HOW WE GOT STARTED
The idea of Nieman Cues began with a love of woodworking combined with a love of the game of pool.† When finally given the clearance from the wife (donít laugh guys, you know how these things work as well as I do) to have a pool table in the house, I jumped at the chance and began doing research so I could get the best table for the space available and my limited budget.† The more I looked at tables compared with the money I had to spend, the more disappointed I became.† The tables within my budget ($2,000 to $3,000) all had a plywood and/or particle board sub structure.† I wanted something a little better.† In continuing my research I found that a pool table is little more than a structural piece of furniture designed to carry the weight of one inch thick slate (about 600 lbs).† My hope for the perfect table was renewed and I switched my focus from researching tables to buy to researching ways to build my own.† Six months and $2,200 later I had my table and it looks like a piece of furniture and plays like high quality pool table.† Take a look at the table section of this site to see my table and how it is put together.† While it is not my intent to build tables, if you want one we can talk about it.
This led me to think I could also design and build my own pool cues.† Same drill, I started doing research on exactly how they were put together.† Well what I learned from this exercise is that a pool cue is a little more complex than it appears on the surface and the machinery and tooling are vastly different than those used to build furniture.† Once again disappointment set in (are you starting to see that I donít like to be disappointed).† Having learned the anatomy of a high end custom pool cue, I turned my focus toward what it would take to build one in my shop.† The first thing I learned is that building a pool cue is more for a machinist than a carpenter.† While I have high standards for detail and quality, I was not set up to make anything with a precision of 0.001 inch.† I started looking at Cue Lathes and the associated tooling to get me started.† Then that pesky budget thing raised its head again (I hate that word ďbudgetĒ, but I unfortunately donít have an unlimited supply of cash).† Through my research I found the Deluxe Cue Smith Lathe and purchased it with all the bells and whistles from Cue Man Billiards.† The machine is solid and true and while not a full blown machinist lathe, it will give me the accuracy I require to produce a Cue that I would be proud for someone else to own.† And of course the shop wouldnít be complete without a way to do the artwork, so I rounded the shop out with the Cue Smith Inlay Machine.† Feel free to browse around the shop on this site.
I have a passion for perfection and will not sell a cue before I am satisfied with it.† Having said that, it might take a little while for me turn my first cue.† All of the wood is turned over a period of several months to a year to insure a solid playing and stable cue.
While I am getting my inventory of wood going, my shop will concentrate on cue maintenance and repair.† If you need a tip or ferrule replaced or a shaft cleaned and reconditioned or anything else cue related, give me a call or send me an e-mail and Iíll do my best to help you out.
If you see me around the pool hall, please understand that I am a better carpenter and machinist than I am a pool player.† So donít get mixed signals about my abilities from watching me play.