I recently had a pool table set up and now am trying to figure out as much as I can. What is the proper way to prepare a new cue tip? I bought a Brunswick table second hand and it came with some "house cues". I bought a new short cue for my daughter and they prepared the tip some way so that it was not smooth. I see items on line that may do the same thing but have no idea how they would be used or how often. My son and I are both hoping for new cues at Christmas and I want to make sure I treat them properly right away.
- Fenwick on 12/4/2009 8:20:20 PM
So very many tip choices out there from hard to soft. Softer tips tent to mushroom more and need to be burnished more often. It's a method to reshape the side of the tip when it mushrooms. Then you need to shape the top of the tip. Two choices are a dime shape or a nickel shape. Then there is a tool called a tip pick. It's a way to roughen the tip and permeate the tip with caulk. Check out one of the advertisers here and see what you find on tip tools. The less you shape the tip the longer they last. I just touch mine up ever so slightly my tips last well over a year.
- quickshot on 12/4/2009 10:01:26 PM
Try to keep the tips lean. By clean I mean free of any wax or solvents or oil and dirt from the hands or other sources..
One of the reasons your daughters is rough is simply because the tip should not be smooth.If it is it will not hold chaulk. I would suggest buying the Master's brand tip chaulk. Blue.
There are some simple tools you should have to keep the tips in good shape. One is a tip shaper and the other is a cube for roughing up the tips surface. Also, there is a tip pick which is a great little item. Go to one of the web sites
such as Ozone Billiards.com or Seyberts.com and follow your way to tip repairs and maintenance. Don't go bannanas over all the stuff they offer. The shaper, the cube and the tip pick. Do not get the shaper with the razor edge. You can damage the tip if not used right. The tip pick is a brass color, the shaper is black about 2 inches long and the cube is a square silver color.
You can also use a piece of corse sandpaper to keep the tips rough so thay will hold chaulk. Just remember, anything you do to your cues, do it gently.
As fenwick mentioned, there are different types of tips. Soft, hard, medium and medium hard and a few in between types. The soft ones will have a tendencey to mushroom after a while. That's where the shaper comes into play. Some of the others will also but not as often. The ferrules will also need some care. They will get chaulk on them. Try to keep them clean. Never tried this, but I hear a little tooth paste will do the job.
Enjoy your table and the game.
- Mitch Alsup on 12/5/2009 2:15:29 PM
A coarse to medium finger nail file is as good at tip preperation as any other piece of equiptment can be. Stiff 120-200 grit sandpaper also works well.
There are some players who like a rough surface and use a coarser grit of sandpaper to roughten up the surface. Others, like myself, don't care if teh surface is rougn (see not advantage) as long as the surface has not glazed over and won't hold chalk. Then a tip does glaze over, a couple of strokes from a finge nail file will remove the glaze.
Always stroke away from the center of the tip. This will prevent the abrasive from delaminating the tip (in case it is laminated). The trick to getting the crown of the tip in the exact center of the shaft is to turn the shaft constantly as you strooke the sandpaper from the center towards the edge. You don't even have to pay attention, just stroke and turn and it will simply come out perfect.
Edited to add: if you dimple a tip from an very hard stroke, you can also use sandpaper to re-roundify the tip. The shape should be somewhere between the radius of a quater and a 7mm washer (which is closer to 13mm in diameter) however most people stick in the range of a nickle to a dime. The smaller the radius, the more accurate the player's stroke has to be.
- Fenwick on 12/5/2009 3:44:22 PM
The smaller the radius, the more accurate the player's stroke has to be.
That's a very important point you made. That's why most players go with a nickel shaped tip in my opinion.
- quickshot on 12/5/2009 7:35:54 PM
I hesitated to mention sand paper for a few reasons. Two of them are your son and daughter. I do not know their ages, but I, having raised 7 children, and are well aware of their acumen when it comes to things they are not sure of or have never had any familiarity with etc cetra.
The third reason is sandpaper itself. If not used properly it will very rapidly ruin the object it is being used on. Cue tips are, for all practicale reasons, a fairly delicate part of the cuestick. Using sandpaper on them is not a good idea unless one knows what he/she is doing.
As for shaping, you can put a nickel or a dime on a piece of paper and draw a half circle. Depending on the tip you are using you can use that as a template to shape the cue tip. If you and your family are beginners I would strongly suggest 13 mm. It is becoming the norm on many sticks.
After you are using the cuesticks for a while they will get dirty and possibile sticky from the small hands. RULE OF THUMB.....NO FOOD OR DRINK IN, ON, OR AROUND THE TABLE. Clean hands make for clean cuesticks.
As for cleaning the cuestick you can do it very simply. I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser that you can buy at your local market. You can use it dry or SLIGHTLY dampen it. After that wipe it down with a soft cloth and then GENTLY WIPE IT DOWN WITH SOME 1000 GRIT SANDPAPER. When it is smooth put a couple of coats of carbanuba wax on it. Same as you use on your car. Ther is no need to buy all the products you will see out there.
This is my method. Other people have different approaches. I believe in KIS. Keep it simple.
- Mitch4Horton on 12/5/2009 8:51:19 PM
Thank you for all the great feedback.