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New2Pool
05-12-2008, 07:35 AM
We have a lot of greats threads on here for beginners to read but there is one topic I am missing. So let's suppose for a moment that I have taken lessons, bought a cue, watched videos, practiced, put a great tip and ferrel on the cue, and cleaned my cue stick so that it is in near pristine condition. Now I am getting ready to go on vacation and I want to take my cue with me.

What type of case is best from a protection standpoint? I am not worried about aesthetics I just want a case that will keep my cue safe at a reasonable price.

Assuming that I have a decent case, as specified by the responses to the first question, what are some rules of thumb regarding the proper treatment of a cue? i.e. If it is a scorcher of a day do I leave the cue in the car if I stop at a restaurant or mall for a break? Do I have to worry about humidity changes if I am traveling from one part of the country to another?

I consider my current cue to be a "learner" cue. It was enough of an investment that I don't want to ruin it trivially but I bought it with the idea in mind that if I did screw up and ding it or do something wrong it is not the end of the world either.

I am leaning toward getting a 2X2 case so that if I go to a bar that does not have decent cues I would have an extra cue stick for my playing partner to borrow as well. Is there any disadvantage to a 2X2 case other than extra weight?

Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions.

Deeman3
05-12-2008, 10:23 AM
A hard case is best for protection and many are available at a reasonable cost if you don't go for leather.

Condier that you may wnat more than a 2x2 if you will eventually get a jump cue or carry extra shafts. For about $30 you can get a travel bag to hold your case for trips through the airport or just additional wear and tear protection.

It takes a bit for the heat to get to the cues but I never, ever leave one in a trunk or in the summer heat. A couple of bags of those humidity absorbers are great to drop in the case as well but don't let them go from 100 degrees to cold all that often.

It does not matter the value of a cue, dings can hurt performance and it's just as easy to treat a cue well.

sygfrid
06-03-2008, 04:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: New2Pool</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Now I am getting ready to go on vacation and I want to take my cue with me.

What type of case is best from a protection standpoint? I am not worried about aesthetics I just want a case that will keep my cue safe at a reasonable price.</div></div>

IMO, one of best investment you'll ever make is getting a good, protective case as your cue's life depends on this. Get the best protective case now & you will no longer have to buy another case again, unless you plan to buy more cues. A good case must be able to protect your cues from humidity, sudden changes in temperature, unintentional removal, impacts, & it must not ruin your cue's finish! A hard case like INSTROKE has these features

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Assuming that I have a decent case, as specified by the responses to the first question, what are some rules of thumb regarding the proper treatment of a cue? i.e. If it is a scorcher of a day do I leave the cue in the car if I stop at a restaurant or mall for a break? Do I have to worry about humidity changes if I am traveling from one part of the country to another?</div></div>

Never leave your cues & case in the car! I did a little experiment once, the outside temp was about 30C while the car's cabin temp was 42C! The case's temp rose from a room temp of 28C to 34C within 15 minutes. Your car acts like an oven under the sun. I had one of the best known protective cases as an experiment, I can only imagine how the less protective cases would perform. Moreover, even if sun's out or even if you're in a parking lot, don't leave your case in the car's trunk or on the floor as there's also heat coming from the exhaust pipe. Better put it on the seat.

If you're traveling to a place of different humidity, it's a good practice to let your cue acclimatize for at least a day by leaving it inside the case. I don't think you'll have much problem if you play in an air conditioned room

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am leaning toward getting a 2X2 case so that if I go to a bar that does not have decent cues I would have an extra cue stick for my playing partner to borrow as well. Is there any disadvantage to a 2X2 case other than extra weight?</div></div>

Might as well go for 2x4. Sooner or later, you'll be investing in another shaft or cues. In a 2x4, you'll have room for play cue+extra shaft, break cue, & jump cue. If you ask me, I don't mind the extra weight as long as I know that my cues are protected better.

Here's a good read about case protection from the original maker of Instroke himself from the forum discussion case question (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=96455):
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think by now that everyone knows how much of a fanatic I am about cue case protection.

When I built the Instroke cases I wanted to protect against accidental removal first. That is when you tip the case and all the stuff falls out if you aren't fast enough to grab your cues.

As I started getting into it I found that the cue would bang against the sides of the tubes if the case were hit hard. I found that I could break a cue just above the wrap by dropping the case from about six feet. So I added more padding inside the tubing to protect against what I call oscillation stress - basically when the cue hammers the sides of the tubes repeatedly.

More into it and I found that the felt used in a lot of cases was very moisture absorbent. It really sucked up water. So then I found a fabric that didn't hold moisture but was also soft. You see there are fabrics that don't hold moisture that other case makers use but those fabrics are also hard and will dull or scratch the finish over time. In other words if I handed you a piece of that fabric and asked you to rub your cue's finish with it you would look at me as if I were nuts. But people don't realize it until a few years down the road when their cue finish is looking dull or has tiny scratches in it. So I was pleased to find the fabric that actually polishes the cue as well as keeps moisture away.

Then the next thing was the stress caused by temperature swings. I found that if I added several layers of material over the tubes that it would allow the case to maintain temperature longer and thus allow the cues to acclimate to different temperatures at a slower rate. I honestly have no idea if this helps or not to protect the cue but it can't hurt. So I put foam rubber and laminated cardboard between the leather and the tubes.

Basically the whole thing for me was and still is how to protect the cue against as much as possible while it's in the case.

A lot of people don't feel the way I do about it. I have even had folks who own high end cues tell me that protection doesn't matter as long as the case holds the cue. People have told me that looks are what matters.

But a lot more folks have told me that protection does matter. A lot of people who bought Instroke cases had those weird accidents happen to their cases and were really happy that the case protected their cues as it was designed to.

Some stories I received about Instroke in real life.

One woman left her case on top of the car as she was preparing to go to a big event, she pulled forward and the case fell down and she backed over it. Cues were fine, case was fine.

One bike messenger in New York was hit by a taxi and he flipped and landed on his back with only the case to protect him. He and the cues were fine.

One guy flipped his car and the car landed on the case and slid along the road. The case was torn up on the outside but the cues were fine.

One person's car caught on fire with the case inside. The case's exterior was burned but the cues inside only had slight bubbling.

Another guy was carrying a heavy backboard up his stairs and lost control and the backboard bounced down the stairs and hit his Instroke case right in the middle and knocked it through the wall. Case was fine cues were fine.

Another person was changing a tire ans when he let the jack down the car was still off the ground because his case was wedged under the car and was supporting it.

One time I put a case outside the conference center at the US Open in pouring rain with about $3000 worth of cues inside to prove that the cues would stay dry and the case wouldn't be harmed. The did and the case was dry in about 15 minutes.

A WPBA professional was on a scooter in Hawaii when she wrecked and her case went bouncing across the highway. She and the case and the cues were fine.

And there are many more like this that I received over the years. On top of all that I always leave my cues in the car all the time, summer, winter, rain or shine. I have been on 3000 mile road trips in the height of summer and the dead of winter with more than $50,000 in cues stored in Instroke cases and had no issues.

The point of all this is that if it's a tube case you honestly don't know what lurks below the surface. For the most part cases are pretty good these days thanks to other makers taking a closer look at how well their cases actually do protect as well as the many who copy Instroke finally stepping up and copying what matters, the interior protection.

You all would be horrified to see what I have seen in 15 years as a case maker. I have willfully dissected most cases on the market and I can tell you for a fact that if most of you knew what was inside the cases you stick your prized cues into then you would be pretty pissed about it.

In 2003 after I sold Instroke I did case repairs for a year or so. While doing that I came to deal with a lot of the Instroke copies. Some of them even had exposed nail points in the space the cue was being put into.

In fact, my own prized Joss was damaged when I put it into a brand new Whitten knockoff and the whole bottom came off and the cue slid out getting scratched up by the nails on it's way out. Mark Smith of Russelville Arkansas can tell you about it as he did the refinish job on it.

What does all this mean?

It means that if you do truly care about your cue then you make sure that the case you buy to protect it can really do the job. There are a lot of cavity-style top loading cases on the market. Think about what is below the first four inches that you can see and feel. Often on the el-cheapo knockoffs of well known brands it's not very protective and often harmful.

But, as I said on the whole cases are much, much better now than they were ten years ago.

Someone mentioned the It's George cases. Recently I was commissioned to create a case in the same family as the Fellini, Centennial, and It's George. I put all my knowledge into that case and outfitted it with the protective features I think are important.

The cases are GTF Cases and the website is http://www.gtfcases.com

Here is a link to a couple videos I recently did where I talk about the cases and why I built them the way I did.

http://www.jbcases.com/GTF-Beginning.WMV
http://www.jbcases.com/Loading-Instructions.WMV

I realize the vids aren't very professional but I hope you get the point.

The last thing I want to say on this topic is that IF you invest in protection then that protection is with you every day you use the case. If you skimp and buy a cheapo case then maybe nothing will ever happen but the danger is there that something will every day that you use it. Not to mention that if it has the type of liner that is abrasive that it starts scratching and dulling your cue's finish from the first time you put a cue in it.

The extra cost of quality is long forgotten while the frustration of inferior quality confronts you with every repair and mishap.

"Protection Matters". John Barton, Case Maker.</div></div>

bignick31985
06-07-2008, 06:33 AM
I have a Schmelke 2x2 box case and it takes damage well. I love it. Although its a bit larger than some might prefer.

Bambu
06-07-2008, 07:33 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bignick31985</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have a Schmelke 2x2 box case and it takes damage well. I love it. Although its a bit larger than some might prefer.</div></div>

I love my its george case, lasted me 20 years so far. But its heavy....real heavy. I dont know if the modern versions are lighter, but they should be.

BillyJack
06-07-2008, 11:12 AM
My first case was a McDermott 2X2-good case for the money, but I quickly outgrew it once I got a J/B cue and an extra shaft. Current case is an Instroke 2x4. It is absolutely a superb case. Though I hope never to put it to a test as severe as John B. describes in his post, I have complete confidence in its protection ability. Only minor complaint is the difficulty in fishing out a shaft, since the case is so deep and grips the shafts rather snug. Joint protectors are a must to get a grip on a shaft. Look for a used one if money is tight as they certainly don't wear out if not mistreated. Aside from the possibility of an expensive custom case if funds ever allow, I can't ever imagine the need for another case. Also, I bring my cues inside home or work whenever possible. While I trust my case, there's gotta be a limit to the temperature and humidity protection it can provide. Not to mention the security aspect.
Bill