View Full Version : shaft wood opinion

12-20-2002, 09:00 AM
I started a new thread because the Predator thread was getting a little long and this is off the subject anyway.

"Quote Popcorn: Your problem with the wood has more to do with your supplier then the availability of good shaft wood. If you are dumping 50% I would find another supplier. "

"Popcorn...That is not unusual! Most cuemakers are very particular about the grain, etc., of the shafts they make.
Both Cognoscenti and Samsara reject a considerable percentage of the shafts they are able to get. It is not the supplier...it is the supply."

Scott Lee

I would have to disagree. Good shaft wood is like panning for gold and when they have some really good stuff the suppliers separate it and charge accordingly. When I say the problem is the supplier I mean they seem to have a different idea as to what is A -1 wood. If you are paying for the best (what ever the cuemaker considers that to be) that is what you should be getting and this need to be commented to the supplier. He said he is buying 1 inch rounds. They should be able to grade accurately from a one inch round. That is what you are paying for. Most cue makers don't buy the best because of price regardless what they say. I think they also manage to use a much higher percent of the wood then they say. Sounds like another cuemaker myth to me, like taking two years to turn a shaft. I myself, like I said before don't like the white shafts. I don't mind a little color in the shaft as long as the grain is straight and a sufficient number of grain lines exist. I don't know where this white shaft thing got started, but I am sure it player havoc with cuemakers. The customers don't know any better and if they don't get white shafts they think they are getting screwed. I don't think they play better and I am concerned about the play of the shaft not so much how it looks.

John G
12-20-2002, 03:00 PM
Popcorn, I agree finding good shaft wood is like panning for gold but as to your comment about suppliers seperating and charging accordingly you are incorrect. While they do sort and have step pricing there really isn't much difference in what they send even when you describe what you want. The problem is wood is such a subjective call. What one person perceives as straight grain and dence, another sees something different. I've bought wood from a great many suppliers. Paid high prices and low prices and almost always end up with the same wood. I buy most my wood now in planks that I sort thru and select(2 x12 x 120). Out of this about 40% can't be used for shafts.Out of that there's only 10% or 15% that are really good shaft wood. I do agree however that most cuemakers including myself use most of this wood. You must know the type of player the cue is going to be used by and select accordingly ie, taper, diameter. some stroke, no stroke, is the butt stiff or soft etc. There's a hundred questions to answer when you select a shaft for the average pool player. Now if you're building a cue for a player then there's only one piece of wood you can use. I wont elaborate I do however agree that the brownish wood is generally better than the white. As to taking two years to cut a shaft, that's no myth. There are many who claim to do it and don't, but to properly stress relieve a piece of wood it takes many months and a great many cuts. The reason some can get away with doing less is (1) it usually wont show up for a while and (2) the blame can always be placed elsewhere, sometimes justified, sometimes not. I've argued this white clear with some top players. Many think that if it looks better then it must be but looks are deceiving. One more thing the shaft is,Contrary to popular belief, not the most important piece in the chain. Butt construction is.
You take care, John G

12-20-2002, 03:19 PM
Very interesting, thanks. Why do think the suppliers are not more dependable as far as giving the cuemakers what they want? You have had to resort to cutting your own wood. When I look at the websites there seems to be a pretty good range in price based on the quality, what ever that means. I will take your word for it, but that turning time sounds like a long time. I believe Scruggs told me it takes about three months.

John G
12-20-2002, 03:37 PM
I wish I had an answer for that. I can only tell you that what see is not what you get. I dont think it's a matter of honesty/dishonesty. I think it's ignorance and a perception of quality. As for three months, perhaps he is refering to the actual making of the shaft and not including the prework, To the best of my knowledge Scruggs is a craftsman
John g