| John Robinson was born in Arkansas, but
his family moved to Californian when he was four. He grew up
around the Oakland area. John had an interest in hand carving
wooden toys that began around the time he moved to California.
When he found a piece of billiard cloth in a park at about
twelve years, he decided to use it on a miniature table that
he then hand carved. He used marbles for balls, and his
interest in playing pool developed.
Although the local pool halls were not supposed to
allow minors, John had a friend that would let him in before
he was eighteen. By the time John was 27, he had made his
first cue. He took it into an Oakland pool hall and sold it
for $20 and two theater tickets. John gained a good reputation
as a cuemaker, and made about 1000 cues while he was in the
bay area. During those years, john visited and got cuemaking
advice from Harvey Martin Tex Zimmerman..
The first cues had a delrin joint, which was changed
to brass in the early 60ís. It was during this time that
John started develop his own style, and started putting the
joint screws in the shaft, a feature that continues to this
day. Although about half of the early cues had leather wraps,
they rarely are done today. Early Robinson cues were all
57", and changed to 58" in the late Ď60ís.
In 1973 John moved to Santa Barbara California where
he worked full-time in the flooring business, making cues in
his spare time. In 1977, Johnís son, Greg, started to help
with Robinson Cues, helping out for the next few years. About
a year later Greg joined, the standing brass joint was
replaced with stainless steel. In 1986, with the increased
demand for custom cues brought about by movie "The color
of Money", John, started making cues full time, and Greg
joined the business full time soon after.
Today, Robinson Cues makes about 80 cues a year, without the aid of C.N.C. machines. Inlays are done on a
manual pantograph, as are the points, as John has never made
spliced blanks. Greg dose the inlay work on the cues which
includes hand carving of any points. He is very
particular about the extremely close tolerance of his inlay
work, and stresses original designs, which have inspired other
makers. One of the unique features of the Robinson cues is the
dyed ivory inlays which is very time consuming process and can
be done in a variety of colors. Greg also applies
the finish on Robinson cues, which requires an average of 20
hand-rubbed coats. John and Greg make every component of
Robinson cues, except for the bumpers and tips, which John
treats and compresses, using a process he developed himself.
Although very few Robinson cues have ever been signed, they
are easily identifiable by their joint and unique style.
Playability is an important factor, and John and Greg try to
build a low-deflection, two-piece cue that feels like a
In his spare time, Greg is a self-taught musician
that writes music, makes custom guitars for his own use, and
pursues other forms of art. John is always trying to make
constant improvements to Robinson cues, and is constantly
searching for the finest materials; ivory ferrules are
standard on the higher-end cues. The Robinsonís also market
the "Perfhex" tip taper, which John designed and