Your billiard experience has been getting unpleasant lately? It is time you checked all your equipment, especially the cue. Even a little bending on the stick can seriously ruin your game. So how to straighten a pool cue?
No worries. This article will help you to solve this issue in a tick. You will know the reasons behind your bent cue and ways to prevent it from being warped.
- 1 Reasons Why Your Pool Cue Become Warped
- 2 Why Do You Need To Straighten Your Pool Cue?
- 3 How To Straighten A Pool Cue?
- 4 How To Know If Your Pool Cue Is Straight Enough?
- 5 What Can You Do To Prevent A Pool Cue From Warping?
- 6 Conclusion
Reasons Why Your Pool Cue Become Warped
If you have ever tried playing pool, you are most likely to use a bent cue. What causes the warping in the first place?
The majority of pool cues are made of wood, which is prone to warping. You have probably witnessed how much wood warps naturally if you’ve ever been to a lumber yard. It is no different.
Wood expands and contracts when the temperature changes. In extreme heat, a wood cue will inflate. While in extreme cold, it will shrink. You may not clearly see these changes, but they have a negative impact on the stick.
If not properly sealed, moisture might potentially flow in from the outside. The cue will distort if water is trapped within.
To remove and repel water, cue makers painstakingly dry, cure, and seal the wood. This increases the cue’s lifespan.
More expensive cues, on average, receive more treatment to dry and seal the wood. However, if not handled properly, all wood cues can bend in the right conditions.
Even the most costly wood cue can swell if it is exposed to too much moisture. Keeping your cue in a moist garage or basement can cause moisture damage.
Another reason why your cue becomes warped is incorrect handling. Leaning your cue against the wall will bend the cue over time.
Why Do You Need To Straighten Your Pool Cue?
A slightly bent pool cue is not much of a matter when you’re a hobbyist or casual billiard player. Unless yours is noticeably warped, you will not need to worry about it.
When you reach an advanced level of billiard and participate in competitions, a small bent in your cue can make the table turn even when you’re likely to win. A warped one can ruin your whole strategy. You might miss the shot, or push the ball in wrong directions and angles. That’s why it is extremely important for professional players to check their “weapons” in perfect shape before every game.
How To Straighten A Pool Cue?
Stringing Your Cue
One of the most peculiar techniques is hanging your cue in the air in an upright position and tying it to a thread linked to the ceiling. The method turns out quite successful.
Allow gravity to mold the cue by leaving it immobile for a week or more. The cue’s heaviness usually straightens slight bends in a few weeks.
Some pool players will advise you to hang your cue with a string. You can use it if you do not mind the possibility of the string snapping and the cue falling and shattering. Otherwise, you can consider a rubber hanger for better durability and aesthetics.
In case you have well-toned arms, you can consider straightening the cue by hand.
Place the flat of one hand, palm down, directly on the bend with the cue at a 60-degree angle to the floor. Press down on the cue while keeping your hand stationary. The cue will simply bend into the desired form.
Rotate the cue again and repeat the process, then check and adjust until the cue is straight. When you get the hang of it, repairing small bends in a cue will only take a few moments.
Applying opposite pressure to your pool cue will frequently correct a tiny distortion. For most modest bends, this procedure should be enough.
If this way does not work or the warp is significant, you need to proceed with a more advanced method.
Misting Your Cue With Steam
Moisture and heat can turn your cue bent out of shape, but it might also help you in bending it back. This technique is not commonly advised but it is by far the most effective way to straighten your pool cue.
For this method, you will need to prepare a large pot of water to boil on your stove. Hold the bent area above the pot as the water starts to boil.
As the steam evaporates, it helps soften the wood. The stick will gradually be flexible enough for you to manually bend it with the least effort.
How To Know If Your Pool Cue Is Straight Enough?
Test By Rolling
You can easily test a cue’s straightness by rolling it on a pool table. Because almost all cues are tapered, we can’t expect it moves from side to side but curves a little.
Although a small arc should be there, it should not shake. Your cue is bent if the tip wobbles while rolling. If your cue is a two-piece type, take apart a two-piece cue and roll the components separately.
Either the shaft or the butt of a two-piece cue can be bent. By separately rolling the pieces, you can recognize which is the culprit.
This method of testing does not always give out correct results. Even when straight, higher-end pool cues have compound tapers that can make them appear unsteady while rolling.
Test By Sighting
Though there are a variety of ways to check the straightness of a pool cue, sighting remains the most effective and common method.
You must lift it to eye level and keep it stable to sight a shaft. Maintain a steady and strong grip on the cue’s butt end, and look down at the shaft’s tip.
Imagine you are aiming a rifle while looking down from the pool stick’s butt end to the tip. Lower the cue a little and slowly rotate it at a 360-degree angle while continuing to glance down from the butt end.
If the tip end is entirely visible throughout and there is no bending or warping, you can reasonably assume that the cue is flawlessly straight.
What Can You Do To Prevent A Pool Cue From Warping?
Minor changes in the wood’s texture can lead to a cue’s warp. You can decrease the chance of damage by properly storing, managing, and maintaining the item.
Say No To Wooden Pool Cue
Unless the wood is really thick, it can easily warp. A cue made of wood is usually more prone to bending and curving than one made of other materials.
Wooden one are appealing, especially to new pool players, because they are usually affordable. But it’s advisable to purchase a fiberglass or graphite one for yourself. These materials do not require regular straightening.
Buy A Cue Case
We highly recommend you invest in a case. You will not only seem more professional when you arrive at the pool hall for a game, but you will also actively protect your pool cue.
You can get a hard or soft case, and both are acceptable if the products are of decent quality.
Be Aware Of Your Playing Habit
In between shots, pay attention to how you use the pool cue.
If you are not careful, your unconscious manners between shots might quickly twist your pool cue. You might unknowingly perform some of these things, which is not good at all.
Warping can occur if you nervously clutch your cue and hit the bottom of it against a wall or on the ground. Make sure that you do not put too much pressure on your shot or lean on your cue while waiting for your next turn.
Not all players can afford extra protection for their cue. The easiest approach to keep your cues from warping is to preserve them properly. They should be kept indoors in a protective case or rack while not in use.
Temperature and humidity variations are also reduced when these items are stored indoors.
The protective coatings on cues begin to wear off as soon as you start playing. Maintenance is just as important as proper storage. There are more factors to concern about rather than just cleaning.
You should burnish your cue on a regular basis. The burnishing technique seals the pores in the wood, preventing moisture damage.
To keep the cue’s moisture protection fresh, use cue wax or sealer on a regular basis. You can keep moisture out for longer with proper cleaning, burnishing, and sealing.
Hopefully, this article has given you a straightforward, easy guide on how to straighten a pool cue. Now your pool cue is back to its initial condition, get ready to rock the pool bar!
If you know any useful tips to keep your pool cue straight, share with us in the comment section below.