Quilted Maple Pool Cue Case
I had a piece of quilted maple that had a box in it wanting to get out, so
instead of making one of my usual unnecessary trinket boxes, I decided to
make a box that I could actually use.
I play pool on a league team, and since I can miss my shots with my $100
sticks just as well as with an expensive stick, thank you very much, I can't
justify the megabucks some of the folks in the league spend on pool cues. (I
can't see buying a pool stick that costs thousands of dollars. One of the
guys on my team has several in that price range.) Instead I figured I could
at least have the nicest case in the bar.
The case is made of jatoba, quilted maple and a bit of purpleheart. I hadn't
decided on the design before I resawed the maple into 3/8" thickness, so I
glued up the top and bottom panels separately. In hindsight, I should have
glued up a single 3/4" thickness, then resawn the results into two pieces.
Thanks to the help of a number of folks at
Sawmill Creek, I learned all about
applying a hand-rubbed lacquer finish. I was going for the glass look, and
although there are a few hairline swirls visible to the discerning eye, I'm
happy with the way the finish turned out.
Originally, the outer stripe of purpleheart was not planned. When I cut the
top and bottom panels to be inset into the frame, I missed the mark by a
smidgen, so I routed an 1/8" wide channel and inlaid the border to hide my
mistake. The other purpleheart stripes are integral...they go all the way
through the panels. I guess I have a thing with the stripes, huh? (Ref. my
cutting boards.) Pardon the poor lighting and backdrop. I was in a hurry to
get some pics. Here's the top of the case...the bottom looks the same.
Unfortunately, the picture doesn't really capture the depth of the grain in
The interior top has a maple frame holding 5/8"
of upholstery foam, covered in velvet. (I'm using up my photo backdrop
material.) The bottom has a 1/4" thick high density foam insert covered in
velvet. The dividers are 1/8" birch ply built into a maple frame, with all
the corners eased and surfaces flocked. Both the top and bottom inserts are
removable and replaceable if needed.
Here's the case, loaded for shark. (I'm not
really a pool shark -- a 5 on my league's 2 to 7 scale -- but I can usually
hold my own against the better players.) These are a couple of inexpensive
<$100 cues that are my current users. I do have a lower-end Muecchi that
cost more, but these have a nice feel and they look better (even if the
turquoise inlay is really a decal). The case holds two butts and two shafts,
with an extra slot for chalk and tip shapers. Or one butt, one shaft, and a
couple 8-packs of hot dogs.
And lastly, a little intentional table lamp
glare to show off the lacquer.
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