BLACK BOAR INDUSTRIES
Maker of pool cues from 1988 to present in College Park, Maryland.
Raymond and Anthony (Tony) Sciannella purchased a billiard supply business in 1985, and quickly found themselves interested in the cues they were selling. It seemed to them that most cues were made about the same. They believed that scientific research and engineering could lead to a better type of construction and that they could make better cues if they tried.
Anthony´s son, Anthony Jr., who has a master´s degree in electrical engineering and had experience with motion control devices, was involved from the beginning in 1988 until 1999. He developed custom software and operating CNC equipment, a job now taken over by his father, Tony. A friend and billiard historian, Vincent Sangmeister, was also a member of the team that designed the first set of Black Boar cues. The four started by designing and building equipment to test and build Black Boar cues. They found that they did not like the idea of the three-piece butt, so they designed a solid bird´s-eye maple butt with spliced points that continued under the wrap, and a butt sleeve that went over the one piece of maple.
The first cues were completed in 1988. After the first 120 or so cues were made, it was decided that rock maple would be used for the butt, as it is much less prone to warping, and the bird´s-eye maple in the forearm would be sleeved on, thereby stabilizing it, with the point design and butt sleeve remaining the same.
Early Black Boar cues are easily identifiable by a small boar head logo on a white Delrin butt cap, which was used from 1988 until 1994. The logo was changed to a "BB Custom" logo on a black linen cap (often mistaken for ebony) in 1994, signifying some design changes to the cues. Cues made before this time usually had four points, but in 1994 six points became standard, with eight-point cues also being available. They also developed a new ivory joint, which is sleeved over stainless steel; it is the standard joint still currently used.
In the past, Raymond and Tony specialized in custom making cues to the designs of specific customers. The length, weight, taper, resonant pitch, etc., were adjusted to suit the size and playing style of the customer. They now prefer to make cues of their own designs, made to a variety of specifications, and put them on the market. They started making cues because they loved the engineering and design aspects of cuemaking, and their cues stress playability over aesthetics. When inlays are done, ivory, abalone, and silver are the most common materials used. They used to make their own Black Boar tips, but they found them to be inconsistent like others. Then they developed a means of testing tips for consistent compression qualities. Anthony now purchases Triangle tips, using only the one in ten that meets his standards.
Anthony has worked alone in the shop since 2000. Beginning in late 2002, eight points with pronged ivory and exotic wraps became the standard Black Boar cue. In the early days, Black Boar made 200 cues each year priced between $400 and $600. In the 1990s when they reduced their production to 50 per year, cue prices were $1200 and up. Now that he is only building less than a dozen cues per year, prices and demand for older Black Boar cues are increasing steadily.
Tony continues to make constant improvements in the engineering of Black Boar cues, based on studies of the physics of cue performance using high speed photography and his own custom diagnostic equipment. His philosophy is, "let the cue do the work."
Tony is proud that he makes every component of Black Boar cues, except the tip. Black Boar cues are guaranteed indefinitely against construction defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have a Black Boar cue that needs further identification or repair, or would like to talk to Tony about ordering a new Black Boar cue, contact Black Boar Industries, listed in the Trademark Index.
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