Butt Splicing

Making A Butt...


...The Cuemakers Art

Choosing the right shaft wood is critical because the shaft is the single most important part of a cue. But that is only half the battle...

The butt pattern needs to be created by splicing hardwood on to the shaft.

Ebony is the most common main timber found on quality hand made cues due to it's classic black look and naturally dense grain structure which lends itself to an excellent finish and comfortable feel in the hand.

Various attractive exotic hardwoods can be spliced onto the Ebony, but they are not necessary and serve purely as a decorative option.

This is how it's done...

Main Butt Splices

First, find some nice Ebony, or any suitable hardwood, and cut it up


Make four splice size shapes and plane four sides off the prepared shaft


Go down evenly on all four sides leaving a square shape at the bottom

ebony-03 (1)

Stick two opposite splices on - You can do this together or one at a time


If you want even points you need to take measurements and mark guides


Once set, stick the next splices on - Again, together or one at a time



You now have an ugly square lump of Ebony stuck to that lovely shaft...




Now it's time to get busy and cut or plane the corners off and keep planing until the Ebony is close to size and shape. Watch out for tears in the wood...



Finish with a scraper for fine detail work, paying attention to high points and areas that are 'out of round'


When you're happy with the general shape, you best get ready for some seriously heavyweight sanding - Don't forget to wear a mask...

ebony-15 (1)

After several hours, if you haven't given up or choked to death, you should see something like this


And many more hours later, the finished article


Additional Exotic Splices

Once the main butt is spliced, more splices can be added to create any number of patterns.

Ooh look, I found some gorgeous Cocobolo...


I'm going to add this over some 4pt Maple I spliced on earlier - First up, Splices 1+2...


...Closely followed by splices 3+4


Cut/plane/whatever to get it close to round, finishing with a scraper to improve your shape


Time for more elbow grease and some heavy sanding. Joy...


Cocobolo changes colour as the oils move to the surface. This has been left a few days


Altogether now - WOW...


Final note

Making a cue is relatively simple - Making a cue with accurate splice points is not.

Great care must be taken at every stage, particularly the early preparation, to ensure every point, both top and bottom, ends up even on the finished cue.

I have always strived to make top and bottom points as even as possible.

You'll be very lucky to find that on other makers cues...