Snooker Cue Repair

Snooker Cue Repair 14

Snooker Cue Repair

Recently I was told about one of our more senior players that had lent his playing cue to one of the younger members in his club. The lad that borrowed the cue and had a few to drink. That night he played badly and decided it would be a good idea to smash the cue against the table (so I’m told).

Either way, the cue broke at the 3/4 joint, broke a piece of ebony off and split the cue in four places.

A member I knew gave me the cue to see if we could get it back to it’s original state and hopefully cheer up the old guy who had been generous enough to lend his cue out!

Snooker Cue Repair

Problems encountered?

  • 4 Splits in the ebony butt
  • Painted butt over previous repair
  • Pitted butt filled with paint, then oiled
  • 1 inch piece of ebony broken off
  • Shaft lacking grain filler
  • Shaft sanded badly

Snooker Cue Repair 2

Snooker Cue Repair – Broken Joint

This is a great view of the damage done to the cue joint. Two splits on the left and right hand side and a decent chunk of ebony broken away from the joint. The joint and surface has a fair amount of old glue that will need to be removed and cleaned up to give the joint a chance of being sound again.

Snooker Cue Repair 3

Snooker Cue Repair – Ebony Splits

This isn’t the greatest of photographs but you get the general idea of the damage caused by the splits. This split has made it’s way done the cue butt at least 2 inches so should be interesting to see how well it glues back up. I always hate breakages when you are handed small pieces of the butt as it’s a real game ensuring you get the cue back to something like it’s original state!

Snooker Cue Repair 5

Snooker Cue Repair – Cue Joint

Once the cue joint had been thoroughly cleaned I set about putting all the pieces back together with a decent glue suitable for metal and wood. Obviously here the key is to also ensure the joint is fully wound home or the splices won’t line up afterwards! The joint fortunately ended up really sound even though I was putting small pieces of ebony back in.

Snooker Cue Repair 4

Snooker Cue Repair – Cue Split Repair

As you can see here the joint is back together and sound. Now starts the process of refinishing the butt and getting it back to it’s original state. Let’s see what we find when we remove the existing oil from the surface. Sometimes it can be a bit of an eye opener as to what pops out that you certainly haven’t planned for when starting with repairs.

Snooker Cue Repair 6

Snooker Cue Repair – Ebony Hole

At first the ebony looked fine with a light sanding but then it became apparent that there was a sizable hole in the ebony that had been filled. This wouldn’t normally be too much of a problem but whatever had been used was breaking down under the oil. Obviously this would need to be filled and sanded so it cannot be seen once the oil is re applied and finished.  

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Snooker Cue Repair 7

Snooker Cue Repair – Paint?

Once the cue butt had been thoroughly sanded lots of pitting was revealed in the ebony. Small pieces just kept falling out so either a poor grain filler had been used or the holes were filled with paint. It actually felt like paint to me but sometimes it is difficult to tell. Either way they would have to be filled with an ebony grain filler / sealer, whichever suited this piece of wood best!  

Snooker Cue Repair 9

Snooker Cue Repair – Badge

The badge is a particularly awkward shape on the cue butt so a lot of care had to be taken not to scratch it. Over the years the badge (brass) had tarnished so it felt like a good idea to give it a good clean up whilst we were at it. The ebony certainly wasn’t jet black before the repair work but considering this wasn’t an expensive cue and the woods weren’t top notch, the butt hasn’t come up too bad.

Snooker Cue Repair 9

Snooker Cue Repair – Cue Joint

As we can see here the repair crack lines have disappeared and the cue has a bit of depth with the oil being added and buffed to within an inch of it’s life! There was no guarantee the cue would get back to it’s original condition or that the joint would be sound enough for the cue to become a player again. Fortunately it has done both and the cue is in regular use by it’s owner once again.

The pictures weren’t the greatest here but you get the general idea of what was completed and what can be done with some cue repairs. 

What should we learn from this? Never, ever lend your cue to anyone unless you accept there is a potential for damage. I have learned this from personal experience. I lent a cue to someone 36 years ago and apparently that weekend it fell over after being placed on the edge of the table. The damage was bad enough and in those days I was told it was not repairable (apparently).

Last year I was playing snooker with someone who was there that weekend and was astounded that I didn’t know that it had been smashed over a table by a close friend when he lost a lot of money in a bet. 

There are not friends when it comes to your cue, don’t do it!

As for this cue, I had immense pleasure to surprise this guy with his cue and see the smile on his face, hopefully it made up for his previous disappointment. It was nice to do something for free and see his faith restored in people and the member who gave it to me. 

Look after those cues guys.

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