I’ve noticed over the years that people don’t want ordinary. Pedestrian. Plain.
Think about it. Most people decorate their homes. They paint walls, buy furniture and hang artwork that helps define the space they live in. People customize their cars, adding pinstripes, special audio components and custom driving lights.
The same holds true when it comes to hobbies. Woodworkers are always looking to add some ‘signature’ tools to their collections. Anglers will custom build a rod and reel to meet their individual tastes.
And people who play pool will often look to eventually have a custom pool cue.
There are some sweet looking pool cues out there that go way beyond the ultra-cheapie starter you may have picked up or the heavily abused house cue at a pool hall. Those custom models feature gorgeous wood inlays, bands and other features that make your cue stand out from the crowd.
Of course, a custom cue carries with it a hefty price. Most custom models start about $300 and can go into several thousands of dollars based on the features offered and the care of the maker.
But, if you are a woodworker and you want a custom cue, there’s nothing quite like building your own. “By creating your own masterpiece, you can demonstrate your woodworking skills… even if your pool shooting skills aren’t up to snuff,” said Eric Poirier of Bell Forest Products. “We can certainly help you get off on the right foot when you are ready to build your own.”
For the past year or so, Bell Forest Products has been offering some very cool pool cue blanks for sale that just might inspire you to get into the shop. They offer a line of full-spliced blanks made by master cuemaker Mark Bear. What makes them so special? Bear makes his cue blanks with two different species of wood cut carefully to meet up a several ‘points’. These long splice joints allow the wood to be held together by just glue, not the dowels and other joinery methods used in half-splice models. The result? Billiard players consistently rate the full spliced cues as easier to play with a superior feel.
These blanks are also made of some gorgeous combinations of wood. “We routinely carry cues featuring figured maples, bocote, purpleheart, bubinga and other exotic woods we sell. The beauty of these contrasting and complimentary woods is pretty amazing.”
Since Bell started offering the cue blanks, business has been brisk. “We go to a large cuemaker convention to show off our offerings. We get a lot of traffic at our booth from people who want to know just how we make such beautiful blanks.”
“Besides,” Eric continued, “many of our customers who build their own cues tell us that when they show up to play, they get plenty of compliments from the people they play against. Not only does the cue demonstrate their artistic ability, but they say that using what they built gives them more confidence when they play.”