View Full Version : Attention Cuemakers - Reverse Taper !!!!!!

07-10-2002, 03:16 PM
I'm sure everyone has their pet peeves, but here's mine:

I took a road trip last weekend, and along the way I dropped in on a couple of custom cuemakers with whom I had made previous arrangements.

As I was stroking with one very fine-looking cue I noticed that the shaft seemed to have "reverse taper", ie larger near the ferrule than at the normal bridge point. Anyway, he was sufficiently amused to put a caliper to the shaft, and sure enough there was 0.003" of reverse taper. I didn't check every cue in the rack, but I'm sure I felt a little reverse taper on several.

This is something that distracts me very much, as it is suggestive of an old shaft that's been worked over too many times with a scotch-brite pad. I could handle twice as much standard conical taper and never complain.

It's not the first time I've encountered this, so my question is - why or how does this happen? Do some guys do it on purpose? Or do they make all their cuts for a parallel (no taper) front section and then habitually over-sand the the bridge area? BTW, that's my guess, pure carelessness in sanding. But why not cut a little positive taper if they're prone to over-sanding? Do they not realize what's happening? Or do they keep doing it because not many people are as picky as me?

Do you re-check taper on your shafts after final sanding? Would you let a shaft go out if it had any reverse taper, or would you take care of it before delivery?

Here's the important question - I like the cuemaker, and for several reasons (including proximity to a city I already visit) I'm considering ordering a cue. How much should I stress my concern about his shaft taper? I'd be very disappointed if mine came back like the one we mic'd, but I don't want to alienate the guy by harping on one thing. Should I just mention it once, and plan on rejecting a shaft if it has reverse taper?


07-10-2002, 06:05 PM
Interesting question. I don't know any cuemaker that would do that on purpose. There is one way it can happen. If the cuemaker is using a tracer bar, it is flexing as the tracer gets near the middle and taking a little deeper cut. I have a tracer bar that is 1/4 x 1 1/2 inch steel. The tracer mover along the 1/4 inch edge. As strong as it seems it would be. When I first built it, I put a dial indicator on it and ran it along the bar. The tension is not very much. Just a few rubber bands. Yet it flexed about .003 to .005. in the middle. I had to back it up with another piece that I added adjustable screws to, so it could remove any flex. This is most likely what is happening when they turn the shaft. Another reason could be the shaft has shrunk in that area. They are working with wood that has too much moisture in it to start with. As far as getting what you want, just tell him and you will most likely get it.

07-10-2002, 07:16 PM
there are probably incremental shifts in the cuts of a shaft but i've never heard of one so noticable as what you mentioned. have that cuemaker check his machinery or his computer

07-10-2002, 08:08 PM
It happens to me all the time, when I cut the no-taper I sand down the part where they taper starts too much... I ahve junked a lot of my shafts that way and had to start all over, but I am still learning.