SNOOKER AND POOL TABLE RECOVERING IN LINCOLN , DERBY , NOTTINGHAM , LEICESTER , make sure you are dealing direct with professionals not middlemen and agents

Many of the advertisements that you see on search engines are not what they appear to be , many claiming to be experienced in the art of billiard fitting for snooker and pool tables are just agents passing on work to qualified people , they then take a commission out of the price for passing on this work . this applies mainly to Pool table operators who recover pool tables passing on information to proper time served billiard fitters who are then hit with a commission fee or sub contract to the middleman for a fixed labour fee.

When looking for experienced people to work on youre cue sports table , always do some home work , ask if they or an EMPLOYEE ( not subcontractor ) will be doing the work or passing the information onto a third party .

At GCL BILLIARDS we are fully experienced billiard fitters for working on any cue-sports table , UK POOL , AMERICAN POOL , OLD BILLIARD TABLES , and modern SNOOKER TABLES , BAGATELLE AND BAR BILLIARDS ,  the best way to find out if the person you are talking to is fully qualified in the art of Billiard fitting , is to ask technical questions , such things as pocket sizes and cushion rubber height , table height , History of tables etc , difference between tables made in periods significant changes where made such as pocket plate design , slate first used , what was used before rubber etc .
GCL BILLIARDS will not overcharge for their service , a pool table recover starts at £165 , a Full size snooker table £399 club cloth £410 Tournament cloth , and we only use top graded strachan cloth unless the customer prefers another choice .
And you can be assured you will have the work carried out by a TIME SERVED billiards fitter . *** with no added commission or middlemen charges.***

GCL billiards do not subcontract to other firms , we have our own identity and our own fitting standards based on 40 years experience , we do not want to assist another firm who do not have the same experience have that skill and compete against us in our market sector , it would be like letting someone in on our area and helping them establish themselves using our 40 year experience and skills as a spring board ,
and say to them HERE YOU ARE TAKE OUR WORK AND WE WILL WORK FOR YOU !
Our main area covers from Sheffield to Northampton and East coast to Stoke on Trent , we do further than this but we like to remain a Billiards firm that concentrates at least 90% of its clientele in the midlands .
I am constantly refusing subcontract work for other firms on a monthly basis as they try to muscle in on our area .
Most of these firms that contact us are just keyboard firms using subcontractors around the UK to form a business of which they pay peanuts to the firm and pocket a good percentage for themselves .
they have no experience in Billiards / Snooker & pool table fitting apart from what they have read on the internet or from books .
I do take on the odd table sale from other firms say from Scotland , that require a fitting service if they have sold to a client in my area , but that is about as far as I will let other firms into my area and to compete against us .
My advice to anyone seeking a skilled firm for their snooker or pool table re-cover is to look at that firms past work and standing within the Billiards fitting community .
Geoff Large of GCL Billiards has over 40 years personal experience of Billiards fitting from early antique Billiard tables to modern day Billiard tables that are mainly designed for the game of Snooker .
We also have a vast experience on Pool tables renovation , from UK pub type tables to 9ft american pool tables .
Butlins hotshots artscape bud dec 2015
Brunswick 9ft pool tables at Butlins Skegness maintained by GCL billiards
alfreton sam pool tables
Sam american K steel pool tables installed by GCL billiards .

Steel block Burroughs and Watts Re-rubber and Re-cover in Leicester and Service contract information

B&watts oak steel finished table
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.
B&watts oak steel 1
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.
B&watts oak steel 2
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.
B&atts oak steel deluxe cover
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.

What to avoid when buying a table like this

Today I have recovered a 9ft table in the Midlands.  I do not want to name the clients as it would be unfair, but I would hope they would like to let other people know the pitfalls of buying a table like this one.  To be fair this table was passed down from within the Family.   The right way of buying a table is to ask a qualified time served billiard fitter for their views of a good, well made table.  Advice is always free at GCL BILLIARDS.

DH table on arrival .

This table was made in the North East in the 1970s/80s.  A lump of wood passed through a moulding machine to make a one piece cushion is not the correct way of making a bespoke billiard table.  I am going to show a few photos of the table in question and explain what is wrong.

DH table blocks off no slips

The above photo shows that the blocks had to be taken off to get at the cloth, which was stapled to the cushion body.  There are no wood slips to take out of the block and the rubber had to come off the blocks to reveal the screws that where situated on the rebate for the rubber.  With a normal cushion you would not have to remove the rubber or the blocks to have the table recovered.  Just easing out a thin slip of wood is the correct way to do it.

The cushions were also just screwed to the under slate lining wood, whereas a proper table would have bolts and nuts inserted into the slate for a good tight fitting cushion, giving 100% rebound of the ball.  Wood screwed on cushions are what you find on an Argos table, not a 9ft slate bed billiard table.

DH Table cracked slate

The slate also had a crack where someone had overtightened the wood slate liner to the underside of the slate.  This wood is for tacking the bed cloth on.

Peradon cushions standard

As a cushion should be made. Three sections with slip rebate on top of block and slide in bolt hide panel.

DH Table finished

above The finished Table

DH table Cushions recoverd

above a completed cushion after glueing the rubber back on and recovered.
DH table 9ft thin slate no bolt holes

Above a Thin slate of this 9ft table, no bolt holes in slate, wood screwed cushions on to lower wood.
and below a side shot of end of cushion showing the one piece moulded cushion.

DH table cushions one piece moulded

Another move and set up of full size snooker table in Lincolnshire

Today I have been over to Lincolnshire, this time for subcontract fitting work of dismantling and moving a full size snooker table from one house to another, a distance of approx 6 miles.  The table is made by Barton Billiards circa 1985 and is in good condition.  It only required a recover in 6811 tournament cloth by Strachan.

The new owner has put up a nice log cabin in the back garden and this is now his pride and joy.  New lighting to be fitted soon.
Barton table in Log Cabin
Barton Table in log cabin 2
The move went very smoothly, no stairs involved, ground floor with easy access from the dismantle to the install.

If anyone is thinking of buying one of these log cabins, the owner informs me the cost was approximately £15,000 including ground work, base and electrics.  It is a very large building and very warm too. the building in kit form was  delivered and plonked on the owners drive for self assembly for just £6000.  I think total spend includeing table came to around £17000.

Tomorrow I’m off to Market Harborough to recover a 9ft table and sort the bags and nets out.  Work is coming in steadily and the phone is ringing every day with new clients asking for quotes, which shows our advertising efforts are spot on.

GCL Billiards has found its niche in the recover and maintenance market of cue sports tables.  A mixture of regular own clients and some contract fitting work from people within the cue sports trade, plus our pool table rental business.

If you are a private or retail client or a cue sports business that can use our fitting skills on a subcontract basis, then please get in touch.  We are always willing to talk and give free advice.  We are reliable and always strive for perfection in what we do best and thats cue sports maintenance to a high standard.

More Pro Lighting fitted + recover full size snooker table and new nets and leathers

Derby F table old shade

Above: the old coffin shade and old cloth, nets and leathers.

Today we have been fitting a set of new high frequency pro lighting to another club in Derby.  We also recovered the table in Strachan 6811 Tournament 100% wool cloth, no mixed fibres with this cloth, just pure 100% new wool.  To top it off we fitted a new set of nets and leathers.

The two league teams that play out of this club are really spoilt.  No more dark, dingy table and no long egg shaped shadows under the balls.  These lights really get into every corner of the table including right under the cushions.  They reduce glare and with the soft white tubes they are easy on the eye.

derby f new lights

Above: the new pro lighting, new Strachan 6811 Tournament pure wool cloth, plus new nets and leathers.  Table checked and adjusted for level and re-tipped 10 cues.

As you can see, the effect of not having a heavy coffin type shade hanging close to the snooker table’s bed cloth really opens the room up.  The table looks more inviting to play.  The old shade ran on 5 x 100 watt bulbs (total of 500 watts energy used).  The new lighting runs on a total of just 232 watts energy used.  A saving of 268 watts!  So fitting these light units can also save the club money in the long run and will soon cover the cost of fitting them.

uk ***Our light units are UK manufactured ***

they are None flicker high Frequency units , do not confuse them with lower cost imported lighting , and the old side starter units that flicker , these are the future of cue sports lighting . Our price is very competitive and if local we always help fit them . providing table covers and level of the table after fitting by a professional billiards fitter.

Below is a photograph of another Derby club that has seen the light, plus two Nottinghamshire based clubs that have also had the light units fitted.

Get in touch with GCL BILLIARDS to have your table converted over to the new Pro Lighting.  The best time to have these lights fitted is at the same time as recover of the bed and cushions, or on a stretch bed cloth, or on a table installation.

WE ARE GETTING ENQUIRIES FOR THESE PRO LIGHTS EVERY WEEK.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIGHT?
THESE CLUBS HAVE!

Newark pool table x 6 area
Cue club match table
Pro lighting Derby 2

Enquiries for the new Pro Lighting units for Snooker and Pool tables

We are getting more enquiries mainly in the Nottingham and Derby area for the new twin tube units that are high frequency non-flicker with white light tubes and ideal for cue sport use.

We will post out two units for a full size snooker table including tubes for £229 a set or £130 per single unit for a pool table.  Rated at 58 watts per tube, the lighting is very good and local players in Derby can experience this at Mickleover British Legion, where the Match table has had this new lighting installed along with a full renovation of the playing surface in strachan 6811 tournament and Re-place the Rubber for new Northern rubber .

If local I will deliver personally and help install the lighting and then check for table level after install.  Only qualified electricians with a part P qualification are allowed to connect any electrical units up by law.  This is for your own insurance standards too.  Even though these units are as easy to connect as a three pin plug, they should be wired up by qualified electricians AND MUST BE EARTHED !

If ceiling is a short distance we recommend fitting directly to the ceiling for that neater look (see above photo).  If it is a high ceiling then a hanging wire fitting kit will be required which is an extra cost (see photo below).

or we may even suggest for ease of fitting , to use the existing chain from youre old shade like the photo below . for full size tables this will require two 3 metre lenths of U channel available from B&Q for not much extra. around £6 a lenth ?

Many thanks to the pubs and clubs who have had the new lighting installed and for recommending GCL BILLIARDS to visiting cue sports teams for both snooker and pool tables lighting .  There is nothing worse than a dimly lit table and as these three photos prove, a well lit table is an inviting table to play on.  I am sure the takings will go up too which has been proven in some of the clubs that have had these light units fitted.

CONTACT GEOFF ON 07753 466064 FOR MORE INFO AND TO PLACE AN ORDER.

Re-rubber in northern rubber by Hainsworth , the best you can buy and fit

If youre Snooker table is due for a Re- rubber than do not settle for anything less than northern rubber , make sure it is northern rubber that the fitter is fitting , we often come across tables that have had lower priced canvas backed Taiwan rubber fitted which only realy lasts around 5 years , where northern rubber if kept at room tempreture will last around 20 to 25 years.,
here are a few photo’s of what it takes to get the pockets cutt at the correct angle ,

After marking around the template , the rubber is cutt with a very sharp knife to just outside the pen mark to allow for sanding exact .

once the rubber has been sanded exact , the undercutt of the rubber is done , again with the same sharp knife , notice that I have left a flat nose of rubber all the way around the angle this is the modern way to undercutt , in the 1980s and before this date , the angle was to a point in the curve and did not have the flat edge all the way into the pocket , if youre table has pointed undercutt rubber without the flat nose , then the rubber is about due to be renewed , this photo shows  the rough cutt before it is sanded smooth , you can see the knife marks in the undercutt , I often see work where the fitter has just left the undercutt like this and not smoothed it out , this is not good for a smooth entry of the ball into the pocket like the smoothed out undercutt.

This is the finished undercutt , notice that all sharp angles have been smoothed out , and those knife cutt marks also have gone , this is how a good Re-Rubber should be done , if youre fitter is time served you will have a job done as good as this , the actual undercutt is concaved to allow for the curve of the ball to get under the angle nose of the rubber and deflect into the fall of the pocket .
It has been my observation over the last 20 odd years that some companies and even one man operations are just in the Cue sports trade for as much as they can get out of it quickly , this means cutting corners , speed fitting has never been one of my like’s , and I have always insisted I have enough time especialy on intricate work like re-rubbering , if the job is not done to a high degree then you will not be satisfied with the result , At GCL BILLIARDS we may be £20 to £30 more expensive than other firms on a re- rubber or re-cover , but as they say you get what you pay for we always use top brand materials and top quality time served billiard fitter to do the work . as can be seen from the results a smooth well done finish takes a bit more extra time, 2 days on this job when some would have speed fitted it into one day  , and at the end of the day that extra time is what you are paying for .

an old stock photo of the stamp that is put on every Rubber , always ask to see this if the re-rubber is being done on site , a good fitter will not take this printed stamp off the rubber , it may be under some tape though , a good fitter will allways show the customer this stamp , there is also raised lettering on the under edge of the rubber that also informs you that the rubber is Genuine northern rubber .




all the above photo’s of the Riley table was work carried out 2 days before christmas day (includeing working christmas eve) , the customer contacted us on 22nd December  and was desperate for the work to be done as a Christmas present for her young son who is an up and coming snooker player aged 12 ,from Leicester , he plays on a couple of star tables in Leicester and wanted his Riley to have similar sized pro pocket openings of the star tables , these openings at the fall are now 3.1/2 inch they used to be 3.5/8ths, the cushions are not steel block , but he will get that valuable practice on tight pockets which should improve his skill of accuracy , the cloth was a second hand ex pro tournament number 10 cloth grade ,that the customer supplied themselves via a local professional tour player , the cushion cloth is 6811tournamant and the new rubber is Northern rubber date of manufacture in August 2012.
The only other improvement to this table now is the lighting , he would be much better off with new pro type tube lighting with the white light tubes , two 5 foot units approx 5 foot above the bed is recommended GCL BILLIARDS also supply these., I would not recommend fitting steel blocks to this table ,if the young lad improves to a much higher standard and joins the pro circuit , then he will not settle for anything less than a proper professional Star table with the steel blocks cushions and the heated slates , in the meantime this table is good enough for improveing his skills .

GCL BILLIARDS are time served fitters and can do Re-rubbering to a very high standard , please contact Geoff if you would like this work doing . or wish to enquire for an estimate.

NOW SOLD Burroughs and Watts 9ft x 4ft – 6 inch snooker table , a genuine 3/4 sized .

SOLD SOLD SOLD . this 3/4 sized table is off to Perth in Scotland on the 11th of November 2013 to a holiday let and will now be enjoyed by people renting out the Holiday let.
We have had some very nice 9ft tables sold on GCL billiards web site , they are sought after and we do get people phone and email us asking if we have any for sale .
they are a popular size , as many people have room for a 9ft table but not a full size .
I have been instructed to advertise a very nice 3/4 sized Burroughs and Watts Snooker table , these 9ft tables are getting harder to locate , there are many full sized tables on the market but very few 9ft or 10ft tables around .
Burroughs and watts where one of the best Manufacturers of billiard and snooker tables in the 1800/1900s this table being from the period of circa 1910/20.
I have valued the table at £1000 to £1500 , but the owner is willing to listen to offers as they require the room for other use , the table is at this moment still in use so can be seen and tried out before purchase , the table is located in the Ashbourne area of Derbyshire .
As can be seen from the photo’s below the table comes complete with antique scoreboard and a modern cue stand , the table may require some work , it all depends on the Clients requirements.

9fts of this quality do not come on the market often.

At GCL Billiards we advertise free of charge , all we ask is please refer us for the removal and transport of the table as our reward , we are not in this to make money out of the sale of the table but a continuation of fitting work is our aim .
If you have a table for sale or you are looking for a table , please get in touch for us to add youre details to the for sale/wanted  gcl billiards blog .
We do get hits on this blog all the time from people looking to sell and buy cue sports tables , it’s free and easy to advertise , and we are having success with table sales and wanted.
I am off to Scotland next week to move one such 10ft table that was wanted , for a client in Essex, he had been in touch asking us to locate a 10ft for him and found one in Scotland , we informed him of one and he purchased the table direct from the seller , our reward was the Moving and setting up of the table plus a re-rubber and recover , this free advertising heps all involved , the buyer , the seller , and us the fitting team , everyone is a winner .

Enquiries for this table  …NOW SOLD !