Larry Vigus

His cues may be known for their elegant silver designs, but they certainly earn gold in our book. This Month’s “Meet the Cue Maker” features Larry Vigus of Vigus Cues.

Larry Vigus, 60 Resides in Anna, Texas. He lives there with his wife Barbara and youngest child Brock, age 19. Larry was first introduced to pool at the age of 13. He played regularly in the recreation center at the Naval base where his dad was stationed. He continued playing throughout his teenage years but once he was introduced to cars at the age of 19, pool took a backseat. Larry took his new interest and gained employment painting cars until age 21, then changed over to trucks. He continued painting vehicles for work until 1995. At that time Larry was about 33 and decided to switch directions. He began a new career drilling holes in foundation. As he describes it, “anything that requires a hole in the ground”. To this day, he continues his work in drilling full-time. Circling back to Larry’s involvement in pool, things heat back up around 2009 when his daughter Dani was in college and joined a pool league. Once she came back to visit, Larry took up an interest in the game as well. When playing, he found he always wanted a longer cue then the standard but says he was too frugal to pay someone to make it. That’s when he decided to pursue building his first cue. Larry had a budget of $100 and a house cue his brother had given him to convert. He already had a small lathe originally used for car restoration, making it inconvenient for cue building but doable. He also already knew how to spray and finish cues from his prior painting experience with vehicles. The rest of what be needed to learn for basic cue building he found on AZBilliards. It was trial by error and “messing up a lot of wood”. With a few finished cues under his belt, he began getting requests to build some for his friends. In 2010, Larry finally purchased a bigger lathe and established Vigus Cues. He converted an area of his 2,400 sq ft shop previously used to work on cars for a cue building workspace. To this day, he maintains that same workspace next to his home in Anna, Texas.

Larry continued building cues on his own until 2012 when an opportunity arose to learn from Hall of Fame cue maker, Paul Drexler. At the time, Drexler was holding a 2-week class on cue building which was broken into two parts; the first week was basic cue building and the second week was advanced. It was Larry’s friend and fellow cue maker Jake Hulsey who was taking the class and invited him to go along. Because neither were able to take two full weeks off from their full-time jobs, they decided to split the class. Larry would take the first week and learn the basics and Jake would take second and more advanced half. Afterwards, they shared the information they each learned. Larry even credits learning the full splice technique from Jake Hulsey. He also mentions that it was another cue maker, John Nemec who taught him the basics of using a CNC machine. Both skills he uses heavily in his craftmanship to this day.

When it comes to his building technique, Larry says he uses both full splice and half spice almost evenly. However, he describes his full splice as non-traditional due to his regular use of bridge points. Along with his bridge points, Vigus cues are also recognizable for their elegant display of silver. He doesn’t have a standard design and instead enjoys doing anything he hasn’t done before. He was also one of the first to make the decorative joint ring the centerpiece of the cue. Although he has experience in making his own bumpers and pins, he now chooses to buy and modify them to his own specifications. Finishing the cue, he signs them in pencil which can sometimes be hard to find as Larry would prefer his work to be identified by style rather than its signature. However, if you really look, you can usually find it hidden on the black beneath a Hoppe ring or as far back as he can on the ebony.

Larry says the best part about building cues is having a creative outlet and seeing the final product. You do all the work and after “putting the finish on, it all comes alive”. In contrast, all the hard work creates quite the mess, and he will laughingly tell you his least favorite part is the cleanup. Putting tools away and wiping the grease up is something he doesn’t look forward to. While Larry says he tries not to have any influences, he does admit Jake Hulsey has been the most influential cue maker on his career. When it comes to admiring others’ work, he does have a couple favorites. Besides Hulsey, he appreciates Thomas Wayne for his artistic abilities and execution; as well as Shelby Williams who he finds inspirational and having his own edge.

To date, Larry’s career highlight has been winning “Full Splice Cue of the Year” in 2019 at the Derby City Classic held in Indiana. He calls the award-winning cue a “Reflection 360”. The design included 2 sets of points and butterflies, each going in opposite directions and then finished with silver. Impressively, this award-winner was his first cue that included silver. We will undoubtedly see more of his work in upcoming cue shows. Larry’s artistic vision allows him to create stand out pieces while also maintaining their classic, sleek looks. With no intention of becoming a full-time cue maker, he will continue with his yearly production of about 10-15 cues. Of these, each cue involves about 40-100 hours of work and range in price between $2,000 – $10,000 depending on the build. With no official waitlist, the best way to get one of his cues is to contact one of his brokers such as Greg Antanokis on the East coast, Dean Campbell in Texas or (worldwide). Make sure you hang on to yours if you’re fortunate enough to get your own Vigus cue. Each one is an original and you’ll certainly have your hands on a timeless work of art.