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  • A Guide to Pool Cues

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    Choosing a pool cue is an important part of of your game. The feel, the make, the look are all of paramount importance to let the shooter focus on what they need to be doing – shooting the cue ball. If a cue is warped, or the weight is slightly off, or the length and feel are not perfect – an easy shot can quickly turn into a crucial miss. With the right cue in hand, setting up strategic shots or playing defense against your opponent will come more naturally.

    Most professional pool players will have several pool cues on hand. They will have general shot pool cues and perhaps specialty cues such as breaking cues. While there are several classes of cues that will be briefly discussed below, in standard league sanctioned 8-ball and 9-ball play mostly only regular pool cues and specialty breaking cues will be encountered.

    Construction & Materials

    The basic construction of a pool cue is a shaft of material (in most cases wood) that is on average about 59 inches and weigh anywhere between 18-21 ounces. The length of the cue tapers uniformly from the butt end of the stick down to the tip. There are three main constructions consisting of:

    • A solid uniform cue usually found in pool halls for shared use.

    • A two piece that is divided by a locking joint in the middle that can be broken down and placed in a cue case for ease of transportation.

    • A three-quarter two-piece used by snooker players that is basically a two-piece with an additional joint located three-quarters down the length of the shaft.

     The cost for pool cues is almost solely based on the materials used. Most of the higher end pool cues that can run in the thousands and are wooden; however, quality starter cues for under $100 can also be found if you know what you are looking for. Here is a list of materials that might be considered:

    • Woods - For higher end, quality cues that can be in the upper thousands a straight-grained hard rock maple is the primary substrate. Other expensive woods used in modern cues include: ebony, red ivory, blackwood, and olive wood among others.

    • Fiberglass & Graphite – These are the mid-level cues that are a cheap alternative to wood. These are great for starter cues if the player intends to become serious in improving their game.

    • Everything else – Lower quality cues that are generally frowned upon by professional players are made from materials like acrylic, aluminum, and titanium. These are highly prone to warping.

    Cue Types

    All of the types mentioned below can be purchased in any of the materials mentioned above. Construction may be limited on certain types.

    • Pool Cue – Standard pool cues used for playing 8-ball and 9-ball. Comes mainly as a solid or two-piece construction.

    • Snooker – Almost always three-quarter two-pieces. These cues are traditionally lighter and shorter than pool cues and come with a detachable butt.

    • Carom – Sometimes referred to as the short/stout, while these cues are shorter and lighter than pool cues, their conical design and more radical taper allow for greater handling of heavier pool balls while reducing deflection.

    • Specialty – These are the breaking cues. Used by most professionals only on the break. The most notable difference for these cues is the harder leather and resin layers used on the tips to ensure maximum friction between the shot and the cue ball.

    Where to find a Pool Cue

    In the modern world of pool cues there are literally thousands available online for private purchase, hundreds of custom cue makers, and countless online retail stores. With such a plethora of options available its best to start by researching product reviews on cues you are interested in. A further selling point is a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a reasonable return policy if you are not fully satisfied with your purchase.

    See Legacy Billiard's Pool Cues.

  • Why Do You Chalk a Pool Stick?


    If you’ve ever watched a game of billiards, you may wonder why the players apply chalk to the end of their cue sticks. Or if you play, you might be curious about how and when it is recommended to ‘chalk up’. The reason chalk is applied to a cue stick is that it adds friction. Chalk adds ‘motion-resistance’ between the cue and the spot
    where it hits the cue ball. This prevents the cue from sliding off the ball prematurely, ruining the shot (called a ‘miscue’). Over time, the tip of a pool stick becomes worn and smooth from use. Chalk provides the friction necessary to make a shot. Another less-direct advantage to chalking up is that it forces the player to pace him or herself and spend a little extra time focusing and concentrating between shots.

    How frequently should a player add chalk?

    The answer can vary from player to player, but generally players chalk up after every other shot. Also, if a player is considering a shot that requires some extra spin on the ball, he or she will likely chalk up right before that shot, as the smaller amount of surface area used on both the cue tip and the ball requires additional friction.

    Is there a disadvantage to chalking up frequently?

    The only real disadvantage of frequently chalking up is that it adds extra chalk dust to the table and balls. To minimize this, consider gently tapping your cue stick after
    chalking, to shake off any loose chalk.

    What is the best way to chalk up?

    The first step is to understand your cue stick, as they come in different levels of hardness. Softer cue tips hold more chalk, however they tend not to last as long as harder ones. Chalk should be applied like lipstick - lightly, but completely and evenly. Grinding the chalk into the tip will only wear the tip down and shorten its
    life, not to mention get chalk all over your clothes! If you can see a large hole in the chalk, this is a good indicator that the chalk should be replaced.

  • What Size of Pool Table Should I Buy?


    When purchasing a new pool table, there are several things to consider with regards to size.  Even if the table will fit comfortably inside the room, there must be adequate room around all sides of the tables for players to shoot.  You should consider what size of cues you plan to use, and whether the table will be used by adults or children.  You may also wants some room for a rack or cabinet to store additional cues and balls.

    Generally speaking, 8’ tables (8’ x 4’) are considered ‘professional’ size, whereas 7’ tables (7’ x 3’6”) are considered ‘bar’ size. Most pool table buyers will opt for the larger size if they have the space available, as the larger table provides a better playing experience.  A 7’ table is not only better suited for smaller rooms, but if you’re someone who regularly plays pool in a bar, you might want to play on the same size playing field when practicing at home.  Using standard 58” pool cues, an ideal room size for an 8’ table would be 13’ 2” x 16’ 10”.  For a 7’ table, the ideal room size would be 12’ 9" x 16’.  Using smaller pool cues, such as those of 52” or 48” in length, is an option if your room has any ‘tight’ spots around it.

    If the pool table will be in a basement, you’ll need to consider any poles or support beams that may obstruct play.  The breaking end of the table should be positioned away from the support beam, in a manner where the beam disrupts play as little as possible.  While not ideal, some pool table owners have their table positioned next to the middle of one of the side rails.  If a shot is completely obstructed, a ‘house’ rule may be implemented, allowing the player to move the ball into a better position for shooting.

    If you have the funds available, if you have adequate space (a room with dimensions around 13’ 8” x 17’ 10”), and if you are serious about developing your skills, you may want to consider a 9’ (9’ x 4’6”) table.  This table is more challenging to play on. While the game might be more difficult at first, once you’ve grown accustomed to playing on a table of this size, standard 8’ tournament tables will seem easy by comparison.

    Legacy's black outlaw pool table


  • When to Change a Pool Table Cloth

    Most pool tables are made of slate, which is a nearly-indestructible material that can last for decades.  The cloth covering the pool table, however, won’t last forever.  While it may last for over a decade under normal home use, it eventually will need replacing.  Just as Astroturf on a football field wears over time, pool table felt wears with use and age.

    This wear is the result of friction.  While the pool balls themselves do not damage the felt, they do collect pool chalk that acts as an abrasive, like sandpaper, tearing away at the fibers of the felt.  The felt can also be damaged by falling or bouncing balls. While the damage is unfortunate, it’s considered a normal side-effect of playing pool.

    While it might be difficult to see if a cloth needs replacing by sight alone, sliding your fingers along the surface should help you judge.  If the cloth feels bristly, like beard stubble, or if it’s easy to pick pieces of fuzz and lint off the table, then it’s time to consider a replacement.  Also consider a replacement if the felt responds to pressure from your hand with movement or bunching.  When replacing pool table cloth, it’s best to use a high-quality brand such as Strachan, Matrix, Hainsworth or Eddie Charlton.

    If the pool table cloth has been damaged by missed shots - i.e., the cue misses the ball and scratches the table, a complete felt replacement may not be necessary.  The first step would be to purchase pool table cleaner from a professional billiard shop, and clean the area to remove any marks.  If there are any small holes in the cloth, patch kits are available to fix them, although any patching will leave seams behind that could hinder play.

    The best way to maintain your pool table cloth is to keep it covered when not in use, and keep it clean.  It’s also a good idea to try and avoid making a lot of jump shots or trick shots, as these can crush the felt and it never fully recovers.

  • Legacy Billiards Buyer's Guide: Billiard Table Slate

    Hello. I'm Cris Gould with Legacy Billiards.
    One of the key components of a billiard table is the billiard slate.
    There are tables that are offered in non-slate versions, but those are not going to meet the expectations that many consumers have.
    Slate comes in varying thicknesses from half-inch all the way up to two inch.
    One-inch is considered the standard in the industry and that's the size that you see professionals playing on when you see them on TV.
    Legacy Billiards offers one inch slate tables on every model that they sell.
    Slate has only two purposes, one is to maintain a flat level surface and the others to provide weight.
    Both of these things are provided on every Legacy Table that you would buy.

  • Legacy Buyer's Guide: Quality Built Shuffleboards

    Hello. This is Cris Gould from Legacy Billiards. I wanted to talk about some of the features that distinguish the quality of a great shuffleboard. Legacy uses a polymer poured top on all surfaces of their shuffleboard with a quarter inch thick. The most important feature of the polymer top is that during the manufacturing process there is no air underneath the polymer. If there were an air pocket and something like a puck were to fall on the top, it would crack it and cause damage to the shuffleboard. All of our poured surface playfields come with a lifetime warranty to ensure that no cracking happens. We test every playfield by dropping pucks to make sure no air is underneath.

  • Legacy Billiards Buyer's Guide - Legacy only uses solid hardwood for their tables

    Hello. I'm Cris Gould with Legacy Billiards.
    I want to talk about one of the most common misconceptions about how billiard tables are described in the industry today.
    A lot of companies refer to their product as being made out of solid hardwood.
    This is not true. Many times they're described as all wood. All wood means they could be plywood, MDF, they could also be another product called SPF. All of these products are simply not solid hardwood but they are made up of hardwood components glued together that are categorized as all wood. Legacy only uses solid hardwood materials and components in all their tables across the line. When you're shopping for the right product for something with high value, make sure you look for solid hardwood.

  • Legacy Billiards Buyer's Guide : The Perfect Corner

    Hello. I'm Chris Gould from Legacy Billiards. One of the most important features of the table assembly is how the corner is constructed.
    Many of our competitors use a metal bracket corner. They use this because they're cheaper to produce.
    What Legacy uses is an invention we have called the Perfect Corner.
    The difference with this is when the panels are inserted, everything about the Perfect Corner is solid hardwood.
    This makes Legacy unique and promotes a stronger cabinet that you'll play on for years to come.

  • Legacy Billiards Buyer's Guide - Billiard cushion with lifetime warranty

    Hello. I'm Cris Gould With Legacy Billiards.
    One important feature the table that most people are concerned about is the billiard cushion. Many consumers remember tables of old where the cushions would dry out or get very hard and cause the table to play lousy. Now, cushions have evolved to where there's a lifetime warranty that's provided on all billiard cushions for Legacy Billiards and other manufacturers as well. One difference to the Legacy Billiard Cushion is that we do incorporate a canvas on the top of our cushion to aid in its stiffness and we have a contoured back of the cushion that allows us to have thirty three percent more adhesion than any other billiard cushion available. That makes Legacy a better playing table.

  • Legacy Billiards Buyer's Guide: Billiard Cloth Options

    There are several different brands of billiard cloth but basically only two types.
    There's napped cloth which is considered standard and basically included with most tables that are purchased. And then there's an upgraded cloth that's called worsted.
    Napped cloth is a loop weave, and has a nap to it as the name describes and it requires more brushing, a little more maintenance and it does slow the ball down for the standard play.
    Worsted Cloth is a flatter weave, more expensive, but promotes a faster play of ball and prolongs the life of the cloth.
    A real nice option that's available for both Napped and Worsted Cloth is called Teflon Treatment.
    Teflon helps the cloth to resist moisture and also prevent it from staining Showing that as an example would be spilling just a bit of water on the cloth.
    It beads up on top of the cloth and you simply can blot it dry. The result, no damage to the cloth, and no stain is visible.

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