Burnishing A Pool Cue Shaft? Here’s How To Do It And Why!

Burnishing A Pool Cue Shaft

Burnishing a pool cue shaft is an essential aspect of maintaining your pool cue.

It involves resealing the pores on a wooden cue shaft, restoring its smooth surface, and protecting it from moisture, dirt, and other contaminants.

This process is crucial for both the performance and longevity of your pool cue.

Key Takeaways

  • Burnishing reseals the pores of the cue shaft, enhancing its smoothness and preventing stickiness.
  • Regular burnishing is recommended to maintain optimal cue performance.
  • Various materials, including leather and brown paper bags, can be used for burnishing.

What Is Burnishing a Cue Shaft?

Burnishing a pool cue shaft is a form of cue maintenance that reseals the pores on a wooden cue.

This helps to restore a smooth outer surface and locks out moisture, dirt and other particles that cause a sticky cue shaft.

  • Over time, cues can start to feel sticky from all the constant handling they receive.
  • It is one of the reasons why you should make sure to wash your hands before you pick up a cue.
  • Dirt and oily skin residues transfer to the shaft, along with chalk dust and other debris.
  • All of which can get trapped within the shaft’s wooden pores, which creates that horrible stickiness.

It can also affect its appearance as it loses its gloss finish and becomes somewhat dull.

If you are looking at the tip of your cue, and it has grown wider than the ferrule, you need to scuff the cue tip.

When Should You Burnish a Pool Cue Shaft?

The obvious time to burnish a pool cue’s shaft is when it starts to feel sticky and begins losing its finish. However, it should be burnished every time the cue is cleaned.

So it should be something you are regularly doing if you want to have the smoothest of cues.

But at the very least, when you feel the texture of the cue losing the glossy outer layer, it is time to get burnishing your pool cue.

Why Should You Burnish Your Pool Cue Shaft?

The main reason why you should burnish your pool cue’s shaft is to stop your cue from warping.

  • Whenever you clean your cue, it opens the pores.
  • As a porous material, water will get absorbed into them, which will causes the wood to change shape overtime.

Burnishing reseals the pores, so it effectively has a barrier against moisture, but also dirt, which is another reason to burnish.

Getting rid of the dirt build up in the shaft, removes the friction you will no doubt feel with a sticky cue.

It will fell much smoother during your stroke, and will aid a better performance.

Conditioning Your Cue

Conditioning your cue for optimal performance is not a one time thing.

  • It can be kept gliding effortless with ongoing maintenance.
  • Sticky, dirty cues don’t tend to glide so well.
  • Cues that are years old can still look and perform like new with proper care and attention given to them.

How To Burnish a Pool Cue Shaft?

For the best way to burnish your pool cues shaft, you can follow the steps below.

Clean The Pool Cue

  1. First, you need to clean the cue using a slightly damp cloth.
  2. Don’t soak the cloth, it only needs to be lightly dampened.
  3. Rub it up and down the cue, to clean the outer surface.

Using a Liquid Cleaner

Alternatively, you can use a liquid cleaner, which is the favored option for many people.

  • You simply add a few drops of the solution to a damp cloth and rub the shaft vigorously.
  • Do not apply too much pressure.
  • You should notice the cue instantly looking cleaner.

Burnish The Shaft

The next step is to burnish the shaft, which closes its pores and effectively melts the oil and dirt from the shaft.

You will need one of the following to burnish a cue shaft:

  • A piece of leather
  • A brown paper bag
  • A piece of cardboard
  • A 100 dollar bill

Using your chosen material above, slide the material up and down your cue.

The faster, the better, as you want to create enough friction that generates the heat needed to burnish the shaft and completely remove the sticky feel to it.

Some people like to use sandpaper as a material to burnish with, however, I myself, will not use it to burnish my cues.

If you use sandpaper too aggressively, you run the risk of removing wood from the shaft.

If you are new to the technique of burnishing, I would use one of the materials I highlighted previously as a safer method.

Alternative Method

Alternatively, you can use a burnishing pad/film and the process will be similar to above, but can be less time-consuming.

  1. Slide the pad/film up and down the cue.
  2. Seal The pores with the shaft conditioner.
  3. Apply a few drops to a dry cloth and rub gently over the shaft.
  4. Burnish with a leather pad.
  5. Burnish one more time by rubbing a leather pad over the shaft, and your cue should be looking as good as new.

Is Burnishing Pool Cue Shafts Bad?

Burnishing is not bad for the shaft and does a great job in not only smoothing the surface but also helps protect the wood by closing the pores to lock moisture out.

There is a slight confusion among some players about the effects of burnishing a shaft, however players have been doing it for decades.

Yes, temperature changes are bad for a cue, burnishing involves heating up the shaft, which then cools and during some arguments will be compared to temperature changes.

However, the two cannot be compared, as the heat generated through burnishing is only surface level and is short-lived.

How To Keep Your Pool Cue In Good Condition?

  • Regularly clean your cue with a non-abrasive cloth after every session.
  • Always store your cue in a climate controlled location to protect against warping.
  • Don’t prop your cue up against a wall after games, as they can roll and hit the ground, causing the shaft to crack.
  • A well mounted cue wall rack is a great way to store your cues when they are not being used.
  • Don’t lean on the end of the cue between shots.





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