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Maker of pool cues from 1993 in Boise, Idaho, presently in Carrollton, Texas.
Michael Givens has loved to play pool since he was in high school. After getting a degree in civil engineering, Michael worked a couple of years in that field. He then started making custom knives in 1974. Michael studied under Robert Loveless and Kuzan Oda, two of the top names in the custom knife business. He made Michael Givens knives for over twenty years. By the early nineties he was getting tired of breathing metal dust and making knives. He had seen pictures of custom cues in magazines, and thought they would be fun to make.
One day in 1993 his son Doug needed a tip replaced on his cue. Doug had a local cue repairman replace the tip for him. When Michael saw the poor quality of the work, he knew that he could do a much better job himself. Although he was in the middle of making a custom knife, Michael stopped to figure out how to properly repair his son´s cue. He quickly started doing repairs, bought a lathe, and started making cues. And to this day, he still has not finished that knife.
Michael knew that he could not just start making cues full time and expect to support himself right away, so he opened a billiard pro shop in Boise, Idaho with Doug as his partner. By selling custom cues he quickly learned what he did and didn´t like about their designs and playability characteristics. He took many cues apart to learn about their internal construction. Michael befriended a few of the top cuemakers, and asked them questions during many long phone conversations. He knew how to work with many exotic materials such as "oosic" (dried walrus penis) from his experience as a custom knife maker, and he now uses such materials on his cues. About a half dozen of the first cues he made were unmarked, but all of them since have been signed "Michael Givens" and most of those have a date of completion after the signature. He used engineering formulas to develop his own custom parabolic shaft taper which is surprisingly stiff even with thin shafts, and he is experimenting with carbon fiber reinforced shafts.
Michael likes to use as many exotic materials as possible, and likes natural joints of ivory, elk horn, India stag, horn, bone, and water buffalo. He prefers to use purpleheart shafts on his break/jump cues, believing that it has less flex and more power. He has tried every type of joint design, and has even made cues with wood screws. Michael helped patent the "Kinetic Cue" with friend Frank Jordan. It is a training aid for developing a better stroke. Michael sold his interest in the Kinetic Cue in 1998 to concentrate on building one-of-a-kind custom cues. All work has been done by hand on a manual pantograph.
Michael is constantly experimenting with improvements in design, and has developed his own full splice blanks. All parts are threaded together, and he uses a wood tenon instead of a metal screw to join the handle to the forearm. He is very proud of his repair work, and can exactly copy the taper of an existing shaft. He tries to help beginning cuemakers with the same types of questions he asked when he started. Michaelangelo cues are easily identifiable by "Michael Givens", "Michaelangelo", "Michaelangelo Givens," or "Michaelangelo Customs" signatures, or by Michaelangelo´s "Creative Excellence" logo. Matching custom knives and cases are also available. Michaelangelo produces 25 to 70 cues per year.
Michaelangelo Custom Cues are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have a Michaelangelo cue that needs further identification or repair, or would like to order a new Michaelangelo cue, contact Michaelangelo Custom Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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