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1Time
05-23-2008, 03:27 PM
Anyone heard of two different grades of ElkMaster tips? I bought an EM tip from one source and accidentally ruined it. And then I bought another EM from a different source and was told it was the higher grade of the two grades of Elkmaster tips. I've never heard this before. But I have read that good and bad EM tips are often found in the same batch or tin, the good ones being of a more consistent hardness as determined with a durometer. I'm not referring to any copy cat EM tips like what's sold on eBay.

Rich R.
05-23-2008, 05:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Anyone heard of two different grades of ElkMaster tips? I bought an EM tip from one source and accidentally ruined it. And then I bought another EM from a different source and was told it was the higher grade of the two grades of Elkmaster tips. I've never heard this before. But I have read that good and bad EM tips are often found in the same batch or tin, the good ones being of a more consistent hardness as determined with a durometer. I'm not referring to any copy cat EM tips like what's sold on eBay. </div></div>
To the best of my knowledge, there is only one grade of EM tip, however, as with a lot of other tips, there are inconsistencies in the tips and you will find good and bad within the same batch.
Also, many cue repair guys work their own magic with EM tips. For example, some compress the tips in a vise. Others soak them in milk. I have also read about a number of other treatments for EM tips. I haven't tried any, so I can't recommend or criticize any.

1Time
05-23-2008, 07:17 PM
Thanks. That's pretty much what I figured.

So, I'm giving up on ElkMaster tips for now as I just ruined the second one too. I cut off the top 1/4th to shorten it and then while shaping it with a nickel shaper, the center kept crumbling away. Couldn't get the tip rounded without a flat spot on top. Just wanted to try a soft tip to see what happens.

I think I will stick with a Talisman Pro medium for my softest tip for now. I'll be trying a Triangle next and maybe a Talisman WM medium or hard after that.

cushioncrawler
05-23-2008, 08:12 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thanks. That's pretty much what I figured. So, I'm giving up on ElkMaster tips for now as I just ruined the second one too. I cut off the top 1/4th to shorten it and then while shaping it with a nickel shaper, the center kept crumbling away. Couldn't get the tip rounded without a flat spot on top. Just wanted to try a soft tip to see what happens. I think I will stick with a Talisman Pro medium for my softest tip for now. I'll be trying a Triangle next and maybe a Talisman WM medium or hard after that.</div></div>Different to me -- after i stick on a new BD or a Triumph i put some sandpaper on the floor and place the qtip on it holding the stick vertically (nearnuff) and drill for oil, to get az big a flatspot az i can in the center of the tip. This allso trues-up a new tip if it iz a bit lopsided. And i refresh this flatspot periodically. I reckon that a flatspot givz a truer shot with a central hit. On the other hand i can see that a "pointy" tip might be forgiving for some players, ie it might compensate for one or two wrongz of some sort. madMac.

1Time
05-23-2008, 10:28 PM
I like your drilling for oil technique. I'm about to go try out a Triangle tip for the first time. I have it nickel shaped and flared out from the ferrule, like this side view:

top of tip
\ / &lt;- sides of tip
ferrule

I want to try it this way first to see what happens. I'm thinking this may allow me to hit the cue ball further away from center without miscuing. Probably will reduce my ability to draw the cue ball on a bar box too. If so, I will shape it to normal where the sides are parallel.

1Time
05-24-2008, 12:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm about to go try out a Triangle tip for the first time. I have it nickel shaped and flared out from the ferrule, like this side view:

top of tip
\ / &lt;- sides of tip
ferrule

I want to try it this way first to see what happens. I'm thinking this may allow me to hit the cue ball further away from center without miscuing. Probably will reduce my ability to draw the cue ball on a bar box too. If so, I will shape it to normal where the sides are parallel. </div></div>
Shot with this Triangle tip last night. I shaped it taller than usual just to see how it does before shaping it lower and tighter. Here are a few of my observations.

- Felt much more like a medium than a hard tip. Definitely softer than any LePro I've used. And it seemed about the same hardness as a Talisman Pro medium. The guy who sold it to me said it was a medium, but I've only found it described online as a hard tip. It's still quite new so I'm expecting it will harden up from use and once it's not so tall.

- Never shot with any other tip that gave me more confidence in not miscuing. Seemed as though I could not miscue no matter what shot I tried. It pretty much did whatever I asked of it, but didn't try to masse' or jump.

- Held chalk exceedingly well. Although I chalked almost after every shot, I could tell it was not needed.

- Easily and sufficiently drew the cue ball and with good control. Probably would draw better if it was harder.

- Very predictably excecuted shots. Probably would do better if it were harder.

- Not as strong as I'd like with power-follow or English shots, but probably would do better if it were harder.

So, I definitely want the tip to be harder. I think I will cut off the top 1/3 of the tip. Tap it on a hard floor for about 5 minutes, thereby approximating 1000 cue ball hits. Then parallel the sides with sandpaper, nickel shape it, and burnish the sides.

Based on this one experience with a Triangle tip, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting an excellent and inexpensive tip for shooting on 7' bar box tables. Haven't tried it yet on a 9' table.

1Time
05-25-2008, 12:58 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Based on this one experience with a Triangle tip, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting an excellent and inexpensive tip for shooting on 7' bar box tables. Haven't tried it yet on a 9' table. </div></div>

So I cut the tip down, but now I don't like how it hits or plays. Can't get nearly as much draw and the shot making is not as effortless, which is the opposite of what I expected. I'm now not even sure the tip I was sold actually was a Triangle since it did not play like a hard tip. I'd buy another for $1 to replace this one, but I'm wanting something that hits a little harder.

Rich R.
05-25-2008, 07:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Based on this one experience with a Triangle tip, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting an excellent and inexpensive tip for shooting on 7' bar box tables. Haven't tried it yet on a 9' table. </div></div>

So I cut the tip down, but now I don't like how it hits or plays. Can't get nearly as much draw and the shot making is not as effortless, which is the opposite of what I expected. I'm now not even sure the tip I was sold actually was a Triangle since it did not play like a hard tip. I'd buy another for $1 to replace this one, but I'm wanting something that hits a little harder. </div></div>
First of all, I don't buy in to using different tips for different tables. If you do, that is fine, but I don't want other readers to think this is a common practice. It is not.

Also, I'm not into cutting tips down. I do know several pro players, and a lot of others, who cut their tips down, so I can't argue this point. It is just a matter of personal choice. I think the players who prefer their tips very hard, seem to cut their tips down. Another point is that the break in period is shorter, as it is obvious that it takes one half of a tip less time to compress than a whole tip.

From your other posts, it is obvious that you like harder tips. I don't know why you are going through all of this trouble fooling around with medium tips? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif
Why not just get a hard tip? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif

Also, you seem to want to judge a tip's quality as soon as you put it on your cue. From my experience, all tips change in the first couple of weeks of play, after installation. I would never judge a tip before playing with it for at least a few weeks. This includes tips that have been cut down. All tips compress over time and you have to allow them to do that.

As for Triangle tips, they are one of the better, if not the best, single layer tip around. Yes, they are a little inconsistent, as most other single layered tips. However, many of the top cue makers, including Tim Scruggs, Mike Lambros and Mike Capone, to name a few, use them as their standard tip.
IIRC, Triangle tips are rated as medium hardness. From my experience, the Triangle tips play a little soft, when first installed. However, after several weeks of consistent play, they compress and become fairly hard. Whether they would be hard enough for you, I don't know. Actually, they become too hard for my taste, but I prefer a softer tip.

Don't be so quick to judge tip changes. You have to spend a few weeks, or more, with a tip before you can judge it correctly. New tips, even those you have cut down, take time to break in and compress.

cushioncrawler
05-25-2008, 06:08 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I like your drilling for oil technique. I'm about to go try out a Triangle tip for the first time. I have it nickel shaped and flared out from the ferrule, like this side view:

top of tip
\ / &lt;- sides of tip
ferrule

I want to try it this way first to see what happens. I'm thinking this may allow me to hit the cue ball further away from center without miscuing. Probably will reduce my ability to draw the cue ball on a bar box too. If so, I will shape it to normal where the sides are parallel.</div></div>I am allwayz experimenting with tip shape. Recently i hav been sanding 2 flat sides on the tip, ie on opposit sides, ie one on top and one on the bottom -- here i am talking about a shaft having a topside and a bottomside based on how u like to see (hold) the grain (ie for ash mainly). So, i hit with the edge of a flat, top or bottom one, duzzenmadder, but u will find that one flat will be doing things better than the other for some unknown reezon. Flats are (can be) more forgiving.

But, the tip (a BD) that i hav on my favorit cue right now (midmorning) haz only one flat, the underside being the original round. The tip iz a bit oversize (10mm) -- the qtip iz 9mm. I put it on (5 minute araldite) with the "overhang" all on one side (the top side), and then i sand a big flat on that side. The flat goze into the ferrule/shaft a bit actually -- and i round it off a little (otherwize it wont grip the ball well enuff). This arrangement givz me the best of both worlds -- the cue haz an A-side and a B-side -- but i am still experimenting. In any case, i allso allwayz "drill" a flat on the center of every tip on every cue i have -- this iz in addition to the flat on the side (top-side) that i hav been talking about here.

The biggest such flat that i hav ever seen woz on Walter Lindrum's cue a couple of years ago (he died in 1960). The ferrule woz 10mm, and the flat bit woz 10mm (talking about the flat on top, he didnt hav one of my side-flats). The tip itself woz about 12mm, koz it had about 1mm of overhang all round. Strangest tip i hav ever seen. It woz only about 1.5mm thick, all the way across, koz, like i said, it woz flat (remember??).

I notice that my BD tip iz a bit soft for me, and i have had to change my stroke a bit (it affekts my line, strangely enuff). Either this tip woz one of the ones that i bort recently but woz too hard, and haz softened up in the winter air (it woz in bubble wrap when bort and perhaps too dry etc) -- or it iz from one of my old batches (theze were allwayz too soft and had to be viced). Anyhow, perhaps bubble wrap tips need to be left in the night air a while, else they are too hard.

But your overhang, that u described, iz similar to what all the top english snooker players were uzing some years ago. Dont know if they still do. What they did iz they put a bevel on the ends of the brass ferrule, and then pulled (clamped) an oversize tip on this, which i think naturally gave the sides of the tip a bit of the same taper that u mention, and then i think they enhanced this side taper by cutting with a blade. I think this gave them a few advantages. (1) They had a bigger tip (bigger sweet spot). (2) The edge woz thicker (longer life). (3) The overhang gave eezyr screw etc (they say). Regarding the clamping down and pulling bizness, i think that perhaps they actually had a way of indenting the underside of the tip to fit the bevel etc (karnt remember). madMac.

SpiderMan
05-27-2008, 01:26 PM
I'm not aware of two different Elk Master grades being simutaneously offered, but I have definitely observed a shift in Elk Master properties over the years.

The "old" Elk Master tip was a light blue in color, and had a reasonably fine grain to the leather. What I'll call the "new" Elk Master (though I can't pin down the particular date of change) is a darker blue in exterior color, and seems to have a coarser fiber content. The "old" Elk Master is also thinner (perhaps more pre-compressed?) than the "new".

I can directly compare both, because I still have about a half-box of the original Elk Master tips, as well as a box of new Elk Masters recently bought from Atlas Billiard Supply.

While both tips are nominally soft, the "new" Elk Master seems to have less structural integrity. Unless you use extreme care and very sharp tools, it is very easy to ruin the "new" tips while shaping. A few little snags or rough treatment from the shaping blade will cause the tip to break down internally, and become "spongy" - you'll be able to lift and stretch it visibly using your thumbnail. You must cut that one off and start over, as it will play "dead".

The thing I find very interesting about this is that another "mainstay" tip, the Le Pro, has also undergone a change in characteristics. The recent boxes of Le Pros I bought from Atlas are several grades harder than the "old" Le Pro tips I formerly used. The "new" Le Pros are too hard for most players - I now only use them on break cues.

I wonder if production of these two tips has been moved, perhaps to some cheap-labor third-world sweatshop, and the formula/process for making them has not been accurately preserved?

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
05-27-2008, 01:36 PM
Don't plink your tip on a hard floor - rather than compressing it to make it feel harder, it will likely break the tip down internally and make it feel "dead".

This is because a normal hit results in the cueball speeding away, while a hard floor is basically an immovable object. The tip must therefore dissipate the entire kinetic energy of the moving cue, resulting in internal breakdown.

After 5 minutes of hard-floor treatment, you may actually be able to see the tip going spongy if you snag it near the crown with your thumbnail and lift. A dead tip will stretch and move, a good tip will not.

The inverted-wedge shape you used simulated a larger-diameter cue, which reduces the draw for a given centerline offset. It was also responsible for the tip feeling a little soft.

Try another triangle tip, and trim it parallel (rather than this inverted wedge). Crown to a dime contour. You should get more draw.

SpiderMan

cycopath
05-27-2008, 01:36 PM
The last couple of boxes of Lepros I've ordered have had more 'softies' in them than usual for me. You know the kind I speak of, they have a crumbling effect to them when you try to shape them after installation.

SpiderMan
05-27-2008, 01:41 PM
Sounds like they have a real consistency issue, since the last ones I bought were extremely hard. Perhaps they're swinging wildly from one end to the other, trying to hit the target.

I've gone almost entirely to Triangles for a general-pupose tip. Since the crowns are untreated, I can choose hardnesses fairly accurately by looking at the coarseness of the top fibers.

SpiderMan