There are many designs for Snooker or Billiard Dining tables , some having the wind up cranking handle to raise and lower to dining height .
One of the most copied is the Riley lift up sliding locking bracket system , and on this table it was poorly copied .
the design incorporates 4 lifting mechanisms at each side end , these have a zig zag channel that a pin follows and rests in a top cup for the playing height , when lifted again the pin is deflected to one side and allows the table to lower ready for dining height and is then ready for the next lift where it follows the zig zag channel again to the raised height .
Not a brilliant system and often jam’s even on the original one’s , but the copies jam all the time , this table I was working on fitting the fixed height sub frame, was bought from a well known on line retail outlet in Preston , the table we think was made in china , my client genuinely thought he was buying a good UK made table .
He only uses the table as a dining table at Christmas , otherwise it is in the up position for snooker play , the main problem being the Chinese had just glued wood planking to the underside of the slate and screwed the top end of these adjustable sliding brackets to that , when lifted a couple of times the planking just came off the bottom of the slate , making the whole design useless .
On the original Riley diner , there is two long anti bow bar beams and the sub frame all mortice and tenon jointed and SCREWED to the outside edge of the slate as well as glued to it so no chance of it coming off the slate when lifted up , the manufacturer thought that this diner was going to function well with just glueing planks to the under side , well I know two of these tables and both have fallen apart when lifted upwards .
So My advice was to make it a fixed normal height table and use adjustable height kitchen chairs for the one day at Christmas they use it as a dining table .
here are the photo’s of what we did .
We made a subframe the same dimensions as his frame and sprayed it gloss black to blend in with his piano black frame , you do not see much of this due to the overhang of the cushions , so it did not have to be polished to an exact match . You can see the subframe sitting on the lower frame .
Now here is the clever part , we positioned 4 cross supporting muntins that could be adjusted upwards to level the slate , this made for easy levelling of the table with not unsightly toe pieces sticking out from under the legs , we attached the subframe permanently to the lower frame using flat plates and screws , all I needed was a 13 mm socket and ratchet with small extension to go around and level the table , it was so simple to do , and the slate is supported very well with no dipping or bowing .
This is the rubbish we took off the slate , well I say took of it actually fell off . the bag of brass adjusters , I have advised my client to sell these on ebay as a set of 4 for around £50 , they will be OK for a 6ft that has them missing or damaged , but they do not work on a heavy 8ft slate , in fact they are copies of 6 or 7ft lifters , the 8ft ones should be a bit wider than these .
a photo taken from under one end of the new adjustable muntin supports , the lower x members ones are the lower frame tie bars , click on the photo for a larger photo .
The finished table , with brand new re-cover in Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz , it plays very true , better than some thicker slated tables , the owner is delighted with the result of turning his not so good Billiard /diner into a fixed height table that plays true and accurate .
the old cloth was a thick club cloth , playing on the 6811T is a different game to playing in the rough.
The end shot of the finished table , the sub frame just cannot be seen unless you are down on your knees , so no one is going to know it is there .
Under the table is the table top which is in sections and just covers the table ready for dining off , we recommend you have a plastic sheet to cover just in case someone spills wine and it goes down the gaps onto the cloth .
I have seen all sorts of spills on these type of tables from Gravy to water , so a good cover is a must , and maybe one of those heat pads that is put under the table cloth too .
all you would have seen before is a gap and 4 brass lifting brackets , I think the best way of designing a billiard diner is to have a fixed height diner then use adjustable chairs , or high chairs , they only need to be around 3 inch higher .