresses. I'll never be making cues but it just seemed like good infor to have and I appreciate you makeing it available. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif