Thomas Custom Cues - Anatomy of a Cue

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Cue Building Products
Anatomy of a cue
Weight, balance, hit


ANATOMY OF A CUE - (components before construction)  

The back consists of the bumper, butt cap, butt sleeve, handle, forearm, joint collar and joint pin.  The front is,  of course, the shaft which can contain a brass insert, a shaft collar or ring, and naturally,  the tip and the ferrule.  Inlay and design work is usually  done on the butt sleeve and the  forearm.

                                                           ANATOMY OF A CUE - (after completion)  

Designs are accomplished using techniques which include PANTOMILL, DECAL or CNC.  A (pantomill) is a tool that cuts each inlay part and pocket.  This gives the cuemaker the ability to design and install features that make the cue one of a kind.  Each inlaid part and pocket is cut by hand and each cue is unique.  All Thomas Cues are constructed like this.  A custom cue is a unique design by the cuemaker or the customer.  (Decal) These cues employ the least expensive form of cue design.  The designs are a series of decals (pictures applied to the cue) which can be made to resemble almost anything.  They can even appear to be inlayed.  Thomas Cues use no decals.  Most decal cues are mass produced in Asia and imported to the U.S.A.  (C.N.C.)- computer numberically controlled techniques are employed by most non-custom cue making companies.  The technique allows mass production of the same design.   

     Modern cues are built using one of the following construction techniques:

     (FULL SPLICE) -  In most cases, the upper portion of the cue will be maple and the bottom will be a different type of wood.  Somewhere in the cue's center the woods will be joined with a 4 pronged splice technique - (look at the construction of a  house cue).

     (SHORT SPLICE) - The butt of a cue is constructed by  using a forearm that is doweled to the handle which, in turn, is  doweled to the material used in the lower portion of the cue -  (below the wrap). This is the technique primarily used by  custom cue makers as it  allows the leeway and  tolerances needed for  elaborate inlay designs. Most Thomas Cues are fabricated utilizing  the short splice technique.