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paulc
03-21-2004, 04:43 PM
Misconceptions of the UNI-LOC® and the Radial® Pin

The UNI-LOC Joint System has been granted 6 patents. 5518455, 5527224, 5890966, 6027410, 6227980, 6348006. Over 35 original ideas define these patents. The PTO does not grant 6 patents easily. Hard work, a lot of thought, design, and due-diligence was done on my part to obtain these patents. The patent office does not give out patents for free; they have cost me a lot. Successfully defending the patents against 4 infringers has cost considerably more.

The UNI-LOC Joint can only screw together in less than two turns, if it takes more than two turns it’s not a Genuine UNI-LOC. We at UNI-LOC feel it is unfair to be blamed for the poor quality COPY-LOC’s (cheap imitations of the real joint).

The front of a UNI-LOC pin is designed to very accurately locate on the insert, guaranteeing concentricity to the pin. The acu-loc, tru-loc and other COPY-LOC imitations do not provide anywhere near the same accuracy.

The UNI-LOC Pin has a patented locating diameter, and the insert has a precision bore to locate on that pin diameter. This feature allows for precise interchangeability of shaft and butt. Owners of a properly installed UNI-LOC Joint should understand they have a precision system installed in their cue to accurately secure the shaft and butt, it may need some maintenance.

Installers of the UNI-LOC occasionally fail to clean the pin and insert correctly. A small percentage of their customers experience difficulty removing the shaft from the butt. The reason for this is simple. The design cannot allow for debris to become lodged between the pin and insert diameters. If this occurs their will be a “galling” action between the hard stainless steel pin and the relatively soft brass. A simple cleaning of the insert and pin by the owner with a cotton cue-tip dipped in alcohol or acetone, and wiped on the locating diameters and threads of the insert and pin will eliminate this occurrence.

There is another misconception regarding the ability of a UNI-LOC Joint to secure the shaft to the butt. I have read posts where a player finds it necessary to tighten his cue every half hour. This has nothing to do with the type of joint.
This condition is caused from a poor facing of the collar and adjacent shaft face. Carefully examine the face of your cue.
If the faces are not smooth, flat and perpendicular to the butt and shaft, it is very likely your cue will not fasten securely. If you experience a loosening of your shaft it should be re-machined properly by a competent cue maker and the problem will go away.

Regarding the Radial pin, for all the people who claim to know its origin, thread size and other issues, please let me set the record.

The term Radial is a registered trade mark of the UNI-LOC Corp. of America
As of this writing the Radial thread size has never, been accurately portrayed on any post or cue makers web site. It is proprietary to the UNI-LOC Corp.
It was never a design taken from a medical bone screw.
The original Pin was a prototype for a cue Bill Stroud made for Paul Costain in 1989. The first pin actually located in a beryllium copper insert. From that original, Bill Stroud designed and named the current Radial pin that screws directly into wood. You can tell the Radial® Pin from other imitations by the center hole in the front of the Pin. So far the copiers of the design have thought it to be costly to include. The Radial Pin is the only pin of its style to be selected for use by Predator Cues. The imitation pin will cause permanent damage to the Radial/Predator shaft.

I hope you have found this information informative………….Paul

Popcorn
03-21-2004, 05:17 PM
The Radial sold today is different in design then was you sold a while back? The same with the Uni-loc? Seems the old Uni-loc had a different size insert. The pieces I am referring to I bought directly from you. Also I remember Billy saying something about the bone thing himself when he was coming up with the original screw. That is where the story started I believe, from Billy. Having said all that. I like the Radial pin very much. The Radial also had threading in the small hole, what was that for. When you continue to make changes to your own designs, how does that effect patent protection?

paulc
03-21-2004, 05:28 PM
I incresed the gap between the pin and insert to facilitate un-plated pins. The thread in the end of the first Radial pins was used by Bill to locate an aluminum black anodized cover screw. A patent allows the owner to manurfacture, it does not prevent someone from infringing.

Popcorn
03-21-2004, 05:38 PM
Quote
"it does not prevent someone from infringing."

No, it sure doesn't. The cost of a patent fight is so beyond the ability of the average person or business to wage, easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, as to make most patent protection worthless. You don't want a patent fight with someone like Sears.

tateuts
03-21-2004, 07:47 PM
Paul,

That is very informative - appreciate the info. I think the radial pin is the best joint for custom cues. I have a Josswest with the Predator shaft and I think it's terrific.

I noticed that Dale Perry recently switched from the Uni-lok to the Radial as well.

Concerning the Radial pin, do you actually have a patent on the thread shape? I notice that Tim Scruggs had a radial type of thread on his joint but it's a different size and it's a shouldered design. Also, do you only make one size Radial pin?

Chris

dr_billiards
03-21-2004, 09:54 PM
Here is the radial pin in my cue, made by Madison Bob Griffin.He makes these pins himself.
my pin (http://users.adelphia.net/~manager102/gc2.jpg)
Doc B

Popcorn
03-21-2004, 11:20 PM
What is his reason for making his own pins? You can, but with such high quality pins available, it is hard to believe he could make a better one himself. Why waste your time, they don't even cost very much

rocky
03-22-2004, 01:47 PM
I always thought that a radial pin was flat between the threads not u-shaped, to keep it from wearing away the wood. IMHO not a good design of a "radial pin"

Popcorn
03-22-2004, 03:26 PM
Flat is an Acme thread like the lead screw on a lathe or vise. The Radial is smooth all around as is the thread in the wood. The wood threads are less likely to chip out and they tap very true. Also screws like the 3/8 x 10, don't fill the thread completely as does the Radial. The Radial has complete contact. I have made practice joints and the band sawed them in half to see how they fit together and the Radial has the most complete contact. I don't know if that matters but it is the case. You can get a very good fit with the 3/8 x 10 if you drill a more proper size hole, (Not the recommended 5/16), and mill the threads, but you still have the problem with the threads being fragile. The Radial is an advancement in the wood type joint and I don't think other then the extra cost of the screw, there is little reason to use the common 3/8 x 10 when the Radial is available. Just my opinion.

dr_billiards
03-22-2004, 04:31 PM
Here is what Madison Bob told me

"I CAN MAKE THEM WITH JUST AS GOOD OF QUALITY AT A MORE AFFORDABLE COST,PLUS THEY FIT MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONES YOU BUY. THE ONES YOU BUY ARE DIFFERENT BALL SIZES EVERY TIME. I BOUGHT THEM SOME WOULD FIT TIGHT SOME WOULD FIT LOOSE. I CAN CONTROL THIS WHEN MAKING MY OWN. I DON'T CALL THEM RADIAL PINS I HAVE MY OWN NAME FOR THEM, AND THE COST IS ABOUT 1/4 OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO PAY THROUGH UNILOC." THANKS BOB GRIFFIN

Doc B

Popcorn
03-22-2004, 04:59 PM
Sounds good to me. I am not sure he is right about inconsistent quality, but what ever makes him happy. Although, he did mention cost a couple of times. I don't think he is considering the value of his time. Cutting, grinding, polishing, plus rejects and the cost of material, he can't be saving any money at all. If he values his time at $50. to $70. an hour, I hope he is not spending 45 minutes making a screw to save 9 bucks.

woody_968
03-22-2004, 05:02 PM
I dont mean to but into your conversation but I wanted to say that when I was down and met Madison Bob I think I remember him saying that he has them made for him at a cost much less than the Radials. I dont think he makes them himself, he has someone that is set up for that type of thing doing it for him.

Please correct me if I am wrong DrBilliards.

dr_billiards
03-22-2004, 05:20 PM
Woody you are right. The guy is set up and can turn them out pretty fast. But They are always consistant, never any variations to them as with the big brand name ones.
Doc B /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Popcorn
03-22-2004, 06:08 PM
That makes a lot more sense, nothing wrong with farming out work. Especially if they can do it better and cheaper then you can.