History

  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 one-piece.

  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 patented.