Fake Snooker Cues
Well there would be no point in making fake snooker cues but certainly things are not always as they seem. Did you get what you thought or what you paid for? Some things have caught our attention of late and this topic has been a popular discussion around the snooker circles. The snooker market is flooded with unknown imported cues and equipment, some unscrupulous sellers can take advantage of this lack of knowledge so it can be really difficult to know which names to trust and which ones to avoid.
What sorts of problems are surfacing when receiving a new snooker cue?
- Incorrect cue specs turning up
- Damaged cues
- Poor packaging
- Warped cues
- Rattling internal cue weights
- Incorrect woods
- Ebony paint on splices
The general discussion doing the rounds is, “Does it make a difference as long as the cue plays well?”
Well I guess I’ll leave that one to you but you should certainly receive what you ordered or at least be able to have a frank discussion with the merchant if not.
I recently purchased a cue from a make growing in popularity overseas to see why it sold at such a great price. Surely these guys cannot afford to make and deliver an ebony cue at that price? Well let’s take a look what I found.
Now I’m not normally in the habit of wrecking new products but every now and again I like to see that a product is what it says it is on the box, so to speak.
So what happened…
Ebony Butt and Splice Fingers?
Well the cue was around the £55 mark, a little cheap considering the cost of ebony, the multiple splices, packaging and postage. So, the focus was on taking the horrible lacquer off and then oiling the cue so it would still be in a great condition (if it has nothing to hide). Well a little bit of sanding straight away revealed this to be ebony paint under the lacquer; obviously to give that ebony appearance!
Why paint over good wood?
Well at a first glance the cue looked like someone had spent a lot of time splicing and trying to create a sound cue. If you take a look at one of the splicing fingers you can see straight away that it has’t been finished correctly. The first attempted fix was the maker trying to paint or maybe burn the wood to create the effect of the missing piece of splice (no ebony paint at this stage). Because this attempt failed, it looks like they have decided to use ebony paint over the original rosewood splices!
With all the paint removed you could clearly see that the cue butt has a few cracks, none major, just not dealt with correctly. One had been filled and the other smaller ones had been ironed out with the lacquer and paint. It’s a little sad to see someone go to great efforts to hide the workmanship when really they must have known the cue was lost when the splice wasn’t finished correctly. What a shame.
Let’s take an overall view
Well after putting the cue on a sanding lathe we removed all the lacquer to see what the rest of the cue looked like. Gotta say, the rest of the snooker cue actually looked pretty good so there was a lot of effort put into it initially. It’s sad that the maker wasn’t up front and you’ve got to ask yourself if this is regular practice when things don’t go right.
Did the butt come up ok?
Well overall the butt looks ok. Looking at the splices a great deal of effort was made to get some patterns on the butt. With the lacquer removed the butt itself isn’t that bad at all considering the price and the weight feels good at around 17.5 ounces (fine for me that is!).
It’ll be interesting to see what a little oil does for this cue, looking at the sanded shaft I think it should turn out ok.
Don’t you love a bit of oil….
After sanding the butt with various grades of sandpaper, the lacquer is completely gone and the cue butt feels great. At this stage it’s time to add a little bit of oil to bring the cue to life again. Around 3 coats has gone well and the cue has come up great and feels superb in the hand. We also like to add a couple of those secret stages to help the cue glide well and this cue certainly does now.
And how did the splices come up?
Well now the cues been re-finished, I’ve got to say it looks great with that nice deep shine. Now the ebony paint has been removed, it has revealed a nice deep shine with the oil on and all the cracks have been attended to. This cue now feels great with the oil and slides across the fingers well and I’m sure it will be a good player. Ebony paint. Who needs it? Fake snooker cues, the term might not quite be right but neither was the original advert I reckon.
Fake Snooker Cues – Whether the sole purpose of the ebony paint was to cover up the fact that a cheaper wood was used or because the cue was damaged in a few places it’s uncertain. Either way, it’s not as described in the advertisement. One thing that’s for sure; when removing lacquer to smooth the cue can be a bit risky if you are unfamiliar who the manufacturer is.
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