View Full Version : Drawing "aiming line" down center of shaft

08-06-2005, 08:33 AM
I purchased a radial laminated shaft which had mismatched colors of wood. I quickly learned that I could use a line between the various pieces of wood for aiming.

My other shaft does not have such a line, so I put it on my "to do list" to draw such a line on this shaft...

Well after two months of not having any time to do this, I finally got around to it. I took two pieces of masking tape and placed them on my shaft, leaving a thin gap between the two. Then used a magic marker to mark the line. Then removed the tape, and presto... Instant line! (Don't do this at home kids, as the magic marker bleeds under the tape.)

Anyway I find that I can more accurately aim with this black line going down the center of my shaft/ferrule.

So I certainly want to have lines going down the center of my shafts in the future, but I need to find a better way of making the line permanent. (I used a magic marker before on my shaft to mark the bridge length I should use, but the mark did not last very long.)

I was thinking maybe there is some tool which would make a very thin "indentation line" in the wood, then use masking tape and paint, then maybe varnish over that and sand it smooth?

Would a "trophy shop" have the tools to do something like this? i.e. engraving.

Any other ideas?

08-06-2005, 09:38 AM
If you have access to a lathe this can be easily done by chucking up the shaft, placing a v-shaped cutting tool in the tool holder. Center the bit on the shaft and feed the bit in a few thousanths. Then run the long feed down the length of the shaft. Naturally the lathe is in the "off" mode. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif You can then take a fine point Sharpie and trace the groove. A light sanding will take any of the bleed from the Sharpie off the shaft. You may want to experiment with a wood dowel. You may want to even put a small spring behind the bit and let it float in the tool holder. This would help compensate for the taper. My suggestion would be to just etch a few inches and use multiple lines. This way you wouldn't have to use the same sight line every time. I think you will have problems maintaining tip uniformity if you hit in the same spot on every shot.

Pizza Bob
08-07-2005, 05:14 AM
This is one of the reasons snooker players prefer ash for their cues. High-end snooker cues are made of ash with a very uniform "flame" grain. They actually sight down the grain. The converging lines of the "V" naturally draw your eye to them.


Pizza Bob

08-07-2005, 06:42 AM
I don't know if I would want to cut a groove in my shaft...I don't even like to use sandpaper on it. But that's just me.

08-07-2005, 01:10 PM
I agree Steve. I wouldn't do this to my shaft either, but if he wants a permanent sight line, it is either that or a cue maker can install an inlay.

08-07-2005, 01:18 PM
BTW, have you seen those shafts that have been milled on four sides? The shaft is square from just behind the ferrule to just above the joint. It didn't trip my trigger, but I know a strong player that swears by it.

08-07-2005, 03:14 PM
BillyBob, Joe Canton had that line down his cue 47 years ago. He had line in his ferrule 47 years ago that he filled with a dark pen. He would twist it around if he didn't need the line. No matter what you think up someone thought of it years ago. Remember between 1900 and 1925 pool had 25 million players with a population of maybe 80 million people.

I am amazed at Gaspard Coriolis Billiard Book, published in 1835. Twelve diagrams and 174 pages too bad it is in French.

08-08-2005, 09:57 AM
I also read in an old book or maybe a history of billiards (forget what), that at one time cues were made with an aiming line down the middle of the shaft. It said this idea "did not catch on though".

Anyway I think it is a good idea. And fooling around with my cue, I can see that one aiming line will not cut it as this will place uneven wear on the tip as mentioned above. So I think 4 aiming lines around the shaft would be better...

08-08-2005, 11:51 AM
I had a cue given to me that had 4 (90 degrees to each other).06 wide inlaid strips up & down the shaft. It was also very ornate, but the butt was old & warped. I sold it on ebay for a nice sum of money, especially with a warped butt.