The Pool Cue Shaft
The pool cue shaft is the narrow, less-decorated end of the pool cue that holds the cue tip. This is the end of the stick that slides through the bridge hand when aiming for a shot.
Pool stick shafts, as well as the rest of the cue, are often made of rock maple - a hard, dense wood that is ideal for cue stick construction. Cue sticks are also made of other materials such as fiberglass or graphite.
There are several parts to the average cue shaft. The joint at one end usually contains the threaded hole that mates with the threaded pin of the butt end.
At the other end of the shaft, the ferrule is attached, usually with glue, but sometimes threaded on. And the cue tip is glued onto the ferrule at the very end of the shaft.
There are two types of taper to the cue shaft. The European or straight taper gradually and evenly increases diameter from the tip to the butt end. The Pro taper maintains the same diameter 12 to 14 inches from the tip down the shaft, and then gradually increases diameter from there to the butt.
It is important that the shaft be very slick so that it slides smoothly through the fingers when stroking. Some players use hand chalk to lessen the friction, while others prefer a pool glove. Moisture from the hands will raise the grain of the wood and cause binding, so the shaft should be kept as dry as possible.
There are accessories that help keep the shaft smooth, such as shaft polishers and very fine grained sandpaper. Another kind of smoother uses a scotchbrite-type material to remove imperfections from the shaft.
To avoid bending the shaft of a pool cue, it should not be left leaning against a wall. Always place it in a proper rack, or disassemble the cue and store it properly when not using it.
The pool cue shaft is the most fragile part of the cue stick. Treat it with care and you will get many years of quality pool playing from your pool cue.
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