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Maker of pool cues from 1984 to present in Brandon, Mississippi.
Russ Espiritu began playing pool at the age of 19. At the time, he was in college, working toward degrees in business and forestry. When he finished college, he bought the engraving business where he had been working part time since he was 16. It was there that he learned how to use a pantograph. He liked to work with wood and enjoyed the game of pool, so he started to do cue repairs as a hobby.
By 1984, he had made his first cue. He found that he loved the art of cuemaking and became more and more involved in it. Like most cuemakers, Russ did a lot of experimentation with design and construction methods on his early cues. Cues made between 1984 and 1990 were unmarked and had a 5/16-18 joint screw. Later cues had a variety of different identification marks and joint screws. In 1990, he switched to a 3/8-10 screw, which he used for about a year, changing to a 5/16-18 screw in 1991, when he started making cues full time. He used the 5/16-18 screw until 1993, when he settled on the current 5/16-14 joint screw. He also likes to use a radial pin on occasion. In 2002 he started making his points about one inch longer than before, so cues made since then will have points that come within two inches of the joint collar. Russ changed to a compound taper on the butts of his cues in 2004.
Russ makes every component on his cues except for the tips, bumpers and screws. He makes ferrules, collars, and butt caps that thread on for better durability. All white inlays in Espiritu cues are ivory, as opposed to synthetic substitutes. All silver rings are now sterling silver instead of nickel silver, which he had used in the past. Russ has a new system, like a triple press system, for smoothing his Irish linen wraps that makes them feel more like leather. Although he has a line of cues, Russ also is currently focusing on very intricate, one-of-a-kind cues, most of which go to Switzerland or Japan. Cues from his obsolete catalog are still available by special order. Now he is making very few hustler cues. Since 1994, Espiritu cues have been signed "Russ Espiritu" with the current year on the forearm. Cues that have the month after the signature were made before Russ changed to a UV finish.
Espiritu cues are indefinitely guaranteed for the original owner against construction defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have an Espiritu cue that needs repair, or would like to talk to Russ about ordering a new cue, contact Espiritu Handcrafted Custom Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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