Taylor Made Snooker Cues – New Cue Range
Snooker Crazy and it’s staff are very happy to have been chosen as one of only a few stockists of the new Taylor Made cue range in the UK.
Joining forces with Gary Taylor and the team at Taylor Made is a superb move for the company. Everyone at Snooker Crazy is very excited and looking forward to supporting the Taylor Made range of cues which we are sure will be an outstanding success. We have been very lucky to discuss and see first hand how the cues are prepared, tipped and finished to such a high quality.
Personally, what I like about Gary is he can and does, do it all. There aren’t many cue makers who can say they have made a cue for World Champion. On more than one occasion I have been lucky enough to visit Gary in his workshop and seen the ‘Master’ working on cues, he certainly makes it look easy. Seeing how Gary finishes his cues with his new blend of the finest oils and polishes really does show off years of experience, great to see it in action.
So, we thought we would provide a little background on Gary’s new Taylor Made range of cues.
We are sure you will find it interesting as seeing as I am always keen on cue shaft preparation this new range certainly caught my interest.
But, before we do this, I was intrigued as to how Gary Taylor got into cue making and what a lovely story it turned out to be so I have nothing but pleasure in sharing it with you.
Mick Taylor – Master Cue Maker
Gary’s Father Mick was a Master cue maker way back before the introduction of all the modern machinery, tools and support we all have in today’s industry. Nowadays with the advantages of CNC / copy lathes, cue dowel lathes, jigs, electric planes, 6ft sanding rollers, time saving kilns, planer sanders and God knows what else at our fingertips, it’s easy to lose sight of the cue making craft and what served to be the foundation of the modern industry as we know it now.
Because cue making has been a secret art over the years, many legendary cue makers and their part in it’s history have been sadly lost in time so it brought joy to my heart to learn of this one and share a little bit of history with you.
Gary’s father Mick, like many others of the day was a self taught cue maker. He learned his trade by rolling up his sleeves and getting passionate about wood. What I love about that generation was its energy to to try and not be afraid of failure as it was through that path they would achieve if they had resolve; Gary’s Father had that in abundance.
Mick worked out of a dusty garden shed of all places and didn’t need the modern day luxuries for all he cared about was making a cue that played and boy he knew about wood. As Gary is talking to me, he is shaking his head and you can see that he is also still in awe of how much his Father knew about cue making and repairs.
Mick’s skill set with his hands and the few tools he had available were unparalleled in the cue making world and it didn’t take long for his reputation to grow especially with the up and coming players knocking his door for his services. It’s rare that any information comes to light about Master Craftsmen in the 1960’s so hearing about Mick making his own grain fillers and using nothing but natural materials and wood sap in the process is gold dust; what I would give just to watch him working away in that shed.
Gary, talking about his Father, proudly told me of how he loved it as Mick would show him all the ‘secrets’ he had learned in his journey and the first time he was shown how to hand cut and make shafts by hand, something that sadly is rarely adopted nowadays.
What Gary mostly remembers is Mick’s quest for ‘perfection’ no matter what he was involved in. Due to his reputation as a ‘Master Craftsmen’, he had made furniture for Royalty over the years and also had jewellery boxes he’d made purchased by Harrod’s, I’m guessing not many craftsmen can say that.
In the modern era, Mick had undertaken repairs to the cue of Ronnie O’Sullivan and hand-made the cue used by Stuart Bingham when he won the 1996 World Amateur Snooker Championship. Over the years, many of the games up and coming player and household names today in the sport have at some time either had a cue from Mick or he’s certainly repaired it!
Hearing about Mick was superb for me as I love the art of cue making but even more than that, I love the generation before myself that just did stuff with their hands. They were a self providing generation that always found a way to make things happen through unwavering effort and only time could try and wear them down as they certainly wouldn’t buckle through hard work.
Gary’s laughs as he says, “He was a nightmare of a man coming from a generation that could hardly read or write, but my Father had a skill set with his hands that was truly off the scale and any cue maker nowadays who makes the whole cue by hand would love to have spent time with him,” I certainly would.
Taylor Made Snooker Cues
- About Gary Taylor
- Cue Production Changes
- Cue Materials
- Drying and Finishing
- Cue Specifications
About Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor, Group owner of Taylor Made Cues has more than 30 years experience within the industry and with a family legacy that stretches back many more years. Gary learned his trade from his Father Mick, a Master cue maker. Gary certainly has cue making in his blood and that coupled with a passion cue repairs has lead him to be one of the most well known names within the industry, whether here in the Uk or overseas.
About Gary – Taylor
Gary, known as the Cue Doc, ran a cue shop for years in Southend carrying out cue repairs and refurbishments within the industry.
His reputation precedes him in a competitive market. Other than working on many famous players cues, Gary also went on to make the cue used by Stuart Bingham when he became the World Professional Snooker Champion in 2015, not many can say that.
Cue Production Changes
In 2013, most quality cue production was stopped in the UK and moved abroad due to increasing production costs. The Pro range was continued in the UK. The larger market that Gary was more passionate about delivering to simply had to be changed.
This lead to the success of Taylor Made Cues as we see it today.
All cues and materials are sourced from multiple sources in the far east. Included in this is Russian 5 star rigid ash which has been chosen to ensure each cue has the benefit of a firm to stiff shaft. The cue butts are furnished with exotic hardwoods and interesting root formations that are air dried, then cut and shaped into distinctive designs enhancing the look of each cue in the Taylor Made range.
From 2020 Century Pro Cue Tips will be fitted as standard on all Taylor Made cues.
Each cue is balanced and weighted as required.
Cue lengths range between 57.1″ – 58″
Tips range between 9.3mm – 9.6mm
In our quest to supply top quality cues in this price bracket we have seen many recreations of similar designs from other suppliers. But, the determining factor for us in choosing the Taylor Made range is the marked difference in the quality of the shafts and the incredible finish Gary and his staff achieve on each cue.
When striking the cue ball you need to be confidence that the shaft is rigid enough to deliver a solid strike and many of the ‘Whippy’ shafts in similar ranges on offer to us just didn’t stand up to this test. The fact that Gary can put aside hundreds of cues for months to go through their unique drying process adds a consistent rigidity in the shaft that we haven’t seen. We have had samples from many other suppliers with the occasional decent cue shaft but none can supply in volume at this grade like Taylor Made.
Coupled with Gary’s new blend of oils and polishes the decision to stock the new TM range was an easy one. You only have to see Gary finish a cue in his workshop and feel the difference in flex of one of his cues compared to similar products and you can see why he has been so successful over the last 30 years.
Every one of the cues in this range will now come with a G1 Century Pro Cue tip as standard.