Bill McDaniel Custom Cues
Bill McDaniel grew up around the game of pool. His family owned McDaniel Amusements, a vending company that owned many pool tables in various establishments around Bill's hometown of Jackson, Tennessee. Bill went with his father to check on the tables and machines.
While his father was working, Bill would play pool. He was so small when he started, he had to surround the table with pop bottle boxes in order to stand and reach the table. Before long, he became one of the better players in the area, and became a regular at tournaments such as the famous Johnston City tournaments in the sixties and early seventies. During his years as a player, Bill paid constant attention to what type of cues other players were using. He became friends with many cuemakers of the time. Although he owned virtually every kind of cue that was available, he was never able to find a cue that completely suited him. At this time, Bill decided to set out on a mission to master the art of cuemaking and make the perfect cue.
Bill continued his education, earning a business degree. When an astigmatism affected his eyesight to the point that he was no longer as competitive at pool, Bill decided to combine his business knowledge, artistic ability, and love for pool to start making cues. He got to know George Balabushka through several phone conversations. George gave Bill some advice to help him get started in the right direction. Bill later became friends with Tim Scruggs, eventually becoming a partner in Tim's shop.
Bill's early cues were inspired by the work of George Balabushka, and Bill has been making constant design improvements ever since. Bill's very early cues were mostly four-point short spliced cues with veneers and were not marked with any type of identification. Soon Bill originated a shark logo and a stylized MC logo. Both logos have been used throughout most of his cuemaking career, and are still being used today. He has also hand-signed special cues at the customer's request. Bill has always used the same 5/16-14 piloted joint that Balabushka used since he started making cues. In 1993 he invented a shock absorbing ring that is placed under the stainless steel joints. The wood does not touch the stainless steel and Bill believes this gives an unequaled hit that compares to the feel and playability of an ivory joint. As an option, he offers a 3/8-11 flat face joint in steel, phenolic, and ivory.
In 1994 Bill started using a CNC for his inlaid points and inlays. He has fourth-axis machining capability, which allows him to execute virtually any type of inlay or inlaid point a customer desires. Inlaid points are available in any number, though he prefers multiples of four. He will also make short or full spliced forearms if the customer desires, although most of his cues with veneers are V-groove short splice. Bill still makes a small number of hustler cues with his own full splices, which are available in rosewood, cocobolo, or ebony, with a bird's-eye maple forearm. If you need an extra shaft for your Bill McDaniel cue, it is not necessary to send in the butt, as all McDaniel shafts are designed to be interchangeable.
Bill is justifiably proud of the quality of his leather wraps, and offers a large selection of exotic skins, including lizard and snakeskin. He believes that some of the changes he has made in the construction of his cues in the past three or four years make his cues among the best constructed cues available today. A number of top pro players have won championships with their McDaniel cues, including Karen Corr, Julie Kelly, Ismael "Morro" Paez, and Nick Varner, Alex Pagulayn, Jose Parika, and Santos Sambajon.
All Bill McDaniel cues are guaranteed indefinitely against construction defects that are not the result of warping or abuse.