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 maple:

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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This page was last updated 10/09/08