Making a snooker cue

Updated February 21, 2017

Snooker is often played with two cues; one that is pretty much the same as a standard pool cue, and a long one that is much longer for difficult-to-reach shots. Although the other equipment used in snooker is somewhat intricate and would require precision and delicate tools to manufacture, the shorter, regulation snooker cue is fairly basic and can be made with a few tools.

Picking the Wood

Pick a type of wood to make your snooker cue out of, because unless you have a thorough working knowledge of how to mould fibreglass, you are going to be making it out of wood. You will also, of course, need to have some equipment to shave down and shape the wood, including a sander and a wood lathe. The most common woods used for making snooker cues are maple and ash. These types are very strong and very durable. Because the wood must be shaved down with a lathe, you will need a thick beam of wood, like a 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) piece. The common snooker cue is about 1.35 m (4 1/2 feet) long. So go to your local timber supply merchants and purchase a 1.35 m (4 1/2 feet) piece of 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) maple or ash wood.

What makes a snooker cue?

Find out what components make up a snooker cue. After all, you must know what a snooker cue is in order to make it. But don't worry, here's all you need to know. A snooker cue has three main components: the butt (which has the bumper on the end), the joint, and the shaft (which contains the ferrule and tip). The parts that are not made of wood are the tip (leather), the ferrule (hard plastic or metal), the joint (hard plastic) and the bumper (rubber). The butt is generally 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter. The cue narrows to 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the joint, then narrows further to 10 to 11 mm (0.39 to 0.43 inches) from shaft to tip. Be aware of these measurements as you plan your design. You are also going to want to pick high-quality material for all of these components. Create a design for your cue based on other cues that you have seen and follow that design.

Making and finishing a snooker cue

Cues are made on a wood lathe, which is a device that spins the wood rapidly while it is shaved down into a desired shape. A lathe is very difficult to operate and should not be handled if you are unfamiliar with its operation. If you look around your city, you may find someone who has a wood lathe and knows how to use it who would be willing to construct the pieces for you. Also know that the shaft and the butt are made separately and then connected with the joint. All of the components of a pool cue can be adhered together with wood glue. A finished cue will need to set for several hours before it can be lacquered and set with inlays, which could be anything from ivory to other types of wood.

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About the Author

Jeremy Cato is a writer from Atlanta who graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and an English degree from Morehouse College. An avid artist and hobbyist, he began professionally writing in 2011, specializing in crafts-related articles for various websites.