My Jacoby custom cue.
I have known Brandon and the Jacoby’s for a few years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his work. Family man and totally in love with the industry and all aspects of it. So I knew that this man could do anything. I had a working idea of what I kinda wanted with my next custom cue. I saw ideas and inspirations from all over and was developing a running idea. I had been seeing resin and burl pens and tables and pieces of art and thought about a cue. Now think about it. The wood that is basically useless to a cue maker has now a new life to it. Now the burl sections that I’m talking about are where the tree has a deformity on the trunk or root area. The woods that come off it are a lot of the time have cavities and concaves that make it hard to work with for a cue maker. The wood in the burl stage is exceptionally exquisite to wood workers.
I have also seen a lot of cues with Snakewood juma and love that material. It comes in a bunch of different colors and it is popular in cues and knife handles. I have a cue once by a cue makers JD custom cues. The wire was used as ring work on the cue and turned out really epic. So I started looking around to see what was out there and I had no idea how many different designs there were. Most of what I found was on Etsy.
So I'm getting this cue designed and I brought my ideas to Brandon and we talked about it for a while. Somehow the design in my head had an almost Egyptian feel to it with the Gold wire and the Blue resin I had in mind. Brandon said he was willing to take on this new project with me as many of the components he had never worked with before. He told me if I get what he needed he would make the cue.
I wanted to go with Blue tones in the burl and have a lighter colored wood. I found this amazing picture of what I wanted to save and post it in some burl and swirl groups I was in on FaceBook. I found a gentleman that worked with this stuff a lot. Daniel Reese agreed to take on the project and looked around for the perfect piece of wood. The picture I had showed him had almost glitter flakes in it and was transparent. We agreed that we needed something a little different. I trusted him and we went with a nice piece that he had cut into a 6”X6” square. He had to build a reservoir for the wood and resin to sit in.
So the pieces of this cue are starting to come together in pieces. I then had to order the Juma I was looking for and went with pearl white. Now one of the last pieces I had to come up with was the wire. I was in constant contact with Brandon as this cue started to take its shape on the drawing board. Coming up with the design from the beginning I knew that we were going to have trouble with the rings. I bought a 48” piece of this jewelers wire. My intent when designing the cue was to have these rings on six different sections on the cue. This was going to be one of the last steps and Brandon was doing research on resin casting himself.
Ok now we have all the pieces to me and I had everything to present to him. We sat down and got a true design of how the cue was going to look and drew up the plans. Now mind you it’s a year wait for this cue. So I had a little time dwell on it and how everything was going to end up and we really didn't know how the resin would look turned down.
I’d go and talk with him and check on the cue and he was always happy to share his struggles and successes. The rings were giving us hell. So at this point we were trying to figure out how we were going to replace the wire that I had gotten for it. We were going to go with some brass rings to match the gold looking theme I had. I saw a cue by chance that he had already done that had a Pyrite matrix ring on it. My eyes glowed with excitement as I knew that this was the replacement for the trouble we were having. Well now we were heavy into production into this cue and was about eight months since we started.
I wanted a point on the cue both high and low. See everything in this cue flows together. The veneers I chose were a dark blue a white in the middle and a lighter colored blue but Brandon said that Purple would make the blue pop more. I listened. On the high points we decided to go with the same maple burl to match what was already used. On the low points I chose to go with the Juma and it really ties all the different aspects of this cue together.
Brandon at this point was trying to figure out about the rings as i didn’t want to give up on this idea that I had. The complexity of matching the wire pieces that came together was difficult while at the same time trying to keep the correct diameter to keep the ring the correct size to fit the cue that had been cored. The first couple of attempts failed at the end result being a cloudy resin instead of being clear to see the wire. At that time he thought it was moisture that got in there that was causing the cloudiness.
He came up with the idea to make the reservoir larger and he actually had his son 3D printed the piece that he needed to make the rings. So now we are all good and have all the pieces coming together and the cue is really starting to take shape. The cue is bland and dull until you start putting the clear coat on it. Then the cue really comes alive. All the pieces are coming together, how it's a hurry up and wait game.
The long awaited time arrived and I finally picked up my cue on the day after Christmas. The cue is absolutely amazing and the rings, the veneers, the burl and the resin all came together into one beautiful work of art. This is such a unique piece and it plays amazing. I couldn’t ask for a more amazing cue. Brandon is truly a master CueSmith. On a side note brandon is many things but organized isn’t one of them. He lost the wire and we had to reorder it. He was saying he has lost a few things over the years and thinks they will all show up all in one place like the lost socks in the laundry. Dealing with the Jacoby’s has been amazing. Something I've learned about them is they are all extremely family oriented and treat bums the same as kings. I’m proud to call them friends.