Have you noticed your pool cue has bent and feeling how it happened? The phenomenon you have observed is called warpage in pool terms. Why do pool cues wrap in the first place? Before even taking care of the stick you need to know what to protect it from. There are many accidental and habitual reasons why a pool cue can go out of shape. There is no voodoo when it comes to cue straightness, let’s analyse this topic scientifically.
How Pool Cues Warp
Most of the pool cues are made up of wood. This wood is allowed to age well before it can be thrown into the production process. The aging allows the wood to lose its moisture and close molecular gaps which held the moisture content.
This dried out wood is either mass-produced or given to a custom cue maker to make pool cue out of it. By manual carving or with the help of lathe machine the wood is converted to pool stick. The finishing process involves veneering or covering the entire pool stick with a protective layer. The purpose is to close the gaps or holes which held the moisture.
If this protective layer is not functional then it can open the gaps again which can warp the pool cue. These are some of the reasons why pool cues warp.
Bad Quality Wood
Some woods are not meant to be turned into cues or are wrongly advertised as pool cues. They will not dry out properly or cannot take the stress of the game. They will wear out quickly and warp quicker. It is always advisable to buy true maple wood pool cue. I have reviewed some of the best pool cues under various budget.
Often custom cue makers or cues produced with a low production budget will warp quicker because they are not able to do the veneering process properly. The will either underdo or overdo the process of putting a protective layer on the pool cue. Such sticks will lose the protective layer quickly and warp.
Veneer Absorbing Wood
Although it rarely happens but some woods may have dried completely but they can still absorb the veneer in their cellular gaps. Such sticks will warp much more quickly because of increased pressure inside. It is advisable that as soon as you receive your stick you should check if the stick is straight. In the case of the warpage, you can claim the warranty and get it replaced.
Change Shape by Temperature
One way to change the shape of any object is by heating it. These are some of the ways a pool cue can lose its shape by exposure to increased temperature:
Exposure to Sunlight: If you have a habit of leaving your cue out of the case and placed near a sunlight source then during summer as the temperature soars the wood will expand. Repeated expansion and contraction will make the inner cellular structure of wood inconsistent which will be apparent in the form of bent in a pool cue.
Leaving Cue in Car: Some people tend to place the cue in their car. It is helpful because you can not forget the cue at home if it is always in the trunk of the car. Temperatures inside the car can change dramatically. Not only summer heat but even during cold winter wood can contract and it may not come back to its original shape after repeated exposure to change in temperature.
A Caseless Cue
Hard cases are best to keep the cues safe from the warpage. If you do not buy a case for your pool cue then it is vulnerable to moisture. As you play with the stick, it slides on the bridge and also comes in contact with the table. Over time the protective layer will get thinner and the cue will begin to absorb moisture.
Moisture is a cue killer. Not protecting a pool cue because of the case is one of the main reasons why a pool cue can lose its shape.
Stressing a Cue
If you lean on your cue after playing a shot then it can put stress on the cue. Pool sticks are not made to handle a person’s weight. Weak cues will break and cues that do not break will eventually bend.
Cleaning the Cue
Over time pool cues will lose the shine and will look dirty because of chalk stain. Some people try to clean the shafts with the sandpaper. It will remove the protective layer on top and expose the cue to the moisture. Always clean the cue carefully. We have done a tutorial to clean pool cues.
Get yourself a pool cue and a pool stick made out of maple sold by a good manufacturer. The life of a pool cue can be extended if you take proper care. Bad habits are the main culprits when it comes to why do pool cues warp out of nowhere.