April 1 st, 2004 seemed an appropriate day to begin operations here at Hitt Cues; so Brad and I prepared some shaft blanks and put the first turn on 20 shafts to mark the event. We really weren’t quite ready to get started but we were both really tired of working with metal and needed to get our hands clean with some sawdust (we called it “manna” for the next few months). We had spent the last 6 months, since November ’03, moving machines, building set-ups, wiring the building, perfecting tooling and storing materials. We needed to work with our favorite material…the material we know…and April 1 st was the day it had to happen. Now, 1 year later, we have put up our website to spread the message…It’s all about the Hitt.
We dedicated last year to perfecting the hitt of our custom cues and our ability to build, from raw materials, every piece of every cue between the tip and the rubber bumper. We like to call them “Legacy Cues” because we are dedicated to providing you with a pool cue you can hand down to your children. To accomplish this, Hitt Cues have to be made differently. There are 30 structural components in our benchmark cue, each is mechanically attached. We don’t depend on glue alone because glue fails over time, every time. We make our own taps because wood threads are different from metal threads. The fit of our shaft stands in evidence of this…just ask a Hitt Cue owner about his. We recently purchased a fairly large supply of 3/8-10 stainless pins because the finished pins were cheaper than our source for raw materials. But the concept of independence remains dear…we don’t work in production quantities. Our cues will remain unique and flexible. We didn’t give in sneaky pete’s or plain jane’s, our first cues had 4-point forearms and quartersawn cherry window rings. Where else can you go with the horn of your trophy buck to have a cue inlaid and get a buckhorn ferrule and buttcap to boot!. We typically built long cues. We’re tall and we know a long cue can actually make a big difference in your game if you are over 5’10”, or so. We plan to stick with these concepts. We also plan to stick with the proportion of our long straight points, the selection of forearm lengths, the intricate butt points and reluctantly, the clear coat. For those of you who don’t know me, I think/ believe clear coat is a device to hide flaws and stabilize inlays of insufficient depth. I also believe that fine wood should be felt (the “Feel our Wood” slogan arises from this) and fine woodart in cues is no different than fine furniture. A good way to destroy the value of a fine piece of furniture is to coat it with plastic. Time has shown that wood must breathe…cues are no different. Our designs are timeless, not fancy. I’m not a fancy guy…give me something that reflects who I am. I don’t wear brocade shoes, my wife might…but not me. Besides, the reason prongs were put in cues was to stabilize and stiffen the forearm …it’s not just decoration. Last year, we successfully completed (and found homes for) 67 cues. In the process, we built a few bonfires fueled with the losses, but the cues that bear our name met all our standards and were labeled (most of them) with the Hitt ’04 and ’05 signature and numbered. We like to think the early cues will be valuable in the collector market later. We’re working to make that happen.
We’ve got big plans for fiscal ’08.
We continue to offer customized equipment solutions to a wide range of players. Our extra-length cues continue to improve performance and comfort for players over 6 feet tall and a lot of players substantially shorter who appreciate the additional reach for big table games such as one pocket. Standard length cues are 58” and we will be offering Hitt-plus-1 through Hitt+6. Simply call for a fitting discussion.
Our recut hardwood veneers have been quite a success. Re-cutting is a veneer-type technique that only a few of the best modern cuemakers can perform and then only on their high end work. Look for them in the Cues section. Our full splice cues based on a Japanese scarf joint (a prototype is in the pictue above) is still available for those searching for a unique cue.
Those of you who enjoy my brand of teaching may also enjoy the remaining sections on getting in stroke. By late summer, I hope to present my basic and advanced game theory on one pocket, 9-ball and 8-ball. I think writing these lessons helps me as much as anyone. If you have a question, post a message in the general forum...I'll get right to it. I'll also continue to post to the legends forum as I get them edited. Keep those e-mails coming.
As cuebuilders, materials remain a big priority for us. We are way ahead on our shafts…each cured shaft has to hang at least a month between each of the 4 cuts (5 stages). The best method to acquire quality shaft material is still grade and cure. We recently had the opportunity to purchase a small quantity of the most beautiful curly bubinga I have ever seen or heard of…truly 3 dimensional. Availability is limited. Rosewood will continue to be the material of choice due to exceptional color, polish and density. We have 7 varieties of select rosewood to choose from including a few pieces of D.maritima from days of old. This particular rosewood is functionally extinct because the shavings were used to make ink and dye. World supply is very low and logging of this species has been banned. We also have some incredible East Indian Rosewood in the shop. Domestic materials include cherry, bois d’arc, hard maple (both straight and bird’s eye), curly maple (soft), persimmon, dogwood, walnut, and ash. Imported materials not previously mentioned include ebony, yarrah, padouk (excellent), camagong, quilted moabe and a limited amount of ivory.
We continue to render 3D computer models of new designs prior to building. This is a tremendous advantage because it allows us to fix an image prior to committing the time and energy required to build a cue by hand. I have been working on a few new carving designs and hope to preview a marquetry cue in the next couple of months. I carve in the round (360 degrees), the method produces a unique look. I hope you enjoy playing them as much as I enjoy carving them. These cues will be built and sold by order only.
Design is a personal thing. I invite you to call me for a chat if you don’t see that perfect reflection of yourself in our store.
Don't forget to check out my new H A R P O O N (tm) jump cue. I developed it with the help of a couple of local players/friends. Possibly the easiest way to get you cueball airborn I've ever tried. I named it cue after its look. Don't just beat your opponent, Harpoon him!
It is my pleasure to serve you.