messing with my tips

i secretly think that underneath every pool player lies a mad scientist bent on relentless experimenting.  so it was that my very own crazy scientist decided to surface and take over.  guess i can’t help it.

i’ve been using the same tip for many years; i felt the tip was very predictable, and i could typically expect a certain hit from it.  but the mad scientist in me just couldn’t let that pass.  so, i decided to try a moori medium.  it was pretty spendy for a tip, but hey, you only live once.  now, i’m positive that every one of my readers (total four) knows what a moori is, and most of you have probably used it a million times, so i won’t bother with a description.  but now i’m trying the moori, so i’m going to writing about it.

currently, i feel that the moori medium is kinda soft.  yeah.  i’m sure many will disagree, but that’s my impression when i started playing with it: soft.  keep in mind though the tip is brand new; it’s not really broken in yet.  when i talked to others about the soft hit, one person described it not as soft, but as numb.  he said that if i take the tip down a couple of layers, i should feel a huge difference.  i’m not sure i want to reduce the 11 layers down to nine just yet, but i’m thinking about it.  maybe i’ll give it a shot after some more breaking in.  the good thing about the moori medium is that the sides are pretty firm, and mushrooming isn’t too big an issue.  anyway, i’ll need some quality time with it to know more.

my old tip, and perennial favorite, is a pressed triangle.  the reasons i like pressed triangles are twofold: triangle tips are highly affordable, and i get to control the tip’s hardness.  if you like triangle tips but think they’re kinda soft, i give you the following process to press your own triangles.  you may have to spend some money, but hopefully you’ll already have the equipments in your garage/attic/shop/batcave/secret underground laboratory.

before you go any further, i must warn you that pressing your own tip may cause damage to your tools and/or shop equipment. if you decide to do this, you will be the only person responsible for any damage/damages to your, or anyone else’s, tools and/or equipments.  i will not be responsible for any damage at all.  also, be sure to read this entire post before you do anything.

you have been warned.

still with me?  man, you must be crazy.  the things you’ll need are a metal bench vise, heavy bolts, a super sturdy, heavy (as in weight) workbench, and a four- to five-foot long steel pipe.  the link for the vise is just an example; a small one will work.  if you click on the link you’ll see the clamp surface is checkered.  DON’T get a vise with a checkered clamp surface; make sure the clamp area is smooth.  if you don’t, you’ll put deep marks on the tip and will most likely ruin it.

after you get the vise and the heavy bolts, bolt the vise to the heavy workbench using those bolts.  (you may need a drill & some drill bits to make some pilot holes for the bolts.)  if you don’t have a heavy workbench, make sure it is at least sturdy and put lots of weight on your workbench to keep it from moving.  you’ll be exerting a lot of force when pressing the tip, so make sure the workbench won’t flip over during the process.  in fact, it’s a good idea to get a friend to help you.

after you’re psycho enough to go through all these steps, put the tip in the vise and tighten the clamp.  make sure the tip is completely covered within the clamp area; don’t let a portion of the tip pop out on top.  if you do you’ll have an unevenly pressed tip.  after you’ve hand-tightened the vise to the point that you can’t tighten it anymore, slip the metal pipe over the handle.  remember the position of the pipe; this will be your starting point.

using the metal pipe, tighten the vise some more.  from the starting point, rotating the pipe 160-180 degrees will give you a very hard tip that mushrooms minimally.  if you tighten it more than that, you’ll probably end up with a break tip.  tighten the vise less (about 90-100 degrees) will yield a pretty firm tip, but it’ll mushroom a lot more.  this step takes some muscle, so if you’re not too strong, get a longer pipe for more leverage.

you could do this with a hand clamp, but you’ll need the hand strength of kal-el, or at least a hercules.  if you don’t want to buy all these equipments but still wants to press the tip, find a friendly cuemaker or a shop owner that’ll let you borrow a bench vise.  keep in mind that you may damage other people’s equipment with this process, so be upfront about what you’re doing before you borrow the equipment.  if you have access to hydrolic/pneumatic/powered vises, you’re a lucky bastard.  consider letting me borrow it sometime.  😛

try pressing other tips?  don’t.  my friend and i tried pressing many different tips, but only the triangle responded well to pressing.  everything else we tried became unplayable, including a few layered tips.  (we found that the pressing process completely damaged the layers in a layered tip, making it unusable.)

anyway, i’ll keep playing with my moori and see what happens.  i’ve no idea how long it takes to break one in, so just chillax and stay tuned.

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5 comments on “messing with my tips

  1. You weren’t kidding about the mad scientist moniker. I’m an engineer and pretty good with my hands, but geeze, I would never try to press my own tips. I’m impressed. I’ve never experimented with different tips. Maybe I’m just a boring guy, but I tend to stay with whatever tip comes with the shaft. I guess I should get out more often and experience what the world has to offer. Keep us (all 4 of us) updated on your tip experiments and let us know the pros and cons of each.

    • honestly, it’s better if u stay with one or two favorite tips, so you’ll always have the same hit on your cue; it’s better for consistency’s sake. i press triangles because they’re widely available & easy to get, unlike some of the boutique brands that are hard to find. plus, triangles really respond well to pressing, so i can have customized firmness. kind of like canned goods versus home-cooked dish i guess. 🙂

      as far as the moori, i just thought i should try it at least once, since everyone + their grandmothers gush about mooris. i hear kamuis & some of the tigers are very nice as well, so maybe that’ll be next. in any case, i know i can always fall back to my favorite should the fancy stuffs fail. i do like my diy tips. 😀

      btw, what tip do u shoot with michael?

    • let me also say that a tip will change a cue’s hit, sometimes very drastically. i recently put on a new pressed triangle, but the new one is pressed a lot firmer than the old one. if i gave u the blindfold test of the old (softer) and new (much firmer) triangles, you’d think you’re hitting with two diffetent cues, even though the cue is the same. the tips are both triangle, but just by varying the amount of pressing, i changed the hit of my cue. u know the engineer in u is just dying to try this out. 😛

  2. Um… um… I definitely won’t be trying this. You lost be at “vise”… a step by step tutorial with pictures would be nice. 🙂

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