Carlos Coll. ~ Missy Moran Capestrain

Living in Los Angeles, to be near friends and family, Carlos Coll set up shop. A custom cue building shop. At the start, it’s purpose was for Carlos to fix his own personal playing cues. It then evolved into a shop to build and sell custom cues, as a Coll’s Custom Cues brand. Carlos credits Ned Morris, cuemaker and personal friend, with teaching him how to build cues.

A pool player himself, Carlos prefers One Pocket, admitting that he “tinkers way too much to be a good player.” He is more interested in the cues. A “cheapy three piece” was his first cue. It was with this cue that he would play pool with his father on his paternal grandfather’s table, when he was a young boy. He moved on to using a “Viking Cue,” a “Balabushka Cue,” followed by a “Ned Morris,” and finally with a cue that he built himself.

In building custom cues, Carlos concentrates on three guiding principles, which are quality of construction, design, and playability—with playability being most significant, because folks buy cues to play pool, not to set on a shelf to look pretty.

His cues definitely are beautiful. Only the best materials will do for a Coll. He mills his own wood and turns his own shafts. His shafts are Canadian Rock Maple, which is only harvested at certain times of the year. It’s important to have straight, tight grain, which allows for less movement of the wood, and is most pleasing to the eye. Each shaft is inspected for any sugar marks or other blemish which, when found, are thrown into the trash.

Native to exotic woods, which could include those from North America, Africa, and South America, can be used for the cues. Most cuemakers use the same types of woods. Some can, in fact, be toxic. For this reason, the preferred woods of the customers—if not already one that Carlos keeps on hand—will be researched for toxicity and if they can cause a reaction.

Any wood can be used so long as it isn’t toxic. If clients want something different, he can get it.

A search to find high quality materials is ongoing. When found, they may be bought—even if not for immediate use. Carlos always checks the humidity content of the wood he purchases, always “making sure that the materials are aged and cured properly.” He turns all of his wood himself. Nothing i