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08-16-2002, 12:26 AM
Dear Expert?
Is it safe to clean shaft using damp cloth?
Would it be damaging when the shaft get wet?

Thank you very much in advance,
John B

PQQLK9
08-16-2002, 06:09 AM
been safe for me...I burnish afterward...

SpiderMan
08-16-2002, 08:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: john B:</font><hr> Dear Expert?
Is it safe to clean shaft using damp cloth?
Would it be damaging when the shaft get wet?

Thank you very much in advance,
John B <hr></blockquote>

John,

You can probably do it without damage, but I find that plain water dries pretty slowly, which allows it to raise the "fuzz" on a shaft. So, when it's available, I dampen my rag with a little rubbing alcohol instead.

If you're going to use water, might as well use something with extra cleaning power like Windex.

I've read some posts saying a few over-the-counter shaft cleaners having bleaching products in them, so I'm a little wary of using them. Such a product might eventually "rot" the surface and make it soft.

There are also a few on here that recommend lighter fluid (naptha). Obviously, mineral spirits can also be used without harm to wood.

SpiderMan

TomBrooklyn
08-16-2002, 08:37 AM
The cloth should only be wet enough that you can't wring any water out of it. I'd say damp is a better word than wet. After I do it, I dry it off immediately. There is hardly any water on it anyway. The whole process takes 30-60 seconds. My cue shaft is currently waxed, so it hardly absorbs anything. Even if it wasn't waxed, I don't think it would absorb much moisture. Wood absorbs and gives off moisture normally in accordance with the humidity in the air. I don't think the amount of moisture from a slightly damp rag rubbed on the shaft for a few seconds will hurt it. Also, I run the damp rag over the whole length and all around, so any moisture it absorbs would be about equal everywhere along the whole length.

It's a lot better to get the chalk off the shaft which builds up with every use. The chalk will make the shaft feel less smooth which is bad. I'm going to try Spidermans idea for a mineral spirit cleaning. That would probably clean it better than water. But thats something I will do at home now and then. I shoot mostly with an inexpensive sneaky pete that I normally leave in my vehicle and I make a point of wiping it with a damp paper towel at the pool hall after every use. I always get chalk off it when I do that.

Troy
08-16-2002, 08:43 AM
Well John, I've been using Simple Green diluted with about two parts water in a spray bottle for quite a while with ZERO damage. I use a soft cloth (diaper) and dry the shaft immediately.

Another good cleaner is cigarette lighter fluid.

Troy

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: john B:</font><hr> Dear Expert?
Is it safe to clean shaft using damp cloth?
Would it be damaging when the shaft get wet?

Thank you very much in advance,
John B <hr></blockquote>

Vapros
08-16-2002, 08:54 AM
I see water, alcohol, lighter fluid and mineral spirits all listed as cleaning agents. I might add lacquer thinner, as it is a great solvent for many kinds of dirt - especially oily dirt - and it has the added advantage that it flashes off almost immediately, giving little opportunity for the wood to absorb it.

08-16-2002, 09:42 AM
John,
A damp towel is probably the safest and easiest way to take the surface grunge off of your shaft. Especially since most bars and pool rooms have those two items. I would be careful with chemical solvents, as they can drive the dirt deeper where it can never be removed from the wood (been there and done that). Even though I have a lathe to clean my shafts spinning, I always find myself in a hurry to get out the door and the one quick thing that I do to clean / slick up my cues is use Pledge on them (sprayed on a rag and then applied). It will not only make your cue feel better, it will also make it smell better (we all know how the smoke smell gets on a cue). I have never had a problem using pledge on any part of a cue. Hope that this helps....

Rod
08-16-2002, 01:32 PM
John,
I use a warm damp cloth when I have some little dings in my shaft, it swells the wood. My normal route is denatured alcohol. It removes any oil and I use it to clean my wrap. It dries very fast. As suggested some use lighter fluid, but not on the wrap.

08-16-2002, 01:39 PM
I play with a Cognoscenti. Joe Gold himself told me when I bought it from him to only clean the shafts with alcohol. I do so regularly and have had outstanding results. I would stay away from water. As others have said, it dries slowly and can roughen the surface of the shaft, due to wood swelling. I would also guess that there is a difference in how alcohol is/isn't absorbed into the wood (compared to water) and that also accounts for the differences in how alcohol doesn't swell and roughen the wood like water. But that's just a guess. I don't know for sure.

Stay away from the abrasive cleaners. They will wear the shaft down over time.

TonyM
08-17-2002, 06:25 AM
Yes it is safe to clean a shaft with a damp cloth. And no it will not damage the shaft in any way.

I prefer to use lighter fluid as it does not raise the grain. I also like rubbing alcohol.

Recently, I suggested that players might want to look into lens cleaning solution. The kind used to clean glasses. It comes in a handy small squirt dispenser, has some sort of mild solvent, does a good job removing hand oils, and doesn't raise the grain. You can keep it in your cue case as well.

As you can tell, I prefer a solvent based approach as opposed to a water based approach. But a damp cloth is often all you can get easily at a pool hall, and it has worked for many years.

Good luck!

Tony