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Maker of pool cues from 1991 until 2000 in Nashua, New Hampshire, and 2001 to present in Rugby, North Dakota.
Dave Doucette made his first cue when he was 12 years old. Growing up in a house with a pool table and a woodworking shop, he decided to make his own cue rather than buy one. As an adult, he gained experience as a master cabinet maker, machinist, and design engineer. By age 26, he had built his own pool table. In 1990, he met Jim Stadum when Jim commissioned him to build a cue. From that first collaboration was born both a friendship and a partnership. Jim was a second generation carpenter with a background in sales and marketing. They combined their mutual interest in pool with the challenge of creating functional art by combining fine woodworking with machining.
Samsara is derived from a Native American word that means "looking for the best." Jim and Dave started their quest on a part-time basis, creating their first cue in 1991. They were inspired by cuemakers Thomas Wayne, Ernie Gutierrez of Ginacue, and Richard Black. By 1993 they were successfully building cues full time. Their cues are very unique in appearance, with diamond-patterned ring designs and polychromatic intarsia inlays being typical features. Some of their design motifs, such as the spider web, the braid, the swirl and the fantail, have become instantly recognizable to the Samsara cue. Dave and Jim are very proud of the way that Samsara cues are constructed, with an emphasis on natural materials. No dyes or stains are used on the woods, and even the butt caps are often made of exotic hardwoods. All the work, even the most intricate inlays, is done by hand or on machines that they have designed and built themselves.
Samsara cues can be identified by the "Samsara" name engraved on a ring just below the wrap, prior to 1996, or on the butt cap, more recently. In 1996, Samsara started using a stylized "S" logo, which appears on the butt caps of most of their cues made from 1996 to 2003. Samsara cues had serial numbers stamped on their joint faces throughout most of the 1990s, but now the serial number is under the bumper. Cues made from 2003 on had their logo on the bottom of the rubber bumper. An important change made to Samsara cues in 1997 was coring the butts with rock maple rods, to prevent warping, stiffen the hit, and make the cues play more consistently. The standard joint was changed from a 5/16-18 screw to the Uni-Loc for a short time around 1997, but in recent years most cues have been built with flat-faced joints using radial pins. Both radial and Uni-Loc are available, at the customer´s choice.
Samsara produces some of the most original designs in cuemaking. Their cues won the first place award at the 1993 Baltimore A.C.A. Cue Expo for "Best Design of Show," and the third place award for "Best Execution of Show." This was quite an accomplishment for a company that had been in business for only three years at that time. Samsara won the Bronze Award for "Best Design of Show" at the 1998 Gallery of American Cue Art, and has exhibited at every major cue show in the past ten years. Samsara is a founding member of the Gallery, and Jim served for six years on the board of the American Cuemakers Association. Their cue "Illusions" is one of the cues in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institute.
Samsara cues are available in a variety of styles and price ranges. They have recently introduced the "Barcue" line of basic playing cues that range in price from $400 to $850. They are all marked "Barcue" and they have Samsara on the bumpers. At least a half dozen Samsara cues costing over $5,000 are made each year. Every new Samsara cue comes with a certificate of authenticity, and a guarantee to the original buyer against warpage for one year, and workmanship defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse indefinitely.
If you would like to talk to Dave Doucette, Jim Stadum, or Laurie Stadum about purchasing a new Samsara cue, or if you have a cue in need of repair, contact Samsara Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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