I have Just been over to Wales for two days to install a Very nice condition Riley Viceroy circa 1920/30
Emyr contacted me some months ago looking for a table , he was not ready as the room was not built so advised to look for one nearer room completion
Emyr had been reading my Blog input on this web site and after reading many descriptions on different tables and build quality he had settled on finding a Riley Viceroy.
Emyr got back to me , and said he had found a very nice Riley Viceroy in Wolverhampton and he had collected it with a Friend in a luton Van and stored it at home as the room was nearing completion.
Well the time had come to arrange to install the table .
Emyr is 6ft 2inch the same as myself and suffers from a back problem , so he had a friend make some square slate stone pads .
he had these to lift the table around 1.5 inch , thus giving him a better posture for his back when leaning over the table.
above in the photo you can see these slate pads under each leg .
First slate on and it got wet from wheeling it from the garage to the room
aligning the slate , we have to get the middle slate on dead centre with even overhang and dowel pin the next slates either side into the middle slate
you can if you look close in the gaps see the Brass dowel that locate into a brass rebated hole in the adjoining slate
once three have been pinned together we check again that the slate is parallel with even over hang each side before fixing the end slates into position
We wax the top of the frame with candle wax , this is so that the slate sections slide onto and along the frame with ease .
the next stage we check the level , adjusting by jacking up the frame and sliding slate packings under the legs to adjust the level ,
these packers are called toe pieces and come in varying thicknesses .
the toe pieces , different thickness to adjust level
We adjust until the level shows 100% all around the table side to side and end to end .
we use a 12 inch Rabone & Chesterman vintage Engineers level , people often ask why such a small level ?
Because it is more accurate to finding low spots between each slate joint , where a long level would span any faulty levels .
These engineering levels have been used in the Billiard table industry for many years for accurate leveling of Billiard / snooker tables
years ago the Billiards fitter would have used Plaster of Paris to blend in any slate joints .
today we use soft sand car body filler , above you can see we apply with 2 inch scraper , I am filling a large chip out of the slate which is on the edge of the slate
and we also skim along the entire length of every slate joint then lightly sand in for a perfect slate bed ready for bed cloth fitting .
A light sanding all over and along the joints to make sure of no grit or lumps on the slate bed
if you do not do this you may find when you iron a table that the iron jumps on impact with a lump under the cloth
we lightly sand all over the slate and then wipe and vac the dust and grit off the slate bed .
The bed cloth laid on and tacks sprinkled around ready for Stretching on of the bed cloth
this table had recently been re-rubbered and re-covered with new nets and leathers also being revamped
my client paid a good medium price for the table and if we take into account what had been renovated on the table shortly before he got it .
then he paid very little for it indeed . in fact you could say the table owes him nothing .
Even the scoreboard on the wall which antique dealers go nuts for is worth around £400 to £500 on the retail market .
where many Antique Dealers will not touch a full sizes snooker table because of all the hassle of lifting and transporting ,
but they do go after the old accessories such as old scoreboards and rotating cue racks .
because the table bed cloth had been fitted before and was not brand new .
I positioned string in centre and also 31 inch from end of baulk end to guide me in getting the old Baulk line almost straight
Above Fitting the bed cloth
Some billiard fitters use a magnetic tack hammer , I prefer to use a Stanley 8 oz pin hammer
I have used this hammer for 40 years and it is very hard for me to try anything else .
you get used to the tool you use most often , and I doubt that I will ever use a magnetic one
I did try one once but gave up after about the 5th tack , the balance and feel was not there so why change !
Emyr got me to pose for this last Photo , many of my clients are shocked to find that I do not play the game of snooker or Pool
I just do not have any interest in playing the game , I am more interested in the history of tables and old furniture in general.
don’t get me wrong though I do know how to put side and back screw and forward roll onto a ball and also get to know the speed of table within the first few shots
I get many players complaining of slow tables and fast tables some like slow some like fast , a good player can adjust his or her game to play on any speed of cloth .
as for new rubber if fitted and pockets cut correct they will accept balls at speed , and do not forget brand new rubber requires bruising in for a month or so of regular play before they start to rebound faster .
Emyr is going to take a few more photo’s of the table when the room is a bit more tidy all the photo’s you see where taken by Emyr who is a Photographer and has something to do with the very rare Ospreys that are breeding in Wales , He has even Written a book about the Osprey in Wales .