What Parts Do I Need to Build My Own Cue Lathe?

Pool Cues image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Owning your own lathe is a good way to build pool cues. These products are designed to spin pool cue shafts to allow for even construction. Lathes save time, money and can custom design almost any cue to fit the specifications of an amateur or professional. Once built, according to Shaft Master, lathes can secure tips, replace wraps and polish shafts. Even though a number of parts are needed to construct a reliable cue lathe -- including a lathe plate and grinding wheel -- a finished product should weigh no more than 10 lbs.

Lathe Ferrules

Lathe ferrules are cylindrical parts made of ivory or high-density plastic. According to Unique Inc., ferrules often measure no more than 1 inch in length. A cue lathe uses three ferrules which will be secured by pins, flush to the end of the lathe plate. These three ferrules, according to Shaft Master, are secured in the shape of a pyramid around a precut hole in the lathe plate. This triangular design will enable the ferrules to spin once the motor is powered on. As the ferrules spin, a pool cue shaft can be inserted into the precut hole. The friction from the ferrules meeting the body of the shaft will cause the shaft to spin as well. An even spin enables the user to repair butts, polish shaft bodies or carve shaft heads for cue tip securing. Several ferrules will cost less than $5 as of October 2010.

Lathe Motor

Cue lathes should be powered by a motor. Lathe motors power ferrules to spin so a user can build with ease. According to Custom Cue Lathes, a well-designed product will provide 1/3 horsepower "with speed control and a built-in fan for cooling." Managing the speed of lathe ferrules is a wise way to secure cue wraps and evenly carve and shave tips and butts. A motor will often weigh a maximum of 5 lbs. but may cost as much as $200.

Hand Tools

Hand tools are important accessory parts for any cue lathe. The two most critical tools are hand files and leather burnishing pads, according to Shaft Master. The hand file is a sharp and slender metal tool with a razor edge. Using the grinding wheel and pressing the file easily into the tip or butt of a shaft makes for effortless shaving and carving when the ferrules are spinning. As the shaft continues spinning, burnishing pads are used for buffing leather and evenly securing newly adhered wraps. Bought together, these essential hand tool parts will cost you less than $20.

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