View Full Version : Koa wood forearms

12-23-2004, 08:56 AM
I wondered if anyone had an opinion on wood species? I have heard "maple, maple, maple," but am looking for something of specific interest to me. I have seen Koa wood on the forearms of a few custom cue manufacturers, but not many.

Does anyone have an opinion on its playability and feel? I am trying to formulate in my small brain what are the key components that I am looking for in a custom cue. Of course, then I will have to find the maker!

You may ask...why Koa and not purpleheart or otherwise. Well my intention is for this cue to be handed down to my daughter, and it would being meaningful in representing her Hawaiian roots. However, she is only 4 months old, so I want something that can be used by her pops.

She will have the oppurtunity to play at an early age, as we have a 9' Brunswick Artisan in the basement.

(There is the slim chance it can all backfire....she may not like pool or golf....)

12-23-2004, 01:36 PM
I have a 9 year old daughter. She has laid claim to every cue I've ever owned and cries if I sell one. I now consult her before selling a cue.

I've often wondered about why we don't see more Koa cues myself, or tropical Hawaii themed cues. I could imagine a piece of curly koa with a Hawaiian style inlay motif as being a real piece of art, maybe combined with naturally more colorful woods such as pink ivory and purpleheart.

I've seen solid koa outriggers in Hawaii - these $50,000 to $100,000 canoes are just gorgeous. Koa seems to have the combined properties and looks of teak and walnut.

As far as playability and stability goes, my suggestion would be to have a cue-maker core out the forearm with maple - then there will be no guesswork. I would say, have the cue built on a solid base like that, and use the beauty of the exotic wood as a shell. This is what they do with a lot of exotic and highly figured woods, such as burls, which are inherently weak and unstable.

I would say concentrate on the appearance, design and theme, focusing on your Hawaiian roots. Hawaii has a beautiful culture which can be depicted in inlay and design work. I can see a colorful and polynesian tribal theme as being very attractive on a cue. Consider historic scenes depicted in scrimshaw work inlaid in the cue.

Maybe this is more involved than you were thinking but I think it would be a wonderful and worthwhile project.


12-23-2004, 02:11 PM
Wow...you have my brain whirling now. Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I will be sitting at Christmas dinner daydreaming of the perfect cue, while my family wakes me to pass the ham.

Good ideas on the inlays...her middle name is Mahealani (night of the full moon). So maybe I can do something with that.


Jimmy B
12-23-2004, 02:56 PM
I believe the reason you don't see more Koa is because it's illegal to cut the Koa tree down in Hawaii now, the only way to get the wood is when a tree falls for natural reasons. Also I believe with the move towards coring cues now many woods are being used, more burls and other woods that aren't stable enough to make cues the ole fashion way. So what happens is there is a much more diverse selection of woods being used, Koa being one of many of the new age of woods, PFD is one who uses a lot of it.


Cueless Joey
12-23-2004, 04:41 PM
Curly Koa (http://azbilliards.com/vbulletin/upload/attachment.php?attachmentid=2564&stc=1)
Koa's are expensive. Also, they come from Hawaii wet. They don't kiln them. So, like this board I have, it will take maybe two years before it's ready to be made into cues.
There are other pretty woods of course.
JBQ's (http://azbilliards.com/vbulletin/upload/attachment.php?attachmentid=3047&stc=1)
Koa probably hits better than maple. They seem to be denser and are musical grade.
Curly maple, olivewood and other varieties of rosewood are nice as well.
Figured woods (http://azbilliards.com/vbulletin/upload/attachment.php?attachmentid=3085&stc=1)