Eric Crisp

Eric Crisp – Sugartree Customs

When it comes to cue making, if you’re like me, I wanted to know more about the backstories of these individuals behind the lathe. Who are they?

Where are they from and what got them into building some of the most beautiful and sought-after cues that so many of us pool players take pride in adding to our collections. As I’ve come to meet more and more, it has become evident there are a vast range of individuals of all different ages and backgrounds. “Meet the Cue Maker” aims to shed light on some of these questions we’ve had for our favorite cue makers both established and up and coming.

This month we will be meeting cue maker Eric Crisp of Sugartree Customs, located in Nashville, Tennessee. Eric at the age of 43, has been building cues for over 20 years. Already having experience as a machinist, his venture in to cue building started at the young age of 20, shortly after joining the Air Force. With his first station in Korea, Eric found himself spending his free time gambling for hours at 3-cushion billiards. When his ferrule broke one night he decided to just go back to the machine shop on base and fix it himself using a new piece of plastic. After that, he realized the difference changing one element of the cue can make in the playability of the cue. He took the next step and tracked down some pallet wood to begin building his first cue. After spending a year in Korea, he was then stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, where he began building cues from start to finish, learning as he went.

“Sugartree Customs” was established in 2001, named after Eric’s place of birth. He was born at home in Sugar Tree Forest, Ohio. As a tradition, he continues to use pieces of wood from Sugar Tree in every build he makes. It can be as small as a sliver in the ring or even the main component. Sugartree cues are known for their sleek beauty as well as their playability. Eric handcrafts his cues from start to finish, often cutting the wood himself which he acquires from all over the country. He also chooses to forego using a CNC machine unlike many other cue makers. Instead he opts to do everything by hand, creating some of the most elegant and finely detailed builds.

A couple high profile names that have cues built by Sugartree Customs are Joe Rogan and billiards Hall of Famer, Ray Martin. Due to high demand and an extensive waitlist, Eric stopped accepting new orders after 2009. He ranges in production anywhere from 0 to 35 cues per year and will likely decrease that number further once his teenage son moves out onto his own. Now to get one of these coveted cues you’ll likely have to go through one of his brokers. One thing is for sure, if you have a Sugartree cue in your collection, you certainly have one of the best.