Here is a graphic image of a standard cue. Moving from left to right, one may see all the basic external parts in a cue. The shaft and the butt are joined at the main joint. The shaft consists of a tip, a ferrule, the shaft wood, and the joint collar. Every butt has a joint collar, a forearm, a handle, and a butt sleeve. Depending on the design, a butt may also have various combinations of points, veneers, inlays, etc. We will discuss each of these components in the paragraphs to follow.
Before moving full speed ahead into specific design features, it is extremely important to first select the length, weight, tip diameter, and shaft taper of your cue.
For the Lambros Pool Cue, our standard length and tip diameters are 58 inches (about 147 centimeters) and 13 millimeters, respectively. However, we have existing designs for lengths between 57-60 inches (about 145-152 centimeters) and about 12-14 millimeters, to accommodate our customers’ specific requirements. We recommend a cue weight between 18-20 ounces (about 504-560 grams), but we have existing designs for lighter and heavier weights. Finally, we recommend our unique Lambros shaft taper, but we are fully capable of accommodating our customers’ specific requirements.
For the Lambros Billiard Cue, our standard length and tip diameters are 56 inches (about 142 centimeters) and 12 millimeters, respectively. We recommend a cue weight of about 17-18 ounces (about 476-504 grams). And our standard billiard shaft has a straight conical taper.
Please note these standard values are consistent with a cue that is intended for use in the three-cushion billiards game, which is most common in the United States. We understand that players of straight rail, alkaline, and artistic billiards may have more unique requirements, and we have existing designs (including a masse’ cue) that are better suited for these games.
Selection of the Main Joint
Players must decide whether or not they want to have the standard Lambros joint or the new, revolutionary Lambros “Ultimate” joint. The standard Lambros joint is the tight-fitting flat-faced joint that players have associated with the great hitting Lambros cues of the past. This joint is as good as always and is highly recommended for the beginning player or for the player on a budget.
For those pool players desiring the soft-hitting feel of an ivory joint, we do offer the standard Lambros joint in ivory, for an additional charge. We do not recommend the use of ivory joints in billiard cues, because the excessive forces from hitting the larger heavier balls would eventually cause the ivory to develop stress fractures.
The patented Lambros “Ultimate” joint is the single, most significant improvement in cue joint design during the last 75 years. The “Ultimate” joint utilizes tenons and beveled edges to provide a self-locking, extremely stiff, vibration-free interface between the butt and the shaft. With the “Ultimate” joint, your Lambros cue will transmit a maximum amount of stroke energy to the cue ball, as compared to other, less advanced designs.
Because of the extra stiffness it provides, the “Ultimate” joint is provided on every Lambros Billiard Cue. The “Ultimate” joint is also highly recommended for Lambros Pool Cues, because it allows the player to have improved cue ball response and control, relative to other cues.
“Ultimate” jointed cues cost slightly more than our standard jointed cues, but we add this charge only because of the extra machining work involved. We firmly believe the “Ultimate” joint is worth every penny and more of the additional cost.
Selecting a wood for the forearm is a very important step, because this wood forms the foundation for the external appearance of your cue. The most commonly used forearm woods are either curly maple or birds-eye maple. For those customers seeking a more eye-catching look, we do offer a variety of designs which use an exotic hardwood (cocobolo, bacote, rosewood, etc.) forearm.
The appearance and quality of the forearm wood also plays an important role in the structural integrity of the cue. For our forearms, we use only the most select woods with uniform, straight and tight grain, to help ensure a strong, consistent hit in the finished cue.
Points and Veneers
The addition of exotic hardwood points in the forearm enhances the external appearance and the structural strength of the cue. All of our exotic hardwoods originate in sustainable yield forests. We offer a wide variety of exotic hardwoods, including Gabon and Macassar ebony, cocobolo in orange, brown and purple hues, rosewood, bacote, zircote, purpleheart, zebrawood, kingwood and snakewood.
Please note that whether the cue has 4, 5, 6 or 8 points, each point is a full miter cut with a sharp tip and the same length as all the others. We firmly believe in taking the extra time and effort required to do our points this way, because inlaid points with rounded tips simply do not meet our standards for quality, structural integrity, and overall appearance.
Custom, handmade veneers, in 1-5 layers and a wide variety of colors, may be added to accent the hardwood points from the forearm base wood. We take the extra time to make our veneers by hand, to ensure the uniform thickness and lack of visible glue lines, that is consistent with our high standards.
We offer a wide variety of custom, handmade ring designs, using a variety of materials. Traditionally, rings are placed at the base of the shaft, at the main joint, just above and just below the wrap, and at the base of the butt sleeve.
Most common are the single and double gold or silver colored metallic rings, in varying thicknesses. We also offer hardwood and traditional “Buska” style dash rings. Our in-house designers have a multitude of existing designs and can easily adapt one to your unique design specifications.
The joint collar is made of phenolic or metallic material, makes up the outer portion of the main joint, and has both cosmetic and structural properties. In general, the phenolic joint collar will result in a softer hitting cue, relative to the metallic joint collar. From a cosmetic standpoint, the joint collar is typically color-matched to the accent rings and overall design. The phenolic collar is typically available in white, black, and brown, and the metallic collar is available in gold and silver-colored metals.
We offer a wide variety of custom wood and ivory inlay designs. With ivory, we offer diamonds in all shapes and sizes, spears, ovals, starburst, and other finely cut designs. We take pride in the fact that the tips of our diamond, spear, and starburst inlays are very sharp and fade gradually into the base wood. We feel when our customers decide to purchase ivory inlays, they must be perfect, and cheaply cut pieces with rounded tips simply do not meet our quality standards.
With wood, we offer a wide variety of custom designs, including floating diamonds and windows, using any of the maples or hardwoods described earlier.
In the butt sleeve, the customer has a virtually infinite number of choices to finalize a unique, custom cue design. If the customer has selected and inlay pattern for the forearm points, then a matching or complementing inlay pattern is typically selected for the butt sleeve.
The customer may also opt for reverse points in the butt sleeve, which provides striking and eye-catching symmetry with the hardwood points in the forearm. These reverse points may also contain a matching inlay pattern, that is consistent with the forearm
Some Final Design Thoughts
The customer may choose to leave the base wood in its natural color or to have it stained in one of the many Lambros colors. The customer also has the option of choosing the color of the linen wrap, which is available in over 20 different patterns.
Regardless of cost, each and every Lambros Cue receives identical treatment in the application of the final finish. Our special finishing process makes the highlights in every cue stand out.