Very level Pool table and a recover in blue Strachan cloth in Leicester

Leicester pool after recover
The table after the re-cover in Blue Strachan cloth.  Note I put a skirt on after the recover, this will help keep the wear down at the ball end when racking up.

Today I have been over to Leicester to re-cover a pool table, before I have to go over to the East coast for the rest of the week’s work.
Leicester pool table before

The table is in the City Centre and is based in an office block with over 30 workers using the table, so it is in constant use during all break times and was very worn as the photo above shows.  The table is a DPT make, so not a bad table to re-cover having the modern allen key fixing bolts in the cushions.
leicester pool level 0.0 spot end

Rack end of table is 0.0 on the digital level
leicester pool recover Baulk level 0.0
Baulk end is also 0.0 for level .
leicester recover level middle section 0.0
The middle section of the slate also showing 0.0 for level .

I got the level bang on at 0.0 in all the main areas across the table and it’s length.  These electronic digital levels are ideal for finding low spots on thin pool table slate and they have an audible sound beeper so that when you are adjusting the feet up or down it will sound when it is is level, so no need to keep getting up and down to check for level.

At GCL Billiards we strive to get your pool table playing level, this we find is impossible for other fitters or coin op engineers to do.  Many times I have  checked a table that has just been re-covered by a firm (I may be doing other work in a club on say the snooker table) and I get asked “can you level our pool table?  We have just had it done and it is way out the coin op people just cannot get it level”.

If this sound like your table, then you know where to go next for a re-cover …GCL BILLIARDS.  We do it right, we get it level to within 0.1 and thats the thickness of a £20 note!  We also clean the inside of the table out when we service a pool table.  It is a full service every time, we do not cut corners and we do not speed fit.

I am off to Skegness tomorrow recovering 5 full size snooker tables and then on the way back on Friday there is a pool table to look at, with loose cushions and a re-cover to sort out in Tattershall Linc’s.

More input from these jobs at the weekend on the blog.

Working away from home for a week in March, contact details while away

Clip Art Graphic of a Billiards Eight Ball Cartoon Character

I have just one day next week where I will be able to answer emails and home telephone calls and that is Monday the 4th of March.  If anyone wishes to contact me from the 5th to the 8th of March, please phone the mobile number 07753 466064.  If emailing me please wait until Saturday the 9th of March for a reply.

I have a day in Leicester, then three days on the East coast.  On Friday I have a re-cover and maybe re-rubber if cushions are dead at Tattershall in Lincolnshire on the way back from the coast, so a very busy fully booked week.

It may be that the cushions in Tatershall have not been screwed up tight enough, loose cushions will not rebound well.   If that is the case GCL Billiards will not try and get a re-rubber out of the job, I will just inform the owner that his cushions were loose and that will be good news for him.

The following week 18th to 22nd of March, I have three full size re-covers booked in and three installations of new pro lighting at another club.  I may have a spare day towards the end of that week if someone is desperate to have a table re-covered or work done.

From time to time I share some of my findings as a Billiards fitter.  Here is one about using speed cloth on UK pool tables.  UK pool tables have L shape rubber, American pool tables that speed cloth is designed for, have triangle rubber.  It is very difficult to fit speed cloth to L shaped rubber cushions without bending the rubber down when tensioning the cloth onto the cushion.  Where wool based napped cloth is much better for UK pool tables, I see no point in using speed cloth on them, but people still ask for it.  I think it is because it is a tough cloth and does not rip easily and lasts a long time.  But it suffers from cue / ball burn marks easy.

Wool based napped cloth, if mistreated, tears easy, but does not suffer the cue / ball burn marks like man made fibre speed cloths.  So you have the choice what cloth you want – speed cloth or wool based cloth, it does not matter to us, we fit both.
Sam K steel

A Sam K steel American pool table.  These have triangle rubber unlike UK snooker and pool tables which have L shape rubber.  Speed cloth is designed for triangle rubber as it bends L shape rubber over if it is a bit soft.

American pool rubber
American triangle shaped pool rubber.

jan 2011 rubber

Northern Rubber the best you can buy to fit to snooker and some UK pool tables.

Two more Rental Pool Tables installed in local sports bar

brand new winner supremes

We have been busy expanding our rental side of the business today by installing two brand new Winner Supreme pool tables in a local sports bar.  We were contacted two weeks ago for a quote to supply two tables on contract for match play for the two league pool teams playing out of the establishment.  They already had two Supreme Prince tables on rental from another firm, but these were now looking a bit sorry for themselves with trim falling off and scruffy dirty insides.

The owner of the sports bar has also got another pub with two Supreme Prince tables in but these are in better condition and he owns these tables himself.  I have been maintaining those with good service calls and recovering work.  Once I informed him of our policy to do 2 recovers a year for winter and summer league on our rental contract, he was impressed.  I also informed him that the Winner Supreme in our opinion is a better table than the Prince, with more sturdy legs that support way towards the centre of the table reducing slate sag.  Players know this too.

He wanted black pearl finished Winner tables with 6811 Strachan cloth fitted as endorsed by the UK pool Tour, World Eightball Federation and the IPA and played at most finals around the UK, including Great Yarmouth and Blackpool.
winner badge

Winner Supreme tables have been upgraded over the years.  They have now got real metal chrome heavy duty corners where before they where chrome plastic.  The cushion trim has now gone back to alloy trim in place of the breakable plastic trim.  The black finish is now a more matt finish where before it was a wood grain shiny effect that reflected the lights into the player’s eyes.  The rubber on Supreme cushions has changed from red rubber to blue rubber now they have the better black rubber for longer lasting bounce.  Over the years Supreme have improved the table by listening to the players.  In our opinion the Winner Supreme is the player’s and operator’s choice.

By having GCL Billiards maintained tables, I always recover on site, making sure that the same cushion and slate goes back onto their original tables.  I never come with spare recovered cushions from another table and change over.  This practice is wrong, because you could end up with old dead cushions and even slate warped if changed over.  Some hire firms have a man in the warehouse just recovering pool table slates and cushions, they even mix up cushions and I have seen a table with red, blue and black rubber all on the same table.  That will never happen to tables we hire.

Your table will play well every time it is recovered.  We use top class Strachan 6811 cloth on our hire table recovering.  You will not play on better.

Before the install there were two Prince traditional look pool tables.  Note that the legs are right in the corner of the cabinet and a long length of unsupported centre section which we find produces slate sag, thats where the slate sags down in the centre of the table.
old prince supremes

After the install of the new Winner model tables, now note the slanting stream line modern sides and the legs are three pointed fixings that support the centre of the table more, reducing the chance of slate sag.
Brand new winner supreme 1

The top dimensions of both the Supreme Winner and the Supreme Prince are identical, only the style of the surrounding framework and cabinet and legs differ, cushions and slate size are identical.
brand new single winner

We have named our rental side of the business Double Eight Pool Tables.  If you require a table on a rental contract with two recovers a year then please get in touch with Geoff at GCL BILLIARDS.

Our rentals start at just £15 per week with two recovers, you have the keys on site and all that the table takes is yours to keep.  We do not do 50/50 splits, we also do a deluxe rental agreement where we call and service the tables on a regular basis, brushing, ironing and remarking.  We are genuine cue sports people who care about what people think of us.  We offer the best deal on pool table rentals, we know of no other pool table rental firms who offer such a good or better service.  We can do this because we are not side tracked by servicing fruit machine and gaming machines.  We do not do these we are 100% Cue sports maintenance and time served billiard fitters.  You really will not get anyone better to look after your pool table, either rented or privately owned.

We supply the pool team with a new set of Aramith top quality pool balls every year free of charge and also give a set of  standard balls away per table with every yearly renewal of a pool table rental contract.

Our aim is to have just 40 local rental sites within a 20 mile radius of Long Eaton.  We do not want to get too large on our rental size because our customers will get a better service from us by limiting ourselves to just 40 sites.
a sign of quality recovering

40 sites is very manageable on top of our recovering work on pool and snooker tables.  We are not greedy and will not take on what we cannot maintain just to make an extra buck.  We have a duty to offer good service not only to our pool table hire customers but also to the Snooker and Pool table recover and maintanence customers too.  By finding the right balance we know we can achieve this.
winner at the gladstone
Another of our Rental tables this one located near the centre of Nottingham.  This one in light oak finish.
The range of finish from Supreme for Winners.
digital level 0.1 £20

As with all our maintenance programmes it is important that the tables play level.  We use both types of high class levels to check our tables, an engineer’s level which I also use for full size snooker tables (and most billiard fitters have got these), then for fine checking of thinner pool slates, I use the digital level and I can get the table to within the thickness of a £20 note which shows up as 0.1 on the digital level as in the photo.  But I strive to try and get it 0.0.  Take that £20 note away and the level will show o.o.  Has your pool table hire firm gone to these lengths to please the customer? If not then contact Geoff at GCL BILLIARDS.

Geoff realy cares about his clients and goes beyond the average pool table gaming machine engineer to get the table playing good and that’s because he is a time served Billiards fitter.
Digital level 0.0

Very busy month ahead for GCL Billiards, snooker and pool table work in Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln and even one job in London

twin pool tables

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.
digital level 0.1 £20
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.

pro lighting old shade under

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.

For sale: 7 X 4 ft Jaques pool table in light oak (or beech) in Lincoln NOW SOLD

Just look at this great condition 7×4 pool table by Jaques.  The table is NOW SOLD NOW SOLD NOW SOLD

If you require transport for the table to be moved then GCL BILLIARDS can quote you for this.  If you require another recover, say in a different colour, we can also do this for you.  Again please ask for a quote.

The client says it is light oak, but it may be beech looking at the photos.

Below is a link to Jaques web site showing the price our client paid for the table which was £1,699.99.

Jaques Website

Jaques DPT omega pool table1

If interested then please contact Geoff by email and we will pass on the information.
jaques dpt omega red 2

Sam K Steels American pool table recovers – photos of each stage

This week I have been working on seven 7ft UK Winner Supreme pool tables and four 9 ball American Sam K steel 9ft tables.  These 9ft K steels are a little different to other pool tables and here are a few photos of the tables during strip down and the finished work.

Hunters Bar in Grantham, Lincolnshire, is one of the better run clubs which invests in a regular recover and maintenance program so that the pool tables are always in good condition to play on.  They have a regular client base, 7 UK pool tables and 4 American 9ft pool tables plus upstairs 6 full size snooker tables, two bars, food, TV and music.  It’s a great club to go to for cue sports in Grantham.
hunters Bar.
K steel well used
K steel cloth in cushions
K steel Cushions covered
K steel cloth off slate

Every staple was removed from these tables.  We did not recover over old staples, thus prolonging the life of the cushion wood and the slate lining.

Finished tables . ready for another seaon of use.
Finished tables ready for another season of use.

We removed every staple from the cushions and the bed cloth lining when stripping the table down, this prolongs the lifespan of the cushion and slate lining wood.  There’s nothing worse than having to strip 3 or even 4 sets of staples out of pool tables that other fitters have left in for speed work, rather than doing the job correctly in the first place.

I recover all tables that I work on with the intention that it will be me who strips it down next time.  I use 6mm staples that come out easily rather than use a compressor and fire 10 to 12 mm staples in that you have to dig out of the wood.  This is why so many firms that use these compressors leave their staples in recover after recover.

Snooker and pool table recover in Leicestershire – all pub and club owners & managers read on

We are acquiring snooker and pool table recovering work in Lincoln, Derby & Nottingham plus surrounding counties, but not enough work is coming our way from Leicestershire, so I am about to target that area for extra work.

We are an East midlands based company and would like to hear from any Secretery,  Club Managers or owners of bars, pubs, snooker and pool halls in the Leicester area.

We are busy, which shows that we are regarded as one of the best Pool and Snooker table maintenance companies with one fitter having served for over 37 years in the cue sports industry.  If your table is coming up for a recover, then please enquire about our pricing.  We can quote for any work you may require.

Why choose GCL BILLIARDS ?

We listen to our clients, we do not rush jobs and we strive to improve the table.  We may not play the game, but our most important aim is to please those that do.  We always use top quality cloth and rubber and supply such things as the new improved pro lighting that is sweeping the country at the moment.

GCL BILLIARDS are based in LONG EATON which is close to junction 25 of the M1.  From there we can go north, south, east or west and be in any of the 4 or even 6 counties that surround us within an hour or so, even less.

We are very proud to be recommended by the Nottinghamshire Billiards & Snooker Association.  This shows our expertise in the maintenance of Snooker and Pool tables and our work has been passed by the players and officials associated with the NBSA.  They would not just recommend any one !

We are also one of the main firms for Pub Pool table recovering to league standard in the East Midlands with our time served billiards fitting experience.  We apply the same high standards to our pool table work.  We do not operate amusement machines, we are 100% Snooker and Pool.  We know one of the most moaned about jobs that is never put right is the simple job of leveling a pool table.  We take our time and include leveling as well as cleaning the ball runs inside the table of all grease from sweaty hands and cloth build up that forms a hard black wax on the ball rails making some balls stick.  Players pick up one end and smash down resulting in broken feet or legs.  We do a full service on the table and this helps stop all the abuse that can be the cause of a sticking ball.

We always check for level twice, once using a very accurate engineers level and then double check using a digital level.  Using a £20 note to show our clients that the table, if 0.1% out, is only out by the thickness of a £20 note.  However we strive for 0.0%.

WE ALSO RENT TABLES OUT with two recovers a year in the contract for Summer and Winter league starts.  We think we offer the best hire rates localy that operates a proper maintenance schedule.  As stated above we are not amusement, sweety machine, or gambling machine operators, we just do cue sports tables.  We are good at what we do.  There is nothing worse than a recover from a fruit machine mechanic, believe me we have seen enough loose cloths and wrinkled and loose cushions, never mind the level if they ever get round to doing that.  As for the inside of the table, take a look at the photo below of one ball rail that a fruit machine engineer had left.  How do balls roll down that filth without sticking ?

PHONE GCL BILLIARDS TODAY for a proper professional service of recovering, rerubbering, new cushions, level and accessories.  Balls, cues and even pro lighting can be supplied.

Below: same table with Dirty ball rails

Dirty greased rails

Another install of new pro lighting

Today we have been hanging two sets of lights above two tables at a club in Derby.  The team who play out of this club spotted some that I had supplied at another club in the same league and was that impressed they requested GCL BILLIARDS to supply new lighting to their club.

The club did provide me with an electrician for the connection of power to the lighting, making sure there was an earth feed to the wires, which on this occasion there was not as the old shades were wooden and required no earth.  So a new earth was sourced and connected to the hidden sockets for the lights.

On this installation there were two beams, so the lighting units could not be directly mounted to the ceiling.  We used the existing chain from the old shade and mounted two three metre box section steels to each set of lights.  This kept the lighting together and easy to install.  They are approx 5 foot from the bed of the table to the underside of the lighting.

Above you can see the old shade taken down which had three 150 watt bulbs in a total of 450 watts.  The new lighting has 4 tubes at 58 watts each totalling 232 watts.  That’s nearly half the running costs of the old shades and much improved lighting.  These old shades used to retail at around £350 in the 1980’s.  The new pro style lighting are ….just gone up by £10.70p to £239.70p …sorry but just been informed of increase in cost of tubes and light unit from 1/01/2013 . but still great value.

Notice we have protected the bed of the newly re-covered tables by using dust sheets and plenty of cardboard and blankets.  The level of the tables was checked after installation and only one leg had to be shimmed on the near table.

GCL BILLIARDS stock the new pro style lighting which have high frequency tubes and do not flicker like the old fluorescent tubes with side starter inserts.  The balls have less side shadow and the whole table is lit that much better.

Priced at just £239.70p including postage for a twin unit plus any hanging kit required, or £135.50p  for a pool table plus hanging kit if required. NO VAT CHARGED.  If the club is local I will help to install and deliver personally.

Enquiries phone Geoff on 07753 466064 or 0115 972 5355.  Or email