How Not to Fit a Cue Ferrule?
Well I’ve fitted a few hundred tips and ferrules over the years so it’s not a surprise when I get that desperate phone call. Now you can put the odd minor error right but every now and again you get to see an attempt where someones gone ‘all in’ with a quick fix and totally wrecked a decent cue; just occasionally, they don’t tell you this up front!
Recently, I had a chat with a guy who used to be a century breaker back in the day. He asked me if I could fit a new tip and ferrule to his snooker cue. Now I knew from previous experience he had a small cue tip ferrule so there certainly wouldn’t be a lot of wood to work with!
I knew this guy some 30 years ago and he was a really good player so you have to be spot on with any alterations as many players can only perform with the one cue.
Well, when I opened the cue case and took a look inside I was a little stumped and also a little sad that one mistake had clearly led to another and had then turned into a major issue.
Let’s take a look and see if we can see what he had done prior to giving up and also how not to fit a cue ferrule.
Cue Ferrule Size
First off, lets take a look at a few of the dimensions to get an idea of what we would be up against. The brass cue ferrule size was 8.6mm with a 1mm wall thickness so there was only around 6.6mm of wood to play with if we decide to change the ferrule (if the wood was sound enough). The ferrule was in a very poor state, rounded at the top, dented and chipped.
Cue Shaft Damage
Many players tend to chalk their cue incorrectly which causes damage to the cue shaft. Wood below the ferrule is worn down over time and made weaker when the chalk touches the snooker tip and shaft at the same time. Obviously the chalk should never touch the shaft; in this case you can see the shaft diameter is nearly a millimeter thinner directly under the ferrule.
Cue Shaft Diameter
As you can see here, when we get to the other side of the chalk damage the cue shaft diameter goes up to 8.2mm.
Now considering that the ferrule size is 8.6mm, we can see that the shaft has been sanded down too much and now all the dimensions are off at each point making it a more difficult fix.
Now it’s a little difficult to pick up but about 3 inches back from the tip on the bottom and an inch and a half on the top, the shaft gets narrower (called flats) where it has been sanded. The snooker player has tried to do a little work and really overdone the tapering by not doing it in the correct way; the ferrule had been replaced for a smaller one previously.
How Not to Fit a Cue Ferrule
You can see the replacement ferrule centre is not only offset from the shaft centre but actually points off at an angle. The tip of the ferrule had been continually damaged through incorrect tip sanding and the base of the ferrule is in fact wider than the shaft diameter in places. One of the worst results I have seen for someone changing a cue ferrule when they have been in the game for a while.
A Real Head Shaker!
Well, here is the best view of how not to fit a cue ferrule. Where do I start, it’s difficult to know. Take a look for yourself as this is the best viewpoint to see the ferrule pointing downward, the cue chalk damage, the flat at the top over sanded and the ferrule damage. A real shame to see a cue in this state.
How Not to Fit a Cue Ferrule
Well let’s have a recap to my first communication.
“Hi Marc, I’ve been told you can fit new ferrules onto snooker cues; is there any chance you could pop a new ferrule on and a replacement tip, I like Elkmaster’s if you have them.”
With no mention of what had happened to the cue prior to me opening the case, this was a little bit of a surprise to say the least and not in a good way I might add. I’ve got to say that seeing all these problems without understanding the true nature of why I was asked to change the ferrule was a little frustrating as clearly the cue needs a lot of work to stand a chance of being a player again.
At least 4 inches would need to come off the tip end of this cue to get past the damage which would have reduced it to 54 inches, way too short for a standard snooker cue length of 58 inches. We could add to the butt length and then re taper the shaft but we would have to look at the balance point to get the cue back to the same dimensions and characteristics. When I looked at the butt, you guessed it, someone had dabbled with the weight and filled a large hole in with some sort of glue!!
Although the guy used to be a decent century breaker he didn’t want to spend too much money for his playing cue so it went back the way it came as this wasn’t a two minute job.
I love bringing cues back to life but when a player at that standard is continually killing their cue; regrettably, sometimes you’ve gotta let it die. Such a shame…..
Well, what a great example of how not to change a cue ferrule