The next 4 weeks are really busy for us. We have 12 full size snooker tables for recovering work in 6 different locations, a 10ft snooker table to set up in London which we have fully renovated from full strip down to set back up with a re-polish and re-rubber, plus re-cover and nets leathers etc. plus a full range of accessories ordered. We also have a few pool tables to re-cover and also re-rubber.
From the rental side of our business which we call Double 8 Pool Tables, we have acquired another new site for two new winner supreme tables. We are building this side of our business up, on the pool table rental side we like to keep our tables pretty close to base. This makes servicing the tables very easy to fit in with our other cue sport maintenance work. We also do two recovers a year in our top contract, try finding that service from our competition. We are only cue sports people, we do not do fruit or video gaming machines and offer what we think is the best pool table rental deal in the business.
And we get the table level to within the thickness of a £20 note or even better, so your pool team will never moan about the table being out of true.
The new pro lighting has also brought some business into the firm, more and more clubs are now going over to the new lighting system, which will give a much better white light to the playing surface with more concentrated under shadow of the ball rather than side shadow of ball from the old shade system. It will give you that pro feel of playing at the crucible, the difference from the old coffin shade to this new lighting is that good.
We also have an enquiry to order and supply 10 new winner supreme pool tables and 5 full size Snooker table Re-covers for the end of march in Cambridgeshire, so the future is looking very busy for GCL Billiards. We are very pleased with the support of our customers and new clients, we always strive to please and offer free advice. We will not go ahead with a job for a quick buck if in the long run a better alternative is out there for you. Our aim is to keep our clients coming back to us for good maintenance work on your cue sports table, that is our main business and it is what we are trained for as a billiard fitter.
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.
We have a client who wishes to sell a nice full sized snooker table made by one of the top Billiard makers of the victorian era.
A George Wright readed leg, with external protruding cushion bolts with wood button covers, thus meaning the full thickness of the cushion body wood is used to tighten the cushion up, making for a far superior bounce from the cushions than a normal recessed cushion bolt. There are 8 cushion bolt buttons missing, but these could be made . Also two of the nine inner frame muntins have been misplaced, but again two could be made up.
The table used to be in a garden building that is now being fully demolished and rebuilt, so the owner has had the table moved to a far superior room which is nice and dry. This has been done so that any buyer can inspect the table first hand and try a few balls around it.
I would recommend a full new cushion wood blocks fitted and re-rubber and re-cover for any new buyer. As you can see from the photo it is a really nice table with its billiard pockets still intact, very rare to see a table with just bag nets on. It has never had the ball rails fitted to it in its life and it still sports its original rubber from new (and they still bounce). This table is over 120 years old !
The 2 inch slates are very true and are of course WELSH manufactured so the best money can buy.
As for polish this is down to the buyer. Some may like to see it just waxed up and keep its true vintage look whereas others may require a full re-polish.
The seller is looking for offers around £2000. A billiards firm would be looking for around £5000 to £6000 + vat fully revamped and fitted. A London billiards house could ask for as much as £10,000.
Look at the original ivory name plate. George Wright displayed many of his designs at grand exhibitions around the world including London, Paris and Sydney. With 16 prize medals awarded on this ivory plaque it informs me it is an early model and around 1890 is the date I would put on it. With Billiard brass recessed top pocket plates and thick slate .you may also note the royal appointment to HRH Prince of Wales. This is Prince Edward so Victoria is still on the throne.
For more detailed history information about the firm George Wright read this link (from Peter clare @ E.A.clare and Peter Hainsworth) also note the dating of the 18 medal plaque as 1894 so I am about bang on with dating this table to circa 1890.
Anyone wishing to view the table which is based in Leicester then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , I will then put you in touch with the seller. All we ask is please consider GCL BILLIARDS for any renovation or removal and set up work etc.
We do not charge a commission for this service of putting a buyer in touch with a seller so please use us, we are fully qualified time served billiards fitters.
This week we are that busy that we have to work on Saturday and Sunday ,
we start the week off on Saturday with a Pool table sale and delivery ,
on Sunday a match table with steel blocks recover in Hainsworth match cloth and new nets and leathers ,in Nottinghamshire
Monday another match table with steel block cushions recover in 6811 T strachan and nets and leathers ,in Lincolnshire
Tuesday , strip down and load a full size table for London and work on Riley dining cushions re rubber in the workshop , in Sandiacre.
Wednesday A re- rubber full size cushions in Derby
Thursday Recover full size cushions in Derby and finish Riley dining cushions off in workshop
Friday , Riley dining table recover in Derby.
you may note that we do not recover the cushions on the same day as a re rubber if useing UK made northern rubber , this is because I like to leave over night for the glue to realy bond , this prevents the rubber being pushed off the wooden block it is glued to when you tension the cloth over it as we recover the cushion .
Some of the lower cost import rubber has a canvas back to it and this can be recovered in the same day as a re rubber . as the canvas backing tends to bond quicker than Northern rubber which has no canvas backing , I always recommend UK made Northern rubber made in Retford Nottinghamshire, rather than imported rubber as it lasts much longer , upto 25 years before the next re rubber . imported rubber can go off within only 5 years use.
The week is starting off very well for us. A local removals firm has been in touch to book our services in the dismantle of a full size snooker table for this Thursday. As we dismantle the removal firm’s crew will wrap each part and load onto the van for transport to the new owners house. We may yet also get the job of installing the table at the other end.
A square leg Karnhem and Hillman table
Also a client who had been in touch looking for a 10ft table has secured one that I had spotted on ebay, a very nice 10ft Karnhem and Hillman table with square legs for that contemporary look. I have to travel up to Glasgow to pick this table up, bring back to the workshop, re-rubber, re-cover, maybe new nets and leathers, fit new modification of adjustable muntins (slate supports) and then deliver to Dagenham near london to set up in the client’s brand new games room.