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View Full Version : The Absolute BEST Color Inhibitor?



Sid_Vicious
01-16-2003, 12:13 PM
Ok, I've gotta ask another time,,,what's the best sealer, etc. for the most effective protection against chalk staining a new shaft? NOW, let me re-state that I see shafts of other players that seemingly never attract color and I KNOW that my habits of cleaning and cue handling is far more attentive than theirs(my towel is always with me, wash hands intermittently, clean shaft after use), some of these people have atrocious habits! There's got to be something in how a shaft is sealed, or built, I'm clueless I guess. Can it be possibly the type of cue case used, i.e. tube case as opposed to the looser cowboy styles? What?

Regardless I have two factory fresh shafts I want to treat to the ultimate(BEFORE the first glimmer of color), proven thru experience by you cue gurus to be stain resistant to the limit. What is it???sid

Tom_In_Cincy
01-16-2003, 12:33 PM
Sid,

Washing your hands, chalking in a brushing style rather than a spining... and at an angle that lets the excess chalk fall on the floor rather than your cue, making sure you continue the habit of cleaning your shaft after each match/session, should be enough.

I like to use 2000 grit sandpaper (from an automotive store) to bring a sheen finish to my cue. Much like a piece of leather to kinda seal the wood from accepting chalk or hand dirt/oil. Its been working for me for a very long time.

SpiderMan
01-16-2003, 01:07 PM
Sid,

I've discussed this with you in person, but I'll post it here to see what sort of comments it generates.

A couple of years ago I purchased a new cue, with (of course) pristine shaft. About the same time, I also purchased a new 3x6 case, of the type that fits very snugly about the shafts. Prior to that, I had been using a "box" type of case that had a bit of "rattle room" around the shafts.

After about six months, I noticed that the shaft was showing more and more "dirty blackish/greenish" color. Funny thing was, instead of being most prominent near the ferrule and in the bridge area, the coloration seemed to be most noticeable near the joint. Enough color was visible here that the boundary where the clear varnish stopped became clearly defined.

I have become convinced that the coloration in my shaft was at least partially caused by the tight-fitting case tube, perhaps dye from the black cloth used as a liner. When my case was new, I could smell solvents (probably from adhesives) strongly in the tubes for several months. Could these solvents have carried the material dye into my shaft? I know that you have the same case, since we ordered them at the same time from Mueller's. Perhaps the manufacturer doesn't pre-wash the cloth to eliminate excess dye.

Just some thoughts, but in the future I'll definitely steer away from tube cases that tightly grip the shafts. Not a good idea for maintaining straightness anyway. I know the Guiseppe cases don't put pressure on the shafts, so they would be a good choice. Also, if I ever get a custom tube case, I'll not only get one with large tubes but I'll also ask for tan lining instead of black.

SpiderMan

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Ok, I've gotta ask another time,,,what's the best sealer, etc. for the most effective protection against chalk staining a new shaft? NOW, let me re-state that I see shafts of other players that seemingly never attract color and I KNOW that my habits of cleaning and cue handling is far more attentive than theirs(my towel is always with me, wash hands intermittently, clean shaft after use), some of these people have atrocious habits! There's got to be something in how a shaft is sealed, or built, I'm clueless I guess. Can it be possibly the type of cue case used, i.e. tube case as opposed to the looser cowboy styles? What?

Regardless I have two factory fresh shafts I want to treat to the ultimate(BEFORE the first glimmer of color), proven thru experience by you cue gurus to be stain resistant to the limit. What is it???sid <hr /></blockquote>

Sid_Vicious
01-16-2003, 02:45 PM
Spiderman...Once I find the very best promoted sealer, I'll condition my pristene new shafts I have and switch to the leather 2-2 case I got through you way back when. It is definitely not the snug, tube type plus the liner is red. If the transfer is from the die in our current cases, then I should see little or no color with the switch, certainly not green or dark stain, maybe red to some degree.

There's got to be some common denominator since other people who have lousy cleanliness routines(imo), don't get that color at the varnish line. Mine happens within on or two outtings...sid

TonyM
01-16-2003, 03:37 PM
The ultimate sealer to prevent chalk discoloration of your new shaft?

Fiberglass.

A nice thick coat of glass cloth with a nice hard well polished polyester resin.

Or, for a slightly less effective treatment, a good coat of bare polyester resin, or a coat of epoxy resin (like West System or equiv), wet sanded and polished to a mirror.

The problem with any of these methods is that they will cause the shaft to become sticky very quickly in your bridge hand and will prevent you from removing simple dents and dings easily.

There is a big compromise going on here. The more sealer, or coatings or waxes you apply to the shaft, the better it protects againts staining, but the stickier the shaft becomes for stroking, and more difficult it becomes to steam out simple dents.

I'm not a big fan of sealers or coatings at all (as I've said many times). My shafts look quite clean (but not pristine white). I use a solvent cleaner after every session (Lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol) and I use a Butterfly style case so that chalk dust doesn't accumulate in my case.

I do think that the type of case can have a definite influence.

The typical type of sealer that many cue repair people use is shellac based (like "Turner's Polish" from Behlen's) with a coat of cue wax over top.

This works pretty well.

Personally, my cues are for playing not for show. So I don't mind a slight amount of colour to my shafts. But the regular solvent wipe never allows that ugly blue or green colour to accumulate.

I'll take a bare wood shaft, well conditioned with a natural patina, over a sealed shaft any day.

Tony
-but that's just me......

Sid_Vicious
01-16-2003, 04:36 PM
Have you ever used the snug tube type cases in any part of your past with your shafts transports? The bizarre fact is still how the color jumps into the exact region right where the raw wood meets the varnish/laquer line. I simply am very suspicious about that...it happens too darn fast, and I mean in 1-2 or 3 days of use. You couldn't get any further away from where the chalk is applied, and that's where it lands for me. Some other non fiberglass shafts belonging to lazier 'clean freaks' than I just don't color, one in particular being a new Lucasi a friend has had for about a month. His is very slight in color, and believe me, he's NOT careful in how he keeps his cue. I also own a Lucasi and it colored up pronto. There's gotta be a common denominator...sid

Rod
01-16-2003, 06:13 PM
Sid here is my flu bugged brain at work. As I see it two things. The normal stroking area of a shaft, some more than others is sealed with hand oils. Some use wax or whatever.
My shaft is relatively clean from the tip to abt 18' down. That area is sealed from use. I have a Porper case. When the shaft goes in it rubs or fits in the upper part of the case snug. The area just above the finish on my shafts do have more chalk color. My guess is # 1 the friction at the upper end wears off any hand oil finish. #2 it doesn't have near the oil finish because most strokes are not that long, it's not at the business end. I'd have to say the case is where most of the problem lies. Since the shaft is not sealed well in that area, it collects chalk in the exposed grain more easily.

Tommy_Davidson
01-17-2003, 02:44 AM
&gt; I've never been impressed with the feel of new shafts,so I refinish mine right out of the box. I take the sprayed finish much further back,leaving about 3-4 inches before the joint collar sprayed. I sand it back a smooth finish,using every grade up to 2000. I then use an alcohol based sanding sealer,available from guitar repair supply houses,applying several coats,and sanding with 1500 in between coats. I've also used a satin gloss polyurethane by Minwax and available at Wal-Mart. It's a little thicker,so you really have to careful to apply thinner coats,and very sticky when wet,so extreme care must be used when applying. Carelessness will be punished by having the rag or applicator hang up on the shaft when turning it in a a lathe,and jerking it right out of your hand. This will scare you I promise. After letting the last coat of sealer dry for a few minutes,I sand with a fresh piece of 2000. I then apply several coats of carnauba wax. You get what you pay for when buying a good wax,but what is most important is that it's YELLOW. Any other color will affect the color much sooner than you think. The KIT brand in the yellow can rom Wal-Mart is horrible,don't waste your time. Meguiar's #26 High Tech Yellow,Mother's Gold Pure Carnauba,and Wax Shop are all good,but are expensive,but last a LONG time when using exclusively for cues. I've been using the same can of Meguiar's for 4 years. The best place to get the finer grades of sandpaper and high quality wax are car parts and specialty stores,or shops that specialize in paint supplies. When done,this method makes the shaft super duper slick,enough that most players won't like it. I keep a fresh piece of 2000 with me all the time when playing,and burnish them a lot. I have shafts that have 1500 hours of play on them and still feel better to most people that hit balls with my cue than new shafts do. I have also experimented with using epoxy as a sealer,as well as buffing the shfats in the lathe with white polishing compound,and even paraffin-type wax that people use to make those whitish-clear candles. What matters is what YOU like the feel of,but as some people here have said,making small repairs can be a pain when using most any sealing method. As far as the finish being totally impervious to dirt and chalk,nothing short of a sprayed finish will keep it all out,even the method I have outlined. Another thing that has to be considered is what YOUR hands do to a shaft over time. Some people have very acidic sweat,and their shafts turn color rather quickly,usually in blotchy fashion. Some people's hands don't sweat much or at all,so their shafts usually stay close to original. When dealing with color,what you want is the shaft to become colored the same way all the way down,instead of really dirty by the ferrule and joint,and clean in the middle. Try chalking up with your grip hand. There is also the phenomenon of dirty shafts playing different than clean ones,but I won't go into that here. Tommy D.