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The Story Behind the Revolutionary Patent Pending "Snapshot®" Tungsten Cue Stick Ferrule.
My name is Terry Lee Oeffner and I live Ocala, Florida, USA. Before moving here I lived for many years in Tampa, Florida where back in the late eighties I became involved with playing pool and spent many years playing in the Tampa Bar Leagues. I love the game but am certainly not an expert player by any means. During that time I met and became very good friends with the late master cue maker Wayne Gunn. Unfortunately Wayne passed away in July, 2013.
Several years ago I came up with an idea. I always noticed that traditional plastic or ivory etc. ferrules would discolor from chalk, scratch, break and just looked awful. I'd see proud players with beautiful and expensive cue sticks with horribly stained and discolored ferrules. I thought what if we made a cue with a metal ferrule? After all many cues have stainless joints and trim rings etc. I ran it by Wayne. We both knew of brass ferrules used on snooker cues but not on pool cues. He thought for a moment and said "never work, the tips won't stay on". However the next day, after sleeping on it, he called and said "you know Terry Lee, I don't think anybody has tried that". We decided with today's adhesive technology to give it a try. So off I went researching and trying to come up with the proper material for my idea.
First I had to find the metal tubing. Problem is it's almost impossible to find metric tubing of any material in the sizes I wanted. I had to buy the tubing oversize and have a machine shop turn them to proper size. I spent many many dollars buying different types and material of tubing, cue shafts, tips etc. Wayne and I built the shafts, assembled the ferrules, put tips on and gave these prototypes to our friend Bob Heller (Gorilla Bob) to test.
Bob plays several times a week and conducts his own local tournaments. We told him not to baby them and he didn't. He really put them through their paces. Bob has a wicked break and a heck of a snap. The ferrules held up great, but we were disappointed that after rigorous testing they were scratching and discoloring from chalk. Chalk is very abrasive and will scratch most any metal. I was not satisfied with this as I wanted this to be the best ferrule money can buy. I decided that I needed to go in another direction.
I researched some more looking for that perfect metal for my ferrules. After contacting a metallurgist I finally came up with a composition of materials that would be perfect for my application (which is proprietary, a trade secret and will not be revealed). The problem is it is very expensive and difficult to manufacture. They must be laser etched with the Trademark Name, be available in 5 metric OD sizes from 11.75 mm to 13.00 mm (now available in 9.0 mm, 9.5 mm, 10.0 mm and 10.5 mm) and have a mirror polished finish. Thankfully after buying samples from many companies I found one to manufacture them and keep the price down so that anybody can afford to buy one. They are manufactured individually under strict tolerances in a state-of-the-art facility. Each one is die cast under extremely high heat, diamond polished to a mirror finish and Laser Etched.
After building more shafts, and several cues, with this new ferrule we let Bob put them to the test. I am happy to report that I am very satisfied with this material. It is super shiny, extremely scratch resistant, will not break under harsh playing conditions, will not discolor, won't rust or oxidize and should last forever. I say should because forever is a long time and I don't have enough years left to say "positively" they will last forever.
I now have 2 patents pending on the ferrules and have registered the name Snapshot® with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Trademark was granted on April 8, 2014.
I've been asked how I came up with the name Snapshot® for my products. Back in my pool playing heydays in the 1980's the popular term used for the break shot was the "Snap". At that time the most popular billiard magazine was "The Snap". "Make it on the Snap" was their slogan and we used it often. So I borrowed a little bit of billiard history in naming my brand Snapshot®.
I hope you will buy and enjoy this ferrule. They are easy to install and can be applied to your existing shaft. Here's how:
Choose a ferrule that is one size smaller than the OD of your shaft. For example if your shaft is ®12.75mm you would need a 12.50mm OD ferrule. Do not remove your existing ferrule! Simply turn down your existing ferrule to the ID of your new Shapshot® ferrule (make tenon about 1/16 inch longer than your new ferrule), clean the ID of your new ferrule thoroughly with lacquer thinner or alcohol and a cue tip (very important step), apply epoxy to both the ID of your new ferrule and the tenon you just turned down. Install your ferrule and allow to set. Then work your shaft down carefully with sandpaper to match the OD of your new ferrule. Face off the tenon to your ferrule, apply the tip of your choice and start playing. IMPORTANT! Do not try to turn your Snapshot® ferrule in a lathe. If you do you will either break your tool or your new ferrule. They are made of premium grade, lightweight Tungsten Carbide. I highly recommend that you pay your local cue maker or repair shop to install your ferrule. Click "Install Guide" in the navigation bar above for a step-by-step installation pictorial.
SnapshotCues.com will warrant your Snapshot® ferrule for any defects in workmanship. If you see a flaw we will replace it. However once you install it warranty is void. SnapshotCues.com accepts no responsibility for any damage to any cue or shaft that may occur during installation or use.