How to Turn a Pool Cue on a Wood Turning Lathe

What You'll Need
Block of maple wood (approximately 2 feet by 5 inches by 5 inches)
Second block of maple wood (approximately 3 feet by 5 inches by 5 inches)
Wood turning lathe with doughnut-shaped attachment
Safety equipment
Utility knife
Plastic sheet, approximately 1/2 inch thick
Nickel washer and a plastic washer (each approximately 1/4-inch thick)
Screws and drill
Spray paint (optional)
Cue tip

A wood turning lathe is a piece of machinery with myriad practical uses. This piece of equipment, though large, can be used to produce a wide variety of unique wood tools and objects. It is best used for objects that are difficult to carve by hand and that have abnormal and complicated shapes. One of the many different objects that you can make with your wood turning lathe is a pool cue.

Step 1 -- Create the Forearm and Butt of the Cue

The two blocks of wood will be transformed into the main portion of the pool cue. The first block, the smaller of the two, should be used to create the butt end of the pool cue. After putting on your safety equipment, fit in the doughnut-shaped attachment and turn the lathe on. Run the smaller block through first, such that the width of the resulting cylinder is approximately 3 inches in diameter. Then run the second, longer, block of wood through as well, such that the diameter is 2 inches.

Step 2 -- Cut and Attach the Plastic

Use the utility knife to cut out a piece of plastic the size of the forearm (smaller) section of the pool cue. It should be the diameter of the forearm's diameter. You'll need to attach this plastic piece to the end of the forearm that will connect to the butt. Use wood glue to do this. Attach a nickel washer over the plastic washer so that you'll be able to screw the two pieces together.

Step 3 -- Create a Thread in the Butt End

Use the screws and drill to create a screw thread in the center of the butt piece. You'll want to select the end that will attach to the forearm piece in order to create the thread there. Ensure that the two pieces will connect to one another before continuing.

Step 4 -- Trim Down the Wood

Use the lathe again to trim down both pieces of the cue. You'll want to do this to even out the cue throughout so that it tapers to a smaller point at the end of the forearm. Practice on smaller pieces of wood before you begin if you're inexperienced at using a lathe in this fashion.

Step 5 -- Design and Decorate Your Cue

Glue linen wrap on the handle of the cue, if you wish. Glue the pre-made cue tip onto the end of the cue as well. Beyond this, you can continue by decorating the cue as you wish. Use spray paint for color or decorate the cue by carving into the side of it.