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Maker of pool cues from 2000 to present in Willow Creek, California.
Arthur E. Tonkin Jr. (Pete) was born in 1960 in Willow Creek, California. He began playing pool at a young age. At 16, he began working for his family´s construction company and later became interested in machine work. He learned the trade from a friend who had a shop. Pete worked as a machinist for 20 years, with 10 years in CAD/CAM design. He worked in sawmill country in the northwest and he designed machinery for the sawmills.
Because Pete enjoys the game of pool, he wanted a custom cue but could not afford to buy the ones he liked. He decided to build his own. After he got that first cue done in 2000, he entered a pool tournament at the local pub. By the time the tournament was over, two of his friends ordered cues. From that moment on, his cue orders have grown. He went from making a dozen or more cues a year, part time after work, to making over & J Billiards. Damien is the nephew of cuemaker David Whitsell. 40 cues a year full time in 2003. Pete has slowly bought equipment for his shop and was doing inlays on a manual pantograph for about a year. Then in January of 2004 he bought a CNC machine. His cues are known in northern California and expanding further. Although self-taught, Pete´s work is inspired by David Kikel. He has one apprentice, Damien Sienkiewicz, who comes in about twice a month to his shop which is in Pete´s pool room, P
A cue´s playability is the most important part of the cue for Pete Tonkin. In 2003 he began coring some cues with an eight-piece radial spliced rod through the butt, leaving only a 1/16 in. sleeve on the outside. This option is available for an extra $300. Flat laminated wood handles with a wrap are used on cues that are not cored. Pete likes to use black or grey elephant ear for an exotic wrap with a great feel. Tonkin cues are also available with radial laminated shafts. He makes his own short-spliced blanks and sells some forearms to other cuemakers. Pete enjoys the artistry and design in cuemaking and finds working in his shop relaxing. All of his cues are one-of-a-kind. Although some are similar, he always changes details like veneer colors, etc. Pete can micro-engrave a radial inscription of up to nine letters on the end of the joint screw for identification.
Tonkin cues are guaranteed for life to the original owner against construction defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you are interested in talking to Arthur E. (Pete) Tonkin Jr. about a new cue or cue that needs to be repaired, you can contact him at Tonkin Custom Cues, listed in the Trademark Index.

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