Dave Gibson’s Gadgets and levelling snooker tables

I visited Beeston Snooker Hall yesterday and got talking to Dave Gibson, owner of Beeston Snooker Hall since the 1960’s.  Dave has always been one for Gadgets.  Many people would think “why would he want one of those”, but I have known Dave for many years and he is always interested in electronics and the technical side of Snooker.

On this occasion he was showing me his self-made ball ramp with laser for testing speed of a table cloth and also bounce of a cushion.  The device also shows that a true level table can still roll out with nap and also natural slate warp dip spots.  The laser pointer that is installed in this Ball ramp realy shows the ball rolling off, yet my engineers level and also electronic digital level – which are very accurate pieces of equipment – show the slate at that point is true.

I was very impressed with this gadget (I should not really call it that as it is a nice bit of scientific equipment).  We were talking about the pro tables on TV.  I am sure even those would show a ball rolling out on the thin match cloth with this bit of equipment when the fitter had got it spot on for level,  This device also confirmed that I got the recent bed cloths that had been fitted tight as the speed was as good as worn out no nap table cloth.

When I am recovering tables in many snooker clubs and halls I often overhear players comment after a bad shot “the table is not level it rolled off a mile”.  What players have to take into consideration is strength of nap, length of nap, thickness of cloth, temperature of table, finger drag marks in cloth and sweat off hands on cloth.  All these can take a slow ball off its intended direction.  Did you also know that when a ball strikes another ball the force is also transferred down the ball towards the cloth.  The same is also true when a ball strikes the cushion, that is why you get track marks along the edge of the table and around the pocket openings and also on the black and pink spots which wear indentations in them quicker than the other spots because people always go for the highest scoring ball.

In Dave’s Snooker Hall he also has large fans that can cause a down draught on the table.  Just like a current in a river these down daughts leave a current of air rebounding off the tables and also players as they stand underneath them redirecting air flow.  Players do not realy look into the outside forces of a ball rolling off.  They always blame the table being out of level.

True out of level tables ?
When we get a table that is truly out of level it may be just a simple jack up and reshim the legs to even it out, or it may be warped frame work which may incorporate a rather expensive full strip down, slates off and reshooting of the frame level.

In recent years (the 1980’s onwards) some modern table manufacturers have not been manufacturing the tables correctly in that the inner muntins (slate supports) are not in contact with the slate.  This causes the softer Italian slate to dip in the middle.  I refer this as a slate sag issue caused by no support in the centre of the slate.  I have devised a way of rectifying this by using adjustable muntins.  Brackets are fitted on the underside of the framework in the centre and three square and true floating muntins are used with adjustable bolts to tighten and adjust pressure to the centre of the slate upwards.  Over time a little 1/4 turn of the adjustable muntins will cure the slate dip.

If you know of a table that has this issue of balls rolling from each side towards the centre of the slate, I can retro fit these adjustable muntins to any table without taking the slates off.  Please get in touch for a quote.

Geoff

Special rates for Snooker and Pool table recovering in August

My first half a month trading as GCL Billiards , and I have been pretty busy , 8 Full size Recovers , 1 table dismantle and store , 2 stretch bed cloths , 1 open pockets up and recover cushions , + 2 more recovers just been booked in ,

Now is the time to get a special rate for a Recover from GCL BILLIARDS rather than waiting for the Winter Season to Start , so Why not email or Phone Me to get your quote now .
August is always a slow month for Billiard fitting it is the last month of the summer before the Season realy kicks off for Pool and Snooker .
I expect September and October to be realy busy with clubs all requiring Recovers or cloth Restretching at the same time , avoid disappointment , Have
your Table Refurbished in August , the Players will be better prepared for the Winter by getting used to the New cloth a few weeks before .

After a recover , New cloth will be slow with plenty of nap on from new , unlike the worn out cloth that is now approaching the end of its lifespan , the old cloth must play like glass and be very fast , players like fast cloths but on a worn out cloth it is very difficult to control the cue ball for back spin and side swerve , this is down to the cloth having no grip unlike a new cloth with good nap direction , a new cloth has to be played on and the players will adjust their game based on a few weeks of play , they will be better prepared for any snooker or Pool league .
I always check and adjust the level if required when Recovering , the slate is also cleaned off from all chalk dust ,and the joints are checked for gaps and filled .
this is something that speed fitters are renowned for not doing , one thing you can be sure of the time and effort will be put in on each table by GCL BILLIARDS .

Volume or speed work is not a word I like to hear , you never rush a game of Snooker and Billiard Fitting is the same , I also treat all my customers on an Equal footing , I do not go by their house post code or what Car they Drive to assess the price to be charged , my rates are all the same for everyone . but of course multi tabled snooker clubs may get a better rate for repeat work .

Geoff

Logistics , option 1 for table dismantle and transport .

This week I have teamed up with a local Removals Firm to offer a top class service on logistics for Snooker Tables , I used to work with these guys a few years ago and the logistical move of a table from one premises to another  will go much smoother and safer both for me and the Clients furnishings useing these professionals rather than low paid casual unskilled workers being bought in just for the one day to help move a snooker table , the Clients table will be fully wrapped up , every leg and table part is sepperatley cacooned in a Removals blankets before being loaded onto the van , and strapped down .

The Clients table will arrive from the dismantle to erecting in the new premises without any marks or Scuffs that where not present when dismantleing ..
Carpet protection Blankets are also used in the premises of the Client .

This service will be more than your average ebay listing for the same logistics , but the removals firm is fully insured and have been in the removals business for over 25 years . They can also Quote for a Full house removals .
I have added a link to their Web site http://www.jonills-removals.co.uk
They will of course include my services as the Time Served Billiards fitter doing all the work of the skilled parts of dismantle and erect and level of youre treasured Cuesports table . leaving you ready for play .

The vans they use are larger than a normal 35cwt LWB Billiards van so extra items can be taken with the table if Required .

Please note extra labour may be required if the table is located up or Down stairs , jonhills removals have various ramps for small steps etc , but a larger staircase will require more labour to help lift those heavy slates .up or down . also note dog legged staircase’s can be very tricky to manoeuvre around .

We always use a piano trolly for transporting the slates to and from the van on a level floor . they have rubber wheels and with the carpet protection you can be assured no damage or marks will be left on youre house carpet or wooden floor .

You can be assured that Myself and Jonills Removals have come across almost every situation of moving a table , we are all experts at solving awkward access to premises .

Geoff

Geoff Large: time served billiards fitter

I first became interested in the art of Billiard fitting in 1975.  I had just left the Army and was looking for work.  My uncle Ron Hume had started a business a few years earlier trading in Pool tables and Snooker tables using a skilled Billiards fitter subcontractor named Mick Robb who had a firm called Belvoir Billiards based in Watton near Grantham.  I really admired Mick as I could see he was a skilled craftsman and cabinet maker.  He quickly took me under his wing and trained me and my cousin Gary for the next 5 years.

In 1980 Mick advised me to join an old established billiards / snooker firm in Nottingham called Elston and Hopkin Billiards Ltd in order to further my career.

I followed Mick’s advice and I joined Elston and Hopkin the same year.  I could not have wished for a better company to work for and I rapidly improved my skills as a billiards fitter.  Although I had by that time been in the trade for 5 years, I did not class myself as fully skilled until a further 3 years had passed.  My work partner at Elston and Hopkin was Roger Percyzhinski.  We clicked immediately working extremely well together and I also learnt a lot from him.

I must also say that our boss John Hopkin was without doubt the best boss I have ever worked for.  He never had a bad word to say about anyone and he always treated us well with bonus schemes and extra Holidays.  We repaid his kindness by working extremely hard for him.

By 2004 the company was struggling and John Hopkin was well beyond retirement age.  He sold the name and goodwill of the company to Universal Logic who still use the trading name Elston & Hopkin.  However the limited company (Elston & Hopkin Billiards Ltd) was closed down and ceased trading.

Roger left after just 6 months working for Universal Logic and he set himself up on his own.  I stayed for a further 8 years but in 2012 I decided it was time to go it alone and work for myself.  All of the training and experience I gained over the previous 37 years stood me well in my trade.

I have just about worked on every cue sports table in the industry from the early Reni Pierre and Rutigliani ring pocket pool tables to steel block  full size snooker match tables.  There have been some oddities too.  I have worked for famous sportsmen, people in the entertainment business, snooker professionals, rock stars and working class people such as coal miners.

I treat every client on a level basis.  I strive to do an excellent job and I have gained very good feedback from many happy customers.

If you require any work on your cue sports table, whether it be pool, snooker, bagatelle, bar billiards or anything else then do not hesitate to get in touch.

ADVICE IS ALWAYS FREE.