Before And After

Over the years, I have found there are many vintage billiard cues tucked away in closets or hidden away on a dark dusty shelf that people have fortunately kept. Likely, if it weren’t for sentimental value or the slim hope that the cue might be worth something to others, they would have used the cues for firewood a long time ago. Since you are viewing this web site you most likely are one of those people trying to learn more about what can be done with that vintage billiard cue of yours that is in need of some “TLC”.

Before you pitch your antique billiard cue in the trash can, take a look at a few examples of how I might help you preserve that special cue for future generations. In this web site section you will learn about the service I provide and hopefully you will contact me if you have a cherished billiard cue. If you have no interest in keeping your billiard cue do not assume it is of no value. Send me an email with pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; I may be interested in buying your billiard cue. Check the Wanted/Billiard cues section, for types of cues that are of interest to me. 

I WOULD LIKE TO SHOW YOU A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE MANY, MANY CUES I HAVE RESTORED OVER THE YEARS. I HOPE TO DEMONSTRATE HOW IT IS POSSIBLE TO CREATE WORKS OF ART WHILE MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ANTIQUE CUE. EACH TIME I TAKE ON A VINTAGE CUE RESTORATION PROJECT I TRY AND FOLLOW MY MOTO OF “PRESERVE WHERE POSSIBLE, RESTORE WHEN NECESSARY”.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES OF MY WORK:

Here is a very nice vintage, Brunswick, #210 style, hexagonal cue. The silk wrap was shot and the ivory ferrule was gone -- but it was 57” long and rolled very true. As you can see in the “before” picture the white Brunswick first generation varnish/fix decal was all but gone. The “after” picture shows the cue was refinished using lacquer like the original finish, a new ivory ferrule was installed, a vintage silk wrap added, and a new very correct varnish/fix decal was affixed. I explain varnish fix decals in another section of the web site http://www.vintagecuesforyou.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=126.

BEFORE 

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AFTER 

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This was a very interesting project that taught me a new skill. This is a vintage, Brunswick, No. 20 style cue with style “A” cue butt ornamentation. There was shadowing from a missing early decal. The most interesting thing that had caused the cue to be of little value was the rosewood points had severely separated and raised from the maple shaft. I discovered a way to get the butt to release from the shaft. The old glue was cleaned away and butt and shaft were once again mated with new Hyde clue. The cue rolls very true. A new ivory ferrule was added. A new, very correct, Brunswick varnish/fix, white, period decal was applied and the cue was refinished with lacquer as had originally been used in the Brunswick Muskegon, Michigan factory. These pictures should drive home the point that you should never assume that your vintage cue can’t be repaired.

(Note: some after pictures like the after pictures of this cue appear to be glossy but they are actually satin. The picture flash is giving the cue that look.)

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Here is a very nice vintage, Brunswick, #220 style, two piece, Fish Pole Cue. In the “before” pictures you can see this cue is missing the ivory joint collar and joint pin. The ivory ferrule was soiled but salvageable. The twine (linen) wrap was not in good shape. The original white Brunswick decal was near perfect with just one chip on of the center left side of the outer ring of the decal. In the “after” pictures you can see the cue has been refinished without disturbing the original decal. This is possible since the original finish was lacquer and the decal is a layered lacquer decal. The ivory and fiber butt cap was sanded with 1200 and then 2500 grit paper to provide a smooth transition from one ring to the other. The cue has a new vintage leather tip and vintage twine (linen) wrap. The linen appears soiled, which it is. I search for and use only antique linen, if I can find it. I think the old soiled linen gives the cue the aged look that it should have after nearly 100 years of life. This attention to “how a vintage cue should look” is what makes (I think) my vintage cue restorations special.

 

BEFORE 

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AFTER 

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 This restoration is of a French made Hiolle brand 60” snooker cue. The ivory shield was half gone and two of the individual buttons were missing. Both joint collars were cracked. It needed a new ivory ferrule and tip. The cue had dents in many places and the finish was gone. I wish I had more “before” pictures because the change as seen in the “after” picture is dramatic.

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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I came across these three, less than remarkable, vintage cues. The good news was the cues were all 57” long and rolled very true. All had rosewood butts with a maple and ebony shaft. The decals were all but gone. The ivory ferrules were a mess with no tips and there were small chips at the base of the butts. To dress these vintage cues up a bit, I turned down the twine wrap section of the butts on my lathe to receive a twine (linen) wrap. They were wrapped with vintage linen. Ferrules were replaced and vintage leather tips added. I purchase vintage tips when I find them. I do not use modern leather tips unless a person requests the newer tips. Correct white, Brunswick, varnish/fix decals were added and they were refinished with lacquer. Noise subduers were added to the butts. Quite a remarkable change, don’t you think?

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Below is a vintage Brunswick, 26 ½ style cue. There was no finish left on the cue and the mother of pearl and ferrule were missing. Notice the dramatic change in the looks of the veneered Berger style (four prong) splice points simply by lightly sanding and adding coats of lacquer.

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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This was a very challenging restoration of 3 vintage, Brunswick, 26 ½ style cues that were of little value before restoration. As you look at the before pictures you can see the veneered, four prong, Berger point splices were severely raised with pieces of the veneer completely gone, as shown in the second, third and fourth pictures. In the fifth picture the points are back down but sections of veneer missing. The last “before” picture shows the veneers repaired but before the cue was finished. As these were rather plain vintage cues, I turned the grip section down on my lathe to accept a twine (linen) wrap. I added the linen, ivory ferrules and new, correct, Brunswick, varnish/fix decals. The finished pictures are quite dramatic compared to the before. DON’T EVER ASSUME YOUR CUE IS BEYOND REPAIR.

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Here are 4 vintage, Brunswick, 26 ¼ style cues, one with a style-K and three with style-H carved butts. These cues had four color veneer butt caps which were in bad shape. One cue had a broken shaft with a sloppy repair as seen in one “before” picture. All ivory ferrules were in poor shape. One decal was near perfect (it would be saved) while three decals had issues. As you can see from the “AFTER” pictures, the restored cues are quite outstanding and will look much better restored in the owners cue rack.

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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This is a remarkable vintage, two-piece, Brunswick, 26 ½ style cue with a silk wrap and a mother of pearly signature name plate that had a large chip at its end. The original red decal was not in good shape. The ivory ferrule was in poor shape. It had once had a multi-layer veneer butt cap. The mother of pearl was shortened slightly to reduce the size of the chip but I did not go as far as I would have liked, as I did not want to get near the engraving. The butt of the cue was squared on the lathe and the veneer butt cap added. A correct Brunswick, varnish/fix red decal was added. The silk was in good shape thus it was cleaned, starched and pressed, removing many of the scrapes from years of use. If you are not looking for the chip in the mother of pearl you not notice it as can be seen in the last picture.

 

Before

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After

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Here is a vintage, two piece, Brunswick, #25, mottled Vulcanite style butt with maple shaft cue. Unfortunately, I did not take a before picture. The Ivory ferrule was gone and about ¼ inch of the butt had been chipped away. Since there was no way to repair the Vulcanite material in the butt’s chipped end, I square the butt on the lathe and added a ¼ inch ivory butt cap. I think it looks better than when it came from Brunswick’s Muskegon, Michigan factory in the early 1900s.

 

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Today the picture below is a very attractive vintage, Brunswick 26 ½ style cue with a striking wood grain. When I got the cue, the finish was so filthy and miss treated that you could not see how beautiful the wood in the butt was. It truly looked like a junk cue. The mother of pearl was cracked and the butt chipped. The ivory joint collar and the ferrule were in bad shape. A new mother of pearl wedge was added and an ivory and fiber butt cap added with the reverse look of the two joint rings. The added length of the butt cap brought the length back to 57”.

 

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Check out the vintage, two-piece, Brunswick 26 ½ style cue pictured below. It has a new leather wrap, correct varnish/fix decal, ivory joint ring, ivory ferrule and vintage tip. It is a gorgeous cue and looks great in the cue rack. (If you look in the repair section, I discuss that I use only pre-banned ivory on all of my repairs.)

 

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Here are a few more of the many antique cues I have restored.

 

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PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE FANCY CUES YOU WOULD LIKE RESTORED OR CUES YOU THINK MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO ME THAT I CAN RESTORE FOR MY OWN COLLECTION. 

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