I have been asked to visit a client near Northampton .
I was recommended to this client from one of my regular clients in the same area .
The main problem was this badly cracked bolt hole , a bolt lug had been forced and spun around inside the slate and shattered this bolt hole .
not a lot we could do with this , if I had tried to mess with it we could have made it much worse , so in this scenario it was better to leave the bolt out of the table .
the cushions where made from very heavy Cuban Mahogany and weighed as much as steel cushions so the bounce would not be affected by leaving one bolt out of the cushion .
the hairline crack had also spread above the slate bed along the dotted lines and the first slate joint was raised slightly , this could be frost damage if the slate was stored outside in winter .
My solution to the raised joint was not to mess with the cracked slate or disturb it , just in case it just fell apart , and made matters worse
The joint that was bad could be felt when ironing the table , so I filled all slate joints and feathered this joint in with soft sand car body filler , result is no bad joint anymore .
now one other problem that is is very noticable on old burroughs and watts tables is the centre pocket bounce back of ball back onto the table ,
after hitting the pocket plate leather , this is because there is very little distance between the bolted cushion pocket plate and the slate fall .
and is a very common problem on old B&W tables that a lot of people have an issue with .
on this table the slate fall did not align to the nose of the cushion so I was able to add a further 1/8th of slate fall into the table by rasping the slate away , on this table all 4 corners had already been done like this , but they did not touch the middle slate falls , now the owner has a bit more distance to the pocket plate .
note that this slate also has an airline crack in it , I have filled it with isopan car body filler soft sand type , just in case it could show through the cloth .
I think at some point the table slates has had some rough handling or maybe frost damage if slate was wet and stored outside . frost gets into slight hairline cracks and freezes resulting in expanding and making the crack worse .
But all is ok now .
cushions where made from a very heavy Cuban Mahogany , very rare to find this and a costly improvement from standard mahogany when new .
they will bounce as good as Steel cushions , they are that heavy .
A previous fitter had fitted Barton White rubber to this table in the past , I would have used northern Rubber myself .
but the ball bounce was very good from them , so they are OK .
The Finished table , Re-cloth in Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz , my client had a Hainsworth match cloth fitted on it last time , but he was not happy with it , the fibers of the cloth was shedding and the white balls was covered in fibres .
The lighting shade is due to be replaced for twin tube high frequency white light units , but these old metal shades where the rolls royce of billiard shades back in the day .
The Hartley Engineering metal shade , to the exact requirements of Joe Davies spec .
not many of these around anymore as they often get scrapped for modern lighting .
Modern lighting is the way to go , the game is so much better with white light high frequency tube lights or LED lighting panels .
and I got excellent recommendation from this client , thank you Dave
Yes Geoff arrived 10:30 and was still working at 5 o’clock no 2 hour quickly with this man, all the table problems sorted in a very high professional high standard workmanship to match. I was over the moon with the finished job, most highly recommended
We have a client who wishes to sell on their 9ft snooker table
at a very reasonable cost of £500 with cue rack and cues .
From one end , my client has measured the table from nose of cushion to nose of cushion and added the 2 inch each end of cushion overhang
this makes this table a 9ft slate bed table with three section slate bed . circa 1980’s /90’s
a very nice turned leg
the cloth looks faded and worn so any buyer may wish to have the table re-clothed
costs for removal delivery and set up plus a re-cloth could be arranged through GCL billiards .
please ask for a quote .
the table comes with a modern 1980s fixed none turn cue rack
GCL Billiards advertise all tables on our site as Private sales , they do not include a collection dismantle load unload and set back up price in the listing
any quote has to be done on distance to travel and number of days to complete because of distance , plus any re-cloth or maintenance issues that have to be put right .
this table in our opinion requires a re-cloth in strachan 6811 tournament cloth 30 oz .
if you would like a quote before you buy the table ( Advised ) for this work , please supply post code and if the table is to be set up on ground floor or if any stair issues are involved or many steps .
I will not be available to answer any phone calls or emails until next tuesday
I have a very busy weekend ahead of me and therefore cannot attend to the firms phones or PC.
I have been over to Beeston the next main town from me to re-cloth a table I put in two years ago at the start of this man cave , I also supplied the supreme Prince pool table to him as well as the Riley Aristocrat pro steel cushioned full size snooker table , located through our private sales program and this web site .
This full size table is located in a warehouse upper floor area where the owner has created a very enviable Man cave ,
together with Pool table air hockey football table and table tennis table , a gym weights , video machines with twin seats pinball , table tennis and a very impressive golf range video range game using real clubs and balls .
I am not going to say where the warehouse is located for security and customer client confidentiality .
but just look at the photo’s who would not want something like this .
First of all how the table was re-clothed
Steel cushions on the this top of the range riley Aristocrat , cushions being stripped and re-clothed .
the bed cloth off to reveal the slate bed sections 5 in total , and a taster to the games my client has to choose from in his man cave is in the background .
cloth of choice for our client is the expensive top of the range Hainsworth match on the bed with Hainsworth smart on the cushions for best ware and tear .
not the best cloth to fit for inexperienced people you can rip it easy if you are not careful ,
you have to be very careful especially around the centre slate falls and use G clamps on this cloth .
Bed cloth marked out with D and baulk line and spotted , Ironed and now the cushions being aligned back up before torque tightening of bolts .
the finished table , level checked and one net replaced .
and just some photos of the other games on offer in this man cave .
a Genuine Brunswick Shuffleboard around 12 to 14 foot long , I did not measure it .
Sam Air Hockey table .
Sega multi game video in foreground , Pinball and twin race video games in corner
and an impressive Driving range with large video projector above .
Add to this a table tennis table and a 7ft pro series Supreme Prince pool table
and as you can see a really enviable Man Cave has been produced here by the owner .
I do not like being ill and having to rearrange work especially if it affects others timings too .
thankfully the work that was affected did not mean any major disruption , and I thank all those affected for their cooperation in resolving this issue .
but now after a few days recovery I seem to be over the illness , let’s hope it has gone for good this time .
It has been lingering and coming and going since January , not sure it is all related to the same illness or I have been unlucky enough just to get the next bug that is going around .
but I am pleased to say I am back at what I like doing best and that is working on cue sports tables .
Running a small company like GCL billiards is not easy to do if illness is involved , I do have extra help with labour to help lifting ,
but I do not have anyone else to cover for me if I am off for the skilled fitting work .
When people look at our website they think we are a large multi workforce billiards firm , I am afraid those days of large billiard firms with 3 or 4 experienced fitters are long gone ,
and the two or three firms left that have more than one fitter are either fully booked out doing world snooker work or have enough work to keep their fitters busy , but most billiard firms are just one fitter and the odd labour help ,
when I first started at Elston & hopkin in 1980 we had 4 Billiard fitting staff , 3 office staff , 4 billiard hall staff plus cleaners , plus a removals firm as back up if we required extra labour .
How things have changed over the years and that is just one small Billiard firm that was established from 1938 who at one time had 13 billiard halls at its peak time of trading as well as the fitting side .
Above a photo from around 1936 Burnaby hall Hopkin Billiard hall Hyson Green . ( before it became elston & hopkin )
over the years the Billiard ( Snooker Industry ) is shrinking in man power , due to more and more tables being made abroad mostly China .
and with it the Experienced billiard fitter is also disappearing , more importantly no apprenticeships are being offered .
I am 65 on Friday 29th March , and I am now thinking about an ideal age to retire ,
I have set my goal at 70 years old which is only 4 years past my Government official retirement age of 66 .
Until then Health permitting I hope to carry on the art of billiard fitting , after my retirement age I may work part time and train someone up into the job to take over GCL billiards .
I would like to think with the successions of firms from John Gent Billiards started around 1880 to Elston’s 1932 then elston & Hopkin 1938 who then split to around three firms and GCL billiards was one of those firms , i would like to think GCL billiards could still be trading after I am gone .
From John Gent circa 1880 to present day there has been a fitter handing down their knowledge from fitter to fitter , it would be a shame to stop at GCL billiards .
One word of warning it is hard work having to lug around 1 ton of heavy slate even on a level ground never mind up or down stairs .
so who ever I take on in 4 or 5 years time to learn this trade would have to expect a lot of that .
But hey working for yourself is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do , you get a lot of self satisfaction and you are only answerable to your clients and of course the tax man .
I seem to have a bug or virus that keeps coming and going .
and this last week it has hit me again to the point that I am just not upto Driving or doing any work and have been in bed this last 48 hours .
just got up to make this blog news , so that everyone knows the situation and I will be getting in touch to make a new appointment for work that I have not been well enough to carry out
I’m afraid I am a one man operation when it comes to re-cloths or normal work and I do have one other part skilled man to work with me on any table moves .
unfortunately I would not send out anyone that could not do the work 100% , so anyone who is due work and has been informed I will not be coming and have to make an arrangement to come and do the work at a later date .
For all those who have booked work in and you have not received any phone call cancelling the work then expect me as normal .
my mobile is now switched off I need the rest away from work to get over this illness , if you phone the home phone number my wife may answer or she may not as she does work part time for another firm .
but she will not be able to quote or take any bookings for work , I am afraid you will have to wait until I am well enough to resume this .