Gene La Viness, of Crown Cues

Gene La Viness
Broken Arrow, OK


   CROWN CUES is a family business, but the family doesn't have just one last name.  So, instead of naming the business after the cuemaker or cuemakers, we decided to give it a name which described the cue design.  At the current time, the sole cuemaker is Gene LaViness, although our son, Jim, made a few cues and joint protectors before he left for the Navy.  (Learn more about Jim by clicking here).

   Gene wanted his cues to look a little different, so he came up with the crown design when he first started building cues.  In fact, the very first cues he ever made had a crown on them.  All Crown Cues (except one) have the crown design built into them.

   All new Crown Cues are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, which includes a specific description of the cue, the date the cue was first sold, the cue number, etc.. This piece of paper adds history and value to your cue.  When buying a used Crown Cue, ask the previous owner for the Certificate of Authenticity.  If necessary, a replacement certificate can usually be obtained for a reasonable search and replacement fee.

   Gene builds playing cues, jump/break cues, masse' cues, and jump cues.  Many of his customers return for more cues in the future and some have a very nice collection of Crown Cues.

   Gene uses some of the highest quality wood for his shafts.  He believes in creating a more solid, reliable hit for the player.  Yes, he pays more for his shaft wood, but the end result (a very happy customer) is worth the price.

   If you've seen many Crown Cues, you know that no metal is visible on the face of our cues.  (The only exception to this is the brass ferrule, often used for the masse' cues.)  This is a part of the classy style of a Crown Cue.  Gene makes approximately 50 cues per year.

   Gene is proud to be a member of the International Cuemakers Association.


How Did CROWN CUES Get Started?

   Gene's wife, Renee', wanted a bright, yellow pool cue, preferably with no wood grain.  They couldn't find one anywhere.  After looking online and everwhere they went, Renee' decided to buy an inexpensive cue at the discount store, sand it down and paint it.  This resulted in a beautiful, yellow pool cue with NO wood grain.

   From this simple experience, Gene's interest was piqued.  He began whittling wood to make joint protectors.  He later decided he'd like to build cues as a hobby or even a profession.  So, after much studying of available materials on cuemaking, Gene bought a cue lathe and some exotic woods and he took over the shed.  The rest is history!



   CROWN CUES has been around since 2003.

   Gene has about 9 years of experience as a machinist and about 7 years as a tool and die maker, giving him quite a bit of experience with the equipment needed for cuemaking.

 Crown Cues started out in an 8'x10' metal shed and graduated to a 600+ sq. ft. workshop in 2005.  At 11:40 pm on December 8th, 2008, the workshop and the rest of the 30'x60' garage was destroyed by an EF-1 tornado.  Click here to see how it looked after the tornado.  The workshop has been temporarily moved to a smaller 12' x 13' shed, until a new 30'x60' workshop/garage can be built.  Although some items were totally damaged or destroyed, almost all the contents of the workshop were left behind by the tornado and saved!  (Click on the links to see pics.)

   Currently, Gene still has a regular day job working around the same type of equipment, but when he's not at work, he's either playing with his grandchildren, playing pool, or building cues.  (Once in a while, he sleeps, too!)


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We visited the Super Billiards Expo 2007 in PA
and posted our news and pics from the trip here.


All images and photos on this site were created by JesPiddlin - 2006 and forward.