View Full Version : Powder - does it really damage the cue?
I need a solution to my 'clammy hands' problem, (no sniggering at the back please).
Last night's local pool competition was a prime example. I play better using a closed bridge, but can only do it well using a glove. I don't want to wear a glove in public, because, in all honesty, i'd feel like a pretensious fool. So at the competition i resort to open bridge, lose 2 of 3 matches, and become angry.
Powder is an alternative, but i hear it screws up the shaft. Does it? I saw Gerry Watson pouring the stuff on at Cardiff, apparently with no consideration to his fine looking Meucci. Perhaps it has something to do with his nickname? Perhaps people genuinely mistake him for a ghost...? Anyway... any help would be much appreciated.
07-25-2002, 06:31 PM
Only if you don't clean your shaft after I believe. Your salty sweat should do more harm I think. Here's what I think, if powder hurts shafts, pros wouldn't be using it.
07-25-2002, 07:09 PM
IMO, there is more of a problem with not knowing how to use powder, than it hurting your cue. Like Joey said, you can always clean your cue after playing. Most people use far too much powder. You only need about a very small amount...
perhaps 1/4 tsp., or a tiny little pile about the size of a dime. Put the powder in the palm of your hand, and coat your shaft, NOT your hands! Immediately go over to the trash can and brush the excess powder OFF of your hands, so that you don't make powder marks on the cloth (this, btw, is why using too much powder is bad...it dirties the cloth terribly). Your shaft will glide effortlessly through your closed bridge. BTW, there is NOTHING wrong with using a glove. Many top pros use gloves all the time. I, myself, keep one in my case, for doing exhibitions in very humid conditions...as it eliminates the need for powder at all!
Hope this helps.
07-25-2002, 07:15 PM
Best advise on usage of Powder I've ever heard.
Gloves have been regarded as one of the best recent advancements to the game for people with the sweaty palm problems. I see lots of players use them. Male and Female.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee:</font><hr> BTW, there is NOTHING wrong with using a glove. Many top pros use gloves all the time.
Thanks Scott. I know, but i, sadly, am not a top pro. And i think in my pool room, if i wear a glove, the cue might get damaged in a variety of other ways, possibly involving areas on my person, where 'the sun don't shine' :-)
Thanks for the tips.
07-25-2002, 07:45 PM
I don't know whether or not powder would damage the shaft. What I do when my hands get clammy though is wash them, even if I'm in the middle of a match. When I get back to the table, they're nice and smooth. Sometimes, if it's real humid or I'm particularly nervous that evening, I'll grab a couple of towels out of the bathroom and dampen them. Then when my hands get clammy, I wipe them off and air dry them. That works, too. Of course, all of this is JMO, but it works for me.
Heide ~ learned from the best, IMO
07-25-2002, 07:45 PM
In my experience I would suggest using a CLEAN white washcloth, put a small amount of powder on the washcloth and then rub and squeeze the shaft with the washcloth where the powder is located. This serves two purposes: 1. Will take off any powder/sweat residue you may have on the shaft. 2. Place a thin coating of powder on the shaft.
I played pool in Germany for 17 years and they normally do NOT have air conditioning in the poolrooms. You can imagine the need for using powder (using the above method) when it is about 88 degrees and 60% humidity inside the poolroom in the middle of Summer. I would not use the "powder your hand" method as you will only get a combination of sweat and powder on your cue and this will be noticeable as you play. I also would not recommend a glove unless the method above does not help. Always try to use a clean washcloth every time you play as this will help maintain the effect you are looking for. Hope this helps !!
07-25-2002, 07:52 PM
Damage to the shaft? Other than getting in the pores of the cue and discoloring, along with the blue chalk to make a strange color. The use of powder is a speed of cloth killer. It builds up in certain spots and makes mounds under the cloth like at the kitchen line or the spot. Powder should be use like its worth millions...just a small amount. I'm lucky my hands dont sweat...the dont make gloves to fit my"Statue of Liberty" size hands...hahahahaha
I know a guy who uses so much powder on his Balabushka (Yes, a REAL one) that the shaft feels like sandpaper. Someone tried to clean it for him once and he nearly had a heart-attack! You can always tell when he's been around, three tables plus the one he's played on are white!
My interest in playing pool culminated into becoming a pool addict-at least temporarily. Cues fascinated me so I bought hundreds of them. Even became a McDermott and Meucci dealer. Then took instructions from a professional player. That wasn't enough so I bought a Sports bar with 10 tables which brings me to your question re:powder. It can't harm your shaft as mentioned but it definitely impedes the playability of the cloth. I took great pains to clean the tables daily but still it caused a problem so I took all the chalk cones out and sold the small bags which at least minimzed the problem. The solution is to wash your hands, carry a hand towel to dry your hands and wipe down the shaft, and keep your hands open while not shooting to minimize moisture accumulation.
I don't know of any serious damage to your cue with a small amount of powder. However, if your hands become very damp, the mixture of sweat and powder makes a sticky glue.
Excess use of powder will make a mess on the table and can actually hasten wear of the cloth.
Now maybe a good time to mention that racking problems may be caused by buildup UNDER the spot that vacuuming won't cure.
07-25-2002, 10:37 PM
Crowbar, recently at the "Border Battle" in Toronto, I observed everone of the 8 pros in that event using powder. They kept a small pile of it on a small table next to their seat, and between shots would dab a small amount onto their hand and rub it onto the shaft. Every so often they would rub the shaft down with a towel, and some even gave the shaft a quick rub down with a small piece of very fine sand paper to prevent any build-up on the shaft. Clean the shaft regularily and you should have no problems whatsoever!
07-25-2002, 11:35 PM
I can always tell if one of my customers is useing powder. Their shaft is the color of the chalk they use. Red is especially desernable on the shaft. The chalk builds up in the pores & then colects moisture & when the chalk hits it you have a shaft with chalk caked into the pores of the wood. Then you'll be posting here about how to get the chalk off of your shaft. If you must use powder(assuming you're right handed),rub your right index finger in the powder & then apply it only to the areas that the Q comes in contact with. Between the left thumb & fore finger & then between the 1st & second finger. That's all you need & it will keep the powder use to a minimum. There is also a great product out that I personally use called "PRO-GLIDE INVISIBLE GLOVE", made by "PRO-PRODUX". It's a liquid that you rub onto the bridge hand, let dry for 30 seconds & your hand feels like you've just powdered it for an hour or so. I don't even know where I got it, but it's great stuff...JER
07-26-2002, 02:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Voodoo Daddy:</font><hr> I'm lucky my hands dont sweat...the dont make gloves to fit my"Statue of Liberty" size hands...hahahahaha <hr></blockquote>
Voodoo...Have you seen the "full hand" glove made by SLIX? That's the one with the finger ends cut off, and the little rubber nibs on the palm. I really like this glove, better than the others out there. I'm pretty sure they come in S-XXL, which should fit even YOUR hands! I wear a medium.
07-26-2002, 02:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Bill:</font><hr> The solution is to wash your hands, carry a hand towel to dry your hands and wipe down the shaft, and keep your hands open while not shooting to minimize moisture accumulation. <hr></blockquote>
This is the BEST, and EASIEST way to keep the cue gliding smoothly through your bridge...wash your hands frequently!
Good post by a room owner!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: BLACKHEART:</font><hr> There is also a great product out that I personally use called "PRO-GLIDE INVISIBLE GLOVE", made by "PRO-PRODUX". It's a liquid that you rub onto the bridge hand, let dry for 30 seconds & your hand feels like you've just powdered it for an hour or so. <hr></blockquote>
The chances of me finding that in England are slim to none, but it gives me an idea! There must be a million household products that, despite what they were meant to do originally, will give my hand a crisp surface like a kinda plastic. Excellent.
Thanks a lot, kids.
07-26-2002, 09:33 AM
Soap and warm water works wanders. When I play, I wash my hands very often. I'll play for 5-6 hours at a time and usually wash my hands about every 3 racks or so.
Ok after a day of experimenting i've decided that roll-on anti-persperant deoderant seems to give my hands a coating that the cue just glides through. I am not insane.
roll-on anti-persperant deoderant? now that is intresting. If i had sweaty hands i would give it a try.
07-26-2002, 01:42 PM
I would seriously learn to shoot more often with a open bridge anyway. You have plenty of solutions on the power deal from everyone. I'm concerned for you and the open bridge. I can't think of how this can screw you up. The back hand does all the work. There shouldn't be any problem with any shot using an open bridge. Please take some time on the side to practice using one. It'll only help your game anyway.
I use an open bridge on most of my shots and although, I do use a closed bridge on some. The difference is minimal. JAT
C.C.~~think pool in England is big.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Ralph S.:</font><hr> Soap and warm water works wanders. When I play, I wash my hands very often. I'll play for 5-6 hours at a time and usually wash my hands about every 3 racks or so.
Ralph S. <hr></blockquote>
Jeez Ralph, you must have the cleanest hands in town, I don't mean the room, I mean the whole town. Do you still have finger prints? lol I have to ask this question, How much play time do you get in in that 5 or 6 hours? Actually, sometimes the equipment is so dirty and not cared for that washing is needed more often.
07-26-2002, 04:59 PM
Rod, actually, I get in quite a bit of playing time when I play. I just wash often because of the persperation factor and that drink glasses can get a little sticky. As for the cleanest hands in town, I think not LOL...I work in a foundry. I know you were kidding, but I figured I would let your inquiry mind know..LOL.
Ok Clammy hands,...LOL. This is my advice,.. though keeping your hands clean is a great idea, combining that with proper care is key!
If you're in the middle of a match, you don't have time to run and wash your hands every two seconds,... agreed? But, after washing your hands you do have the opportunity to wipe excess chalk and powder off your hands and cue. Ok, so now you know that too much powder isn't a good thing, not for you, and not for the tables. Here comes the advice....
-- Using a powder that doesn't have an oil base is essential for types of needs we (pool players) have. if you are using something like Johnsons' baby powder, you're in trouble. It only contributes to build up and gives you that oily texture. I suggest that you find a powder with no oil base.
-- Now once you have your powder problem settled, you should then invest in buying 2 small towels. One towel is to be used for applying the powder,... apply a small amount of powder onto the towel and glide it over your cue. Keep the towel handy for re-use when you begin to feel those nasty tugs through your fingers. This will prevent too much build up on your hands, shaft and the table... with no complaints of your hand prints all over the place.
*** The second towel is to be used after you're done for the night, it is to be used to wipe off any excess powder on the shaft so that you may prevent any build up there as well... Plus, who wants a pile of powder on the bottom of their cases... Yuck!
-- This should really be a big help and should keep everyone happy! Good luck!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: whitewolf:</font><hr>
My stick has a finish to it and I have to use lots of powder. After 5 minutes the table would be full of hand prints LOL. Used to drive my playing partner crazy as he would constantly be trying to wipe the stuff off. <hr></blockquote>
I've asked a cuemaker friend why he puts that finish on his shafts ?? To me it feels sticky and I just remove the finish to about 5"6" from the joint by spinning the shaft on my repair lathe. His response was that it's a sealer.
Many of my customers also want that finish removed from a new shaft.
07-27-2002, 12:08 AM
I've mentioned this before, but I never put any sealer or finish on the stroking area of my personal shafts. I just let the bare wood build up a nice natural patina, and this keeps the shaft at a pretty contant coefficient of friction for me.
Putting a heavy sealer or finish on a shaft is just asking for the sticky hands syndrome imo.
To the fellow who needs a lot of powder because of his shaft finish:
Sand it off man! Sand it off!
-Mr. no shaft finish....
9 Ball Girl
07-28-2002, 10:43 AM
And the odor of your cue would not be offending to your fellow poolplayers! /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Chris Cass:</font><hr> I would seriously learn to shoot more often with a open bridge anyway. You have plenty of solutions on the power deal from everyone. I'm concerned for you and the open bridge. I can't think of how this can screw you up. The back hand does all the work. There shouldn't be any problem with any shot using an open bridge. Please take some time on the side to practice using one. It'll only help your game anyway.
I use an open bridge on most of my shots and although, I do use a closed bridge on some. The difference is minimal. <hr></blockquote>
I hope you come bak to the post to read this, cos i only just got back from vacation. I'm interested to know what you think the benefits of an open brige are.
In England snooker rules, and snooker players unconditionally use an open bridge. We generally play snooker, and those of us who move onto pool keep the same open bridge for the game. I experimented with a closed bridge, and found that the draw i could get on the ball was simply perfect. I could draw the cueball the full length of the table at speed, simply because the cue, now resting flat on the inside of my thumb, was perfectly straight and level.
Using an open bridge there had to be some variation in the level of the cue because the area the cue lies on, is higher than i would naturally choose to stroke the cue back and forth. Consequently my stroke is more jerky and i can't apply spin as effectively, or with the same control. Why do you favour an open bridge?
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