Basic Cue Care - by Larry Eforgan

  1. Keep your cue clean. A clean cloth dampened with warm soapy water will remove dirt, grease and chalk marks from your cue. This will make your cue smoother to the touch and enable it to slide along your bridge hand much easier. Always remember to dry your cue thoroughly as leaving it damp especially on areas where varnish has been removed can lead to it warping out of shape.
  2. Clean your cue case regularly. A clean cue in a dirty case will result in a dirty cue. Try also to keep your accessories in a separate compartment to avoid damage to your cue and especially the tip.
  3. Replace worn tips. Tips that are badly worn can result in damage to the ferule (the small brass sleeve at the end of the cue to which the tip is secured) to a degree that replacement is sometimes necessary. If you tend to wear down a tip on one side regularly, try reshaping it with some very fine sandpaper.
  4. De-chalk your tip. Flicking the tip with a fingernail can free impacted chalk from your tip which will loosen the ‘nap’ of the tip and allow a better grip on the cue ball. Using a small file (called a ‘half round bastard’ if you want to buy one) is also a useful tool for raising the nap of the tip. Please seek advice before using a file.
  5. Keep your cue straight. Leaving your cue leaning will place stresses on one side of the cue which over time can lead to it warping. Good advice is to always place your cue on the table when not holding it during play. Of course your cue should always be in your case when not in use. For those players who have one piece cues the sleeves for these cues have an eyelet. This enables the cue to be hung during storage ensuring that no stresses are placed on the cue.
  6. Extremes of temperature can damage your cue. Timber cues, especially the ones made from Maple, are prone to warping in very hot or very cold conditions. Always keep your cue in a cool dry place. Specifically do not leave it in the boot of your car during hot summers.
  7. Keep your temper. Do not use your cue as a ‘whipping boy’ when frustrations get the better of you. Your cue is the only tool you have to improve your game. Remember, it’s a tool not a weapon.
  8. Too tight is too bad. For those players with two or three piece cues, over tightening the pieces when assembling your cue can also lead to warping. Conversely, too loose is also not good. Remember, tight but not too tight. To ensure a good grip in the brass joint clean occasionally with some very fine wire wool.
  9. Treat your cue to an oiling. Every 3 to 6 months, depending upon use, apply raw linseed oil to your cue. Firstly wipe down the cue with a damp cloth and dry. Apply the oil with a cloth or paper towel, leave overnight to soak in then buff the cue with a clean cloth until smooth and dry and no residue is visible on the cloth. Then wipe with a damp cloth and dry and buff.