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Maker of pool cues from 1988 to present in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Paul Dayton started playing pool while in high school in 1960, in Scotia, New York. His first cue was a Brunswick "Willie Hoppe" Titleist. He thought it was too fat in the butt so he turned it down on the high school´s lathe, wrapped it with fishing line, and refinished it. After seeing an old cue with the owner´s name engraved in an inlaid mother-of-pearl plaque, Paul found a large shell and did the same to his cue. His friends wanted the same custom inlay on their cues and Paul was in business until he ran out of pearl.
After graduating from high school, Paul joined the Air Force. He then went to college and got a degree in biochemistry, got married, and started a career as an epidemiologist with the New York State Health Department. In his spare time Paul was restoring antiques and repairing cues. He had bought a roll of Irish linen and some mother-of-pearl inlays from Pete Balner when he picked up a custom cue from Palmer in Elizabeth, New Jersey. By 1974, Paul was so busy with other things that he sold his Balabushka for $100 and stayed away from pool for the next 14 years.
Paul began playing pool again in 1988. He bought a used cue, but was unhappy with the way it hit. He put an ivory ferrule, phenolic rings, and a steel joint on it to improve the hit. Still not satisfied, Paul made a new shaft on his wood lathe. Next he made a cue from scratch, using old lumber he bought at country auctions. It was not terribly pretty, but Paul was very happy with the way it hit. It finally dawned on Paul that after 28 years of customizing and repairing cues, what he really wanted to do was make his own custom cues.
Paul purchased a small machinist´s lathe and started making much nicer cues. With the proceeds, he began to buy more tooling, wood, and a bigger lathe. He started to phase out his antique restoration business so he could make cues full time. On early cues, Paul inlaid points by hand with an X-acto knife, a Dremel tool, chisels, and a file. Most cues were marked with a stylized "pd" on the butt cap from 1988 until 1994, when Paul began to sign and date most cues on the forearm or butt sleeve. Paul and his wife moved to Florida, built a house, and built a shop which was finished in 1996. That year, Paul started to use short spliced blanks. In 2000, Paul stopped putting dates on his cues, leaving only the signature. He still did all of the his inlay work by hand with an X-acto knife, a Dremel tool, chisels, and a file. In 2002, Paul bought a CNC machine, strictly for inlay work. Paul´s inlays are of natural materials such as ivory, mother-of-pearl, and exotic woods. He travels to central Ontario to select the maple for his shafts and forearms. He also has a small selection of 100-year-old shaft wood obtained from trees that were salvaged from the bottom of the Great Lakes. Paul dyes his own veneers, creating a limitless array of colors. A steel or aluminum screw at the end of a tenon on the handle is used in the joining of the butt sections of a Dayton custom cue. Shafts, seasoned for years, are cut every six months until stable. Only thermoset plastics such as linen- and canvas-based fiber, and melamine are used. Metal rings may be of aluminum, nickel silver, sterling silver, or brass, depending on weight, balance, and design constraints. Paul makes everything except for the screws, steel joints, bumpers, and tips by hand in his one-man shop.
Dayton Custom Cues are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse.
If you are interested in talking to Paul Dayton about a new cue or cue that needs to be repaired, you can contact him at Dayton Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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