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bustah360
05-05-2005, 01:07 PM
Am I being thinking way too old fashioned, but are there any cue apprentice's? Do cuemaker's choose to have a student at all?

Rackin_Zack
05-05-2005, 01:26 PM
I believe this is reasonably common. I know that Bob Frey worked with Tim Scruggs and James White works in the Mottey shop.

Popcorn
05-05-2005, 02:08 PM
contact
http://www.prathercue.com/

They used to have a program where you could go there and spend a week or so and learn how to do it. It takes a long time to really perfect what you are doing but when it can be basically be handed to you on a platter to start you can't believe how much time and frustration it can save you. I spent time with Burt Schrager and just getting to see the machines and how they work and what all you need was a giant help. I never really persued it beyond the hobby level, I do have a very nice little shop anyone would be happy to have and may still someday do it more full time. I look forward to the time I get to spend in the shop, it's the best part of my day. It can be a great hobby and even a pretty good part time of full time income. Doing my taxes this year I made with the cue business around to $25,000. Not bad for a part time hobby that I would probably do for nothing it is so enjoyable. Most peoples hobbies cost them money. If it is something you think you may like you should look more into it.

Cueless Joey
05-05-2005, 08:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bustah360:</font><hr> Am I being thinking way too old fashioned, but are there any cue apprentice's? Do cuemaker's choose to have a student at all? <hr /></blockquote>
Look for a local cuemaker.
Ask if he's willing to take you as an apprentice.
As an apprentice, expect to be humbled.
Start from the most basic stuff. If he lets you cut his shafts, you'd be lucky.
The first thing you need to learn, besides vacuuming the shop right before you leave, is WOOD. Be thankful the maker will teach you what he knows about wood. Without guidance, you will have a ton of firewood. You will cut woods the wrong way if he doesn't teach you how to cut wood. IF he tells you who his sources are for his woods, you owe him a ton. If he tells you where he gets his shafts, you owe another ton.
Don't expect him to let you work on his expensive metal lathe with expensive tooling right off the bat. You're better off enrolling at a local college and learn machining. Learn how to use a lathe and mill there.
One thing you will do in machining that is inevetable is CRASH the machine. How bad it will be depends how you pay attention. There are plenty of machinists with odd number of fingers.
If you are still around after several trials and tribulations, buy your own woods and go from there.
If you are looking for a mentor, it'd be wise to find one who is a reputed very good cuemaker. If he's a hack who buys his blanks from a supplier and he just taps them and glues them, you'll learn nothing from him.
Best of luck.

bustah360
05-06-2005, 08:51 AM
you guys have been a really big help here, thx! Finding a local cuemaker isn't hard in this city, its just the point of asking someone if I can be his padiwon in the jedi journey here...that's the hard part.

Rich R.
05-06-2005, 10:53 AM
You may want to search the AZBilliards forum. Some time ago, there was a similar thread.
It seems some of the cue makers who participate in that forum were not eager to take on an apprentice. Their argument being that the apprentice only stays for a short time, steals their techniques and then goes out on their own. Some of them had some very bad experiences with apprentices.
You may have a hard time finding a cue maker to take you on.

John_Madden
05-06-2005, 02:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr>

One thing you will do in machining that is inevetable is CRASH the machine. How bad it will be depends how you pay attention. There are plenty of machinists with odd number of fingers.

Best of luck. <hr /></blockquote>

And a few cuemakers also - at least pretty well scared up -and you will need medical insurance for the stitching up in the emergency room - no lie.
Jack
www.johnmaddencues.com (http://www.johnmaddencues.com)

SpiderMan
05-09-2005, 08:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bustah360:</font><hr> Am I being thinking way too old fashioned, but are there any cue apprentice's? Do cuemaker's choose to have a student at all? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, to varying degrees. I believe Bill Schick has a long-time apprentice who has become an excellent cuemaker (and knifemaker) himself. Someone like Schick doesn't need to worry about an apprentice taking his clientele.

There are also fine craftsmen who can't afford to take on an apprentice because they just don't have the volume of cuemaking business. Mike Erwin was Bob Meucci's original "apprentice", and stayed with Bob as his shop foreman until sometime in the '80s. But he tired of the fast-paced city life, bought a farm in North Mississippi, and set up his own shop. He takes in repairs from all over (several of our Dallas commercial vendors send their repairs to him) and makes custom cues for a few dealers and to order. His son, Scott, is his only "apprentice", and their work just keeps the two of them busy. But he has the collective knowlege of everything that went on in Meucci's shop for the first ten or fifteen years.

Dave Barrenbrugge (in Phoenix) apprenticed with Dennis Dieckman. Dieckman used to offer some sort of deal where you basically came to live with him for a few weeks (or months, depending on whether he liked you) and learned to build cues. He sounds like a strange guy, check out his site. He makes a big deal out of stating that he's not a cue MAKER, but a cue BUILDER, yet his web site is cuemaker.com /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif BTW, Mike Massey shoots with a Barrenbrugge (Dieckman apprentice) cue, or at least he did a few years ago when he won one of the televised trick-shot competitions.

Dieckman also used to publish a monthly article in the "American Cueist" magazine, which evolved from "Texas Billiard News". It was supposed to be a serialized version of his to-be-released complete book of cuemaking. The initial few articles were fairly well organized and informative. As time went on it became apparent that Dennis had reached the end of his prepared material and was just throwing together ramblings in time to meet the publication deadline. The series never did reach a conclusion, and just "went away". I seriously doubt the book was ever finished either. Dennis sounds like the kind of guy that you'd need to learn from first-hand, by looking over his shoulder, but he makes some unique cues.

Also, Barringer Cues in Florida (I think they may have moved) also offered cuemaking classes at one time.

If you know guys that make cues, maybe you can just spend some time with them and pick up some hints also. A cue is a fairly simple construction, but there are tricks and procedures that could make worlds of difference in your results. It would certainly help if you're a practical, mechanically-minded person, and also if you have some sort of machinist's background. Don't expect to go out and buy everything you need - you'll be making some of your own tools because they don't really exist.

Another option, provided you want to be a full-timer, is to go and apply for a job with someone like McDermott cues, or even one of the smaller "semi-production" guys like David Jacoby.

SpiderMan

bustah360
05-10-2005, 09:12 AM
Well I don't mind working for nothing, I mean...this is a skilled trade so, learning it on a part-time basis is just fine with me. I plan on keeping my day job in other words. I'd just really would like to learn. Like I said I don't have my own digs to really do something like that outta home being that I rent an apt. Having a house is something that's definitely not in the immediate future, so its not like I'm gonna steal secrets and skill for my greedy bastard desires. I just wanna learn man. That's all, plain and simple. If it means working to help out for nothing for a few hours here and there, then fine.

catscradle
05-10-2005, 11:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bustah360:</font><hr> Well I don't mind working for nothing, I mean...this is a skilled trade so, learning it on a part-time basis is just fine with me. I plan on keeping my day job in other words. I'd just really would like to learn. Like I said I don't have my own digs to really do something like that outta home being that I rent an apt. Having a house is something that's definitely not in the immediate future, so its not like I'm gonna steal secrets and skill for my greedy bastard desires. I just wanna learn man. That's all, plain and simple. If it means working to help out for nothing for a few hours here and there, then fine. <hr /></blockquote>

You could always start like I've heard more than one cuemaker here say he did. Grab broke cues out of the trash, sacrifice a few bucks buying cues, etc. and just start disecting them, then rebuild them. How do mechanics become mechanics, most of them found an old junkbox when they were young and repeatedly took it apart and put it together. Take a machinists class at a trade school or something, it won't put you on a par with somebody with 15 years of machinists experience, but it's a start. I think most cuemakers learned a lot on their own and then as they earned the friendship and trust of more experienced cuemakers they were made privy to a few "secrets" here and there. Even the cuemaker who I best know and who knows I'm trustworthy doesn't share his "secrets" with me. Not that he doesn't trust me, but it's his livelihood we're talking about.

catscradle
05-10-2005, 11:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote John_Madden:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr>

One thing you will do in machining that is inevetable is CRASH the machine. How bad it will be depends how you pay attention. There are plenty of machinists with odd number of fingers.

Best of luck. <hr /></blockquote>

And a few cuemakers also - at least pretty well scared up -and you will need medical insurance for the stitching up in the emergency room - no lie.
Jack
www.johnmaddencues.com (http://www.johnmaddencues.com) <hr /></blockquote>

Could you put a bigger picture on your website? I was trying to count your fingers, but the picture was too small. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

fullsplice
05-10-2005, 12:36 PM
Liability risks are one of the biggest factors for anyone taking in an apprentice. If you're not on payroll then you're not an employee and there is no coverage if an accident happens. I know I had difficulty finding affordable insurance to cover my shop and merchandise both in house and on the road and my family is in the insurance business.

Hi Jack, send my love to the wife!

Mark Bear