...Look After Your Cue
Buying a cue is the first step, but then you need to look after it. After all, a cue is not just for christmas you know...
It needs to be cleaned and maintained if you don't want it to feel sticky when you play.
Watch the video and learn all you need to know to keep your cue in the best possible condition:
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If you can't be bothered to watch me waffle on in the video above, or just need a quick reminder, here are the basic rules you should follow:
- Always ensure your hands are clean and dry and free from grease and grime. If your hands feel sweaty, take the time to go and wash them but make sure you dry them thoroughly. If theyre slightly damp your cue will drag over the bridge and feel sticky. When you pick up your pint or another drink, the moisture on the outside of the glass makes your hands a little wet. You pick up the cue and now thats a little wet. Keep your cue dry!
- Keep your cue clean by occasionally wiping it with a slightly damp (not dripping wet) cloth, then immediately buff it dry with a clean cloth. This works wonders and will leave it feeling super smooth, but if your cue has become particularly dirty, you may need to use a mild detergent, spirit thinners, or one of the specialist cleaning products available.
- Apply cue oil to the shaft. This gives a smooth finish for comfortable cueing, an attractive appearance that ages naturally, and helps to stop the cue from drying out. To maintain this finish, apply some cue oil occasionally, give it time to soak into the wood, then buff it dry with a clean cloth. If the cue appears dry, repeat the application as many times as necessary. It will not hurt the cue to put too much oil on because the wood will only take what it needs, but if you use it excessively, you may find it will feel slightly sticky. However, it will soon feel smooth again by regular buffing with a dry cloth or the use of ultra fine steel wool (included in the new MW Cue Care Kit). It is a waste of time applying oil to the cheaper lacquered/varnished cues because the oil cannot get into the wood. Simply clean them as above.
- Keep your cue in a case when not use. This protects it and helps to prevent it from warping.
Use a soft towel like this to keep your cue clean and smooth:
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The Do Not's
- Rub the shaft of your cue with sandpaper or abrasive pad. This is not the answer. This will destroy the finish of the cue, wear away the shaft, and scratch the surface, thereby attracting dirt. It may also allow moisture in and can affect the stability of the wood. If you want your cue to feel smooth, simply clean it as above. Throw away those little bits of sandpaper and green/red scouring pads in your case. You do not need them to make your cue feel smooth.
- Lean your cue at an angle against the wall, or leave it near heat, e.g. a radiator. This is a sure-fire way of warping your cue!
- Leave your cue in your car, or anywhere else that is likely to get cold or damp. This can cause the cue to 'sweat' and become very sticky, as well as cause any glue joins to raise, and possibly cause it to bend.
- Bang your cue on the floor or the table, or throw/drop it! This can cause a number of problems, including dents on the shaft, splits in the butt, weights coming loose, broken joins etc., etc.. I have been known to hurl my cue from one end of the club to the other in a fit of rage. But it's okay for me to do it, I can make myself another one... 😀
Q: What do you do the next time you are about to play that all important shot and your cue feels sticky?
A: You stop, take the time to wash your hands, wipe down your cue with a damp cloth, then buff it dry with a clean cloth.
This will only take a few seconds but you will get down on the shot with a silky smooth cue, and there will be one less worry in your mind distracting you from playing the shot well.