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How To Remove the Cue Shaft Finish

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Pool balls shot on pool table. Photograph taken above. The white ball is about to be struck. The ball is about to hit the other balls. Studio shot, horizontal frame.
Maria Toutoudaki/Photodisc/Getty Images
Some find the slick finish manufacturers add to their cue shafts distracting during play. Learn how to remove and replace a cue shaft's finish.

Many manufacturers add a light coat of polyurethane, called a finish, to their cuesticks' shafts. The finish keeps the surface slick, so the cue slides smoothly through the fingers.

The finish protects the stick from scratches and stains from chalk powder. Bare wood, without varnish, accumulates collected perspiration and dirt. It may snag on the skin because it is sticky. Some players dislike varnished shafts, preferring the slightly "slower" action of bare wood.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Some furniture cleaning solution, the type used to eliminate wax buildup on wood, can take the finish off your cue if desired. Use small amounts on a cloth and rub the finish from the cue. Test a small area first for results.

  2. Wood polish on a cloth will add a coating to your shaft again, if you wish to experiment, though no amateur can get the ultra-thin coat the manufacturer gives. Some players swear by a certain lemon polish, a leather shammy, or some other coating method.

  3. Be careful, removing the finish causes a cue to lose permanently its brand new, glossy look.

  4. Take a quick look at an opponent's custom cue before competition starts. Is their shaft a dirty blue or green from chalk from the tip down? The finish has been removed, possibly by human perspiration. They have shot a substantial amount of pool with it and have certainly “played this game before”.
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