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View Full Version : What Are The Best Cleaning Methods For Cue Shafts?



TomBrooklyn
06-30-2002, 06:48 PM
I just cleaned a shaft with lighter fluid. I did it about three times. It still has some dirt in the pores of the wood. I would like to get it cleaner. Any ideas?

PoolFool
06-30-2002, 07:00 PM
Try a " Power Rag " from Home Depot. It is a blue rag and cost $3.00. Just wet one corner of it , squeez out the excess water and leave damp. Rub with the damp part until the shaft is clean then polish with the dry part. It's the best I've found. You can also use lighter fluid, naptha, or any gritless hand cleaner on the rag instead of water.

PoolFool

WaltVA
06-30-2002, 07:38 PM
Years ago I got good results with SoftScrub - I think it contains a small amount of bleach and is just about as effective as Sil-Kleen powder and a lot cheaper.

Lately I just do the lighter fluid/leather burnish and live with the results.

Walt in VA

stickman
06-30-2002, 08:48 PM
Tom, I use a dry white sink cleansing powder with bleach.(no green cystals) I use a cheap no name brand from the Dollar store. Make a dry paste on a damp clean white cloth and rub the shaft down. When you are satisfied with the clean, wipe the shaft down with a damp white clean cloth, and stand the shaft vertical to dry. Check the shaft for dings and fix them before burnishing with a piece of undyed leather. It's not necessary to rub hard, but fast. Once the shaft has the finish I want, I polish with a cream colored carnuba wax.

Cueless Joey
06-30-2002, 08:50 PM
Stick a white towel in the micro to steam. A little chlorox bleach dun't hurt.

Troy
06-30-2002, 08:57 PM
I like "Simple Green" diluted with about 2 parts water. Not too wet, but wet enough with a soft cloth and dry quickly.

The lighter fluid after that will put a slight "coat" on the wood followed by a good burnish with a piece of leather.

I avoid anything like "SoftScrub" because of the abrasive nature.

Troy

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> I just cleaned a shaft with lighter fluid. I did it about three times. It still has some dirt in the pores of the wood. I would like to get it cleaner. Any ideas? <hr></blockquote>

Thierry Layani
07-01-2002, 09:47 AM
I use a product called steel glo (intended to clean stainless steel). It doesn't scratch the wood nor opens the pore of the wood. I just put some powder on a cloth with alcool and wipe it down. It does a very good job.
Thierry Layani
www.layanicues.com (http://www.layanicues.com)

07-01-2002, 09:48 AM
Sneaky Clean! By Patrick Tobin

Scott Lee
07-01-2002, 09:56 AM
Tom...Sterling's Magic Cue Cleaner is nontoxic (no bleach), nonabrasive, biodegradable, and works great to clean cue shafts, as well as any other hard-to-remove stains.

Scott Lee

Eric.
07-01-2002, 10:00 AM
Hey Tom,

I like Simple Green diluted with HOT water. Works good.

Eric &gt;keeper of all trivial knowledge

TonyM
07-01-2002, 04:06 PM
Yes, here are a few ideas:

1) don't let your shaft get so dirty in the first place! Wipe it down with lighter fuild or Isopropyl alcohol after every session
2) don't worry about it. Have you actually ever looked at the shaft that most pro's use? They are rarely "clean". Just play with it.
3) if you must have it clean (to sell the cue or something like that) then I suggest something like comet or dutch cleanser. This is a one-time, somewhat extreme way of getting all of the old dirt and grime out of the wood pores, but it works very well. Use warm water, and let the cue dry out afterwards overnight before working on it. The grain will likely raise slightly, so you will need to use some fine sandpaper to smooth it back down. Then rub the shaft down with lighter fluid and burnish it with a piece of leather.
4) use one of the cream cleansers. Same advice after use as above.

I use nothing on my personal shafts but lighter fuild or alcohol. I wipe them down after every playing session (it only takes a few seconds) and my shafts never get back and dirty. I also have no sealer or coating on my shafts. They darken slightly with a natural patina, but imo, this stabilizes the surface of the wood so that it stays consistent, and is desirable.

There is no way to maintain that perfactly white clear look of a new shaft, without a heavy sealer to fill the pores of the wood. (The best is the cuetec fiberglass coating. No way to get at the pores). This then produces that "sticky feel" on hot humid days. And it also requires a touch up from time to time or a complete resealing when the shaft gets dents and dings.

Imo, the best solution is to do what many pros do. Leave the shaft alone, and unsealed, and give it a regular wipe down. Then ignore it. A bit of colour won't hurt your game.

Tony
-also likes tan coloured maple instead of white

Chris Cass
07-01-2002, 11:46 PM
Hi Tom,

I know two ways and it comes out great.

1) A green pad and bleach straight up. Quickly dry off the shaft after you scrub it with some paper towels. Let fully dry 10 min and the dings are gone and the wood grain feels slightly raised. Then take some 800 grit then some 1000 grid sand paper and the shaft looks pretty new. Then, wipe down with lighter fluid and burnish.

2) Take a green pad and soak it in boiling water. Ring it out and pour some powdered Q-Clean on it and scrub the shaft clean. Then, take paper towels and dry the shaft. Let shaft sit for 10 min till fully dried. The take the 800 grit and then the 1000 grit. Wipe it down with lighter fluid and burnish.

Both ways seem crude but, it makes them come out looking new. I suggest you only do this once a yr or if you plan on selling the cue. This does take down the shaft as everytime you clean it anyway. If you start with a new shaft. Then, the lighter fluid and a damp towel to wipe it down after every other session should keep it looking good. The key to keeping the shaft looking new is, keeping your hands clean.

I don't recommend cleaning shafts, due to the eventual removal of wood over time. I had a clean shaft problem for a long time and all it takes to get rid of it is, a South West cue. At $240. a pop I don't care if it gets dirty. I don't want to buy anymore. LOL

Regards,

C.C.~~6 shaft owner.

07-02-2002, 12:06 AM
Tom,

Leave the shaft alone. The use of cleaners, alcohol, sanders, are really very bad for a shaft. After each session, use a towel to rub down the shaft. The shaft will eventually get "dirty", but this is a natural patina from the oils in your hands. I have often been asked how I keep my shafts so smooth....the answere is nothing. Every once in a great while you can have your shafts "reconditioned" by a reputable cue maker, who will not take off too much wood.

8 years, and about 15 tips later...my shafts are smooth as silk.


regards,

Doug

TonyM
07-02-2002, 12:09 AM
Great post Doug! It's what I've been telling players to do for years. Alas, this advice mostly falls on deaf ears. Perhaps it seems too simple? Or maybe it seems defeatist? (we can send a man to the moon, why can't we keep a wooden shaft clean?).

The easiest solution is often the best in the long run.

Tony

BLACKHEART
07-02-2002, 12:20 AM
STAY AWAY FROM POWDER. If you use powder, it gets in the pores of the wood, absorbs moisture &amp; holds the blue color of the chalk. If your shaft feels sticky.....WASH YOUR HANDS...JER

TomBrooklyn
07-02-2002, 07:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TonyM:</font><hr>here are a few ideas:

1) don't let your shaft get so dirty in the first place! Wipe it down with lighter fuild or Isopropyl alcohol after every session
2) don't worry about it. Have you actually ever looked at the shaft that most pro's use? They are rarely "clean".

I also have no sealer or coating on my shafts. They darken slightly with a natural patina, but imo, this stabilizes the surface of the wood so that it stays consistent, and is desirable.

Imo, the best solution is to do what many pros do. Leave the shaft alone, and unsealed, and give it a regular wipe down. Then ignore it. A bit of colour won't hurt your game.<hr></blockquote>Good advice Tony, I have been doing almost nothing to my shafts for a while, and then trying to fix them up all at once. I also thought it was interesting that you don't don't coat the shaft with anything, I'm going to make a seperate post about that.

Rich R.
07-02-2002, 08:19 AM
Thank you Tony. I had the idea that I was the only person not obsessed with having a perfectly clean shaft. It is nice to know that I have been doing things right all this time. Rich R.

stickman
07-02-2002, 08:55 AM
I have a friend, whose name happens to be Rich also, that places little concern on the cosmetic appearance of his stick. He is an excellent shooter, and he laughs at me for worrying about the chalk on my ferrule. His sneaky pete has a blue ring around the ferrule like most house sticks. His only concern is how his stick hits. My stick isn't terribly fancy or ornate, but it has some nice wood, and I do take pride in it's appearance. I wonder if subconciously I get a little confidence boost from my stick looking new. Sort of like the way some people feel more confident when they are dressed up.

JimS
07-02-2002, 09:36 AM
When I want to clean a shaft that is REALLY dirty I use a powered cleanser, like Comet or Q-Kleen (expensive) in a pretty dry paste, then wipe with wet towel to rinse, then dry paper towels to dry, let dry, use very fine sandpaper or Cue Wiz or Q Smooth papers, then leather, then lighter fluid.

I've had this cue for 2 years now and cleaned it when I got it (as described above) and haven't found it necessary to do the harsh cleaning since....and I'm particular about clean shafts! After EVERY use I use lighter fluid. I'm a self-admitted nut for clean shaft and ferrule. Maybe I'm easily distracted, short span of attention, but the dirt/blue DOES distract me.

Rich R.
07-02-2002, 09:59 AM
Stickman, I'm not a total slob when it comes to my cue. I do not like the blue ring around the ferrule either. I have found that ivory ferrules do not get that ring and that is what I have on my current cue. I have also ordered ivory for my next cue. I like my cue to look good, also not "terribly fancy or ornate", and I wipe the shaft down after use. However, I am very concerned about the effect of some of the suggested cleaning methods on the shaft wood and I prefer not to use them. As a result, I live with the slight blue tint on the shaft. To me, it just looks used.
JMHO. Rich R.

07-02-2002, 01:29 PM
Thanks Tony,

I bought a Southwest cue from Vince Tadesco a few years ago. Concerned about the care of the shafts, I asked him how I could keep them clean. Vince said don't touch them with anything but your hand or a cotten cloth. : ) It's worked for me so far.

Regards,

Doug

stickman
07-02-2002, 01:50 PM
The last time I had my ferrule replaced, I failed to specify the type of ferrule I wanted, and the guy put a thermoplastic one on. (PVC I think) I find it terribly difficult to keep clean. The one that was on previously was ageis and it was much easier. I'll either go with Ivory or at the least another thermoset the next time.

TonyM
07-02-2002, 11:07 PM
I've found that some of the pros are actually adament that their shafts NOT be cleaned!

The thinking goes something like this:
If you have a perfectly white, and smooth shaft, then every small nick or ding and colour change that happens might distract you. Distraction is bad. Now on the other hand, if your shaft is a bit darker, with a natural patina, and has a bunch of small little nicks and dings, then another one won't even register on your radar.

Gerry Watson got upset with me when I cleaned his shaft! He insisted that he wanted all of the "character" of the shaft left alone, that to clean it up would create a distraction, and that all of that "character" was the most stable state that the shaft could be in. To clean it means that once it leaves the shop it is going downhill, so the tendency is to keep getting it cleaned over and over again. That's a distraction.

Tony

TonyM
07-02-2002, 11:15 PM
"I also thought it was interesting that you don't don't coat the shaft with anything, I'm going to make a seperate post about that."

Of course the area near the joint is finished just like the forearm. But the stroking area is left unsealed. It is however "conditioned". I burnish the wood on the lathe to make the surface hard and smooth, and I polish the wood with a metal polish, that contains some type of oil which conditions the shaft. This way the grain doesn't raise when your bare hand touches it. I always suggest just a solvent wipe after use (either lighter fluid or Isopropynol) and to allow the natural patina to develop.

I've found that this creates the most stable suface that doesn't change much over time. So it is very low maintenance.

I have also found that this method requires good quality, very dense maple to work properly. Some of the Asian imports seem to be made from soft, poorly cured maple that probably needs a sealer to prevent the grain from raising.

Tony
-simple is best