I have just completed a re-rubber and re-cover of a full size snooker table above Lincoln on the wragby road
I installed this table a couple of years ago and came across a problem of slates not being the correct ones for the table which we solved by plugging and redrilling of cushions to fit
this table was already at our clients house and GCL billiards only fitted the table we did not supply it
Having said that the slates are of very good quality being from a burroughs and watts table while the rest of the table frame and cushions where from an Orme & Sons table
having had the problems of finding the wrong slates I was bracing myself as to the condition and workmanship of the rubber under the cloth which I did not see 2 years ago as the cushions had been re-covered by the firm who delivered it , and this is what I found !
very rough cut and shoddy work on the forming of the angles to the pocket openings.
My client wanted tighter pockets as these where cut like buckets and all odd angles
I did not take a photo of the rubber when I had finished but believe me they where like these photo’s when I had re-rubbered the clients cushions
smooth cutting and rasping and sanding of the undercut
flat nose of rubber direct from front edge to rear of pocket
my client had a bit of rough deal from the firm who supplied the table to him
not only did they send the wrong slates , but they also did not rectify the bad cut rubber
and they fitted sub standard cloth to the cushions as you can see above the transfer has substandard through it
this is how the cloth manufacturer sells it’s seconds .
this is what first grade Strachan 6811 tournament looks like
no Substandard going at a right angle through the transfer and the weight shows 30 oz
my clients table is now ready for some serious match play
having had a full re-rubber and reshaping of some of the block undercut
The pockets are now set at template size to B&SCC templates
Brand new first grade Strachan 6811 tournament cloth has been fitted and the level checked
my Client is a keen snooker player , He and his Partner have a very charming cottage and from the front of the house no one would even suspect they have a full size snooker table
The room is very large , an extension that along with others I have worked have had their fare share of planning objections
Lucky for snooker enthusiasts a way can be found to build and get plans passed.
I am sure my client will enjoy his snooker so much better now the problems have been solved with the pocket openings and cushion bounce .
I have just corrected another table just like this from a bad re-rubber have a look at my other postings on my Web Blog to see that report .
Re-rubber is one of my special interests , I strive to be a perfectionist in forming a smooth cut to the pocket openings as can be seen in my demonstration photo’s and work reports on tables I have completed a re-rubber on .
I often advise on tables and workmanship on the Snooker forum and on that forum ,my pricing was questioned , not by a past client but just by a person who like to question prices
My price structure for work is fixed on what other top Firms and fitters are charging , on a re-cover for example I am around £30 lower priced than the top firms , but £30 higher priced than a speed fitter who may do work like on the rubber I took off above .
My mentor Mick Rob ( now Deceased but formerly of Belvoir billiards ) a Craftsman in the art of Billiards fitting had a carved oak sign in his workshop for his clients to read .
“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
Mick advised me to charge what I was worth and what was fair and to always seek to improve never rest on your laurels , by that way my work gets better as I get older , I remember that quote of john Ruskin and now use it to show and remind Clients or just people like the person on the snooker forum that I am not overpriced that I have a fair pricing structure , that I use first class materials such as Strachan first grade and Northern Rubber made in the UK .
any future Billiard fitters working on tables I have re-rubbered and covered will not find rough cut openings pocket sizes all different or bad seconds cloth used or low cost chinese rubber used .
I like to think that all Billard fitters have the same moral stand on workmanship , sadly that is not the case , I come across many who have had rough work carried out on their Billiard Table .