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  Main Menu

Discount for Pro9'ers at www.CueGrip.com for Re-Wraps & Refinishes
 Posted on Monday, July 17 2006 @ 01:34:43 UTCby admin
Cue Corner CueGrip.Com
Ken Reiber.
Brian Reiber.
International Re-wraps and Refinishes
Contact: cuegrip@comcast.net
or: rcci_2002@comcast.net

July 2006


Some of CueGrip's vast selection of snake skins.

Cuegrip.com... For refinishes and re-wraps on cues

CueGrip is owned and operated by Ken and Brian Reiber. The business exists to offer re-wraps and refinishes to cues from around the world. My first encounter with Ken was a chance comment on Pro9 by Peter Aprile (Malaguista) saying CueGrip re-wrapped his cue and did a wonderful job. Well, that was enough for me to do some investigating and a few months down the line…..Ken has done lots and lots of fantastic work on a number of my cues. A number of other Pro9 regulars have also shipped their pride and joy to CueGrip. News travels fast! Throughout this interview there are pictures showing the range of CueGrips work.

Special offer for Pro9 members only:
Receive 10% discount on any refinish or re-wrap with CueGrip.com
when you mention Pro9 and your Pro9 name.

Click on "Read More..." for the details.


Ken Reiber (left) from CueGrip, with friend Martin Bruce.

Hi Ken and welcome to Pro9, thank you for taking time out to answer these questions.

Hi Simon and everyone at Pro9 and I thank you for the invitation to the interview.

Starting off then, how did you get into cue refinishing and re-wrapping?

It was kind of a coincidence that I ended up doing custom cue wraps; the refinishing sort of followed with it. My son, Brian, who is an avid shooter, and I were talking about how he wanted to get into making pool cues. I told him that I came across a website with a business attached for sale and it would be the perfect opportunity to get into the cue business by doing custom wraps.


A cue before a CueGrip refinish.

I called the guy up who was selling the website and told him that we had decided to take the business, but I wanted to meet with him in person. Brian, my wife, and I went down to Oklahoma and met with him; he showed Brian how he was doing the wraps and what he would need to get it started. The website was a real bonus because it had been on the Internet for a few years so the exposure was already there. My wife and I came home, but Brian stayed for a few more days to pick the former owner’s brain. I bought a few basic pieces of equipment and started into it. Brian taught me what he knew about doing custom wraps before he ended up with a driving job, which has kept him on the road for the past eight months. I talked with my son-in-law, Greg, who also shoots quite a bit of pool, and asked him to help me with the business until Brian could return. So here I am doing most of the wraps and refinishes while my son-in-law, Greg, helps out with the sales side of it and also helps out in the shop with wraps on occasion. The refinishes happened when we started collecting cues that needed some real attention and decided why not refinish them ourselves and then we will know what the end result will be. After some people that we shoot with looked at the work we were doing, it took off from there!


The same cue after refinishing.

Is this your full time profession?

I worked in commercial construction for 30 years and we had a family business up until last September when I decided enough was enough and I closed it down. I currently manage a storage facility that our family owns and I work for a customer (that I used to build for) as a consultant and manager of their projects on a part time basis.

Over the years I have encountered many different types of finishes on cues. What different types of finishes are there and what type do you use?

You are right Simon, there were many different finishes used. Oil finishes were common to older cues and then lacquers came along and now various types of automotive finishes are used along with urethanes. I prefer the urethane finish; I use a catalyzed urethane, which I have found to be very durable, and it produces a deep-looking finish. Obviously, I don’t recommend refinishing a very old cue with urethane because it may detract from the value of the cue, but if you are looking at a refinish on a cue that has had a lacquer finish and has been well used and not abused, then that’s where I can help you out.

You offer many different types of wrap for cues, can you list them here for us?

We do offer a variety of wraps; lizard is very popular as well as snake skins, which are right up there in popularity. We have them in many different colors and species such as python, karung, diamondback rattlers, cobra, tiger snake, pit viper and more. If I don’t have it in stock, I can get it from one of my suppliers.

Pro9.co.uk's Cue Expert, Simon D'Vali, interviews Ken Reiber from CueGrip.com

There are many leathers and also lambskin, pigskin, deer hide and leathers that are embossed with lizard, elephant and alligator, to name a few. We also do a seamless leather wrap, which is very similar to Irish linen but is leather cord. I stock a few colors in the seamless wraps. We do Irish linen wraps and can get any color that you might want. I also have eel skin which has quite a unique feel to it. My son started doing inlays in wraps and there are endless combinations and designs that we can do. I try to keep a decent inventory of skins and leathers to lessen the time a customer has to wait on a particular wrap. If I don’t have what you want in stock, I will certainly try to get it for you! If your cue never had a wrap, we can install one on it for you! We are working on a new website and once completed it will be much easier to see the types of wraps and refinishes that we can do!

Are some wraps harder to install than others?

Yes, there are some that are very difficult! Each one has its own unique way of installation. Snake skins are among the hardest to really make the seams disappear you have to have a little artist in you to recreate scales on the seams mixing paints and hand brushing them in. There are also some leathers where technique is what it is all about to install them and making the seam the least noticeable as possible, and then there are some wraps that the seam is virtually impossible to hide.


How long does it take to re-wrap and refinish a cue and what would be the typical turnaround time for a UK player wanting a new wrap on his/her cue?

By the time I receive the cue, which I try to schedule in so the turnaround is as short as possible, it takes a day to physically do the wrap from removing the old wrap, maybe cutting the handle depth to accommodate the thickness of the new wrap and installing the new wrap. Sometimes there may be a case were I feel the wrap is all wrong for the cue and I send the customer pictures showing options of what may look better and at least give them the chance to change their mind rather than to be unhappy with the cue when they get it back. This may delay the process by a day or so. The wrap may have to be clear coated as in the case of some snake skins and some linens like Meucci who clear-coats their linens. That process can take up to a week depending on the amount of coats it takes to cover the particular wrap. So it really depends on the type of wrap and the type of damage done to a cue that has to be refinished to determine how long it will take. I usually can tell you when I receive the cue and assess the condition how long I should have it. Shipping can usually take four to five business days. I also try to send pictures and emails updating the customer on the progress of their cue and for a record here at our shop. I keep a portfolio of all the cues that come here.


A Meucci Power Piston 4 with a Pit Viper snake-skin wrap -
a beautifully sympathetic CueGrip treatment.

Have you ever made a cue or been tempted to make one?

I have not personally made a cue but I have been involved in the making of some cues by a very good friend, Martin Bruce, who has started producing cues that I wrap and finish for him. I do repair work on cues such as ferrules, tips and butt caps, but if anything looks out of my league, I call on Martin. Brian really wanted to be the cue-maker in the family.


A Tim Scruggs cue owned by Simon D'Vali before the CueGrip.com treatment.


A photo sent by CueGrip.com to Simon showing the variious skins next to the cue.


The Scruggs cue looking beautiful after the CueGrip.com treatment.


A close up of the snake skin wrap on the Scruggs cue.

What are your other interests outside of this profession?

I really enjoy power boating and I do build my own big block Chevy engines to run along with a few friends. I have a Harley Davidson motorcycle and have been riding and working on bikes since I was 15 years old. I try to get to Daytona Florida every year for either Bike Week or Biketoberfest. My brother lives down near Orlando and we do quite a few miles together when I go down.

When will my Jim Buss be ready?

That is a very tricky question! I am working night and day on that particular project! Even in my spare time!

I see from your pictures, you have a nice table installed in your workshop, what games do you play and how seriously do you take it?

Actually it’s in my office and every office should have one! I play APA 9-ball league and APA 8-ball league with my daughter, son when he is home, son-in-law and daughter-in-law (who plays on an opposing team). Serious? I doubt that I am a serious pool player but I do like the competition and I seem to play three or four nights a week! Is that serious? Good question, Simon!


The fully re-wrapped and refinished McDermott cue - looking as good as new.

Ken, many thanks for your time now please get back to my Buss, lol!

It has been my pleasure, Simon, and I am very grateful that you took the chance and let me do a cue for you. It is hard to know whom you are dealing with on the Internet and the type of workmanship that you will receive when you send that cue on its journey to parts unknown and I have had those very questions asked of me! How do I know you’re a real business and have a real shop? We are registered in the state of Pennsylvania and pay our share of taxes!
Buss? I don’t ride the bus I have a personal vehicle to get around in!


An assortment of CueGrip's work.


Close up detail on a selection of CueGrip commissions.

Ken has a wicked sense of humour and if you send a cue to CueGrip, I suggest you get on his mailing list (hey, Ken, no pressure to be funny or anything!). For more information, check out www.cuegrip.com or contact Ken at cuegrip@comcast.net or rcci_2002@comcast.net



  Cue Corner


"Discount for Pro9'ers at www.CueGrip.com for Re-Wraps & Refinishes" | Login/Create Account | 1 comment
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gpt site
by jamej on Saturday, January 05 2008 @ 23:33:30 UTC
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