Due to me targeting Leicester last month, an order came in from a club for a Re-rubber and Re-cover of a full sized Burroughs and Watts oak steel block table. The rubber was past its best and the balls were bouncing upwards on impact with the cushion. I gave a quote for a full re-rubber in northern rubber by Hainsworth made in Retford Nottinghamshire (the best you can buy) and fit. You should really only trust this brand of rubber, it will outlast any imported rubber by up to 25 years of use, if kept at a good temperature and not allowed to harden.
If you buy imported rubber it may only last 4 or 5 years and that’s fact.
I allowed two days for this job, where some billiards firms will send two fitters or even one speed fitter and complete in one day, I prefer to allow the rubber to fully bond with the block and the contact adhesive to fully dry overnight before recovering. This prevents the rubber sliding down off the block rebate. 30 years ago we would be fitting loan cushions and bringing the cushions back to the workshop for a re-rubber but today we fit on site. Some speed fitting firms do it all in a day. At GCL Billiards we do it over two days.
Some firms use low grade Taiwan / Chinese rubber which may be canvas backed and allows to fit in one day as it grips better to the glue. Northern rubber has no canvas back so the glue should be allowed to fully dry.
I always show my customers the logo on the Northern rubber and the date stamp that is also on there.
A photo of the table showing the steel plate with slots for adjustment of pocket opening, this makes sure all pockets are the same size when fitting. They do take more time to recover than normal wood cushions and you have to take your time when fitting them back onto the table to make sure they all align up with correct measurements of centre pocket opening of this B&Watts at 3 3/8 inch gap between cushion ends, then corner pocket opening at 3 1/2 inch at the fall.
This set of steel block cushions has the makers name stencil painted on the reverse of the plate circa 1920/30. This maker Burroughs and Watts were the first firm to patent the steel cushions and it was this invention that really put Burroughs and Watts on the map as a billiard table maker. Thurston and George Wright, the two other leading manufacturers in London at that time, would have lost some valued customers to Burroughs and Watts over the years, including Queen Victoria who was mainly a Thurston customer and who had a slate framed and cushion capping (frieze) table which had Burroughs and Watts steel cushions on, installed at Osborne house on the Isle of White.
The clients also invested in a new dust cover. They where that impressed with GCL Billiards’ work that they have given the go ahead for a 6 monthly service visit and the other table at the side of this table is also having work done in the near future. New accessories have also been ordered and maybe new lighting. GCL Billiards would like to get as many local clubs enrolled into these 3 or 6 monthly maintenance visits. We do not look at the visits to tie the firm and club together, it is more of a partnership in maintaining the tables to an acceptable standard. We to know we have regular work coming in not only with the small service visits brushing ironing and tipping cues etc. but the main recover / rerubber or stretch bed cloths and levelling too. The customer is safe in the knowledge that the work is going to be carried out to a good standard. The club will get to know us from our regular visits and a mutual trust between client and GCL Billiards which can only be maintained by good workmanship and we will strive to keep to that standard.
Did you know that if a table meter takes £10 per day and you were to put £1 of that £10 away to one side for a year, you could have a new cloth re-cover every 12 months? £365 is the average price for a recover using Strachan 6811 Tournament cloth. But on average a table only requires a recover every 18 month to 2 years, with a stretch bed cloth at 9 or 12 months and two 6 month service visits. Pick up the phone and give Geoff at GCL Billiards a call today, we will be happy to go over the figures for a 2 year service contract for your club or even privately owned table.