First, you should not despair. There are more problems associated with pool cues overtime. The good news is that many of them are quite simple to deal with. You do not necessarily need to purchase a new cue if the current one seems overused, but just learn what it takes to keep it in the best possible shape. Ideally, you should begin this maintenance as soon as you get the cue and not when specific problems arise. Unfortunately, most people do it differently. They never bother to clean or maintain their cues until they show obvious signs of tear and wear.
What are the most common problems of pool cues?
Pool cues can face a few major problems, yet each of them can be prevented or treated accordingly. Here are only a few of the most common ones.
The wood tends to warp overtime. It makes no difference how well treated it is. Of course, no pool cue will ever come in a raw state. These things are thoroughly polished, then covered with particular sealants. Some cues are covered in paint, while others are lacquered. With all these, there is no way to seal wood completely. In order to prevent this problem, avoid leaving it in direct sunlight for too long, especially if your pool table is outdoors.
Apart from warping, swelling is just as common. There is one difference though – the pool cue gains in size. With time, it adopts an unusual shape. Even if the swelling is not always obvious, it will influence your hits and accuracy. Preventing this issue is not so hard. Just make sure that the pool cue does not stay in a humid and wet environment. Although it is sealed, water will always find a way to go through.
Worn Cue Butt
The cue butt is the least important thing in a pool cue – apparently. Most people tend to hold the cue with the butt on the floor, especially while the other player has to hit. This is one of the quickest ways to ruin it. Just like the rest of the cue, the butt is sealed. When the sealant is off, potential problems will spread up. Therefore, never keep the cue on the floor and pay as much attention in terms of maintenance.
Mushroom Cue Tip
The cue tip is meant to be replaced at some point. In terms of maintenance, the general idea is to extend its lifetime. New cue tips are flat, smooth and shiny. They must be reshaped according to your playing style. Some newbies do it after each hit, which is a terrible mistake. The more often you do it, the faster you will have to replace it. Just find the ideal shape and stick to it. Reshaping is needed at every 30 to 40 hours of playing.
What should I do to clean my pool cue?
First, maintain the pool cue.
If you can spot any dents on the pool cue, add a drop of water on the respective area. Wherever the wood has warped, a little water will swell it back. Leave the drop overnight and repeat the procedure if it still has not worked. On the other hand, elevated fibers can be handled with very fine sandpaper.
Perform everyday cleaning and maintenance.
You do not have to exaggerate with everyday cleaning, but just use a specific solution without harsh chemicals to clean the dirt after a playing session. You can also use alcohol. Just avoid water. Do not “bath” the pool cue in alcohol; just put a couple of drops on a sponge and rub it a bit.
Condition the pool cue.
Cleaning the stick is one thing, but maintaining it is even more important. Use a specific conditioner right away. Such conditioners go into the pores. They treat the pores and also prevent some dirt. Apply the conditioner on a clean cloth, take the stick through it, rub and let it there for about 10 minutes before wiping it down.
Wax the pool cue.
Wax is a sealant. It protects fibers and pores, but it also adds shininess to your pool cue. You do not need too much of it, but just a tiny amount before rubbing a little. Rub until you can no longer see the wax.
In conclusion, cleaning a pool cue is not such a big challenge, yet maintaining it is way more important.
Take a look at the following video, to learn more about maintenancing a pool cue:
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- Cue Stick Grooming and Maintenance by Long’s Billiards
- Pool Maintenance Tips by McDermott Cues
- Cue Maintenance by Billiards Digest