View Full Version : Cuetec Vortex Shaft + Thunderbolt Butt

06-04-2005, 12:28 PM
I have just bought a Cuetec Thunderbolt and an extra Vortex Shaft to go with it. But when I put them together, they fit really tightly and are difficult to get fully together. And if I was to play with them, they definately would not come apart again!

I thought the Vortex Shaft was designed to fit any cuetec cue. Unless I have just been unlucky and got hold of a badly made joint? I really don't know what to do.

Living in England UK and having the shaft from the USA is hard. Because if I send it back thats most likely another month I have to wait until I get it back!

Has anybody got any ideas on what to do? Can the shaft joint thread be drilled a tiny bit to make it larger? or will i need a whole new joint on the shaft, or does this bad fitting still count as "fitting" in cuetec's policy?

Pleaaaaaase help!

06-04-2005, 12:36 PM
i just googled it and they say vortec shafts are made to fit all cuetec cues. How far will it screw in before it starts geting tough. And have you checked the shaft to make sure there are no burs on the treads ?

06-04-2005, 02:35 PM
The Cuetec joint is a 3/8"-14, which is not a standard thread, so it will probably be hard to find a tap to chase the threads. The minor dia. (tap drill size) of a 3/8"-16 (standard UNC) internal thread is 5/16". The 3/8"-14 thread will be the same or very close. (I don't have my book handy, so I can't do the math on that thread). Maybe Joey can tell you the tap drill size.

I would see if a 5/16 drill shank fits inside the shaft. If it does, don't try to oversize it, it will ruin the fit if you try to put it on a different butt.

Also make sure the hole is clean- you can pour a little isopropyl alcohol in and hold your thumb over the end and shake, then blow it out with compressed air. Don't let it soak in, just pour it in and blow it out. You can also use a cotton swab. Then clean the threads on the butt. Make sure everything is clean and dry, then check the fit. Look for burrs on both halves.

If it's still too tight, you need to figure out which is the offending half- is the pin too big, or the shaft thread too small, or is the pin bottoming out in the shaft?

There's five basic dimensions on a thread. The angle (typically 60 degrees), the major diameter, the pitch diameter, the minor diameter, and the pitch (which is how many threads per inch). Obviously the pitch has to match on each part. You need to measure each side to figure out where the problem really lies.

You can mike the pin, if it's over .375", you can polish the major diameter down a bit. If it's .375 or under, the threads may not be cut deep enough, or the shaft threads may be undersize. It takes a set of thread wires to measure the pitch diameter on the pin, any machinist can measure that for you. If the pin is correct, and the minor diameter of the shaft is correct, and the pin is not bottoming out in the hole, then the threads on the shaft need to be chased out with the appropriate tap.

I don't know if that's a piloted joint. If it is, that's another area where the fit can be off and cause it to go together tight.

If you have a local cuemaker/repair guy, he can probably get you squared away in a few minutes. It doesn't really sound that serious.

06-04-2005, 02:35 PM
it gets in about 4 turns... how do you mean burs on the treads?

06-04-2005, 02:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Danny:</font><hr> it gets in about 4 turns... how do you mean burs on the treads? <hr /></blockquote>Look for contaminants inside the hole- a chip left over from manufacturing, etc. Make sure everything is CLEAN! Very CLEAN!

Burrs are ragged edges left over from the machining process. They will cause problems if they interfere with the threads. Is there a brass insert in the shaft?

06-04-2005, 02:43 PM
im pretty sure its the shaft thats the problem. as the original shaft i got with the cue fits fine! I'll go and have a good look now. you guys are great thanks for responding so soon. Ill report back tomorrow!

06-04-2005, 05:01 PM
It is a metal pin... screwing into a plastic hole. after 3 or 4 turns it feels as if the hole is getting thinner, or the thickness of the threads are getting bigger. I just need to find a cue specialist in North West UK. hopefully they will be able to sort it.

06-04-2005, 05:41 PM
Maybe you should call Cuetec direct and ask them. The parent company is J&amp;S Sales, they might be able to trouble shoot the problem. There could be a chance the shaft joint was manufactured wrong.

Cuetec's site (http://cuetec.net)

06-04-2005, 08:25 PM
i dont think the hole gets smaller..if it does then cuetec has major qc prob. every thing ive read says that vortex shafts fit all cuetec cues. I dont know alot about cuetec,but i do know that if it is a mismatched thread then you would notice it right away. From what im reading i think you have a burr or they tapped your shaft to short..inspect shaft for burs..(dings in the threads). Check your shaft for trash in the thread hole. I am curious to the problem in hand so please let me know the outcome and what you did to fix it&gt;

06-04-2005, 09:44 PM
it gets too tight too soon for it to have been tapped too short. so god knows what the problem is? if there are burrs or bits of mishaped plastic in the shaft thread.. what can i do to sort it?

06-04-2005, 09:47 PM
will check if the shaft fits onto my economy and starlight cues actually. be right back!

06-04-2005, 09:50 PM
wow :S it fits the economy cue a bit better than the starlight and thunderbolt.. but still gets kinda tight towards the end turns.. but i can do more than 4 turns before it does start tightening :S

06-04-2005, 09:52 PM
infact it fits my economy perfect

06-04-2005, 09:59 PM
the distance between the threads on my economy cue, and the distance between them on the thunderbolts its sooo different. on the pins i mean. theres about .5mm difference (the economy having the larger gap). surely this can't be right if they r claiming they fit all cues?

06-04-2005, 10:18 PM
sorry for all the posts... right...

1 cuetec economy butt + 1 cuetec thunderbolt butt

1 cuetec true glide shaft + 1 cuetec thunderbolt shaft + 1 cuetec vortex shaft....

EVERYTHING fits together apart from the thunderbolt butt and vortex shaft.

work this one out?

06-04-2005, 10:38 PM
last update before i hit the sack...

i think its the pin on the thunderbolt butt.

The threads aren't cut wide/deep enough. What can i do to solve this problem? file down the threads with a jewellers file ever so slightly?

06-05-2005, 12:09 AM
I was thinking about this and there might be a difference in the threads on the Thunderbolt as compared to the the other shafts. You have to remember the Thunderbolt is different with a graphite rod and it is uncladded. Im not sure but the earlier (or before the SST shafts had different threads). Im wondering if it is a misprint by Cuetec saying it fits all butts or since the Vortex is only available on break and break-jump cues do they have specific joints of their own? These just some random thoughts.

06-05-2005, 12:26 AM
OK, I think I just solved this great mystery =). I just did some investigting on a billiard site and saw a picture of some Cuetec Joints. Guess what? they look different on 2 versions of the Thunderbolt series, believe it or not. One joint looks almost like a speed pin (quick disconnect) and the other looks like a full pin. Here is 3 pictures of 2 Thunderbolts and 1 Vortex let me know what you think.

Thunderbolt pic 1 (http://billiardwarehouse.com/cues/cuetec/cuetec_99396.htm)

Pic 2 (http://billiardwarehouse.com/cues/cuetec/cuetec_99403.htm)

Vortex pic 3 (http://billiardwarehouse.com/cues/cuetec/cuetec_99420.htm )

06-05-2005, 07:32 AM
the treads in pic 1 are different then in pic 2 so the shaft is only going to work on one or the other. i was going to tell you to run a die down it and retap the trteads to clean them up but i dont think that will do any good now that i have seen pics. I beleive you are going to have to get the joint replaced on the cue thats not working properly in order to correct this..I know thats not the answer you where looking for but by looking at the pics thats all i can think to do

06-05-2005, 09:08 AM
well heres the funny thing... the butt i have, has exactly the same joint as the one pictured on the second butt and the vortex butt. not that wierd first one. Ill take a photograph and post it in a second!

06-05-2005, 10:06 AM
right heres the picture.. its a biggy at 2MB but its so you can zoom in. Any comments?

the joints (http://www.btinternet.com/~gjcollins/joints.JPG)

06-05-2005, 10:14 AM
looking at the pctures..im going to take a guess and say its the one on the right not screwing in properly..is this correct because if it is i may have a solution..post me back with answer

06-05-2005, 10:15 AM
yep your right.. its the one on the right. i think your theory is the same as mine.. lets hear it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

06-05-2005, 10:18 AM
That is a great picuture of the pins. When you look really close at the pictures, the left pin seems to have smaller diameter threads. (Im not sure of the correct term) They both have 11 or 12 threads and look really close, but there is a slight difference and I think that is where the problem is coming into play.

06-05-2005, 10:20 AM
the treads on the right side picture look they have been flattend out..im a mechanic and that will make it hard to screw in.. go get yourself a die and run it down the treads and i think tis will fix the problem...if you are affraid to do it..(it is easy) then take it to macine shop and have them do it..they should be able to fix in in about 1 min so you shouldnt have to leave it..easy fix i beleive so try it and let me know what happens..good luck

06-05-2005, 10:21 AM
Danny, hold the two pins against each other, and see if the threads mesh. If the pitch is the same, you will be able to tell easily.

The pic on the right has flats on the threads, the one on the left has threads that are sharp. Comapare the O.D.'s of each pin. If they are both .375, then the threads on the pin on the right are not cut as deep as the one on the left.

06-05-2005, 10:21 AM
i counted the treads on the 2 shafts and they both had 11..unless they make a metric thread the should be the same

06-05-2005, 10:23 AM
yes me and my dad have discussed the fact they are flattened on that pin. Also I noticed the distance between the treads is smaller than on the other pin. Would this effect it?

06-05-2005, 10:25 AM
if the distance between the treads are different than it will not work..if it is just a matter of flattend out threads the fix is easy..run a die down it and you will be fixed PS the pitch of the threads in the lef cue do look steeper then the treads on the left..pics could be playing tricks on my eyes

06-05-2005, 10:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Danny:</font><hr>...the distance between the treads is smaller than on the other pin. Would this effect it? <hr /></blockquote>This is the "pitch", how many threads per inch. If you hold them together, you can see if they are different. They should mesh together perfectly over the full length of the pin.

06-05-2005, 10:30 AM
they all mesh together so the distances are fine.. but i can see daylight through them so they arent joining fully.. the treads of the faulty pin are not going fully into the threads of the other pin because they touch the sides before reaching the bottom. i will take a photo of this too in one second so i can zoom in again.

06-05-2005, 10:38 AM
right here goes... this is the joints meshed together.

Meshed Joints (http://www.btinternet.com/~gjcollins/meshed.JPG)

It's hard to take a photograph of this. Zoom right in.

06-05-2005, 10:48 AM
OK..go to store that sells tools..auto,hardware ect..bring the shaft and purchase a die..make sure die is for thread size on the shaft..thats why you need to bring it with you ..run the die diwn the threads once or twice and you should be good to go..if your lucky and have neighbor that works on cars ect..they may have one you can borrow for a few min..if not go to mechanic or machine shop and they should be able to fix..thats all i can tell ya..everything else looks good but the flatning of the threads

06-05-2005, 10:55 AM
my dad is gonna take it to work where they have all the different taps and dies. they work on english and american machinery so he should be able to find the right one. I reckon they have used a pin which is too thin, which is why its ended up with flats? Anyway i'll let u know how it all goes. Thanks everyone for your help!!!

06-05-2005, 10:58 AM
had fun helping..good luck and i hope all turns out well..i hope you enjoy it once you get all the bugs worked out..Rick

06-05-2005, 11:14 AM
this sounds silly, but i've quite enjoyed it myself /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

06-05-2005, 12:20 PM
The thread is a 3/8"-14. Standard UNC for 3/8" is 16 tpi. You will have a tough time finding that die in a tap and die set.

If the SST and Thunderbolt shafts fit that pin, then they are pretty close. Chasing the thread with a die will get about 3/4 of the threads before the die bottoms out (if you can find the die).

You might be able to just polish up the pin a little, with some emery cloth and scotchbrite, either on a lathe or with a scotchbrite wheel chucked up in a drill motor. That might be enough by itself to make it fit the vortex shaft. Just be careful to stay off the face of the joint if you try this.

06-05-2005, 01:52 PM
im confused again now. im willing to buy the correct die.. but aren't you basically saying it doesnt exist?

06-05-2005, 02:03 PM
well ive just had a funny experience...

i found a cannister of compressed air so i could blow out the shaft to clean it... and i pushed the nozzle in and it started going crazy and making funny noises. so i threw it out of the catflap into the back garden

06-05-2005, 02:10 PM
so i need a 3/8" die with 14tpi ? and if i do get hold of one of them, it wont bottom out?

06-05-2005, 03:47 PM
they also make tread files. i dont know if the die will bottom out or not..i may not get bottom threads but it should get enough to work..if you dont think it will work try a thread file..but do be carful not to cut into the joint of the cue

06-05-2005, 06:03 PM
I am going to do it manually myself. I feel confident enough to do it. I have some very fine jewellers files, i am going to bring those threads to a slight more point and see if it makes it slightly easier. if it does then ill do the whole lot. ill post a picture of the job ive done too once im finished. lets hope your all impressed.

06-06-2005, 08:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Danny:</font><hr>... and i pushed the nozzle in and it started going crazy and making funny noises. so i threw it out of the catflap into the back garden <hr /></blockquote>I bet the cat was surprised.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

06-29-2005, 02:55 AM
Ok somebody explain this....

I have now in my inventory...

1 x Cuetec Starlight Six Prong
1 x Cuetec Economy Series
2 x Cuetec Thunderbolt
1 x Vortex Shaft

The problem is.. My vortex shaft fits the economy and starlight series cues perfectly. But doesn't fit the thunderbolt butt's!

If Cuetec say that the vortex shaft is designed to fit all cuetec cues.. surely all 4 cues should have exactly the same joint pin and precise thread sizes which clearly isn't the case!

Ok I have to give cuetec some credit here, they have been great and sent me replacements with no hassle. But the problem still isn't fixed.


06-29-2005, 09:08 PM
I thought you were going to modify the threads? Also, they sent you replacements of what?