English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : March 1996

The Amateur Billiard Player : March 1996

Tipping a Cue

My thanks to Phil for continuing the role he established
in the BQR as something of a specialist in all matters
relating to the care of tables, ball, cues etc. As
someone who often sees a new tip disappear with the first
power shot I welcome some ideas on how to do it properly;
has anyone got other ideas on the subject? Incidentally I
have just received a letter from Martin Goodwill who used
to practice regularly with Phil in Wiltshire but is now
sadly consigned to the desert sands of Saudi for a couple
of years serious money making. Martin assures me that
Phil is the master of cue tipping the main reason for this
being that whenever he plays a bad game he replaces his
tip (I have a similar propensity with cues!!) He is the
only person that Martin knows who can have a new tip on
and playing as if it were six months old in about fifteen
minutes maximum!



Tip Hardness

Many people fit a tip to a cue and then decide if its too
hard or too soft by playing with it for an evening. The
hardness of a tip can in the main be determined by
picking at the edges of it with your fingernail and after
a little practice it is not too difficult to select a
particular hardness which suits you prior to fitting,
and eradicate those evenings of frustrating play with a
tip which is either too hard or too soft for your own
game. I personally buy 100 11ml blue diamond tips at a
time, grading them into 8 different categories of
hardness with the expectation that I will be lucky to
find one dozen with the density which suits me.

When using this method fitting it is made easier if the
tip is 1mm in diameter wider than the ferrule as
positioning becomes easier whatever the make of tip is

Prior to fitting, the base must be made very flat, this
can be done by holding a piece of abrasive paper on a
flat surface and rubbing the base of the tip over it.

The importance of this procedure is most rewarded towards
the end of the tips life when it tends to wear thin, as
usually the base breaks up first if not correctly fitted,
consequently a few extra weeks of confident play can be
obtained from the same tip.

Cue Preparation

Firstly the old tip and glue has to be removed, if this
method was used to fit the original tip, the only way to
do this is in slices, the top of the ferrule most be
perfectly flat and occasionally a flat file may be needed
to achieve this. The wood of the cue inside the ferrule
needs to be slightly hollow to the depth of about 2 hairs
breadth (below the level of the ferrule). The tip should
then fit snugly onto the top of the cue. Cut a short
strip of insulating tape slightly less wide than the
length of the ferrule, stick the tape around the ferrule
about 1mm below the top of the ferrule. Fold a sheet of
tissue paper so it has a sharp edge and wrap it round the
tape 2mm below the top of the cue, holding it in place
with a freezer bag tie.


Using super glue, the liquid type is easier to use and
gives a better hold all over the base of the tip
(loctite3 now on the market as Loctite super Atak). Apply
3-4 drops to the top of the cue, then place the prepared
tip on the top of the glue with just a few grams of
pressure this way ensures that every part of the tip is
glued to the cue. The above method means that all the
excess glue is soaked up by the tissue paper which after
a couple of minutes drying time, can, along with the
insulating paper be removed leaving the ferrule perfectly
clean from any residue glue.


Taking a Stanley knife with a new cutting edge for every
tip, lay the blade on the ferrule and cut straight up
through the over hanging part of the tip, this procedure
needs to be done about 30 times as the cue is slowly
turned through 360 degrees. The reason a fresh blade is
required for each tip is because a new blade will glide
easily through the tip without pulling any of its fibres
apart which means the tip will require little or no
playing time. A magnifying glass can now be used just to
check that the tip is securely seated and stuck all the
way around.

The tip is now a flush continuation of the ferrule and a
complete rounded dome or a shallow dome can be shaped
with abrasive paper, it is easier to achieve a
symmetrical shape if the cue is constantly rotated while
shaping takes place. Most players nowadays prefer to play
with a tip which is not too high and in this case it is
easier to slice the pre-moulded part of the new tip off
with a Stanley knife before the final dome is fashioned.

If the above procedure is used it is very difficult to
tell there is a new tip on the cue from the feel of the
shot alone which means that no playing time is needed.

Phil Davis

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