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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:49 pm 
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What was the one part of cue construction/finishing/playability that took you the longest to perfect?

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:04 am 
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Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us.
How do you create your designs, use a computer program and which one, or do you work old school with paper and colored pencils?
Also, though I've admired your designs, I have never played with one of your cues so how would you describe the hit, or can it be modified by wood choices, joint and ferrule type, etc?
Thanks again, Patrick


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:52 am 
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Richard,

You make a great looking cue and your desings are very inspirational, can't comment on the hit as i have never handled one.

One question. What is the little knob/button you have your right hand on at the base of the cnc, on your website?

Also, the rotary and collet chuck, custom? thats pretty cool

I'm sure the requests for shop pics will be a long shot, but i'm hopin theres a chance you will. especially the cnc

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:18 am 
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JimBo wrote:
To celebrate our 1,000th member we are going to reinstate the ATCM section, there are some great reads for any of you new members who may not have checked them out yet. Also for those who don’t really know the rules we get to ask questions for a few days and then the CM will come in and answer them and then we close the thread. This isn’t a place to insult or debate, ask any question you want and ask a follow up, just try to be kind and civil and before you know it another will be in the can.

This installment is cue maker Richard Chudy of RC3 designs. Richard was an art student who started to do repair work for a local billiards supply shop, besides working on tables he also build some cues for the company. Richard then took some time off to work in the family business and stepped away from cues until the late 80’s when he started back up and has been doing it ever since. Richard can be found at every ICCS show as well as VF SBE and many other larger cue related shows, he and his team just got back from the BCA show in Vegas where he used a cue rather then sold them. Let me first thank Richard for taking a few days out of his busy schedule and remind people that time to ask questions is now because we will have a few days before he answers them. I will also remind everyone that since I get the jump on everyone I get to ask the first few and I have a lot of them, so let’s get started.

1) Richard in your write up in the BB it claims you studied art in college, how easy or hard did you find it to translate your studies into cues and are there any designs you can point to that reflect a piece of art that you did in another genre.

[color=#0080FF]There really was no difficulty translating any art studies to my cue making. When I was younger I was the kid in school always getting in trouble for drawing cars and cartoons and I’ve always enjoyed making stuff. Mouse and Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth were great inspirations for me when I was young. My trip into cue making is really a serendipitous blend of everything I’ve ever done (drawing cars and cartoons, custom painting cars and motorcycles, a stint as a billiard mechanic and of course art school).
2) The single sided veneers is a design element that I had never seen before you did it, can you tell us if that is something you invented on your own, and how did it come to be? Did you ever see it done prior to you doing it and why do you feel that in todays world of lazy copy cats have we not seen it copied more?

Well, SSV, as far as I know, came into being at the AHSBE back in 1992 or 1993. It was the second show and the first at Valley Forge. I wanted to do something a little different so I decided to do an ebony point on an ebony cue with spectrum colored veneers on one side. The effect was cool as the point disappeared and all you could see were the veneers. I had a lot of people trying to figure it out (always a good thing). When I applied the same technique to a regular design the cat was out of the bag. So, yeah I’ll take credit for inventing it. It really has become a trademark look for me. And I guess others haven’t copied it out of…respect???

3) Since I’ve already broached the topic in Q2 can you please give us some thoughts on design theft and maybe a little about the law if you know anything. Also do you ever think there will be a case where a maker takes another maker to court over such an issue?

I really don’t know anything about the law except there are some laws out there that protect artists’ work. I would think cue makers designs just as artist’s original work would fall under the same standards.

As far as design theft goes you know it when you see it. If you look at a cue and immediately think of maker A and it turns out to be made by maker B there is a problem. And please, don’t try to disguise it by calling a ‘tribute’.

Court cases equals money. Unless someone has been egregiously wronged I doubt you’ll see anything taken that far. It would be nice but I don’t think it will happen. Besides isn’t making it to the ‘club’ a good thing?


4) How hard is it for you to come up with a new design that fits into *your look* and what is your take on doing one of a kind designs?


You know some times it all happens so easily I don’t even think about it. Other times it’s like pulling teeth. I think the harder you try the harder it gets. Most really good ideas seem to flow right out effortlessly after a great deal of mind bending hard work. It’s weird.

As much as I might bitch about one-offs I do enjoy the challenge. Some of my coolest cues come out of the process. Check out the Santa Fe Eagle or the Air Force Cue on my web site http://www.rc3cues.com.


5) Last one for now, what is your take on cue dealers and people who beg to get a cue only to sell the cue in the next week, even though “it’s the best cue they ever hit”.

Go figure, I get calls like this regularly. I’m starting to wonder if it’s the ‘but she’s got a great personality’ syndrome. All of my cues seem to find good homes…eventually. Their loss certainly is some one else’ gain!

rc3


Jim<--Can’t wait for some good questions to start rolling in.[/color]


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:59 am 
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To be clear I editted Richards reply in an attempt to make it easier to read, we need to cut him some slack he is a forum Newb and our software has a glitch. So rather then all purple I added the blue, now some of my text turned grey, go figure. We will work on this. Also not to ditract from his site but here are small pics of the cues he mentioned, please go see really nice pics at http://www.rc3cues.com

Attachment:
AirForce.jpg
AirForce.jpg [ 80.77 KiB | Viewed 7479 times ]

Attachment:
RC3Eagle.jpg
RC3Eagle.jpg [ 75.86 KiB | Viewed 7476 times ]


Jim <----Go visit http://www.rc3cues.com

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:33 am 
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Hi Mr. Chudy. Your cues are awesome. It seems all the good questions have been asked. Are you a pool player yourself and if so what is your favorite discipline. And most importantly what is your favorite kind of steak :mrgreen: .

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:27 pm 
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thepavlos wrote:
Hi Richard and thank you for taking the time for this.
What is your background story. What inspired you to build cues. Who helped/mentored you in the beginning. What is your favorite part in building a cue.
Thanks
Paul





I started playing pool a little more seriously in college and no, I didn’t pay for school hustling in 1968 I got a job with the new local billiard supply, Saffron’s to be exact in Royal Oak, Michigan. I worked there till 1977. In the early and mid 70’s Al Saffron decided to make his own line of custom pool cues and with the help of a local road player and his brother in-law they set out. Around this time Al would go to Chicago and come back with stuff from Burton Spain shafts, blanks, parts and stuff.I watched and learned and after hours, weekends and days off I got to play with the equipment. It was sort of ‘seat of the pants learning’. Besides hacking up house cues and a few Titlists I got to work with some of the good stuff. Anyway it was fun and I actually managed to sell a few things. I still have some of this old stuff thanks to Dave Handley. He took over Saffron's and sent me a big box of old wood when the store moved. Quite a difference between then and now.

Actually I enjoy every aspect of the cue making process but seeing the finished product come off of the polishing lathe for the first time is always satisfying.

rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:39 pm 
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mair23 wrote:
Hi Richard,

it´s fantastic that you will take some of your time to come in here and talk with all of us.
I am the proud owner of one of your cues, with a design you created - at least I think so :mrgreen:

1. As Jimbo allready asekd about the one sided veneer design, I have to ask about my favorite design.
How you came up with the idea for the "Dancing Wings", and is it one of your unique designs :?:

2. Has your friendship with Jerry McWorter and your ongoing talking with him helped you with some
of your design ideas and with the "silver - working", or do you not really talk about "cue ideas" and
constructional things :?:

3. How many cues have you built without your silver stiched rings :?:
And do you feel your rings are one of these special elements which you try to have in all your cues :?:

4. Do you still have satisfaction in building cues and trying to find new designs :?:
And how often do you really try hard to come out with "something new" :?:

5. And last but not least, do you want me to send you some more of the chocolate I brought you at VF :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Eric"h" ---- the stupid european (austrian)




Hey Erich,
How ya doin'?

1. As Jimbo allready asekd about the one sided veneer design, I have to ask about my favorite design.
How you came up with the idea for the "Dancing Wings", and is it one of your unique designs :?:

The working title for this design was ‘Tribal’. It’s sort of a cross between some tattoo ideas and some custom automotive paint schemes. When Mia, of Lucky’s I Love Cues, first saw it she thought it looked like wings and dancers. The new title was born.

2. Has your friendship with Jerry McWorter and your ongoing talking with him helped you with some
of your design ideas and with the "silver - working", or do you not really talk about "cue ideas" and
constructional things :?:

Absolutely, Jerry and I have been great friends for quite some time now. He was very helpful in my transition from analog (pantogragh) to digital (CNC) along with Thomas Wayne. Actually I was second in line behind him for Thomas Wayne's ‘I hate Leonard Bludworth so I’m going to show the ACA members how to make their own CNC machine’ machine. Needless to say we share quite a bit.

3. How many cues have you built without your silver stiched rings :?:
And do you feel your rings are one of these special elements which you try to have in all your cues :?:

I have no idea how many cues I’ve made, never thought of countin' 'em, so I can’t tell you how many I’ve made with out silver stitched rings, sorry.

Besides a makers mark of some sort trim rings have always been a signature of the cue maker.

4. Do you still have satisfaction in building cues and trying to find new designs :?:
And how often do you really try hard to come out with "something new" :?:

Cue making for me has yet to become a job and while I’m always looking for something new. The ICCS has become a good 'try hard' annual deadline.

5. And last but not least, do you want me to send you some more of the chocolate I brought you at VF :mrgreen: :mrgree

Yes, absolutely, ASAP.



rc3

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Rich R. wrote:
Richard, first of all, I have to say that your booth at VF is always a "must see" for me. I love your cues and hope to own one some day.

Both Jim and Erich touched on the one sided veneers and I'm eagerly awaiting that answer, as I'm very curious about that.

As a former art student, do you look to any particular artists for inspiration for designs in your cues? If not, where does the inspiration come from?





Rich,
I really can’t tell you of anybody in particular but artists like Jasper Johns, De Kooning, Deibenkorn, you know, the abstract expressionists, all of them are my faves. But the point of view of Andy Warhol is extremely appealing to me. 'Art is anything you can get away with' or something like that.

Inspiration comes...and goes from just about everything. It’s kind of a process of bending or forming anything into what you want. And if you can keep it simple enough it’ll usually make sense.


rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Richard,

Like others, I want to thank you for your time and contribution to the forum.

1. What do you consider to be the major milestones in "modern" cuemaking; say over the past 30 years or so?

2. Are there aspects of cuemaking that you want to improve upon?

3. Who are your top 5 currently active cue makers?

Scott

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Hierovision wrote:
Just as others have said, I thank you for, and appreciate you dedicating the time to respond to this thread.

How do you personally balance design and playability? What significance or importance do you assign to each? I'm referring specifically to effort/man hours dedicated to each (conceptualizing the design, constructing the decorative parts etc. versus shaft/joint/splice planning and construction), and how you prioritize one over the other.

Thanks again!



You are welcome,

If by design you mean how the cue looks and by playability you mean construction I would say at the base level IMHO playability trumps looks if you are looking for a cue to use. If it’s looks you’re after and either don’t care or know about playability then design trumps performance, witness import cues that look like a million but play like a deuce.

But I think you should consider both equally. After all the base construction of a cue has to be designed excluding looks and the appearance package contributes to the overall playability experience, if it doesn’t look good it probably isn’t.

My basic platform is as strong as I can make and it has the advantage of many years of experience. Couple that with the same years of design experience and you get the best of both worlds combined into one package. A cue that plays as good as it looks.

rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Jersey jer wrote:
Hi Richard,

Who is your all time favorite cue builder, excluding yourself :) and choosing from those cuebuilders that are still with us, and why?

Are there any regulary used cue component/materials that you either hate working with or truly love working with?

Understanding that there was (musta been) a lot of trial and error along the the way in coming up with your end to end process of making a cue, what would be the the biggest " AHA!!!" moment thats made the biggest difference? and/or what was the latest one?

Thanks for the contribution Rich, love your work, and stop in chat when you can ;)



I can’t name just one so I’ll try to classify them.

Any of the old ‘Gods of Cuedom’, Palmer, Balabushka, Szamboti, Paradise, Spain etc. they all made about the same kind of cue but they set the stage for the four point, steel jointed, veneered cue.

Jerry Franklin for creating the Southwest phenomena, every cue makers dream.

Ernie, Richard Black, Tad and Bill Stroud for their originality and staying power.

Thomas Wayne, Jerry McWorter and the boys from Samsara for their contemporary originality.

In my mind all of the above makers showed/show true dedication and originality to the craft. They have all stuck to their particular styles while also setting trends and new standards. But if I had to pick just one it really would be …me! Oh wait you said I couldn’t do that. I guess you’ll just have to go with all my picks.

I like working with just about everything but stone and steel for sure are the toughest.

My biggest AHA moment was just that…AHHA the software company that made inexpensive controllers and software for CNC. On the advice of Thomas Wayne the ‘go west young man’ became, 'if you want know about it and learn it, roll…er build your own'. So I struck out to build my own CNC milling machine. It took a little over a year and the first time I put it to work cutting slots for ring billets the pantographs fate was sealed. Another was converting a Roto-Carve machine into a shaft cutting machine, very cool but that’s another story.


rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Jack Flanagan wrote:
only one request from me: could you post some pics, especially of your shop setup ?

,
,

J...still in the planning stage(s)



.


I really don't have any pics of the shop, it's not a high priority, but maybe by the end of this I'll try but no promises. If you want pics of cues check out
http://www.rc3cues.com.

rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:41 pm 
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pharaoh68 wrote:
This is soooo cool. One of my all-time favorite cues is an RC3 cue and now we get a chance to peek inside the creative min behind that cue and dozens of others.

Here are a few questions I have. Thanks for taking the time to answer...

1) is there one wood/material you love to work with more than another a well as one you hate using?

2) are there other cuemakers from the past that inspire you?

3) are tree any youngbloods out there whom you see as the next generation of artistic cuemakers and if so, whom?

4) apart from yourself whom do you see as one/some of the top artistic cue builders out there today?

5) how often do you get a chance to play and what's your favorite game?

Again, thanks for your time. It's so cool to get a chance to ask a few questions to those whose work you admire. And forgive me if there are any typos, lol. It's 8:30am and I'm typing this from an iPhone on vacation with a two year old bouncing on my chest... literally.

- Brian <--------- Burl box cue with one sided veneers.... Aaaahhhhhhhh! :-)




1) is there one wood/material you love to work with more than another a well as one you hate using?

Ivory is a pleasure to work with, Stone and steel are simply to hard.

2) are there other cuemakers from the past that inspire you?

When I was working at Saffron’s there was a local guy, Joe Marchant, who made the coolest cues by stacking up different colored woods and turning them down a la Samsara but twenty/thirty years earlier. Tom Collins used one of his cues. They were a lot like Britners work.

3) are tree any youngbloods out there whom you see as the next generation of artistic cuemakers and if so, whom?

They aren’t really that young and I forgot to mention them in an earlier post but guys like Tony Sciannella and Bob Manzino sure are setting the bar pretty high with mind blowing designs and exotic technology.

He’s not that young either but totally new on the scene is Pete Tonkin. Two years running ACA Cue of the Year at AHSBE. Not bad for an unknown.

4) apart from yourself whom do you see as one/some of the top artistic cue builders out there today?

In no particular order it's Thomas, Jerry, Tony, Bob, Bill, Richard, Ernie, Jim and Dave and I know I’ve forgotten a few, oh yeah Mike, Bill and Joe.

5) how often do you get a chance to play and what's your favorite game?

I actually get out a couple of nights a week and bang balls around the old bar box, eight ball is the game, wanna play some??


rc3


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:53 pm 
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robertno1pool wrote:
Hi Richard - hope all is well:

1) What percentage of your cues do you get to build with your designs versus a customer's design?

2) How many cues do you make during a year?

3) Does it upset you that your cue "Stiletto" was not deemed a "monster"?

If you could select three (3) hands down Chudy monster cues which would they be (with pictures)?

4) Details and photos of your shop setup please.

5) We seem to be in some tough times where cues are almost given away at less than cost on the used market. What do you see is needed to fix the new and used cue markets? Will it ever get better?

6) What are your thoughts on low deflection versus non-low deflection? What defines each?

7) Your silver engraving work it very nice. How is this done and what tools/methods are used to layout and finish a design?

Thanks for taking the time to educate an interested audience.



Wow, OK, here we go,

1) What percentage of your cues do you get to build with your designs versus a customer's design?

I guess it depends on what you mean by design but most of the work I do is all mine. If I think I can translate a customer’s idea I’ll move ahead if not I’ll try to compromise what I can do and what I think the customer is asking for.

2) How many cues do you make during a year?

It used to be close to a hundred but lately it’s down to 30 or 40.

3) Does it upset you that your cue "Stiletto" was not deemed a "monster"?

I really got upset when they missed the mark on McWorters cue. I’d bet that Godzilla himself wouldn’t make the mark.

If you could select three (3) hands down Chudy monster cues which would they be (with pictures)?

Of cues on my web site ‘The Winchester’, ‘The Santa Fe Eagle’ and ‘the Air Force Cue’ I think all hit the mark. The ‘Sarasota BelAir’ (that's the ivory, coke and gold cue) and ‘The Deconstructed Box Cue’ are pictured on the welcome page. They are pretty cool.

4) Details and photos of your shop setup please.

Pending

5) We seem to be in some tough times where cues are almost given away at less than cost on the used market. What do you see is needed to fix the new and used cue markets? Will it ever get better?

Wow, if I could I’d fix it tomorrow. The secondary market is where reputations are made or destroyed. Speculators try but no one has control of this animal. IMHO the good stuff will take care of itself the rest will flounder. All I can do is put out the best possible product at a fair price. Players and collectors alike are always looking for a good value and quality will always prevail in the long run. So…stock up!!! It can’t hurt.

6) What are your thoughts on low deflection versus non-low deflection? What defines each?

All shafts deflect all of 'em and you’ve really answered your own question, some more than others. I really could go on for some time here but the issue is entirely subjective. Suffice it to say that if LD was any better than SD why isn’t everyone playing LD. The art and beauty of the game really lies in its subjectivity. The player gets to choose and if he is honest with himself and his game deflection disappears. Cool huh! Besides every cue made is perfect for some player. The problem is getting them matched up.

7) Your silver engraving work it very nice. How is this done and what tools/methods are used to layout and finish a design?

Thanks for the kind words here. A smooth and accurate milling machine, a good CAD/CAM program like Mastercam doesn’t hurt and a cool design all help to produce good engraving.

Thanks for the great questions.

rc3


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