Piscine

Easy DIY Pool Cue Rack

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About 15 seconds after we got our pool table set up, we both looked around the room and realized something was missing. We had made sure to get everything we needed to shoot pool, right down to the chalk, but danged if we hadn’t thought about where we’d put the cues. Fortunately, the old scrap pile was just a few steps away, and about an hour and a half later, we had the stain drying on this beauty.

Pool cue rack mounted in our rec roomPool cue rack mounted in our rec roomThe red mahogany stain on the rack fits in perfectly with our purple pool table

This pool cue rack is easy and cheap to build, plus it’s simple to install with standard plastic drywall anchors. If you choose nice wood for the project, you’ll have an elegant-looking piece of furniture for your billiards room. I happened to have the cap moulding laying around, but you may not be able to find it at your local big box hardware store. Try your local lumber yard or recycled building materials store — you only need 28″ of material, so you’re likely to find it in a leftovers bin.

Pool Cue Rack: Materials

*I used scrap redwood header cap moulding with a 2¼” x 1½” (5.7cm x 3.8 cm) ogee profile. Substitute any moulding that you like. The rack has enough space behind the cues for a brush, ball rack and chalk.

Tools

Jigsaw |Router and bottom-following ogee bit | Drill with standard bits and a 1½” (38 mm) spade bit | Table saw or circular saw (optional)

Construction

  1. Cut two 17″ (43 cm) long pieces from a 1×6 board for the top and bottom shelves. Using a table saw or circular saw, trim he shelves to 5″ (12.7 cm) wide (this is optional if you don’t mind a slightly wider rack). The rack will hold six cues, and you can use a whitewood board or any hardwood you prefer.
  2. Set a compass to a 2½” radius, or exactly half the board width. Draw a half circle at both ends of each shelf and then cut out the curves with a jigsaw.

Jigsaw cutting a curve for the pool cue rackJigsaw cutting a curve for the pool cue rackUse a narrow fine-toothed jigsaw blade for best results cutting a tight curve like this

  1. Choose which board will be the top shelf and which will be the bottom — you’ll be looking at the underside of the top shelf, and the topside of the bottom shelf — and mark the center points of the cue holes. Space the holes 2½” (63 mm) apart, and 1½” (38 mm) from the front edge. The holes are closer to the front, leaving space behind the cues for your ball rack, brush and chalk.
  2. Use a 1½” (38 mm) spade bit to drill holes through the top shelf. Use the same bit on the bottom shelf to make a depression about ¼” (5 mm) deep. Note that you can’t use a hole saw for this!

Drilling a hole for the pool cue rests with a spade bitDrilling a hole for the pool cue rests with a spade bitMake the depression just deep enough for the furniture pads. You can wrap tape on the bit to mark the depth.

  1. With an ogee bit, rout a decorative edge on both shelves. You want to rout the edges that will be visible: the bottom side of the top shelf and the top side of the bottom shelf. Do not rout the back edge of either shelf.

Base shelf of pool cue rack with felt furniture pads.Base shelf of pool cue rack with felt furniture pads.Adding a routed edge provides a big payoff to the look of the cue rack

  1. Cut a notch with your jigsaw in the front of the top shelf to one of the holes. This is for your bridge. The notch needs to be slightly wider than the narrowest part of the stick. That way, the bridge will not fall out of the rack, but can be removed by lowering it until the stick fits through the gap.

Top shelf of pool cue rack showing notch for bridgeTop shelf of pool cue rack showing notch for bridgeThe notch in the leftmost hole holds your bridge cue

  1. Now cut two 14″ (35.6 cm) pieces of the header cap moulding and glue them to the bottom of each shelf. Mark the locations for your wall mount screws on the moulding and drill pilot holes at each point. Use a 3/8″ drill bit to create a shallow hole, about ½” deep in each hole. This allows you to “hide” your screws in the moulding. If you like, you can cap these holes with wooden plugs after you mount the rack.
  2. Finish the rack. I used Minwax Red Mahogany and semi-gloss polyurethane here.
  3. Place 1½” round felt furniture pads in the depressions on the bottom shelf for the cues to rest on (check your kitchen junk drawer — you might already have them).

Felt furniture pads placed in the cue depressions on the bottom rackFelt furniture pads placed in the cue depressions on the bottom rackYou can test the fit of the furniture pads, but finish the rack before final installation

Mounting the cue rack

The shelves are spaced 47″ (1.2 m) apart here — that’s as far apart as they could go and still hold the short cue. The bottom shelf needs to support about as much weight as a light bookshelf, so hollow wall anchors rated at 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) should be sufficient. (If you’ve got rugrats who’re liable to be rougher on the rack, then upgrade to sturdier anchors). Also, make sure to use wood screws that are long enough — they’ll need to go through the header cap moulding and deep enough in to the wall for a good hold. 2″ (5 cm) screws should do the trick.

Bottom shelf of pool cue rack, side viewBottom shelf of pool cue rack, side view

Now, stop staring at the beautiful cue rack you just made and go shoot some pool!

Jan 8, 2021dick

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