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Maker of pool cues from 1988 to present, currently in Leakey, Texas.
Leonard Bludworth was born into a well-known sailing family in the Houston, Texas area. He competed in sailing and archery as a boy and he learned to make arrows and fishing poles. At 14, Leonard started playing pool. He soon became obsessed with the game, and dropped out of school. He worked in a shipyard and played pool in the Houston area, eventually playing on the road and in tournaments.
At the age of 23, Leonard was hospitalized for nine months after a shipyard accident. When he was released, he returned to playing pool. Although he wound up playing on the pro tour, he was not quite good enough to make enough money at it. He did put his own tips on, and was soon putting tips on for other players. He saw the need for someone to follow the pro tour and do cue repairs for the players.
In 1977, Leonard bought some equipment and planned to go to a couple of consecutive tournaments with his wife, Janice, to see if the idea was profitable. The first outing was so successful that it was 14 ½ months before they came back home. Leonard had found a way to attend all the major tournaments and make as much money as the top players. He continued to do repairs on the road, learning how the top players wanted their cues to hit. Leonard also promoted some pro tournaments with the help of Grady Mathews. During this time, Leonard invented and marketed a ball cleaner, which proved very successful. Leonard also was the head equipment coordinator (the tournament setup guy) for the mens´ pro billiard tour for about eight years or so.
Buddy Hall was one of Leonard´s best customers on the road, as well as his best friend. Buddy was always happy with the way Leonard could make his cue play, so he asked Leonard to make cues. Leonard said no at first, and later on accepted the offer, and started Bludworth Custom Cues in 1981-82. As a player and friend of the top players in the business, he was able to design his cues with playability as the primary concern. Through the custom cue business, Leonard also designed and marketed lathes, and eventually CNC mills, to other cuemakers.
After seven years, Leonard and his son, Donald, were making more than one thousand Bludworth cues a year. By this time, Leonard was ready to slow down. In 1993, he left Houston and bought a ranch in west Texas. Donald stayed in Houston to run Bludworth Custom Cues. Donald soon bought out Leonard and his mom, Janice, in March of 1994 and operated it until about 1999. Leonard built a new shop on the new property, and founded Precision Custom Cues. The name was later changed to Bludworth Fine Billiard Cues and now Bludworth Cues. They plan to stick with the current name from here on.
Leonard refuses to make a cue with a stainless steel joint, as he does not like the way they hit. He still maintains Bludworth Billiard Products, which includes the ball cleaner, the cuemaking machinery, and offers personal training by Leonard and Donald for cuemakers worldwide. Leonard says he´s constantly designing and building new machines to keep up with the changing times. His customers demand the best equipment possible. Leonard and Donald have several videos and DVDs on cue repair and cue making.
In the spring of 1992, Leonard helped to found the American Cuemakers Association.
Today Leonard makes about 80 Bludworth cues a year. The slower pace gives him more time to spend with his 20 grandchildren and 2 great-gandchildren.
Custom cues with inlays of precious metals and stones are a specialty of Leonard´s. Leonard calls his current edition of cues the "Connoisseur Collection." All cues have flat-faced joints and custom a Bludworth stainless steel pin with .348 x 11.5 thread. Black leather wrap and two shafts with linen ferrules are standard. Most are ebony with inlayed points of malachite or turqouise, accented with silver and ivory inlays. All include a Whitten case, and most are signed "BLUD" and dated. He also builds traditional spliced cues. These are the same style of cues that he first built many years ago. Leonard has a lot of fun building these cues.
Donald came back in early 2005 as a full partner. Donald teaches CAD drawing and cue design. He also helps Leonard build all models of cues and really likes to be creative with the CNC machinery. The shop is still in the same location and has expanded to 2880 square feet. Bludworth cues are easily identifiable by the red dot in the butt cap. Current cues often feature a lot of Sterling silver inlays.
Bludworth Billiard cues are guaranteed indefinitely against construction defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have a Bludworth Billiard cue that needs further identification or repair, or would like to talk to Leonard about ordering a new cue, contact Bludworth Billiard Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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