View Full Version : perfect shaft finish experiment update

05-03-2002, 10:34 AM
well, i spent 70 dollars on the micro abrasive and West Systems epoxy kits.. i spent hours polished the living hell out of my shafts. when you get over 4000 grit it takes quite a bit of physical effort, literally at least 20 minutes each early step to 30 minutes with 8k to 12k to notice a differance. overall if you are a tweak minded person(with a lathe) than i recommend this very much. also, as a suprising bonus, the West Systems epoxy really made the shaft give a much more solid hit. it changed the audible tone of the shaft hitting the cue ball..the Thoink! to a solid Dummmt! :-)
here's the funny part... i posted the same question on another board and someone posted the name and current location of the gentleman that gave such a wonderful finish...the same guy. after the microabrasives exeriment i visited this man and had a shaft refinished. my hours of work were eclipsed...his finish was superior and done in 3 minutes, not hours. and for 13 dollars including tip replacement. his secret? car polish! not wax but two differant gritted car polishes on a lathe. it wasn't photogenic memory after all, the finish really is as perfect as i can imagine. i suspect the hard finish/micro-abrasives would work very well on a lathe. my advice...if you don't have a lathe then find a terrific cue maintenece guy and just pay when getting tips replaced. then make sure to clean your cue well after every play. overall the microabrasives were far superior to the Q-clean kit...though more expensive and they are far more durable and usefull. yet this still fell short to car polish! a 70 dollar lesson for everyone here.
best regards,

05-03-2002, 11:10 AM
At the risk of being redundant.....lighter fluid will keep the shine and slickness there for you. Oh...almost forgot...where do you get the micro-abrasives?

05-03-2002, 11:44 AM
for note: i also tried the lighter fluid trick..which made no differance on the hard finished shafts but made a notable differance on a "normal" finished shaft(although it does require re-burnishing from 3000 grit back to 12000..a physically tiring over-an-hour process by hand..you have to burnish the hell out of the shaft on every step). if your not the wierdo like me that needs things ridiculously close to perfection, then lighter fluid and 1000-2000 grit auto sandpaper will give you faster impressive results, or the q-clean kit with a lighter fluid finish and "yellow card" re-burnishing. the lighter fluid trick does work great..it did make a quick differance but is not even nearly to the polished hardness level of micro-grits/ultra hard finish combination, nor lathe polishing. have to do it again...CAR POLISH! run! the HORROR! it's not food! it's CAR POLISH! AAAAAAHHH! if you want my best two links for micro-grits then e-mail me. they are usually bought in large batches and the google searches yeilded only ridiculously expensive kits. after some e-mail chasing i found two places that offer twice the area for under 50 dollars than the easy to find kits(from (2000 to 120000). these micro abrasives are pretty sturdy and can be used in all sorts of ways around the house...even polishing out scratches in glass eye glasses(did that for my girlfriend during the shaft experiment). they are pretty much exclusivly used in the scientific realm...at least for a fair price. one woodworking spot sold them, but a kit was over 100 dollars and we're talking about 2.5 square feet.
scientifically yours (:-) if you get this referance you get an A+ and a good cigar, a martini, a 7 ball spot),

05-06-2002, 01:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: redwinebluebird:</font><hr> ...after the microabrasives exeriment i visited this man and had a shaft refinished. my hours of work were eclipsed...his finish was superior and done in 3 minutes, not hours. and for 13 dollars including tip replacement. his secret? car polish! not wax but two differant gritted car polishes on a lathe.<hr></blockquote>redwine, I am not familiar with any 'gritted' car polishes. I do know of polishing compound paste that comes in different grits. These are used on cars to remove light scratches or to remove the oxidized layer of paint from the surface and make the underlying 'good' paint shine.

Is it possible thats what he used? Could you share the product name with us? TIA,

05-06-2002, 05:07 PM
General, auto-finish found pastes are in two basic varieties: Rubbing compound and polishing/buffing/finishing compound.

Rubbing compound is the more abrasive, and used to take large scratches out of a car's finish--and possibly removing more paint that one usually wants.

Polishing compound is 'finer' and is often used with an electric buffer/polisher. (If I were using a lathe to spin a shaft, this is probably the coarsest stuff I would use).

Now, for metal polishing (such as aluminum or stainless steel), waxy sticks of polishing compound(s) are also available. These resemble large crayons, and come in varying colors--related to their 'grit'. Normally, these are used with a buffing wheel on a bench grinder, and the 'crayons' are successively applied to the buffing wheel, in between working a piece of metal (like a valve cover), to ultimately achieve a mirror-like shine. A buddy and I used to polish various auto and motorcycle parts with these, but they were his, and I don't know if the average autostore carries them.

One more option, you could also try toothpaste.

05-06-2002, 08:14 PM
I am surprised that no one has yet to mention the importance always sanding in only the one direction, with the grain (usually from butt end to tip). Sanding against the grain can rip tiny pieces out of the wood and damage the finish (sometimes leaving the shaft with a prickly feeling if done with lower grade abrasives).

I know its assumed knowledge to most experienced players (and woodworkers) but to the newer players it is not so obvious and I think they should be informed (would still have my first cue if I knew then what I know now).

My shaft maintenance schedule goes like this:

Every 6 months: sand lightly with the grain with 1200 grid wet'n'dry.
Every two weeks: clean with a cotton cloth and toothpaste.
After every use: clean with a cotton cloth.

Not only do I do the sanding one way, but I do all of these steps with the same action from butt end to tip one way only and it really makes a difference. Since changing over from two way rubbing the shaft has taken on a glass like finish and I find that I don't need the excessively high grit sand paper. I believe that this is due to a wood fibre "packing down" that happens through going with the grain. I've been doing this for 2 years now and many people that try my cue (a $25 duff one piece) think that it is some super custom job worth $500+

Cheers - Ozzy8.

05-08-2002, 02:37 AM
Sure sounds like micro-mesh to me, which I believe was originally developed to polish out scratches on airplane windows. I found a hobby shop locally that sells the in 3"x6" sheets for about 4 bucks a piece.