On the battlefield of professional sports, athletes and performers use a number of weapons, both physical and mental. In billiards, or pool, the athlete's best weapon is his cue stick. A billiards player can only be as good as his cue allows him to be, and a stick that is damaged with nicks and dents can ruin a shooter's abilities. Dented or bent sticks can change the trajectory and angle of a shot, ruining a player's accuracy. For small dents and slight bends, you may be able to straighten the cue on your own with a clothing iron and a little water.
Set your clothing iron on medium heat and allow it to warm up. Do not use the highest setting, as you'll risk burning the towel or the cue.
Fold a paper towel in half or in quarters (depending on the size of the dented area). Wet one corner of the towel with room temperature water so that the water spreads slowly through the paper towel.
Lay the wet paper towel over the dent. Press the iron to the towel for five or six seconds; you may see some steam from the heat interacting with the wet towel.
Remove the iron and inspect your work. You may need to repeat this application and add more water to the towel as needed. Continue to apply the iron in small doses until the dent is removed.
Dry the cue stick thoroughly with a clean towel. If there are any heat or water marks, polish that area of the cue stick with fine-grit (1000 grit or 1500 grit) sandpaper.
- You can replace the paper towel with a regular towel. You may need to use more water than for the paper towel, since it will not soak through the towel as easily.
- For extremely small nicks or dents, burnishing the stick with a few drops of water and a thick piece of undyed leather can have the same results; the friction from the leather mimics the heat of the iron. The towel and iron system will only work for minor damage; serious damage to a pool stick should be handled by a professional cue maker or billiards expert.
- Never apply heat directly to your cue without a towel in between, as this will severely damage the stick.
- Pool Cues image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com