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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:48 am 
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Assuming this works, please do not post until I complete copying the posts.

Original thread is @ insidepoolmag.com - http://www.insidepoolmag.com/forums/sho ... .php?t=774"


Jimbo wrote:
Ok guys we are on the clock, Anyone have a question to ask Jim and Dave from Samsara cues???


Jim <---Has a few about the dog and cats relationship.


DaveK wrote:
A question for our cuemakers :

There has been a lot of discussion about the 'hit' of a cue. You fellas make some of the most spectacular cues I've ever seen, some real original head-turners (the African Viper might be my favorite example, wow). Not that I have $10K, but I might have a tough time deciding if I should play with the cue, or frame it for the wall. I'd certainly be very afraid of bouncing it against my table as I am known to do with my Falcon Do your high end art-cues built using Intarsia hit as well, or better, or worse, than a more typically constructed cue (you know, like 2 or three pieces of wood as opposed to 100s) in your opinions ? I realize that everyone has their own tastes and understanding of that word 'hit', so I guess I asking the players in you to comment on how well those treasures work.

Thanks,

Dave, your neighbour in Saskatchewan


Jazz wrote:
To Jim from Samsara,

Do you core all or part of your cues and the reasoning behind the decision? How doe sit impact the "hit" of the cue?

Do you want your cues to paly consistently regardless of wood used?

What is your business rational for starting more affortable BARCUE cues? Do these cues go through same building process as more expensive custom cues?


Jazz


Samsara wrote:
Hi Dave & everyone,
Thank you for the compliments on our cues.
I believe that our "High End" cues play very similar to our "Lower End" cues. (Keep in mind that every cue plays "slightly" different because it is made of wood.)
Our goal is to make cues that play consistantly, no matter how many pieces the inlay pattern has. We build our cues from the inside out, so no matter what the design or wood combination is they play the same......Great.
Dave and I are average guys. We understand that not everyone can afford an expensive cue. That does not mean if you spend more you get a better hitting cue. We build cues for everyone. That is why our cues start at $400.00. Many of our higher end customers buy Samsara "Barcues" to play in places where they would not want to risk their Samsara or other high end cues to damage or theft.
Having said that, I am sure if you spend $5000-$25,000 on a cue it will feel pretty good in your hands no matter who the maker was.
Remember, a "Great Cue" starts with the 'hit'........and finishes with the 'look'.

Jim


samsara wrote:
We core all of our forearms on all of our cues. We core all of our handles on wrappless cues. We do not core the handles on cues that are wrapped. On these cues we turn the handles as if they were shafts and discard any that show signs of warpage in the turning process.
We do this for consistancy and to prevent warpage. We believe that building cues that are consistant in hit and feel are as important as customer service. Yes, our "Barcues" go through the same process as the rest of our cues. See my previous post in regards to "Barcue".


Tate wrote:
I have a question. I have done some woodworking as a hobby. When I see the fancy Samsara cues with the swirl designs, such as this one from Dick Abbott's site, I am reminded of the techniques of French and Italian woodworking of stacking and resawing woods to form intricate designs, such as the bandings used on veneered borders. Many times these techniques were combined with other forms of woodworking including marquetry, intarsia, and coopering.

Are your cues built with these techniques, and if so, how did you learn them? Do you find that the glued up woods have been durable and held up well over the years?

Chris
Attachment:
samsara1967.jpg
samsara1967.jpg [ 117.35 KiB | Viewed 6571 times ]


Samsara wrote:
Hi Cris,
Yes, our cues are built with these similar techniques. We learned them through many hours of trial and error. They have stood up very well over the years considering we started in 1991. We have changed our adhesives and finish over the years and this has had a positive effect on shrinkage and overall finish but for the most part these designs are very durable and in some cases stronger that many types of wood due to the way they are glued up.
Jim


Tate wrote:
This is what makes your work so special to me, the complexity of the designs, which are nothing less than brilliant, and the fact that many of these designs can be done with traditional shop tools. I can't imagine achieving the accuracy you have in cutting and layouts, especially the curved designs. Really amazing stuff!

Chris

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:54 am 
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ScottR wrote:
Jim and Dave....

What prompted you to go in the design direction that you did? Had you seen anything like it in other cues from the past?

Thanks for participating.


Samsara wrote:
We wanted to build cues that had a different look than {most of} what was on the market at that time. We had not seen anything like what we were doing until several years later when the Billiard Encyclopedia came out. On page 278 there is a cue made by George Britner that is eerily similar to some of our early work. Dave and I actually had an opportunity to hold this cue in our hands at Best Billiards in the mid 90's.
Jim


Taiko wrote:
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have always thought as art and other forms of expression to be constantly evolving. Do you see your work evolving? If so, where do you see it going? Are there any any other innovations or design elements that you have not incorporated in your work that you would ike to see in the future and if so would you share some of them with us?

Murray Tucker asked everyone on the forum what their perfect cue would be. What would be your ideal of perfect cue?

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.


brooklynjay wrote:
Hi,

Just wanted to know how you two got started in cuemaking. Did you do an apprenticeship of some type or was it mostly trial and error out of your garage/shop?

Thanks.


Samsara replying to Taiko wrote:
I think our designs have evolved over the years. Example: the "Braid" evolved into the "Swirl", and the "Swirl" evolved into the "Fantail", and the "Fantail" evolved into two cues named "Othello" and "Desdemona" which than evolved into the "Twisted Sisters". We are continuously making cues that have the "Twisted Fantail" design, but we are changing angles and twisting them at different degrees.
As far as new innovations and design elements, we have a few new projects up our sleeves, but we would rather comeplete the cue{s} before we reveal them.
The perfect cue.....A Samsara!!! Just kidding (kind of). I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect cue. It's like people, nobodys perfect. If a cuemaker made the "Perfect" cue than wouldn't that person be faced with 2 choices?
1) Quit making cues.
2) Repeat the "Perfect" cue over and over again.
I think great cuemakers are constantly striving for the perfect cue but are never quite satisfied and that is what drives them to continue to make new and exciting designs, as well as making changes that improve the hit,fit and finish etc.
My thoughts,
Jim


Zeeder wrote:
Samsara wrote:
The perfect cue.....A Samsara!!! Just kidding (kind of). I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect cue. It's like people, nobodys perfect.
My thoughts,Jim
Jim,

First off, let me say that I really enjoy your designs. As far as the quoted passage, since THE perfect cue isn't out there, what would be your perfect cue? In other words, what are the aesthetics and specifications of the cue that would be perfect for you to satisfy you with both looks and playability?


Taiko wrote:
Jim,

Thank you once again for sharing your insights with us.

I have been reading on several forums many post concerning prices when buying a cue either from a dealer, a friend or directly from a cuemaker.

What do you base your pricing on or how do you calculate what is an appropriate price for a cue?

Do you feel that dealers, collectors or speculators have a negative or positive affect on the price of your cues? In other words, do you feel that the prices that are asked for on the secondary market are justified or do they detract people from ordering because of the high dollar amount?

What's the oddest or strangest request that you have received? (in cuemaking)

Thanks again

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Johnbo wrote:
do you own any cues? #? what makes?


what was your favorite creation?


how the weather up there?


Jimbo wrote:
What's your favorite sexual position???

Jim <----Wondering if anyone has any other questions before we close this thread down???


Taiko wrote:
One more before Jimbo shuts the door.

Are there any materials, either natural or man made, that you would like to incorporate more of into your work? How do you test new materials?

How do you choose or determine which of your shaft woods are suitable for production?

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, hopefully we'll see more post from you in the future when you have time.

Ok Jimbo, shut the door the air is getting out.
(i'd say, "you're letting the cold air in," but it's 79 degrees outside.)


MurrayTucker wrote:
Jim and Dave,
I understand that you have a UV cure finishing system. Do you use this on all of your cues?


Samsara wrote:
Zeeder wrote:
First off, let me say that I really enjoy your designs. As far as the quoted passage, since THE perfect cue isn't out there, what would be your perfect cue? In other words, what are the aesthetics and specifications of the cue that would be perfect for you to satisfy you with both looks and playability?

I have been playing with the Matterhorn cue since 1995. (shown on the opening page of the gallery section on our website.) Samsara Cues
It weighs 18.8 ozs. 12 3/4 mm Ivory ferrules with medium Mori tips. It is perfect for me.

Thanks,
Jim


Tracy wrote:
Jim,
I clicked on your link. There are some nice looking cues. I have a couple of questions. The maple cue case, pictured with the Matterhorn, do you make these cases? Also I wondered, do you and Dave make all the Barcues and X-Breakers, or do you have employees? Are the custom cues made alongside the Barcues and X-Breakers, or do you have two shops?

Tracy


Samsara wrote:
Taiko wrote:
Thank you once again for sharing your insights with us.

I have been reading on several forums many post concerning prices when buying a cue either from a dealer, a friend or directly from a cuemaker.

What do you base your pricing on or how do you calculate what is an appropriate price for a cue?

Do you feel that dealers, collectors or speculators have a negative or positive affect on the price of your cues? In other words, do you feel that the prices that are asked for on the secondary market are justified or do they detract people from ordering because of the high dollar amount?

What's the oddest or strangest request that you have received? (in cuemaking)

We try to price our cues based on the amount of time that goes into them, the materials used, and the overall apearance of the cue. We have a system that we put together over the years that we use as a guideline. It lists different designs by price. Example: points are priced according to how many veneers they have. The Intarsia designs like the "Swirl" are priced by the inch. ETC.

There is nothing wrong with trying to buy cheaper on the secondary market. Dealers, collectors/speculators are generally good for the market if they don't drop the price just to move the cue quickly. We try to make sure they get value when they order from us. I think our prices reflect good value. I have seen cues out there that simply do not have enough work in them to support the price regardless of who's name is on them. We would rather sell cues with good value than cues with artificial value.

The oddest request was a guy who wanted a cue that would fire a .22 caliber bullet out of the butt end. Needless to say, the liability issues did not allow us to build this cue.
Jim


Catscradle wrote:
This thread gives me a chance to give kudos to Jim.

I recently while using my Sam noticed a "vibration". Send Jim an email, he called me and said send it to him immediately. He found the problem it was an additional weight bolt I HAD PUT IN that had loosened up. Jim not only fixed the problem, that I repeat was ENTIRELY my fault, but shipped the cue back to me free and threw in a few extra weight bolts for nothing.

Samsara cues is a top shelf operation which stands behind there cues beyond what any normal person can reasonably expect.


Samsara wrote:
MurrayTucker wrote:
I understand that you have a UV cure finishing system. Do you use this on all of your cues?

Yes. We built our own system. This is what allows us to do jobs like the X Breaker and the Bar Cues. It is very efficient and it is the best finish that we have used. The learning curve was pretty tough. It took about a year before we worked out all of the bugs.
Jim


Samsara wrote:
Tracy wrote:
I clicked on your link. There are some nice looking cues. I have a couple of questions. The maple cue case, pictured with the Matterhorn, do you make these cases? Also I wondered, do you and Dave make all the Barcues and X-Breakers, or do you have employees? Are the custom cues made alongside the Barcues and X-Breakers, or do you have two shops?

Hi Tracy,
Thank you for the compliments on our cues. Yes, we do make the wood cases, but we do not make many of them. They are very laber intensive and not everyone wants to spend over a $1000 on a cue case that will get scratched up with normal use.
We have one shop. I will try to explain how our shop works the best that I can. First of all, we know very little about other cue shops so what we do works for us and it may not be what everyone expects.
We have put almost every cent of our profits into our shop since 1991.
Dave is an expert machinist with a back ground in building high speed packaging equipment. Together we have designed and built (or modified)almost every machine in our shop. Many of the machines that we have made probably do not exist anywhere else. There are a lot of steps in making cues that are done exactly the same regardless of the price or design. These processes are set up on machines that do not change. We have very little set up time in our shop and all of our parts are made to exact specs. We have found ways to automate the gruelling time consuming jobs such as sanding, polishing, finishing and shaft turning. (This allows us to spend more time on designs, points, Intarsia and inlays,) As a result of this we have a very efficient operation. Not to mention we work hard every day, 6 days a week. We build Gallery cues ($5000 & up), Samsara Originals ($650-$5000) Samsara Barcues ($400-$600). XBreaker cues. We also turn shafts and make parts for other cuemakers and suppliers such as Atlas and OB Cues.
We have several employees that mostly operate machines for our part making, shaft making, rough turning, X-Breaker,finishing and shipping. The Samsara Gallery, Originals, and Barcues are made by Dave and I. All wraps, inlays, Intarsia, and design work is done by Dave and I. (We build about 200-250 Samsara cues a year including the Barcue.) Together we over see all aspects of the shop. My wife Laurie is the office manager, doing the paper work for shipping and paying the bills as well as taking orders. I purchase all of the raw materials.
The people that work for us are our friends and are very loyal. They probably know more about cuemaking than a lot of cuemakers in the industry.
Some may wonder why we choose to run our business like this. We do it beause we love to make the machines as much as we love to make the cues. We also believe in making the highest quality cue possible in many different price ranges.
I hope this helps everyone understand more about Samsara Cues.
Jim


Samsara wrote:
Catscradle wrote:
This thread gives me a chance to give kudos to Jim.

I recently while using my Sam noticed a "vibration". Send Jim an email, he called me and said send it to him immediately. He found the problem it was an additional weight bolt I HAD PUT IN that had loosened up. Jim not only fixed the problem, that I repeat was ENTIRELY my fault, but shipped the cue back to me free and threw in a few extra weight bolts for nothing.

Samsara cues is a top shelf operation which stands behind there cues beyond what any normal person can reasonably expect.

Thanks for the compliments! We believe that customer service is as important as the quality of the cues.
Jim


Jazz wrote:
Jim from Samsara,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer questions posted. Very much appreciated and it was informative.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Samsara wrote:
brooklynjay wrote:
Just wanted to know how you two got started in cuemaking. Did you do an apprenticeship of some type or was it mostly trial and error out of your garage/shop?

We did not do any form of apprenticeship. Lot's of trial and error!
Dave was making cues when I met him. Mostly for his friends. Nothing too fancy. We started out by becoming friends playing pool at the same place. I gave him $400 to make me a cue with the stipulation that I would be involved with the materials and design. He made three cues, one for himself, one for my wife, and one for me. We still have these cues and they are serial numbers 1-3. We than spent the $400 on wood and the rest is history.....
Jim


Samsara wrote:
Johnbo wrote:
do you own any cues? #? what makes?


what was your favorite creation?


how the weather up there?

I have quite a few Samsara Cues.
I tend to stick to our brand. I try not to hit balls with anything else, that way I do not have to lie about the way they play, good or bad.
Favorite creation would probably be "The Saber Tooth Tiger". Pictured on the opening page of our Gallery section. The dagger was really cool. It was one of our first highend sales. The three cues in the center of the picture sold to the Sultan of Bruni for $40,000.
I almost forgot, it is great cuemaking weather..........Cold as hell.
Jim


Samsara wrote:
Jimbo wrote:
What's your favorite sexual position???

That's kind of personal......but it involves a pool table.


Samsara wrote:
Taiko wrote:
One more before Jimbo shuts the door.

Are there any materials, either natural or man made, that you would like to incorporate more of into your work? How do you test new materials?

How do you choose or determine which of your shaft woods are suitable for production?

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, hopefully we'll see more post from you in the future when you have time.

Ok Jimbo, shut the door the air is getting out.
(i'd say, "you're letting the cold air in," but it's 79 degrees outside.)

We have been doing some stone inlays such as Tiger Eye, Marble, Granite. There is also quite a bit of petrified wood in our local are that is pretty interesting. As far as testing material for inlays..the main thing is how heavy it is and can we machine it.
We have a test table set up that we use to test deflection as well as how a ferrule material will stand up.

You can let some of that 79 degree air into my shop if you like.
Jim


Samsara


Samsara wrote:
Thanks everyone for the great questions!!! I hope I didn't miss any.
Jim


Samsara wrote:
I forgot to address the shaft wood question. We grade our shaft wood the first time when it is a round dowel. Anything that has obvious cosmetic flaws but has nice tight straight grain is used for core wood. Anything that has grain run out is discarded.
We then moniter any warpage that occurs in the turning process and mark the shafts. Any thing that continues to warp as it goes through the process is discarded. After the final turn we grade for straightness, cosmetic flaws, tightness of grain and grain run out. We usually end up with 4 different grades: a,b,c,d. A & B are used for Samsara or sold to other makers. C grade is used for repairs or sold as c grade to other cuemakers. D is junk and they are discarded. Unfortunately it seems that the D grade are pretty abundant.
Jim


Jimbo wrote:
Samsara wrote:
Thanks everyone for the great questions!!! I hope I didn't miss any.
Jim

Thanks Jim, you got them all. I really appreciate your time and effort. I hope many people learned what goes into your cues and I hope next time they are looking to buy a new cue they keep you in mind. Great cues, great quality, and a great style, it's refreshing to see something unique in this day and age.
This thread is officially closed.

Jim <----Locking the door behind him.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:20 pm 
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I'm currently sitting in the calm before the storm here at work so I had time to do this one before the storm hits. I've thought about it recently and the recent mention of it coupled with a few min free time, I decided to go for it. It could be done much quicker if no one quoted each other. :mrgreen:

Tims <--- Done

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