now and again I get small tables to re-cover , not my favorite type of tables to re-cover
but you take the rough with the smooth and pull one in n ow and again .
I would much prefer to work on sectional slate bed tables above 8ft size than tables of 5ft /6ft and 7ft type and even some 8fts made the same way .
So this table I took on and found a few problems that I have come across before ina modern Dining table with one piece slate bed .
First of all the strip down , bed cloth off and cushions stripped for re-covering
These small tables are wood screwed on cushions , believe it or not I came a cross a 10ft made the same way the other week !
it is OK for small tables like this to be wood screwed , but table’s above 7ft and maybe some 8ft should all be sectional slate bed and bolted into slate bed bolts for the cushions fixings .you get a much better bounce with proper bolted into slate bed cushion bolts .
on Snooker tables there should be a rebated slot on the rear of the wood block that joins the wood polished surround of the cushion to trap the cushion cloth in
on this table it had screwed on blocks over the cushion cloth which was stapled behind the block for fixing .
a photo of a proper slip fitted cloth , note the thin slip of wood fixing the back edge of the cloth to the cushion .
The slate bed had a few streaks of Marbling , this is natural marble vein going through the slate sediment before it was crushed and formed many millions of years ago .
this slate is Italian and the table was made the 1990s /2000.
it is estimated that welsh slate was formed 400 million years ago . and it is not uncommon to find minute sea creature fossils trapped in the slate when an old billiard table two inch slate is broken
I managed to re-cover the screwed on cushion blocks and cushions because they did not do the trick of putting the rubber on over the screws , I have had a few of these tables to do in the past
it is pot luck if the person screwed the cushions on under the rubber or below it .
if the rubber was over the screws then i would have had to take the whole set of rubbers off and refasten the rubber .
The Original cloth was not in bad condition when comparing it to other tables I have recovered , but my client was not happy with the low quality thick fluffyness of the cloth
and required nice fast short napped Strachan 6811 29 oz cloth , this was the last piece of 29 oz I had in stock .
and only enough for a 6ft bed and cushions .
I will not disclose who I did this work for as it is unfair to start finding faults on their table and saying where it is .
but I like to inform people who may be looking for a dining table and to see the pitfalls of buying one that has not quite been made correct .
My client knows about these faults as I pointed out what could have been better made to him during strip down and re-cover and leveling .
my client actually inherited the table with the House so it cost him nothing but wanted it playing better .
He knows if he wished to upgrade to a proper made Riley Diner table what to now look out for .
a few things that would have made this table much better .
1)….Slip rebates in cushions so it could be re-covered with ease .
2)… Anti Bow beams under the slate bed to stop the slate bowing in the middle
3)… Large penny washers for the cushions screws
4)… higher quality bag nets .
the above table is a copy of the original Riley Dining dual height lifter tables like this one showing the Anti bow beams and lifters which they should have incorporated into their effort of a dining table . .
the modern Riley table is made like this now
I prefer the old type and especially the barley twist leg designed one
A very nice one I renovated in Lincolnshire recently
the same table with it’s solid oak table tops on .
some tables have a differnat type of anti bow mechanism , like this Burroughs and watts anti bow adjustable threaded bar version .
a simple device of wood beam across the middle a bar stretched under and threaded at each end fixed by bracket and adjusted with nuts lifts the center of the table up if it is sagging .
WE are closing the emails contact system and the phones down including texts and mobiles for just over two weeks while we are away on Holiday .
we have many bookings taken for work booked in for when we get back , so please expect a 4 to 5 weeks time slot before we can arrange to book anymore work in from June the 20th
by 4 to 5 weeks I mean it is into the last week of July and beginning of August for our next free time slots .
We are off to Lanzerote for a well earned two weeks in the SUN .
My Daughter and the Dogs will be holding the fort while we are away , but she will not be answering emails or telephone calls while we are away .
My decision to take no phones with me is so that I can have a well earned two weeks rest without the worry of when I can fit you in and time working out what materials I need to get in , or miles to travel between job’s when I should really be taking a well earned break from all that .
so if you want me contact me after JUNE 20th PLEASE ….it will be bad news if you want me quick I’m afraid we are that popular now people know who we are and what we do , but contact me after the 20th and I will see if I can fit you in somehow .
maybe a Saturday if local .
so just a few more working days then we are off on holiday , our first big break of the year and well earned as my muscles and back have been tested this year .
as I get older my back legs knees and arms and wrists take the damage of lifting heavy slates and tables and stretching cloth .
so going to relax and take in few Bars and restaurants while I am away and not think of Work .
I have been trying to replenish my stock of Strachan lightweight cloth , I was informed it was around the 29 oz weight a slightly closer shaved finer napped cloth of the standard 30 oz version for a quicker speed of ball over the bed cloth .
but it looks like they have stopped production of it for the time being .
I normally only fit 30 oz weighted 6811 tournament Strachan cloth as my most supplied and fitted cloth , but was introduced to the lighter weight cloth last year by Peradon my UK stockist when they where short of the 30 oz stock as an alternative , and I had some very good feedback on this weight of cloth , which was supplied extra wide for some reason ?
I decided to try it out at a club in the West Midlands area .
as you can read about here http://gclbilliards.com/bloxwich-near-birmingham-and-walsall-in-the-west-midlands-two-full-size-snooker-table-recovered-in-29-oz-lightweight-6811-tournament-strachan-all-wool-fine-napped-cloth/
Enough for me to start recommending it to my clients with the slightly thicker 30 oz cloth fitted to the cushions .
I used my last two bed cloths this week in Sleaford Lincolnshire , and tried to get some more in for a job I have on next week that I promised to recover in this lightweight cloth .
I was told it is unavailable from the mills ?
I had the unfortunate experience of phoning my client today and informing him that I could not get the lighter weight cloth anymore , he was not pleased as he has been waiting 7 weeks for me to become available for next week , he declined the 30 oz cloth , and I only stock the No 10 match cloth to order due to it being much more expensive .
so it looks like I have either lost one of my clients or we may be able to rearrange another day for a re-cover in a match cloth at an increased price due to it being an expensive cloth to buy , or fit Hainsworth match also an expensive cloth before my Holiday in two weeks time .
Some times things are beyond my control .
I do not manufacture the cloth and I am in the hands of my supplier , I always keep a good stock of the Strachan 6811 Tournament 30 oz in stock and also have a stand by wholesaler if Peradon cannot supply , sadly neither can supply me with the 29 oz lightweight version for next Monday .
I was phoning around right up to Saturday morning trying to find a 29 oz lightweight bed cloth but to no avail .
***** 22nd June 2017 ***** Follow up I have made contact direct with WSP Textiles this morning who manufacture the Strachan cloth in Stroud in the west country .
and the good news is they have sorted the manufacturing issues of the 29 oz cloth and have started production back up ,Hopefully by Mid June production will have caught up to demand .
and once back from my holidays I can get it into stock again .
LESSON LEARNT ….BUY EXTRA STOCK .
Just been over to a Caravan Park club house in the East Midlands to put back in playing order a very rough and neglected table that has not been touched for years .
the owners did warn me that the table had seen better days , and could not remember when the last re-cover was carried out .
this is what I found when I arrived ,
A club in the throws of renovation Decorators and builders and window fitters all working at the same time .
the club house having new Double glazing Fitted.
Proctors Caravan Park in Barrow on Soar .
the table is a Riley fluted turned leg circa 1910/20’s , but it had Riley Viceroy cushions fitted to it , an upgrade to this type of table .
having windows of three sides of the room you can see that the sun had faded the cloth to almost white !
the fact that it had tacks holding the cushion cloth on and not more modern staples fixings informs me of around the 1960′ early 70’s that the last time this table was re-covered
the cloth was very thick that was coming off , the table must have played very slow , and the rubber was cracking and deforming .
having stripped all the old cloth and cushion slips off the cushions I then cleaned and sanded the blocks ready to take the glue for the new rubber that I was fitting .
the six new Northern rubbers are aligned on my glueing board also ready for glue to be applied .
Take a look at the table at this stage then look at the finished photo further on down my report to see the difference .
I used the template as a guide and then opened them up a little more at the front to allow for the not so serious player to gain confidence and return to play on the table .
Not all clubs demand such tight tournament pockets , and after discussion with the owner it was decided to open them up a little , with these old table it is not possible to open them up to the rear
we have to leave some rubber on to protect the cloth from splitting .
The undercut of the rubber is hand rasped and sanded , and my aim is to keep the flat profile to the end of the rubber , in the old days they used to rasp a undercut to a point , it is now done like this on more modern tables , and looks a lot better for it .
and at 3 and 3/4 inch to the fall the pockets are around 1/4 of an inch more generous than TV match tables at the fall .
but are actually tighter at the rear of the pocket , due to having less of a gap on this period 1910/20’s table at the rear , over a more modern cut cushions as used on TV tables with steel cushions .
cushions finished having fitted new rubber and re clothed in Strachan 6811 30 oz tournament cloth , it was time to move on to the leveling of the table .
This table had ultra thick Welsh slates on it , these are very true slates unlike the more modern softer Italian and Chinese slates as used today .
the table leveled up very well , I only had to shim disc under 6 legs to gain the accuracy I was looking for .
Earlier this week I had to re level two table’s in a snooker club in Lincolnshire that had been leveled useing playing cards and beer mats between slate and frame , that job took some time to put correct .
So a lesson to anyone who assembles their own table , level it only by packing with shims under each leg , do not shim it under the slate bed .
with slate now level and the joints skimmed and sanded with car body filler it was time to lay the cloth on ready for tacking .
The bed cloth fitted and marked out , now ready to refit the cushions .
the finished table , you may also note I also replaced the nets and leathers
and a photo from the other end , You can now see a vast improvement from when I started from the badly worn and faded cloth with bad deformed rubber .
to a more inviting fully refurbished playing area of the table you now see .
a more faster cloth fitted and with extra bounce from the new profile Northern rubber , from a ploughed field to a proper Billiard table surface .
and with regular Brushing and ironing it will stay that way .
The owners are to replace the old carpet with Carpet tiles and finish the decorating off , and fit the new modern ;lighting for the table .
I am sure the Caravan Park members and visitors will find the club more inviting and the table will get the use it deserves .
Due to our web site attracting so many readers and people following up with work bookings already taken !
We are now running at 6 weeks advance bookings for work , but we also have to allow for our three weeks Summer holidays which we are taking in June .
this means we are booked out for work including some Saturdays right up until July the 27th .
Do not forget we also have our own community of Rental pool tables out on site which we re-cover twice a year , this also takes a few days a month to pull in .
We are are only a small company , gone are the days of large billiards firms with many fitters where you could pick the phone up and book work within a week and get the fitter there within 14 days , many firms are my size now like myself owner fitter and extra labour to help lift slates now and again , I only have one pair of hands so cannot take on more work than I can physically complete .
I do not like turning work away and will work the odd weekend if possible to try and accommodate .
I suppose my web site has been too successful in getting out just what I do at GCL billiards , along with my good work ethics and working direct you know you will get a good job done with no corners cut .
I am even cutting back on advertising and sponsorship as I do not need the headache of extra work and trying to fit it in .
My Small Billiards / Snooker & Pool table repair and maintenance company ticks along nicely , it will not make me a millionaire but I get job satisfaction out of it .
and you the client get a good job done every time , I am worth waiting for , there are a few speed fitters out here who are in my opinion hit and run fitters .
so please work with me in trying to fit you in for future work .
the closer you are , then I may be able to squeeze you in quicker maybe by working on a Saturday .
Hopefully once the rush of this current amount work that we have taken on , will be completed and the holidays have been taken , I can get back to the norm of a comfortable work in work done balance in a reasonable amount of time .
I have been over to my Local snooker club to fit another table with the Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz pure new wool cloth .
This club keeps on top of the work by having me in on a regular basis , maintaining their Snooker and pool tables.
a small club with 6 full size snooker two with match play steel cushions and 4 match play Supreme winner pool tables.
This was the table in the centre I have recently worked on , a Riley Regis circa 1980s .
The cushions off ready to be recovered .
A before photo showing the track marking wear on corner opening fall , and wear patches in cloth and faded cushions .
another satisfied client , the table now sporting a brand new strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz weight cloth .
if you are in the area of Beeston , Bramcote , Chilwell , Toton , Long Eaton , Sandiacre and Stapleford .
the Stapleford cue club is the best club for this area , the tables are well cared for with regular brushing and ironing .
As Carlsberg would say Probably the best snooker club in Notts !
Dennis Taylor on a visit to Stapleford Cue club for an evening with Dennis Taylor .
I have been over to the Cueball Club on Mansfield Road in Derby today to finish off the work of three full size re-covers on their snooker tables .
today I was working on table 1 in the corner of the room .
cushion stripped and recovered in the thicker Hainsworth Smart for better wear on the cushions , I find that fitting Smart cloth to cushion is much better for wear ,than the thinner match cloth which easily splits on the facing edge and down the middle pocket falls where the ball makes contact with the wood end of the cushions and does not last long .
so we have gone with match cloth on the bed and smart cloth on the cushions , my client at the Cueball ( Danny ) preferring Hainsworth over Strachan cloth .
here I have stripped the bed cloth off the slate bed and I am starting to fit the match cloth to the table .
stretched at each end then the middle falls are stretched and tacked .
at this point I have to fit a large clamp to each side of the middle fall to pull each corner out , this prevents me ripping the cloth , and getting wrinkles in the centre slate fall .
Match cloth whether it is Hainsworth or the Strachan no10 is one of the hardest cloths to stretch out .
the cloth is thinner yet it is very unforgiving when it has to form around corners or falls like a centre slate fall .
thus the clamp is used to help things along .
I have wet the centre slate fall , this helps to form the cloth into the fall and look better , the cloth will shrink a bit into the fall as it drys .
you may see some odd fading’s on the TV table around the centre falls this is Starch , I prefer the old fashioned water damping rather than the starch for fitting wool napped cloths .
the damp cloth is also better to grip than shiny dry cloth so I keep my hands damp at all times when stretching cloth on to gain ta very tightly fitted cloth .
with the corner slate fall area pulled and tacked down and the ends stretched , you can see the wrinkles have been pulled out so it is now OK to take the clamp off .
you have to relocate the clamp at each side of the centre fall you as are pulling towards the corner pocket fall , so 4 operations of clamping and unclamping and pulling out of wrinkles .
as you can see a p erect fitted bed cloth around the centre slate falls , this is the hardest part of any stretching and fitting of bed cloths on snooker tables .
a corner pocket opening .
the centre pocket opening inwards view from inside of the table playing surface shows not wrinkles .
and the same on the corner pocket opening viewed inside the tables playing area towards the pocket .
the completed table 1 ready for play .
PRIVATE SALE direct from selling client …..no middlemen fees !
We have a client in Leicestershire who has a 10ft Billiards table for sale at a reasonable £500 asking price
The Thurston made table comes with a nice period scoreboard and set of balls and cues , and is circa pre 1890 and maybe as old as 1870’s
as you can see the table has some nice figured mahogany flaming to cushions
although in my opinion the table may require a re-cover and maybe re-rubber depending on bounce left in cushions , but this would be down to buyers preference .
I would recommend an inspection to put your mind at rest and to decide what work if any you would require if any ? but the cloth looks faded .
Side shot of the table showing it is a 6 legged type , the cushions buttons are missing but a wood turner could make some of these to hide the cushion bolts
the table being pre 1890 has the brass finger top plate pocket plates .
all Billiard tables where top plates until the manufacturers started to make them inserted from the end of cushion type or hidden fixing type around 1895 .
I think this table has a 4 piece slate bed , I have re-covered it once in the past , and maybe fitted those nets and leathers for the previous owner of this table a well known professional County Cricket player .
The new owners would like to use the room for other purpose and I have valued the table at £500 for a quick sale , I am sure you will agree £500 for such a nice period 10ft Billiard table is well worth it .
matching period scoreboard also included in the sale , all enquiries to
I will pass on any serious inquiries to the seller and you are then free to choose who you wish to remove the table and transport it to it’s new home once sold .
if you would like a quote for this removal and transport and any other work you may require like a re-cover , then please contact Geoff at the same email address