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View Full Version : Short Ferrules, Good, Bad or Indifferent?



cjt08046
02-26-2007, 12:53 PM
I've heard talk about a shorter ferrule enhancing accuracy (both from a user of one and from the Predator Z-shaft literature). This surprised me, because I thought if they were so good all sticks would have them, especially because companies could save money on ferrule material per cue by making short ones.
What are your opinions on short ferrules? Do they make a difference? If yes, what is the mechanism behind their advantage? Is there a consensus on this? Thanks.

Cydpkt
02-26-2007, 04:01 PM
I've also had the same questions and look forward to an answer. I think one benefit of a shorter ferrule would be that if you ever replace it you would not loose as much of your shaft.

ras314
02-26-2007, 05:41 PM
I thought the reason for a short ferrule was the lighter weight? Theory is that less mass near the tip will reduce the cb squirt. Maybe the proper term is deflection? Anyway I see no reason to lose any of your shaft if you replace it.

Personally I like the look of a longer ferrule, sort of seems like it is eaiser to aim with, although I do use the 314 shaft.

Bob_Jewett
02-26-2007, 06:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cjt08046:</font><hr> I've heard talk about a shorter ferrule enhancing accuracy (both from a user of one and from the Predator Z-shaft literature). This surprised me, because I thought if they were so good all sticks would have them... <hr /></blockquote>
All carom cues and all snooker cues do have short ferrules. I suspect that's because both of those camps have larger problems with squirt than the pool players. Personally, I think pool players got into using long ferrules more out of style than function. The only other reason I can think of is that they want the pivot point to be close to the bridge hand. (Sorry, I don't have time to explain squirt and pivot point, but see the articles at http://www.sfbilliards.com/articles/BD_articles.html which do.)

cjt08046
02-26-2007, 08:12 PM
Thanks. I'll check out that link.

BLACKHEART
02-26-2007, 08:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cydpkt:</font><hr> I've also had the same questions and look forward to an answer. I think one benefit of a shorter ferrule would be that if you ever replace it you would not loose as much of your shaft. <hr /></blockquote>

When you replace a ferrule YOU DO NOT LOOSE ANY OF YOUR SHAFT. You make it sound like you just shorten the shaft &amp; put on a new one. If the ferrule is 3/4" or 1 1/4" long, you simply cut off the plastic portion, leaving the wooden tenon underneath &amp; glue on one of the same length &amp; cut the sides of the ferrule, down even with the size of the shaft...JER

SpiderMan
02-27-2007, 07:58 AM
Assuming the ferrule material is denser than wood, then a shorter ferrule would mean less mass at the end of the cue, for reduced CB squirt. This would be good if you're trying to minimize squirt (a la Predator), not necessarily good if you're hoping to put the squirt pivot point for ideal compensation near your "standard" bridge length (this would minimize aiming errors due to imperfect stroking).

I could imagine that a short ferrule might be marginally stronger in terms of resisting snapping the tenon off at the ferrule base, though I can't recall this being a problem with longer ones. Probably the standard "formula" of a 5/16" or so diameter tenon provides plenty of strength. Meucci used to use a thicker (and presumably stronger) tenon, but this made the wall thickness of their ferrules less. Older Meucci's were the world's worst for developing hairline cracks in the ferrules.

I've gotten used to a 1" ferrule on my cues, so that "looks" normal to me. Don't know if a shorter one would mess with my mind during aiming or not. I'm a little bit equipment-sensitive - I tend not to swap sticks around every year, preferring to find one I'm used to and keep it.

SpiderMan

Cornerman
02-27-2007, 09:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cjt08046:</font><hr>
What are your opinions on short ferrules? Do they make a difference? . <hr /></blockquote>I would normally look at it from the other side. What is the purpose of a longer ferrule and do they make a difference?

I'm of the opinion that ferrules aren't necessary, and are simply leftover from history. When people were hitting the mace tail end, with no tip there the tail would split. So, they'd have to repair it with what is known in the mechanical world as a ferrule. If they continued to hit the tail end without a tip (because they didn't have tips invented yet), the ferrule would also split for sure, and it was time for a new ferrule.

With the advent of the leather tip, splitting of the cue shaft shouldn't happen as readily as without. Today, ferrules are made of better materials than the wood, so getting rid of them would be quite a philosophical change.

Personally, if I never had another ferrule on my shafts, I wouldn't miss them.

Fred

SpiderMan
02-27-2007, 09:59 AM
Fred,

You have a lathe to do your own tips and ferrules. Have you experimented with glueing the leather directly to your unferruled shafts?

I think I'd always want some sort of mechanical isolation between tip and shaft. The end grain of the wood resists compression well, but not splitting.

As a leather tip mushrooms and spreads perpendicular to the cue's centerline, I think it would try to spread the end grain of the shaft as well, possibly encouraging a split. That's a possible reason for recommending a pad between a leather tip and an ivory ferrule - the ferrule has "grain" properties, and the pad provides mechanical isolation because it resists stretching in the perpendicular direction. It might also provide a moisture barrier, but that's probably not significant since the glue is there as a sealer anyway.

Interesting idea, though, about ferrules predating tips, at least if the ferrule were of a reinforcing material other than just replacement wood added after the first split. Is this recorded in history?

SpiderMan

SPetty
02-27-2007, 10:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I've gotten used to a 1" ferrule on my cues, so that "looks" normal to me.<hr /></blockquote>I recall reading somewhere - likely here - that for some time, standard ferrule length was 1/2 the diameter of the ball. (Balls are 2-1/4 inches in diameter, so the ferrule would be 1-1/8 inch long.) This afforded the player with a visual indicator when using the cue to help find the center of the ghost ball for aiming purposes.

SpiderMan
02-27-2007, 11:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I've gotten used to a 1" ferrule on my cues, so that "looks" normal to me.<hr /></blockquote>I recall reading somewhere - likely here - that for some time, standard ferrule length was 1/2 the diameter of the ball. (Balls are 2-1/4 inches in diameter, so the ferrule would be 1-1/8 inch long.) This afforded the player with a visual indicator when using the cue to help find the center of the ghost ball for aiming purposes. <hr /></blockquote>

That sounds reasonable. You'd still have to estimate the "footprint" location of the ball's edge on the table, but a 1/2-ball ferrule might actually help some folks visualize. I've gotten used to visualizing the ghost ball without a measurement reference, but that's just me.

SpiderMan

Cornerman
02-27-2007, 12:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Fred,

You have a lathe to do your own tips and ferrules. Have you experimented with glueing the leather directly to your unferruled shafts?<hr /></blockquote>I haven't, but I have shot with a couple of cue with no ferrules. Both had a pad under the tip. I believe Bob Jewett has been playing with a shaft like this for years.

I'd like to do this with a full shaft, rather than cutting down a shaft. If and when I do, the pad will be in place.

[ QUOTE ]
Interesting idea, though, about ferrules predating tips, at least if the ferrule were of a reinforcing material other than just replacement wood added after the first split. Is this recorded in history?<hr /></blockquote> I have to believe it's recorded somewhere. I've seen maces with a brass ferrules on them. I mean, ferrules have been put on cane tips, chair legs, you name it. They've been part of wood tennon history long before pool and billiards, I gathter. So, I think that's implied proof.

The interesting is whether or not people made ferrules out of non-metal materials like buckhorn, wood, or ivory, before the advent of the tip. Those would split without padding, IMO.

So, the history would be something like:

The Billiardist starts to turn his mace around, wacking the balls with the tail. There may not be any reason for any ferrule on the tail at that point, would there be? The wooden tail, subject to the striking wouldn't last long in the splitting direction. So, either a ferrule is put on to prevent splitting or one is put on after the tail splits. To me, it seems pretty reasonable.

Fred

SpiderMan
02-27-2007, 12:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cornerman:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Fred,

You have a lathe to do your own tips and ferrules. Have you experimented with glueing the leather directly to your unferruled shafts?<hr /></blockquote>I haven't, but I have shot with a couple of cue with no ferrules. Both had a pad under the tip. I believe Bob Jewett has been playing with a shaft like this for years.

I'd like to do this with a full shaft, rather than cutting down a shaft. If and when I do, the pad will be in place.

<hr /></blockquote>

I'd think the pad would be required, as noted to avoid splitting.

SpiderMan

cushioncrawler
02-27-2007, 04:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cornerman:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote cjt08046:</font><hr> What are your opinions on short ferrules? Do they make a difference? .<hr /></blockquote>I would normally look at it from the other side. What is the purpose of a longer ferrule and do they make a difference?

I'm of the opinion that ferrules aren't necessary, and are simply leftover from history. When people were hitting the mace tail end, with no tip there the tail would split. So, they'd have to repair it with what is known in the mechanical world as a ferrule. If they continued to hit the tail end without a tip (because they didn't have tips invented yet), the ferrule would also split for sure, and it was time for a new ferrule.

With the advent of the leather tip, splitting of the cue shaft shouldn't happen as readily as without. Today, ferrules are made of better materials than the wood, so getting rid of them would be quite a philosophical change.

Personally, if I never had another ferrule on my shafts, I wouldn't miss them. Fred<hr /></blockquote>Fred -- I think that a ferrule iznt necessary if the (leather) tip has a good bakelite backing. In the olden days (in the mid 60's) none of the cues where i played had (or needed) a ferrule. But, modern Elks and BlueDiamonds dont have any sort of backing.

Recently i cut the ferrule off 2 of my cues to shorten them, and then, instead of getting a new ferrule put on, i araldited a circular metal washer (aluminium) on the end, which iz something that anyone can do at home. At first i tryd uzing some shiny (nickel?) coins, but they came off, i shood have roughed them more. madMac.

Bob_Jewett
02-28-2007, 06:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> ... I recall reading somewhere - likely here - that for some time, standard ferrule length was 1/2 the diameter of the ball. (Balls are 2-1/4 inches in diameter, so the ferrule would be 1-1/8 inch long.)... <hr /></blockquote>
While that may have been written, I'm pretty sure it was never true for any of the cue sports disciplines. In my foolishness, I asked George Balabushka for a 1-inch ferrule, and he told me the longest he could make was 7/8-inch.

However, I do recall a thread in which a particular player said he had a 1.125-inch ferrule very specially made to allow him to use the "inch and an eighth" aiming system more easily, but it was just the one person, IIRC.