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View Full Version : I need info on Predator ferrules!



rackmup
08-13-2002, 06:21 AM
I have two Predator BK shafts. Both ferrules are showing some fine cracks where the tip meets the ferrule. I wish to have them replaced. My question is this:

Are Predator BK ferrules "proprietary" in any way? I mean, can they be replaced with any quality ferrule by any reputable cue repair person or do I need to order Predator ferrules or send the shafts to Predator?

Michelle? Do you know? Can you call Predator? Lorri? Any info? Anyone?

Regards and thanks,

Ken (17-days and counting until Ken moves into the new apartment and resumes the peaceful lifestyle of a bachelor)

griffith_d
08-13-2002, 06:34 AM
Call Jean Loos at Predator. 888-314-4111. I have worked with her on my Pred BK lately on getting the tip replaced.

They did a great job by the way. Thanks Predator!!

Griff

Kato
08-13-2002, 06:41 AM
First Ken let me say congrats on getting your new pad. You've got the job, you've got the apartment, you've got your dogs, you've got your cues and pool game. What else is there?

Predator ferrules I think you should go through Predator. You've got that massive 30 mph break and you're cracking the ferrules, then they should know about it. If you are using your BK shafts to tenderize pork chops they'll probably want to know about that to.

There is alot of extra work that goes into changing ferrules on Predator cues. They are guaranteed, I'm sure they'll take care of you.

Kato

stickman
08-13-2002, 08:40 AM
I have a friend with a very old Predator. It is one of the expensive ones, and collectable. The ferrules on these older sticks were about an inch long, and no longer available from Predator. One of his shafts needs a ferrule replaced. Would any of you cue repair persons happen to have one?

08-13-2002, 09:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: rackmup:</font><hr> I have two Predator BK shafts. Both ferrules are showing some fine cracks where the tip meets the ferrule. I wish to have them replaced. My question is this:

Are Predator BK ferrules "proprietary" in any way? I mean, can they be replaced with any quality ferrule by any reputable cue repair person or do I need to order Predator ferrules or send the shafts to Predator?

Michelle? Do you know? Can you call Predator? Lorri? Any info? Anyone?

Regards and thanks,

Ken (17-days and counting until Ken moves into the new apartment and resumes the peaceful lifestyle of a bachelor)



<hr></blockquote>

make sure it's not just a scratch since predator's ferrule get scratches that look like fine cracks.

Cueless Joey
08-13-2002, 10:12 AM
Doesn't Predator replace the whole shaft outright?
I thought they did.

08-13-2002, 10:17 AM
Only if there is damage to the shaft itself. Call Predator, Ken. 1-888-314-4111. Don't give a repair like this to just anyone. Their turnaround will be quicker than a reputable cue guy anyway /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Cueless Joey
08-13-2002, 10:43 AM
Thanks. Mine is still good. I do break with it once in a while though.

Kato
08-13-2002, 10:52 AM
I carved up my first Predator ferulle with sandpaper, those scratches were actual gouges. Predator ferulles are as soft as soap I think. I do my cleaning and scuffing much more carefully these days.

Kato~~~bull in a china shop on my best days.

SpiderMan
08-13-2002, 11:54 AM
Ken,

Didn't you say that a few months ago your first shaft for this cue split down the middle (delaminated)? Now, with two cracking ferrules, I'd have to say that this predator BK cue may be a poorly-thought-out product, a 3-time loser. I've never heard of another cue with so many consecutive problems, especially for a guy that I know takes good care of his equipment. I'd be shocked if they asked you to pay for these new repairs. They should give you an option for a complete refund on the cue.

SpiderMan

heater451
08-13-2002, 03:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> . . .Predator ferulles are as soft as soap I think.Kato~~~bull in a china shop on my best days. <hr></blockquote>Chris Hightower ( www.cuesmith.com (http://www.cuesmith.com) ) mentions, in his book, that soft ferrules work as a sort of spring, and generate a lot of action, for hard/fast shots and break shots.

I would have thought a soft ferrule would act a bit like a cushion, but it sounds like the Predator use of such a ferrule is evidence that supports Mr. Hightower's claim.

TonyM
08-13-2002, 08:50 PM
"I have two Predator BK shafts. Both ferrules are showing some fine cracks where the tip meets the ferrule. I wish to have them replaced."

Look very carefully. I suspect that they are not cracked at all. Predator ferrules are very soft, and are prone to scratching. To the unaided eye this can look a lot like fine cracks. In my experience, they rarely crack in this manner. The material is too soft and flexible for this type of damage. Have someone check this again for you.

As to your other question, yes the Predator ferrule material is proprietary. It is a themoplastic rigid urethane made by Dow I believe.

To have someone other than Predator replace them will void the warranty.

However, I have done so on occasion, and I reccommend a white Micarta fromAtlas Billiards. It is very rugged, slightly more scratch resistant than the urethane, and light enough to be basically "squirt" neutral (used with the same dimensions as the original).

Tony

08-14-2002, 12:12 PM
This probably doesn't add anything of any value to your post, but The Predator ferrules are really garbage. You would think that they could use better material in the ferrules given that the shafts are supposed to be "high end" shafts. I play with a Predator shaft on my Schon, and I do like it, but my one gripe is that the ferrule really sucks by comparison. It is made of a cheap plastic that, aside from being prone to cracking, the ferrule actually gets "friction burns" (I don't know of a better way to say it) where the cue rubs against the cloth on the follow through.

TonyM
08-14-2002, 01:28 PM
I think that you are a bit misinformed. The Predator ferrules are not made from "cheap plastic". They are made from a proprietary rigid urethane made in small quantities for them. It is actually an expensive material.

Keep in mind that Predator chose that material from literally hundreds of resisns that they tested. they feel that this material gives them certain characteristics that they feel are desireable for perfomance.

But you are correct that the material is not the most scratch resistant material on earth! I think that they are aware of this, and would like to find a solution.

In my experience the ferrules are not prone to cracking. I've worked on or sold hundreds of 314 shafts, and very, very few have ever cracked in my experience. Usually, what is taken for cracking is actually just fine scratches deep in the surface of the ferrule.

As for friction burns, I suppose it is possible. More likely, what is happening is that chalk dust imbedded in the cloth scores and scratches the ferrule on power draw shots (where the ferrule rubs against the cloth surface).

One suggestion that I have for this is to get some clear Mylar or Polyester tape (0.001" to 0.002" thick) and cover the ferrule completely. Make sure that the ferrule is clean and polished first. When the tape becomes scratched and dirty (it is far more scratch resistant than the base ferrule material) you just peel off the tape and apply another layer. Should keep the ferrule looking like new for a long time.

It is possible to replace the Predator ferrule with a harder material. However, it might lead to more squirt than with the stock ferrule, unless great care is taken to maintain the original low mass. A shorter cap might be required.

Tony
-but this does ruin the warranty, so be warned....

08-14-2002, 01:55 PM

Michelle
08-14-2002, 03:02 PM
Ken,
Predator voids the warranty if anyone but them works on the ferrule....

08-14-2002, 03:17 PM
Woops, I offended a spokesman. I apologize for my candidness, but among players, it is fair to say that the majority opinion is that the Predator ferrules leave a little to be desired. Mainly it is the fact that they are not very scratch resistant, with normal play, begin to really look like crap. Also, cue-makers/repair-people have a legitimate gripe that they are not the easiest to work with because of the uniqueness of the ferrule and how it is attached to the shaft. It might be good from Predator's perspective because it gives them the repair business, but not good from a consumer's point of view. To elaborate on that point, would you consider it a good thing if your car had a problem that required parts and service that you could only get from the manufacturer? It just isn't convenient, and in most cases, the manufacturer can just charge what they want, which is usually an inflated price compared to other similar parts/services. To sum my point up, I believe, and many share my opinion (from players to cue-makers), that the Predator ferrules are the shaft's one downside.

rackmup
08-14-2002, 03:19 PM
That explains the flat spots on my ferrules! I could not for the life of me figure out how they got there!

As it turns out, my ferrules are not cracked but instead, simply scratched.

I too, am disappointed in the quality of the ferrules.

Regards,

Ken

rackmup
08-14-2002, 03:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: tony:</font><hr>One suggestion that I have for this is to get some clear Mylar or Polyester tape (0.001" to 0.002" thick) and cover the ferrule completely.<hr></blockquote>

At over $150.00 per shaft, one shouldn't have to do this.

Regards,

Ken (supports the "friction burn" theory from driving through the cueball to the cloth on hard 9-ball breaks)

Cueless Joey
08-14-2002, 03:35 PM
Maybe Predator can switch to a shorter indestructible melamine ferrule someday.

08-14-2002, 04:23 PM
I have had my share of troubles with predator shafts and have had nothing but problems with the warranty.. I would venture to say he might have the same troubles ,although i hope not........

TonyM
08-14-2002, 10:32 PM
"At over $150.00 per shaft, one shouldn't have to do this."

You don't have to do this. I have always felt that ferrule cleanliness is based on good chalking technique, and regular shaft cleaning. When I used a Predator shaft, my ferrules always were white, and looked good for over two years.

I generally reccomend that a player ignores any slight discoloration and just play with it. Many pros play with shafts that would offend the sensibilites of many amateur players!

Tony

TonyM
08-14-2002, 10:40 PM
"Maybe Predator can switch to a shorter indestructible melamine ferrule someday"

Good idea, except that Melamine is hardly indestructable! Used in a short length and thin wall for low squirt, it would be quite fragile. The material is brittle.

The problem is not so simple as others would have you believe.

If you choose a material that is hard and resists scratching, then it will likely be brittle and more fragile. Choose a material that is very strong in thin sections, and it will likely be softer and scratch more easily.

One solution would be to go with a very short ferrule of a harder material as you suggested. But Predator have found that pool players are pretty conservative. Most would not buy a cue with a very short ferrule. It doesn't "look right" to them.

In fact the original 314 shaft had a longer ferrule for this very reason. They knew that a shorter ferrule would be technically superior, but they feared that it would not be commercially acceptable.

They also believe that the ferrule should be soft for technical reasons besides low mass. So the rigid thermoset ferrule would not fit within their ideology.

Tony
-has a cue with a 1/8" long ferrule, and it playes great! - but most pool players look at it with suspicion!

TonyM
08-14-2002, 10:50 PM
"Woops, I offended a spokesman."
Relax, I'm not. I prefer a harder ferrule myself. I'm just explaining why they make them the way they do intentionally. And it's not because they cannot afford a harder material!

"Mainly it is the fact that they are not very scratch resistant, with normal play, begin to really look like crap."

I agree with you actually. But that doesn't mean that the ferrules are of a low quality material. They chose that material for a reason. To ensure the low squirt characteristics that they were looking for. They are aware of the problem, but don't have a solution as yet. It is not so simple a problem as you might think (see my other response in this thread).

"To sum my point up, I believe, and many share my opinion (from players to cue-makers), that the Predator ferrules are the shaft's one downside."

I actually agree with most of your points. But think of it another way. Would you have bought the shaft if it didn't have the low squirt characteristics? I think that they feel that they have made a compromise in choosing a ferrule material that gives them the mechanical characteristics that they want, but with undesireable surface hardness.

As for the issue with cue repair persons, I can see your point, but I also see theirs. It is not so simple to change a Predator ferrule. The tenon design and the special features of the ferrule and void in the shaft make it non-standard to work with.

Would you complain about owning a Ferrari because Joe Shmoe at the corner garage doesn't have the parts or know how to work on it? These are the drawbacks of owning something unique. You have to decide what compromises you need to make.

If they made the shaft with a standard ferrule material and design, then yes they could allow any cue repair prson to fix it, but it wouldn't be a low squirt shaft.

But I do agree that the ferrule material discolours easily.

Tony

TonyM
08-14-2002, 10:51 PM
Lol! I said it was a suggestion, but I didn't say it was any good!

Tony
-I'd put up with a few scratches myself...

Cueless Joey
08-14-2002, 11:13 PM
Tony, I saw Mike Masse's Schuller cue's ferrule. It was prolly 1/4 inch short. Looked like a melamine to me. But not sure of course.

CarolNYC
08-15-2002, 03:49 AM
Hi Ken,
I have a Predator break cue and two Predator shafts-according to the warranty and maintenance info, it states:
Ferrule:DO NOT TRY TO REPLACE THE 314 FERRULE OR TURN IT DOWN BELOW 12.25 MM-if you feel you need a new ferrule, send it to them and they will replace it and the tip and condition your shaft and send it back to you UPS for 40.00!
Contact Karim@predatorcues.com or phone 904-448-8748!
Good luck!
Carol

rackmup
08-15-2002, 06:11 AM
The problem never was chalk on the ferrules. It's the material the ferrules are made of, the way they scratch easily and in particular, the flat spots caused by friction when the ferrule contacts the cloth.

If chalk stains were the problem, I would be happy.

Regards,

Ken

TonyM
08-15-2002, 07:54 AM
Oh yes I forgot these are break cues aren't they? I never saw the flat spot problem with the standard 314. I gues that the speed was not high enough.

Tony

TonyM
08-15-2002, 07:56 AM
Yes it is very short. And consequently, it has very low squirt. But do you really think that many pool players would buy a shaft with such a short ferrule?

If not, why not?

Cueless Joey
08-15-2002, 09:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TonyM:</font><hr> Yes it is very short. And consequently, it has very low squirt. But do you really think that many pool players would buy a shaft with such a short ferrule?

If not, why not? <hr></blockquote>
Probably not just because it is not the norm.
David Tice also makes his shafts with short ferrule. I tried Santos Sambajon's Tice cue. It had a short ferrule and it had very low squirt.

OnePocketChamp
08-15-2002, 09:06 PM
If you have cracked both of your Predator ferrules then I suggest you make a trip to your local Ace Hardware and purchase a very straight broom stick to break with because you must be a monster with a killer break!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rackmup
08-16-2002, 12:06 PM
I know who this is and you had better be careful. You are new to the CCB and we are very protective of "our own" here.

Everyone...if this is who I think it is, please welcome Les M. to the CCB. He is and has been a true friend to me since my move to Texas. He is a good guy and a pretty decent one-holer (sucks at 9-ball though.)

Regards,

Ken

Rod
08-16-2002, 01:10 PM
Have you considered the broom? Man there cheap only 3 or 4 bucks, you could really clean up with one!! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif