Repairing chip in polyurethane finish


Knocked a chip out of my pool cue's butt:
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/dhakala/CueButt002.jpg
There's no dent in the wood. I suspect this may been a bubble in the finish.
Any DIY repair I can do? A cuemaker will charge about $100 to refinish the entire butt.
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Sand lightly, and recoat? Tom
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Pool cue are usually finished with lacquer. A good tip off to this is the fact that a finish that thin would actually chip. I would take some lacquer thinner on a Q tip and test a >>small<< (tiny) spot under a strong light and see if you dissolve the finish at all.
If you do, it is most likely laquer. You can buy a can for a few bucks, and sand off the chipped edges and put several coats of lacquer on yourself. You can buff the new finish out to match the rest of the cue with some white diamond compound on a slow speed buff. Buff out the test spot, too.
If you just want the protection and realize that more chips are on the way, try clear fingernail polish (high solids lacquer).
Robert
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Personally I would sand it all down and refinish. Obviously you don't want to do that.
If you carefully paint a bit of varnish on with a paint brush, it should be okay. Obviously it will still be a defect, but a small one.
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want
No need Toller. It's more likely lacquer which blends very nicely and can be buffed to a perfect finish, but even if it really were poly, it can be feathered and repaired to a likewise perfect finish.

be
Won't work well with either type of finish. You really want to prep the area first. You want to break the glaze no matter which finish it is.
--

-Mike-
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Foolish me, I assumed it was polyurethane because he said it was! If you can feather poly, you are better than me.

On the other hand, I have had that work just fine.
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In typed:

The first question that needs to be answered in order to repair the cue is what kind of finish is it? So in order to determine the finish it would be helpful to know who made it? As far as I know, there are only two cuemakers that use lacquer; Tad Kohara and Barry Szamboti. From the picture I can pretty much determine that it is neither. Now we just have to determine if it is a polyuerthane or an automotive clearcoat. If the finish has a yellow tint to it, like say an old Meucci or an old Huebler, then it is polyurethane. Easier to just ask the cuemaker I think... In any event, you will have to sand the area until any lifting of the finish in the chipped area has been removed, like say 400 grit. Be very careful, as this will create a flat spot in the sanded area, so basically you will be filling the flat spot, then sanding it back to flush with say 1000 grit the rest of the finish. This in itself creates a problem, as there really is almost no way to maintain the roundness of the cue. All of this should be done in an area no bigger than the eraser head of a pencil. You will be able to tell if the flat spot is round again by rotating the cue between the fingers of your other hand...you will be able to feel the flat spot coming around and hitting your fingers. This repair is very tedious at best, and you may not like the results. After you have sanded it flush again, then it has to be polished. Let me know when you get that far. The reason that this job is $100- to $150- is because there really is no correct way to repair a chip like this without the use of a lathe and stripping it all the way back to the wood, for most cuemakers standards anyway.
--
Ted Harris
http://www.tedharris.com
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ted harris wrote:

And Ted, I know, is a cuemaker with the highest of standards. Thanks for the advice, Ted!
I know a refinish job is well worth the money. It's just that I plan to sell this cue in a couple of months, when my new one is finished. It won't fetch more than $250-$300 so I'm not anxious to invest much in it. Sounds like my best bet is to just sell it with the chip disclosed. Anything I try to do will take a lot of effort and probably make things worse.
BTW, I did refinish my 39 year-old cue once, without benefit of power tools. It took me two days to hand-sand the old finish off, and another week to put 10 coats of tung oil on it. But the result is distinctive and repairs are easy. The finish feels warmer and softer than poly, and it provides a better grip. I wish cuemakers offered tung oil finishes, but it's a lot of work compared to spraying poly.
David Hakala
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be
cuemakers
Cool - the voice of real expertise.

finish
be
the
Correct. I would probably go less aggressive than 400 grit for this very reason. Maybe no more aggressive than 600. That's probably a preference thing.

the
Tedious somehow doesn't seem to do justice. But let me ask - typically in a cue like this, how much build up is there from the manufacturer? Enough that he can expect to contour the shape back to perfect tapered round with a paint stick (laid across, not along the butt), to flatten the fill back to the original contour? Obviously, this is going to take some of the factory contour down as the repair averages out. I don't know how much material there is to work with.

the
Now there's my "light a man a fire" for the day. I would never have thought of turning the cue down to repair a defect like this. Hell, in my opinion even a basic fill repair that did not involve using a lathe would be worth a C note. It's tedious work.
I've hand filled paint chips before and had to sand them down to flat with the surrounding paint and it's a real labor of love. Small is worse than big when it comes to this stuff. But... those weren't on a round, tapered shaft.
--

-Mike-
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Back when I was playing pool (a lot!), nicks on he butt of the cue's were so common that we didn't worry about them too much. Personally, I'd wait because as soon as you fix it, you'll probably get another one. I did have friends that would send their cues back to the manufacturer for refinishing if they got too bad.

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