Cue making is an art form. Where some artists may use traditional mediums such as clay or canvas, the artists in the pool world use wood and other materials to produce their art. Their art are the custom cues that many people buy every year. Some of these individually crafted works of art stay inside display cases while others are thrust in the heat of battle on the green (or blue) felt. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of this generations most well know cue maker in Steve Lomax. This article will give us some insight on how Steve got into the business and how the pool industry as a whole supported him during a rough time.
What was your first exposure to pool? 46 years ago the pool hall that was within walking distance from where I lived in Louisiana finally opened the doors to minors and I was hooked from then on.
How did you get your start in cue making and what was the driving force behind it? I quit playing in 1985 and moved back to Georgia where I was born. I started my own business, got married and kids and had no time for pool. In 1999 I decided I wanted to play again. I missed the game a lot. I had given my pool cues away when I left Louisiana so I bought me another pool cue and started playing again. I went to a pool tournament a few months later, my first since 1985. While playing in the tournament the tip came off of my shaft. I had it replaced by the guy doing cue repairs at the tournament. I was not happy with the work done. When I got back home I ordered a lathe and decided I would do my own tips. One thing led to another and with help from fellow cue makers, I built my first cue in 2002. It became a part time hobby of mine till 2009 when I decided to go at it full time and the rest is history.
What is the average price of your cues? $600.00 and up depending on materials and design. Most of the cues I build today are custom orders
Do you sponsor any players and if yes, who? Current players: Justin Bergman, John Brumback, , Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Alex Calderon, Keith Bennett , Shannon Dalton, Jeff Abernathy and several others have my jump cues and break cues. Other players who have played with my cues include Larry Nevel, Stevie Moore, Allison Fisher, Rob Saez, Hunter Lombardo, and Kelly Isaac, who just won the women’s event at the Scotty Townsend Memorial.
Your jump cue has a reputation. What was your inspiration for making it and why do you think it has the reputation that it does? As for the jump cues, the best answer for that is, it works.
Do you have one or a handful of cues you have made that stand out to you? The current set in the photo that I built for myself is my favorite.
What is the average lead time/process for one of your cues? Lead time on a cue right now depends on woods and design and could be from 6 months to a year or more.
Do you have a favorite type of wood to work with? Ebony, cocobolo, birdseye maple and burl woods are my favorite to work with.
You had a health scare some time ago. For those not familiar with what happened, can you inform people on what happened, the outpouring of support from the billiard industry, and how you are feeling now? A little over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The first year was pretty rough with the surgery to remove the cancer and then 6 months of chemo. During that time I had lots of support from family and friends as well as several in the billiard industry which I will always be grateful to all. I’m in remission now but still have to get checked for the next 3 years every six months. I have a great group of doctors also. I get better every day but still not back to 100% and it’s a struggle at times. I want to also thank my customers for being understanding and having patience with me concerning their orders. I was out of the shop for almost 8 months and on and off for a year. I got way behind on orders which I still fulfilling to this day. Some were not so understanding which is ok, but most were great through my journey and still are to today. I really do appreciate that too. I won’t be traveling as much this year as in the past to work events to try and get caught up on orders.
Sponsored by Jacoby Custom Cues
Author: Brian Pauley
Editor: Shaylyn Troop