Custom Cues are just that, and therefore commonly distinct and unique. It took me the better part of 40 years to learn this trade, and the details remain vitally important to me. I truly enjoy it when my customers share with me what they notice and appreciate, both in style and playability. It encourages my passion for my profession.
Through all the years that I have been making cues, I’ve felt if George Balabushka could make a veneered foearm, then I could as well. I am proud to have been making my own veneered forearms since the mid 70’s. Points are always mitered, the same way my colleague, Gus Szamboti did, and I use a short splice similar to that of a Tim Scruggs cue. I receive great feedback about the quality of my forearms from both my customers and other cue makers. In fact, a few cuemakers have even purchased my forearms.
Recently, while reading the Billiards Encyclopedia, I found their claim that there is no proof that “George B ever made a veneered forearm or even his own shafts”. It claims, rather, “he bought them and used titlist blanks”. I am not judging George about this claim, as he created most of the standards of today’s cues and his engineering has notably withstood the test of time. However, I am very glad I learned how to make my own forearms and shafts before discovering this information.
It is because of my success that I choose not to purchase pre-made forearms or shafts, just to detail or put trim rings on, as most other cue makers of today do. This distinguishes my cues from other cues on the market. It is how I have achieved the respect of many professionals, players and peer cue makers in the industry.