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Imitation Birdseye Pool Cue?

Imitation Birdseye Pool Cue?

I recently bought an 18oz Challenger 2 pool cue stick which shoots very nicely for its price. I am wondering if there is anything wrong with imitation birdseye in a pool cue? Is the actual wood still going to be as good as regular maple?

Judging from the Challenger Cues website, it seems like my cue uses the same shaft as those at the top of Challenger's line of cues.


I also thought about getting it tapered down to an 11 or 12 (its a 13 now) but if I like it how it plays, is it worth getting it tapered?

Imitation Birdseye Pool Cue?

Replies & Comments

  1. Mickey BrennemanFenwick on 12/2/2009 12:26:01 PM

    Just my opinion. The smaller the shaft the less room for error and going from 13 mm to a 11 or 12 mm is a huge change. Unless you have very strong fundamentals it going to be a struggle to adapt again just my opinion. As far as having it turned down the best price I found was $50. Remember once you take it off you can't put it back on. A second shaft could run you around $100 give or take unless you're talking about a low deflection shaft. If you like it how it is, (13 mm is pretty much standard these days), why change. I have no experience with Challenger cues but posting a link is the same as advertising for free IMO.

  2. Mickey BrennemanMickey Brenneman on 12/2/2009 12:30:38 PM

    thanks for the answer. the cue itslef was only 60$ so i could just as easily buy another challenger cue if i dont like the smaller taper. however i think ill just stick with what i have now because i think i can be just as good with the standard taper as i can with a smaller taper. and sorry dont mean to sound like im advertising.

  3. Mickey BrennemanFenwick on 12/2/2009 2:05:06 PM

    Taper and shaft diameter are two entirely different things. Two that come to mind are a pro taper and English taper.

  4. Mickey BrennemanMickey Brenneman on 12/2/2009 5:01:15 PM

    whats the difference between pro taper and english taper?

  5. Mickey Brennemanquickshot on 12/2/2009 6:38:17 PM

    Mickey: What I have to ask you is: if you like the shaft, and you are comfortable with it, and it plays well for you, why would you want to change it. When I got back into the game after a 40 yr layoff, I bought a $63.00 Player cue with a 13 mm tip. It did me well without any complains. If you like the 13 mm why change it? It seems to be becoming the norm. I think.

    I do not know your skill level, but Fenwick has made a point of good advice. I suggest you take it into consideration. You start going down into 11, 12, 12.5 you have a major learning curve to content with. Your skill level should play a major roll in your decisions.

  6. Mickey BrennemanMickey Brenneman on 12/2/2009 7:07:00 PM

    ok, then ill leave the shaft like it is.

    im still concerned about the butt being made of imitation birdseye. can someone atleast explain the difference between imitation birdseye and real birdseye maple/rosewood?

    as for my skill level: id consider myself an intermediate player. ive been playing for 6 or 7 months now. everyonce in awhile ill make a shot that doesnt go anywhere near where i wanted it (usually depends on how much attention im paying to the shot) im ok with using english, i know about how english isnt nearly as important as alot of beginners think it is. and i know some things about offensive and defensive strategy.

  7. Mickey Brennemanquickshot on 12/2/2009 7:17:21 PM

    I do not know the difference between the two. But does it really matter? The cue is doing what you expect it to do and that is what counts. But, if you are really into knowing, try doing some research on the subject. You may want to start with the manufacturer. I'll look around and see if i can come up with something.

  8. Mickey Brennemanquickshot on 12/2/2009 7:29:27 PM

    This a basic start. I don't know about imitation birds eye maple.

    Bird's eye figure is a phenomenon that occurs within several kinds of wood, most notably in hard maple. It has a distinctive pattern that resembles tiny, swirling eyes disrupting the smooth lines of grain. It is somewhat reminiscent of a burl, but it is quite different: the small knots that make a burl a burl are missing.

    It is not known what causes the phenomenon. Research into the cultivation of bird's eye maple has so far discounted the theories that it is caused by pecking birds deforming the wood grain or that an infecting fungus makes it twist. However, no one has demonstrated a complete understanding of any combination of climate, soil, tree variety, insects, viruses or genetic mutation that may produce the effect.

    Bird's eye maple is most often found in Acer saccharum (sugar maple), but millers also find bird's eye figure in red maple, white ash, Cuban mahogany, American beech, black walnut, and yellow birch. Trees that grow in the Great Lakes region of Canada and the United States yield the greatest supply, along with some varieties in the Rocky Mountains. Although there are a few clues in a tree's bark that indicate the lumber might have bird's eye figure, it is usually necessary to fell the tree and cut it apart to know for sure.


    In most characteristics, wood with bird's eye figure is no different from the rest of the wood from the same tree. Depending on the frequency of the birdseye swirls, each ?" to ?" wide (0.3-1 cm), the wood may be extremely valuable. While woodworkers prize the timber primarily for its use in veneers, it also turns well on a lathe, allowing it to be shaped into decorative canes, chair legs, and handles.


    Bird's eye maple may be expensive, up to several times the cost of ordinary hardwood. It is used in refined specialty products, such as as an automobile trim, both in solid form and veneer, boxes and bowls for jewelry, thin veneer, humidors, canes, furniture inlays, handles, guitars, and pool cues are popular uses. Items made with this wood tend to be more expensive not only because the wood is more costly but because it is harder to work. When working with bird's eye wood, it is advisable to take care in what tools are used, so as to prevent grain tearout.

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird%27s_eye_figure"

  9. Mickey BrennemanMickey Brenneman on 12/2/2009 7:33:56 PM

    somehow i have a feeling that its like a peice of vinyl wrapped around the butt of the cue to make it look like birdseye or maybe fiberglass or a similar material, but i dont know enough about wood to tell the difference... not to mention it has a pretty thick finish on it making it harder to tell im just wondering if i can trust the durability of the butt and if it will last over time. i also suspect that the nylon wrap will come loose over time but for now the wrap is pretty nice

  10. Mickey Brennemanquickshot on 12/2/2009 7:49:48 PM

    For $60 I would say it is laminated. Take care of it and you won't have a problem. Now put it to rest and go play pool.

  11. Mickey BrennemanFenwick on 12/2/2009 9:16:45 PM

    A English pro taper is smaller longer and more gradual. It's what I prefer. If your stroke is somewhere around 10 - 12 inches the differences is slight. A pro taper is more dramatic or becomes bigger in a shorter distance. More cone shaped for a lack of a better term. Maybe Mitch can elaborate better then I. He has a way with words.

  12. Mickey BrennemanMickey Brenneman on 12/3/2009 1:48:15 AM

    OK, I understand your explanation. Thanks. My stroke is relatively short so an english taper probably wouldn't be any benefit to me.

    Since I got this cue, I've beaten my mentor a few times haha, and I can make much sharper cuts. And when its chalked up I can draw the cue ball nearly the length of the table.

  13. Mickey Brennemanquickshot on 12/3/2009 9:08:06 PM

    Now that we have all the techie questions and info out of the way you can shoot pool with peace of mind. You take care of the cue and the cue will take care of you.

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Imitation Birdseye Pool Cue?

  • Title: Imitation Birdseye Pool Cue?
  • Author:
  • Published: 12/2/2009 10:13:13 AM