Currently viable crafts

 

Billiard, snooker and pool cue making

 

The making of cues for the games of billiards, snooker and pool.

 

Status Currently viable
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 21-50
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

The craft developed from France with the original billiards game, carom. It has not changed majorly since the early 20th century when billiards cues became more commercial.

 

Techniques

Being able to understand wood, particularly grain patterning and behaviour, splicing woods together, hand planing and sanding.

 

Local forms

The biggest differences are cues made for specific billiards games. English/Chinese pool and snooker cues do not differ immensely but they do differ from American pool cues which have a totally different making process.

 

Sub-crafts

  • Joint and ferrule making
  • Tip making

Allied crafts:

  • Billiards table making
  • Billiards ball making

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • The craft is currently viable because there is a great deal of interest in it. However, many cue makers opt for Thai or Chinese manufactured cue blanks because it makes the process cheaper, more efficient, the materials are very good, and the workmanship (much of which is done by machine) is highly acceptable. These cues are considerably cheaper than entirely British-made cues.┬áCompanies in Thailand and China may in the next few years opt to produce cues under their own brands and become more sought-after than the current UK market leaders. If this happens then the craft in the UK could die out to be inherited by these overseas manufacturers.
  • Some of the cue making processes are not widely practised here anymore, including by many of the leading brands, so those skills are not going to be passed on.
  • Some wood species are being depleted.

 

Support organisations

 

 

Craftspeople currently known

Individuals:

  • Robert Osborne
  • Keith Hammant
  • Johnny Carr
  • Dave Coutts
  • Mike Wooldridge
  • James Butters
  • Trevor White
  • Tim Curtis
  • Jason Owen

Businesses that employ two or more makers:

  • Will Hunt, London
  • John Parris
  • Stamford Cues
  • Peradon
  • BCE
  • Master Craft
  • Craftsman Cues
  • Cue Craft
  • Riley

 

Other information

 

 

References