Please do not leave messages while I am away !

Please do not leave messages while I am away on holiday , I cannot answer them and my phone will not take messages while I am away on holiday .
even though some one and the dogs are staying at Home they are under strict instructions to leave the business phone alone .
every one in Employment is entitled to 4 weeks holidays , just because I am self employed does not mean I have to work 6 to 7 days a week , 52 weeks of the year .
but you will be amazed at what some people think and expect from Me.

For the first time while on holiday .
I am not taking my phone with me so it is a waste of time trying to contact me and it is switched off until April 3rd .
it will not take messages so please do not leave any . it is programmed not to record any while I am away .

please get back in touch after April 3rd 2018 to be answered or booked in for work .

Please allow me at least a weeks break from Work , my body and mind needs it .
my arm and wrist is  damaged and needs a rest from tennis elbow pain .
too much repetitive strain and torn Tendon issues , from lifting heavy slate .
the time off now will be good for me .

On holiday for a week no emails or telephone calls will be answered until after Easter .

We are away for a week although someone will be at home all week as not all are going on this trip ,  they will not answer the phone or take emails while we are away .
we will be back for Easter but will still be on official holidays as it is Ice Hockey finals weekend in Nottingham and we do not miss that .
Sorry if you are waiting for a quote or would like some questions answered on your cue sports tables .
but this trip has been planned a long while and is a family celebration so we do not wish to mix the business with pleasure while we are on holiday and would appreciate a break from work in total .
for this period .
I will also warn people we are taking two weeks off for an Holiday in June too .
please read our other current post about work booked in and the few days we have left for work to be booked in for May and June .
March and April is fully booked out .

some sun is urgently required to recharge my Batteries for the busy months ahead A surprise destination for my wife’s 60th Birthday treat

Only 13 days left of free work days in May and June for work bookings !

If you want work doing in the next two months get your finger out and book me , as we are VERY VERY BUSY .
for Snooker and Pool table work .

Due to 2 weeks holidays booked out in June and 1 weeks work already booked  in we are almost booked out right up to end of June
rest of March is booked out and April too .
We have 6 days free in May
And we have only 5 days left in June
Work just seems to keep coming in .

I do not like turning work away , but there seems to be a shortage of billiard fitters as I seem to get a fair share of work outside my area .
Either  that or my pricing is good .even with the recent cloth price increase of Strachan cloth .

Lifting heavy slates can sometimes take it out on elbow and finger and wrist joints
and as I get older I have been feeling aches and pains in those areas .
but I still carry on , but I am now turning down some multi floor installs .

That is unless I can use one of these , and there is access to get one in .
or you have a lift ?

My main work is re-covering all types of cue sports tables .
it gets that busy that I cannot even answer the phone during working hours , I have to look for messages in the evening .
I am not being ignorant , I just have to crack on and get the work done , then do the office and phoning work later in the day .

As you can see I am looking a bit old and haggard these days .

unlike just a few years ago I looked like this .
so please Bear with me , to get you booked in , I am worth waiting for .
and plan to carry on until I am at least 70 years old .
I have a few years left before I get near that age.

I have even been missing midweek games of my favorite sport Ice hockey because of work commitment and being so busy .
A long time season ticket holder since 1980s
I have hardly missed a home game but this year , I just could not get to see that many midweek games because of work commitments .

 

8ft Karnehm & Hillman snooker table installed in Cambridge .

Today I have been over to Cambridge to our client Eoin ( Owen )  who bought a 8ft Karnehm and hillman billiard table via our for sale pages direct from the seller .
this table was in very good order but required new nets and leathers and a re-cover .
the table is a three section slate bed , and required adjustable slate supports to be fitted as an extra and an advisable thing to do when installing .
this cut’s out the possibility of future slate sagging .

a photo of the table before dismantle and collection from our selling client , collected from the Aylesbury area .
in an upstairs location and was bought for just a few hundred pounds .

The table now installed in Eoin’s ( Owen) , Cambridge home .
Eoin  ( Owen ) has spent a considerable amount having the table collected and delivered plus the re-cover and new nets and leathers , &  adjustable slate supports
these Karnehm and Hillman tables are considered one of the better made tables here in the UK .
8ft one’s are very rare to find , this table will now give years of trouble free play .

Adjustable slate bearers are fitted to prevent slate sagging , many tables made in the 1980’s where not fitted with them .
GCL billiards fit them as precaution and preventative measure .
It also gives the client peace of mind that this slate sagging will be prevented in the future and also gives the option of adjusting it out if it did occur .

Strachan Cloth Price increase = higher recover prices from April 1st 2018

We have just had our price list from our cloth supplier for year beginning April 2018
we have seen some increases in cloth prices over the last 4 years and we cannot keep deferring this increase .

over the last three years I have kept our re-cover prices at the same price , but I just cannot do that with the latest price increase.
the largest increase is on the 29 oz version of the Strachan 6811 Tournament , this used to work out at the same price as the 30 oz  recover, but it is now more expensive than the 30 oz .
but I will keep this price for the light weight tournament still at the same price  ( if I can get hold of it )
the 29oz is not always in stock .
I will try and limit the amount of increase , but we simply cannot go on paying more for materials from our supplier and taking the loss ourselves by charging the same price that I have been doing for the past 4 years .
I try to be competitive and stay within £20 of other firms prices .
Do not forget that we do not charge VAT on top of our prices , I have to pay the VAT for the materials and lose that , as I am not vat registered , this I do as 50% of my clients are private people and none vat registered businesses ., just like myself .
I would lose 50% of my clients if I went VAT registered , so I stay below the VAT limit on my turnover , to please my none vat paying clients .

all cloth in the Strachan range has been increased

This badly fitted Strachan  club fitted by another firm , is only £15 less per full size re-cover , than the much better Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz and 29 oz finer napped cloth .
Some firms undercut us by £20 for a full size table but they then may charge 20% on top for VAT , They sometimes  fit this club cloth , and sometimes it may even have substandard writing on the under side , they get this cloth even lower priced as it is a reject , I have come across this on my travels when taking other firms cloth off as seen in Photo’s .
you will not find this stamp on any cloth GCL billiards supply .

As you can see the cloth is thick club cloth and slow but it was also fitted badly or they supplied substandard tournament with faults all over it or badly cut uneven  nap  , surely the extra cost of £20 is worth getting a qualified time served  billiards fitter in , who will advise you, and help you make an informed choice for your table recover .
So we try not to stock Club Cloth  and we do not offer it as a supplied in stock cloth , it is not rubbish cloth , but it is slow and thick and is used for duration cloth rather than a players cloth .
You can Trust GCL billiards 41 years of experience to guide you to the best cloth for your table for the type of play you require .
there is no such cloth available that is durable and lasts long and plays with speed .
to play with speed = finer thinner lightweight cloths , this reduces life span .
also some manufacturers claims to their cloth being better and lasting longer is not to be taken in .
With over 41 years personal fitting of cloths I can say without taking payment for saying this ,  that Strachan cloths are the best in the world at what they are designed to do .
From the 26 oz 6811 pool version to the very high priced No10 version , there is a cloth suited for your table and Geoff Large at GCL billiards will advise what is best for your cue sports table based on your type of play and expectations of cloth life and speed .
From pool tables to full size tables there is a Strachan cloth suited for your table and we will help you make the right choice .

Strachan also produces their excellent Super Pro Worsted cloth available in a variety of colors
this cloth forms well over the very hard to fit center slate falls of some manufacturers american 9ft pool tables and plays very well .

We can also direct you to a firm that prints designs into the Super Pro speed cloth for pool tables from 6ft to 9ft american ( Extra cost for this service )
but if you are a Pub chain or large establishment , you may wish to have a word with one of the brewery reps to pay for this , and cover advertising cost .
or even pay for the cloth and just pay GCL billiards the labour charge to fit it .
we can work with your brewery or beer rep to provide this service .
here are some we did for Butlins in skegness .
From personal coat of arms to football teams emblems , to beer logo’s , and also club names
the back ground design on this cloth could be stars , rain drops , paint ball splatter and so on .

You may notice that the shade design also follows into the cushions , these cushion strips have to be fitted to correspond with the design , it is like matching wall paper up .

the cloth kit comes with instructions on where to place each cushion cloth strip to align up with the pattern .
each cloth is colour coded .

Artscape Strachan super pro printed cloths come in various designs , and can be custom made using one of their back grounds to your own artwork logo

Arts & Crafts Thurston 9ft Billiard table move to North Wales.

I have had the pleasure of moving a very nice carved Arts & Crafts billiard table this week to North Wales .
My Client Alan contacted me over several months to locate a table he also kept an eye out for one suitable that could be picked up between Nottingham and Wales .
this one was advertised on Ebay and was located in Knutsford in Cheshire.
so nicely placed between us .

I arrived at Knutsford to be met by Alan and the seller Jo , the home was a very nice arts and crafted designed Home .
the table was left in the house by the previous owner , and Jo and her Husband wished to use the room for another purpose .
the table was supplied by Sir William Bentley Billiards to the previous owner who paid a very large sum for it .
Alan got it at a very good price , but it has to be said selling a  snooker table these days is not a very easy process and low offers or bidding is the normal process at which a table is sold
Alan won the bidding on the table so he arranged with GCL billiards to do the table dismantle move and set back up in North Wales .

the table being dismantled in Knutsford , note the arts and Crafts fireplace
the legs of the table are carved Acanthus leaf design , a common design used in Victorian time and later arts and crafts carving .
This table dates from 1910 to 1936 , that was the reign of King George V and this table sports a Thurston name plate in Ivory on one cushion .
This is also within  the time period of Arts and Crafts Movement from 1880 to 1920’s .

the Name plate on one end cushion of Thurston , the time period is of course taken from the King George V statement .
note the brass billiard chalk cup under slung the cushion .

the table was transported to Penygroes north wales near llanberis , I arrived approx 1.30pm
and the table was completed and ready for play by 4.30pm .

the finished table , now located in Alan’s North wales home .
a modern Home , yet will look the part with oak flooring and skirting , the oak table although darker blends in .
a modern LED light unit clad in oak on the ceiling is being planned .

Side frame carved buttons and lower bowed frieze and knee panels with matching buttons complete the Arts and Crafts look .
note the 1/4 sawn oak grain in the side frame .
the polish of the table is in very good order , and Alan did very well for the complete package of purchase and dismantle transport and erect in North wales .
I can only see the value of this particular table increase in value in the future .
A sought after 9ft size and a collectible Arts and Crafts piece , I am sure even Drew Pritchard & T just down the road from Alan at Conwy , would appreciate this classic time piece .
Now is the time to buy these tables , antique dealers shun away from them because of the weight and time it takes to employ billiard fitters to move correctly .
It is only a matter of time before antique Billiard tables take off again and become sought after especially the 3/4 sized ones like this 9ft , and prices then will be much higher ….NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY
An unskilled move can cause damage , Alan had the foresight to contact GCL billiards to  carry out this specialist work .
And also had the foresight to inquire about tables well in advance of buying one and then asking for my opinion of that table ,   and getting a quote to relocate it BEFORE BUYING !
GCL billiards have 41 years personal time served billiard fitter in Geoff Large .
If you have a table you wished to be moved contact the professionals at GCL billiards .

UPSTAIRS INSTALL OF SNOOKER TABLES ….limited to just a few now .

Due to my age now , we are having to turn some difficult lifting job’s down .
we will now not take tables upstairs unless a 6 man team is involved to save strain on backs arms and joint’s .
and I am afraid I only supply two men , so the other 4 men would have to be supplied by the client on their risk and insurance and not GCL billiards .
a 6 man team to bring in two vehicles is expensive so we just supply two men .
but I do have all the lifting loop straps and two piano trolleys .

A few years ago the building trade suppliers cut down the weight of a bag of concrete and sand to half bags , this was to save on damaged backs and joints within the building trade .
this was under guidelines set out by health and safety  .
unfortunately Billiard slates cannot be cut down in size and I have to set out my own risk assessment these days for work like this ,
and it is becoming unsafe for an ageing fitter like myself and my mate Steve who is just a few years behind me to do this type of work now ,
Yes I have done it in the past and I am now suffering for it , in that my elbow and wrist joints are now playing up especially after lifting heavy slates upstairs .
thankfully 95% of Billiard / snooker tables are on ground floor level or have lift access to all floors .
so still plenty of work to be had moving tables without the heavy damage that can be incurred lifting slate upstairs .
I am 64 this month and would like to carry on working well past my official retirement age which is two years away , that is how much I enjoy my work ,
I plan to carry on until I am at least 70 full time then part time after , and reducing strains on the body to achieve this,  is the advice of my Doctor .
I do have a slate slide to get slates downstairs which only involves a three man team , providing the stair case is suitable .
so we will take on the majority of moving tables downstairs installs and removals and delivery , but upstairs is now becoming a problem for full size snooker tables for me .
Some smaller tables as long as they are 3 to 5 sectional slate beds will also be taken on upstairs due to much lighter slates .
all ground floor relocation are always welcome , so nothing changed there .
I am just trying to make sure I am able to commit to a job and future work without injury from lifting very heavy slates by hand to upper floors .

a typical slate slide carpet run to get slates downstairs without damage to treads .

Slate slide fitted to one section of slate ready to lower flat and slide down stairs

slate safely at the bottom and ready to load onto piano wheels .

sometimes if a local farmer is around with a tele handler extending beam fork lift we can use this to gain access to upper floors .

or the client may have a lift that can take more than the slate at 200kg plus one man
this is a disabled lift and has a capacity of 450kg
so one man and slate up and lower back out onto piano trolley will work and will not limit the lift from working as within limits .
most larger lifts will take two men and a slate and trolley , or 6 to 8 people or around 800kg .

some clients have their own machinery on site , this tele handler crane lowering slates into a basement before being capped off with floor .

In the basement and lean upright against a far wall .
well ahead planning on getting these slates into the cellar by crane rather than carry them down when finished down past a GLASS staircase rail .
when room is finished we will return to assemble the table .

And that table set up

BAD Weather stops play for some …some job’s may be cancelled due to weather conditions and travel .

Due to the beast from the east and clashing with a low pressure arriving from the south we are expecting some severe weather conditions to hit the UK this week .
6 inch fell last night alone where I live .

Parts of the country will be getting much more than this and main roads will become very dangerous , especially for a large van .

and having just bought a brand new van I am reluctant to risk damage to it or myself if the weather turns bad and restricts traveling .
it is also noted that any red warning area s the van insurance is null and void if I take it out on a day with a red warning in that area.
and insurance company will also frown upon amber warnings too , if they can prove I was negligent , or irresponsible of conditions .
I have had to cancel a few local job’s this week , just a few miles up the road Eastwards from Nottingham towards Lincoln and it get’s very scary to travel .
So if you have a job booked in with us for next week , it may be OK and still on , but then again it may be cancelled , we can only go day by day to see if things get better .
IF cancelled this is where it gets tricky to get you booked back in as we are booked out until mid April .
People who have booked are very reluctant to move over to let a cancelled job back in quick .
I will of course try and rework you in as quick as possible ,  if you are unfortunate that the weather and travel conditions meant a cancellation .
Weather and Sickness are out of my control I’m afraid .

Geoff Large
NBSA approved billiards fitter
GCL billiards