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Home > Pool Cue Values > FRANK BALL CUSTOM CUES
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Maker of pool cues from 1987 to 2003 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Frank Ball was a woodworker all of his life, doing carpentry and making custom furniture. He played a lot of pool when he was younger. One day in the mid-1980s his son Randy accompanied Frank to a local cuemaker´s shop to have a minor repair done. On the way home, Frank told his son that he thought he would enjoy making cues. He already had much of the equipment and was familiar with the necessary materials. By 1987 Frank had made his first cue. Early Frank Ball cues had 5/16-18 piloted stainless steel joints and Delrin butt caps. A dozen or so had "Frank Ball" laser engraved on the buttcaps. Frank changed to a black linen phenolic butt cap in 1997, and changed to a 3/8-10 flat-faced linen phenolic butt cap in 1998.
Frank made everything in his cues by hand except for the tips, screws, and bumpers in his one-man shop. He made his own short-spliced blanks, or could inlay points with a manual pantograph if the customer preferred. Frank tried to select the best woods he could find and would always use A+ grade pure white maple for his shafts. He only used ivory in a couple of his cues. He made a bumper that can be unscrewed so that a 22-inch extension can be screwed into the back of the cue for greater reach on long shots. Although there are no identification marks, Frank Ball cues made up until the late 1990s can be identified by their unique joint rings with black and white triple-stacked veneers. He stopped using these in his last four to five years of cuemaking, preferring to use a more modern type of ring. Frank was retired and made cues part-time primarily for enjoyment, with most of his cues being sold to local players. He made 10 to 20 cues each year, so his total production over 15 years was fewer than 300 cues. Frank spent 70 to 80 hours building each cue, and during the last five years all the cues he made were custom orders. The cues Frank made from 2000 on are considered to be his best work. Frank died in April of 2002, about a month after making his last cue.
If you have a Frank Ball cue needing identification, contact Grovers Billiards in West Palm Beach, listed in the Buy, Sell, Trade Index. Many Frank Ball cues were sold through Grovers.

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