View Full Version : McDermott shaft woes
09-30-2004, 08:02 PM
Hey all! I'd classify myself as an advanced amateur player. I've got an older (almost 10 years) McDermott cue. The shaft has a 12.5mm tip, and what a pro taper. It's got a wood on wood joint (3/8-10). I've never done any sanding or polishing on the shaft, I only use Cue Silk to clean it.
I've been using Le Pro tips recently. I've noticed that I've been having a lot of consistency problems as of late. It feels like I'm not getting as "pure" a hit as I used to - as if the stick is deflecting a lot off the cue ball.
So, I've got a few theories and possible solutions, and I'd like to her other's opinions on the situation:
1. The Le Pro tip is too hard for my style of play. I do use a lot of English, draw and follow. I usually don't strike the cue ball very hard. I think the harder-than-I'm-used-to tip could be causing unwanted throw.
2. The shaft simply flexes too much. Whether it's a function of age or design, this is what I feel when I strike the cue.
3. The wood on wood joint is worn. I notice it's a lot sloppier screwing the shaft to the butt than it used to be.
I can send my stick back to McDermott and have them put a Predator 314 or Intimidator shaft on. I've never played these shafts, so I really don't know what I'd be getting into there. I'd love to hear some opinions on these.
I can also just break down and buy an new stick.
Sorry for the long post. I wanted to try to explain myself as much as possible. I know I hate reading the, "I can't do draw. Help!" posts.
Go play Intellivision!
In actuality a le-pro tip isn't a hard tip. Might be a little hard for you though. The tip isn't causing unwanted throw. You have to realize that a 12.5 pro taper shaft will flex. To me it's a weak shaft, but again it has nothing to do with what you think is unwanted throw. That is a property of stroke whatever is happening.
It's been suggested here to use car wax on the wood threads with a cue tip swab. From everything I've read it does tighten them up considerably. A 314 shaft is somewhat stiffer than your shaft.I wouldn't spend the bucks just for that reason though. You could get a larger shaft or order a 12.5 with a different taper. In general pro tapers are the weakest taper. If you like your cue just buy another shaft, it would be a lot less that way. Read a little on shaft taper before you decide. Is there anyone in your area that repairs or makes shafts?
09-30-2004, 11:37 PM
I agree with Rod on this one. I think mainly the shaft is aging and even though your not or have been sanding on it? They do wear. Especially where your stroking the ball. I think the pred shaft may be a bit too much of a change and maybe, a new shaft is in order.
BTW, the wax thing works but once it's locked it doesn't effect it in the hit department unless it's loosening up on you. Then, it becomes a problem.
I had a similar problem a while back, but I found out it was not my cue. Before you do any changes to your equipment, check your stroke. For a while I was not striking the cueball solid, and it seemed that my shaft deflected alot- alot more then it ever did. My cue felt like a piece of crap, which it isn't. So I tried my friend's predator, I still got the same results. I tried a $3000 Ginacue, still got the same results. One day I was practicing, and decided to try a method of checking your stroke I read a while back. What I did was I closed my dominant eye, and put my non-dominant eye over my shaft while I did my strokes. I hit the cueball, and noticed my shaft veering to the left right when I made contact. I did it again, and again, and again, and saw the same thing. After a week, I got my stroke back in line, and suddenly I am striking the ball much more solid, my cue feels great like it used to, and the deflection is not causing me any problems. Try doing that before you go spend a few hundred bucks on some new equipment.
I wonder would that Stroke Trainer be usefull here?
10-01-2004, 07:34 AM
McD will make you a new one for $75, assuming they can match your 10-year-old shaft.
call 'em. 1 800 666 2283 ext. 121
10-01-2004, 07:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr>I think mainly the shaft is aging and even though your not or have been sanding on it? They do wear.<hr /></blockquote>
Thanks for the great replies, all. I agree, it probably is just wear on the shaft. While I never use sandpaper or any of those burnishing gizmos, I do play a lot and use a closed bridge. I'm sure that'll cause enough wear over the course of 7 years of play /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I do believe I'd like a stiffer shaft (good thing we're in a billiards forum, eh?). My old cue has a very pronounced taper (it's a wedge with a 13mm tip) and is very, very stiff. I switched to using that for a few weeks and my consistency and confidence went way up.
Is the Predator 314 that much stiffer of a shaft? It looks similar to the pro taper. I'll have to ask around at the pool hall and see if anyone's got one I could try.
If I do get a new shaft for my McDermott, I've been told that I won't be able to get a shaft that's the exact same size as the shoulder on my butt, since the wood joint is prone to size variation. Other than sending it back to McDermott, is there any way to make sure I get a joint that mates well?
10-01-2004, 07:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Nostalgia:</font><hr>
...If I do get a new shaft for my McDermott, I've been told that I won't be able to get a shaft that's the exact same size as the shoulder on my butt, since the wood joint is prone to size variation. Other than sending it back to McDermott, is there any way to make sure I get a joint that mates well?
-Joe <hr /></blockquote>
If you want McD to make you a new shaft they will request that you send the entire cue.
10-02-2004, 06:58 AM
Thanks also to nhp for suggesting my stroke. I spent some time working on it, and realized it's been sloppy lately. I still feel the shaft isn't stiff enough for my game, but the stroke was definately an issue, as well.
I shot a few games with a stiff cue, and concentrating on my stroke, and they were much improved. I found that counting the strokes in my pre-shot routine really helped me concentrate on what I was doing.
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