Some years ago I have bought my cue stick. It was one of the rare sticks on the market which had a rubber grip instead of the thread-like cover - Buffalo Maxum No 1. I prefer rubber-like materials just because I feel them as more comfortable than thread - but this is a personal thing.
After playing through all the time, I noticed that my rubber grip cover contains grazes and it doesn't have these nice feeling anymore when I hold it. So I decided to replace the old rubber cover with some new one.
Of course I don't have the dedicated replacement for it, so I had to invent some other solution. I found out that bikers use bar tape to cover their steering bar on road-bikes.
Bar taoes come with different materials (foam-like, rubber-like, fake-skin-like, ...). But I found one brand which has really good feel so I picked it - it was a Lizard Skins bar tape.
The default colour I should pick would be of course black. But I decided to change it to white, so it still fits to the colour scheme I have on my cue stick.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Materials I used:
- Bar tape (I've used Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm white)
- Scotch tape
- Transparent tape
- Scissors or sharp knife (e.g. utility knife for cutting carpet)
Step 2: Remove the Old Rubber Grip
FIrst step is to remove the old grazed cover. I cut it only a little (very shallow) so I could tear it with my fingers and leave the wood untouched - be careful. Surprisingly ithe old rubber cover went off easily.
After I removed it completely, I have cleaned the wood surface as much as I could. Some rubber dust parts just sticked to the wood so much that I was not able to removed it completely without using a sand paper, which I wanted to avoid. On the other hand, I don't think such a micro dust-like particles matter after all. I plan to cover them with relatively tick bar tape anyway.
Step 3: Attach New Grip - Preparation
Before I started to roll over the band I have made some tests. According to tutorial video below, next revolution of a tape should cover the previous one in around a quarter or third of a band's width.
Such a setup brings these little "bumps" so they can even fit in between Your fingers and improves the grip when You ride on Your bike.
But my case is a little bit different. Having such a bumps would decrease the accuracy during the shot.
The best scenario would be to have no bumps on the whole length of a grip. To achieve that, tape covers itself only a little, around 2-3mm, so the part where the bar tape is thickest fits to the previous layer leaving no bump.
If You use some different tape which does not have a thin rubber part on the edge, then I guess You need to fit the tape to itself on the edge.
At fIrst I have made 1-2 revolution(s) and I marked the point where I need to cut to, so it fits to the edge of a grip part.
Step 4: Attach the Tape - Top Part
I removed the protection tape of the adhesive strip and started to roll. After some revolutions, I used a transparent tape to protect the bar tape from falling. Then I've finished the part where I started by covering it with scotch tape (around 2 revolutions was enough for me). The scotch tape covered around 2mm the part on the other side of the grip. This was needed to make the protection stable and durable.
Step 5: Attach the Tape - Middle Part
After I've protected the start point, I have continued to roll the tape over the grip. Please note how much I have covered the previous layer of tape - only a little, 2-3mm, up to the point where the bar tape is thickest so it fit to each other. This is the difference between my cue stick cover and bike bar cover.
Please note as well the fact, that the cue stick grip does not have the same diameter through the whole length like a bike bar. You need to pay attention to this, so the bar tape covering does not split because of that.
The rolling process is really easy - no stress. If You make some mistake, You can revert and try again many times.
Step 6: Attach the Tape - Bottom Part
After reaching the end of the grip, do exactly the same what You have done when You started. Mark the point up to where You need to cut the tape so it creates the straight like and fit to the odge between grip and butt cap perfectly. Even if You will not do it milimeter-perfect, it doesn't matter. You can always fill the gap with either the small parts of the tape itself or something else. The connection point will be covered by scotch tape anyway, so don't panic.
Step 7: Masking Tapes
At this point the grip is generally finished. I could leave it with the scotch tape finishing as it already looks quite nice for me. But the bar tape package contains also finishing stripes, so I decided to attach them as well.
One note again: diameter of the stick changes so attaching these 2 stripes can be a little bit problematic. You need to stretch them a little so they fit properly.
I left the seams so that on the bottom part it is on the other side of cue brand name, and on top I tried to fit to the black and white stripes.
Theoretically You can try to cut the stripes so that they will perfectly fit edge-to-edge, but I think this is really hard to achieve and I haven't done it.
Step 8: Final Effect
I really like the final effect. The grip is really nice because of the rubber tape feeling. There are no bumps and the grip thickness is the same through the whole length.
I hope You find some information usefull here and You will not hesitate to change Your cover with bar tape as I did.