Another Re-rubber and Re-cover on a full size snooker table near Loughborough

I have been working in Quorn near Loughborough for the last two days, the work was for a re-rubber in Northern UK made Rubber and re-cover in Strachan 6811 Tournament cloth plus new nets and leathers.

quorn snooker table strip down
The table during the re-rubber process, cushions having been bolted back on prior to re-cover to check the pocket openings.
quorn snooker slate bed
The slate bed of the table, this table was set up by an unskilled fitter, he had packed between slate and frame with a few beer mats.  These were taken out and the level adjusted.  Then the slate joints checked as he had sanded them down, so they had to be refilled and feathered in with car body filler.  He had also rasped the slate falls into the table.  This was taken on board when cutting the pocket openings to try and get them to 3.5 inch when covered.  Pocket openings were slightly over 3.5 inch but once the cloth went on they where 3.5 inch exactly.

These cushions where made with the cloth cushion slip recess in the main body of the cushion, a copy of a Burroughs and Watts design. This enables the cut of the rubber to open up after the fall, unlike many standard cushions where the rubber narrows towards the rear of the opening.  In other words these cushions mimmick steel block cushion pocket openings.  New nets and leathers also fitted.
quorn finished table
The finished table, the table plays much better than the last re-cover, with its new rubber and new cloth.

The slates are slightly dished and it is recommended that the owner has new centre adjustable muntins fitted to take the sag out of the centre of the slates.  The owner is a good DIY er and has the skills himself to put these in.  I have shown him how to do this without having to take the slates off the table.  Once fitted it will be a simple screw up of the adjustable muntin to the slate and each day adjust 1/4 turn until the dip in the slate is out.  It is best to do this over a period of two weeks rather than try and get it to level out in one go.
quorn level

Black v red rubber

Fitting Northern Rubber to pool table cushions, fitting the best in Lincolnshire

Northern rubbered Pool cushions

This week I have been re-rubbering a set of winner supreme pool table cushions, ready to fit to a table in Bardney in Lincolnshire.  The client was very specific that he wanted this high quality rubber fitted.  I have two types of rubber that I fit to pool tables, one is standard black rubber and the other is this high quality (as fitted to full size snooker tables on TV) Northern Rubber.  This rubber is the best you can buy and is made in Retford, Nottinghamshire.  The rubber itself is much more expensive and I have to buy a full set of snooker rubbers to cut down.  Luckily for me I can get two sets out of each set of rubbers.

Northern rubbered raised lettering

As you can see from the above photo, there is raised lettering under the nose of the rubber.  This is your guarantee that I have used the best rubber you can buy.  Because I have to cut the rubber lengths in half, the top painted print stamp is also cut, so you will not see this on pool cushions as you would see in the centre of a 6 ft long snooker cushion rubber.

This set being dated October 2012, as can be seen from the cut off ends in the top photo.

Northern rubbered the stamp 2012

The above photo shows the rubber before I cut it in half for pool tables.  The red rubber in the background is well known for going hard within a few years from new.  It is not being used anymore by Supreme, they now use black rubber.  The dye in the red rubber was the main thing that made the rubber go rock hard, that and the warm sunlight shining through a window or warmth of the room.  The black rubber is much better and Northern Rubber should be good for at least 20 years.

Northern rubber the old stiff rubber

The last photo shows just how hard the rubber had gone, note the black Northern Rubber has just drooped down from my hand where as the red rubber (which you can see is also starting to crumble and crack) is like a stiff pole.  The ball hitting this would just die and not rebound.

The cost for standard black rubber to be fitted by GCL BILLIARDS at the same time as a re-cover is just £100.  fitting new factory supplied cushions complete but not Northern rubber is £120 exchange if good wood or £140 if old cushion are no good  ,  The cost of best quality Northern Rubber is much higher and so the cost is £165 if fitted at same time as a re-cover.  Both re-rubber prices are exchange price, we take your old cushions to refurbish with new rubber if they are suitable , if not suitable allow £20 extra  .  Once the new rubber has been fitted and pocket openings shaped, you will have your pool table back to performing as if it was a brand new table.

prices correct at time of posting but may vary if materials and costs increase

Please make sure that if you have any other firm in for re-covering, they do not exchange your cushions on a re-cover.  You will probably end up with dead cushions and your nice newly rubbered cushions will be sold on as a replacement set.  I have seen this done many times.

At GCL Billiards, the only time we swop cushions over is when they are being replaced with a new or re-rubbered set.  Don’t get caught out, we always stamp any cushions we re-rubber with a GCL Billiards stamp.

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.