View Full Version : Changing the ferrule on Predator shaft
I am selling my current Predator cue and purchasing a new one. I'm going to immediately change the ferrule because I don't particularly like Predator's short ferrule. One of Dennis Searing's ivory ferrules are going on. Have any others had better sucess by changing Predator's ferrule to one you are more comfy with?
Kato~~~getting back to pool baby.
If you do that, you will lose the "low deflection" feature of the Predator. The reason it deflects so little is that it has very little mass at the end of the shaft. If you replace their short plastic ferrule with a regular sized ivory one, you might as well not get a Predator to begin with.
Myself, I hate the way Predator shafts feel. The low deflection doesn't mean too much to me. I am used to compensating for deflection, and that is just one of many variables that can affect whether a shot with english is successful or not. Almost always when I miss a shot on which I am applying english, I'm not missing it because of deflection.
The ferrule material is "unique" and although it is not the only design factor to contribute to the low deflection (removal of weight from the end and the design of the shaft are also important) you will be eliminating an important part of the design.
"Previously devised ferrules have been formed of ivory which is substantially harder than that of the material used to form the shaft"
"materials suitable for forming the ferrule include:
CYCOLAC 2800 GPX (General Electric ABS) modulus of elasticity approx. 0.24.times.10.sup.6 psi, and
ISOPLAST 101 (Dow Rigid Urethane) modulus of elasticity approx. 0.25.times.10.sup.6 psi"
It looks like they did not find ivory to be a "suitable" material.
You are correct that the ferrule is not the only part of the low deflection design, and that changing the ferrule will reduce the effectiveness, but possibly not eliminate it. I realized after I posted that I didn't phrase it accurately.
Mike, I didn't mean to find fault with your post but just give a little more info. I think the ferrule material and length are the most important parts of the design and changing the ferrule to ivory would virtually eliminate the claimed advantages of the shaft.
I have to be careful what I say. Two of the "sages" of the board inisisted that the shaft design was not patented. I suggested that they read the patent; apparently they couldn't take the time and had to blindly insist that they knew I was wrong. I should have provided a quote from the patent since it is necessary to scroll down past the summary to read it:
"Although the shaft MAY be formed of a solid cross section, in a PREFERRED embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the shaft of the cue is formed of a plurality of sections 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 which have a generally pie or sector shape with an arcuate outer surface. Each section 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 is formed from the same piece of wood. However, in forming the shaft, adjacent sections 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 of the single piece of wood are arranged adjacent sections which were non-adjacent to each other in the original piece of wood. Thus, sections 20 and 26, for example, may have originally been adjacent to each other in the original piece of wood, but are arranged on opposite diametral sides of the assemblied shaft. Importantly, the grain in each section 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 is oriented to extend toward the longitudinal axis or center of the shaft as shown in FIG. 4. This is believed to provide greater strength for the shaft." [emphasis added]
If I remember correctly, Predator shafts are guaranteed but if you change the ferrule that guarantee is void. This may or may not be important to you.
May I suggest you contact Predator, ask them about a ivory ferrule, then go from there.
phil in sofla
02-21-2002, 06:35 PM
After I accidentally broke my Predator ferrule in half, I had it replaced with a normal ferrule, not really understanding what was involved until the cue maker who did it related what he had to do (think it was Manzino, but not sure).
The Predator ferrule isn't put on in the normal way of countersinking the shaft into a narrower peg to fit up INTO their ferrule. Therefore, to put a normal ferrule on, he had to do that countersinking/shaving off of the end of the shaft, to make it the smaller diameter, to fit into the new standard ferrule.
Now, did I end up with an increased mass at the tip? Maybe, although maybe not, considering the wood that was taken off to accommodate the new ferrule. Is it now longer or shorter than before? Again, probably not, with part of the longer length of the ferrule going OVER the end of the shaft, whereas before the shorter ferrule was ON the end of the shaft.
And the shaft is still hollow for some part of the tip-end of the shaft, reducing the mass out there as was intended in the original design. While I have no idea how differently the shaft now plays than when entirely original, you could see if you can tell a difference by shooting the two cues (mine and yours) together, side by side, on shots that cause significant deflection.
I'll reduce my consulting fee on this out of professional courtesy and personal friendship, LOL!
I don't mind people finding fault in my posts. Keeps me honest. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
02-22-2002, 03:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Troy:</font><hr> If I remember correctly, Predator shafts are guaranteed but if you change the ferrule that guarantee is void. This may or may not be important to you. Troy <hr></blockquote>
Correct me if I'm wrong, Troy, but not only does Predator want you to only use their special ferrule, they don't sell them to cue repairmen for aftermarket replacement. They want you to send the shafts back to them to have the regular ferrule replaced if needed.
Thanks guys for your imput. Yes, the warranty will be voided but oh well. Next, Dennis knows the job will be tricky and still agreed to do it. We'll find out soon if I made another mistake or not.
02-22-2002, 07:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Ken:</font><hr>
I have to be careful what I say. Two of the "sages" of the board inisisted that the shaft design was not patented. <hr></blockquote>
Refresh my memory. Which was your side of the debate, and who were the sages?
Fred <~~~ certainly knew that the Predator shaft design was patented
Right you are TomB. Predator suggests sending the shaft back to them for ferrule replacement, and, provided there has been no abuse, they'll do it FREE.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Troy:</font><hr> If I remember correctly, Predator shafts are guaranteed but if you change the ferrule that guarantee is void. This may or may not be important to you. Troy <hr></blockquote>
Correct me if I'm wrong, Troy, but not only does Predator want you to only use their special ferrule, they don't sell them to cue repairmen for aftermarket replacement. They want you to send the shafts back to them to have the regular ferrule replaced if needed. <hr></blockquote>
That's part of the problem though. I absolutely hate that ferrule.
R.J.~~~hates tequilla and Predator ferrule's
02-22-2002, 02:32 PM
I looked at their site, and they get $37.50 for a ferrule replacement. Plus figure $4.00 shipping each way. I am not so sure their ferrules are that unique. My guess is it is a standard plastic product and could be gotten by anyone once you identified it. They just did some research and found something that fit their needs. This is almost always the case, no matter what the manufacture says. If at all posable the use off the shelf parts. To get a chemical company to develop a unique plastic for you, you would need major resources.
02-23-2002, 01:57 AM
Kato, you might not like the end result of your experiment (been there done that, got the T-shirt). The whole point of the Predator shaft is the low end-mass = low squirt feature. I'd bet dollars to donuts that an Ivory ferrule on a Predator shaft and also longer to boot, will lead to mucho squirt (or at least much more than standard). If you don't have a problem with squirt (but if that were true you wouldn't use a Predator in the first place right?) then get a high quality custom shaft with the ferrule that you like.
But if you want to keep the predator features (basically low squirt) then I reccommend a Micarta ferrule, with a bit more length, but the same wall thickness and cap thickness. The squirt won't change much, but the sound, and scratch resistance (which will be improved) will.
02-23-2002, 02:01 AM
"Two of the "sages" of the board inisisted that the shaft design was not patented. I suggested that they read the patent; apparently they couldn't take the time and had to blindly insist that they knew I was wrong."
I guess I'm still blind, cause you're still wrong! Lol
Agnir, where are you?
02-23-2002, 02:03 AM
"Refresh my memory. Which was your side of the debate, and who were the sages? "
Oh there you are Agnir!
Sages all present and accounted for.
02-23-2002, 12:16 PM
There is no patent for the automobile or the airplane or your front door room table. There are however thousands of patents that apply their components. There is not a patent on the Predator shaft, just some of the components. The idea of splicing wood in the way they have is used in all kinds of products, from fishing poles to the base of a table. They have added some ideas that are not really new or unique. I am surprised they got a patent at all. Anyone could build a similar shaft with a few minor changes and they could not do a thing about it. Patent law is civil, and to try to defend what someone may think is a patent infringement is almost impossible and incredibility expensive. If it were that easy, people would be trying to patent everything from the dinner plate to the garden hose and prevent anyone else from building one. Predator does in fact have a patent, but it would provide minimal protection at best from someone else building basically the same thing. Probably none. Any patent lawyers out there?
02-23-2002, 01:12 PM
"There is not a patent on the Predator shaft, just some of the components."
Actually, the patent covers the features of the shaft that are unique, not the components. The hole for example is unique in that it is used soley to reduce end-mass, in order to reduce squirt. The ferrule compressability is stated as a unique feature used to reduce squirt (although I think this one is a red-herring imo).
Predator does not have a patent on the splices (it was patented in the late 1800's).
You have the same mistaken notion about patents that others have. You cannot just make a minor change and get around a patent. The patent covers the way that the feature works. So if you drill a smaller hole, or a shorter, or longer hole, it is still and infringement.
But you are right about one thing, a Patent is only as good as your ability to defend it.
Several cuemakers have tried to market shafts with holes in the end to reduce squirt, and Predator's patent lawyers have been all over them.
02-23-2002, 03:03 PM
I was looking at billiard patents and in 1980 a guy patented the second joint in the cue. It looks exactly like what today is called a break / jump. The same guy also uses a joint for quick release. The uni-lock joint looks just like it. I have them in my files if you would like the patent numbers. I made copies of them years ago and framed them to decorate my billiard room. There is also a guy that posts here that is a cue maker. He has a joint he says he designed that has an internal taper. I am sure he doesn't know it but it was patented in 1966. Patents have to be maintained every so many years to keep them in effect and I am sure no one is violating anyone's patents. Actually the main reason to get a patent is to establish ownership. Very few inventors ever manufacture their inventions. They sell the right to a big company. Manufacturing, promoting, distributing and so on is beyond what most people could ever do. They sell it and move on the next idea. Or they do nothing and when their patent expires a company like Ronco steals it and begins building it.
02-24-2002, 11:09 AM
Yes patents have to be maintained, or they can no longer be used as protection. I'm curious about the Uni-loc type joint. It seems to me that if were that similar, Uni-loc would have never been granted a patent. Perhaps it is not as similar as you might have first thought? Or maybe the feature that is patented on the uni-loc is not the quick release, but some other mechanical feature?
Do you have the patent number for the old joint handy?
02-25-2002, 08:29 AM
Here is the number 4231574. Had to search my files a little.
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