GCL Billiards to get repeat work for snooker tables in Leicester , 5 re-stretch bed cloths

Our client in Leicestershire renewed their faith in GCL Billiards in requesting for us to come back on the 12 month anniversay of the re-covers to re-stretch all 5 tables bed cloths and check for level etc  in this Establishment . we noted that two nets where worn so replaced these free of charge as a goodwill gesture .
We completed the work over two days , we did not want to rush the work , where many firms would have tried to complete in one day , although working on two at a time  ,we did each table as if we where working on just one and took our time to make sure all was correct before moveing onto the next table .
The Strachan 6811Tournament cloth is standing up to wear very well showing no excessive wear , another make was used last time we recovered them and I had to re-cover some end cushions when we did the re-stretch due to wear around the pocket openings  , so on this basis we always recommend the Strachan 6811 tournament over any other cloth .

I must say the tables are realy  looked after at this Venue , they get a Brush and iron 3 times a week . + extra for match play .
5 stretch bed cloths
All five tables are 1930/40s Riley Square legged  tables with 4 being Oak framed and one being Mahogany , they have in the past had all their cushions replaced by Rileys in the late 80s early 90s , so have modern mahogany cushions on them . We have recommended that they start to re-rubber the tables spread out  one table  every two years , this will mean in 10 years time all the tables will have had their rubber replaced and would mean only the extra cost of one table re-rubber every two years ontop of the re-covering costs , the cushions are around 25 years old now , so are due .
one table has slightly dished slates , and I have recommended that some adjustable slate supports ( Muntins) be added and by the simple turn of 6 bolts these can be adjusted to take the dip out of the slates by forceing pressure upwards under the slate in the centre ( only the table  fitter to adjust these ) .
One other recommendation would be to replace the coffin shades with the modern White light high frequency tube lighting as used in the Nottingham Snooker Academy . but they seem happy with the shades at the moment.
5 stretch bed 2

I would like to thank all my Clients who have arranged or are about to arrange for GCL Billiards for repeat work , it shows our clients trust in us to do the work correct and not rushed and not overcharge .
this is what GCL Billiards values are , to build a trusting relationship with our clients , and do every job as if it is GCL Billiards who is going back to do any work , we do it right because if it is done wrong  we risk the wrath of the client and also makes our job harder next time we re-cover plus our Reputation would get tarnished .
I always look back to the value’s of the first Master fitter who trained me many years ago Mick Robb , he and the other fitters after always said if a job is worth doing it is worth doing right .
My Old Boss John Hopkin ( now in his 80s and still going strong ) also had moral and Christian value’s , although I am not a practising Christian I always admired John for his ethic’s and beliefs and still do .

Back to Work after 10 day break in Tenerife , plus smart Phone for sale ( Don’t Laugh )

Well back to the grind of work , and we have had a few job’s come in while I have been away and a few enquiries for work going forward .
I must say the last year has been very busy and we hope the next year will be just as good , I was ready for the holiday and have recharged my batteries .
The next week kicks off with 5 stretch bed cloths and two pool table re-covers, then a full size table dismantle to bring downstairs , so enough to keep me busy nearly all week there , plus the following week we have Re-rubber + Re-cover of full size , more pool tables to re-cover , and a re-cover in Northampton for a new client with multiple tables and multi venue’s so that one may turn out to be a good for GCL Billiards , adding a new Client with that many tables is a Bonus , but take note we apply the same standards for clients with multi tables to one who has just one , we will never rush a job .
The van has been sign written and wrapped  while I was away on holiday and I must say it realy looks good , with it’s Large Pool ball livery on each side and a snooker theme on the back doors .
Many thanks to Adam Maltby at Blueprint for designing the wrap , I can highly recommend this firm  http://www.blueprintnottingham.co.uk/the-team/ who also sponser my local sports team the nottingham panthers ice Hockey Club of which I have been a long time supporter since they reformed in 1980 .
van sign writing back and passenger side
Van sign writing back door
van sign writing drivers side

Call me old fashioned , but read the following . ( if it ain’t broke don’t fix it )
if it ain't broke don't fix it

Don’t Laugh , but I renewed my Phone contract just before I went away on holiday for a new fangled smart type touch screen phone a shiny new Sony Experia , well that did not last long , the sim was taken out and put back into my Trusty Nokia 6320i which is over 9 years old and still going strong after many drops from the van and even one underwater experience of a down stairs loo and then dried out in a bag of rice  , how people put up with those touch screen phone’s with multi tasks is beyond me , it always annoys me when I see young people and Adults playing games on them or are glued to the internet on a tiny screen  , young un’s should be playing Football and Cricket or playing cuesports , useing their eye’s for skills rather than these multi game computers put on a tiny screen . This is why so many Snooker club’s are closeing , young people hang around on street corners messageing the girl or guy 6 feet away or stay in bedrooms playing on X box’s or their smart and i phone’s on facebook , and why use the internet on them , when they can do that on a full sized screen on a lap top or PC. and not ruin their eyesight ? No wonder so  many young people wear glasses straining their eye’s at such a small screen  ! Doctors even have a name for the condition it’s called iPhoneitus and is the cause of many migraines and headache’s , but the phone industry is booming at the moment and I guess they have to keep bringing out phone’s with all these gimmicks on to keep it that way , todays invention is tommorows antique as they say .
all I want a phone for is to make and recieve calls and text plus Bluetooth hands free conection for the van , the 10 year old Nokia will do it to perfection .
I had to laugh though at the young salesman’s face  in the phone shop when I asked him for a sim card converter to put the tiny sim back  in the Nokia after just 3 days use .
So if anyone wants a Brand New BOXED ( only 3 day very light use ) Sony Experia latest model only been out Five weeks I have one for sale @ £150  . salesman says it will go for £150 easy and it is on O2 but has no sim  and in White. but it has a added data card 8GB which cost me extra .
here is a link to one on youtube phone Geoff on 07753466064 if you want it , cash on collection.
check this out  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZFABCH26Lw and for toughness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE79SD9xtRo
sony experia C5303nokia 6320imy choice , If it ain’t broke don’t fix it !

Burroughs and Watts steel block full size for sale

We have a client who is looking to sell their taken down and stored  ready to go Full size Burroughs and Watts Snooker Table .
We do not have much of the table to show since it’s dismantle , I always advise to anyone to take photo’s before it is taken down .bens b & watts steel full
these steel block cushioned tables are sought after , the design of useing steel plates in the cushions for extra and true bounce is still used to this day , and the Match TV tables as played on by professional snooker players are fitted with these type of cushions , only the pocket plates have been improved on for the modern game , the steel cushion design is the same design used today as when they where first invented by burroughs and watts in 1895 . this billiard table is from the circa 1900 to 1940s I think .
bens b7watts wood capping badge
The end badge off one of the end cushions , the referance to steel vacuum cushions where to a system where holes or a contiuous slot was routed  into the wood blocks that the rubber was glued to , thus forming an air pocket behind the rubber , this they refered to as a vacuum , so they call it the Burwat Steel vacuum cushion , it was a bit of a sales gimmick realy and they soon dropped the vacuum design and stopped putting the holes and slot into the block ,  but the steels do make the balls bounce that little bit more and more true as they come off at the angle , but good heavy wood cushions like those made from Cuban Mahogany did this without the aid of steel .  the thing is there is plenty of steel about but not enough cuban mahogany , Thurston tried a system to beef their cushions up by implanting slate inside the wood to make them more heavy , this they called the Adamant cushion ,( NO not Adam Ant the singer ! )  but b&watts had cornered the market with this new steel cushion so all others fell by the wayside.
any way this shows why Burroughs and watts used steel to make them the market leader in Billiard tables at that time , the Steel Vaccum cushion realy put burroughs and watts on the map , and the other leading billiard firms of the day like Thurston and orme and sons etc lost a good amount of trade through the development of these patented cushions .
Bens burroughs and watts 1
the turned leg of the burroughs and watts table , you may note the church window design which has a thin piece of wood insert called a knee panel to slide in to hide the frame bolts .
DISCLAIMER ….GCL Billiard has not inspected this table or taken it down , so cannot be sure all the parts are there , you will have to go through the parts with the owner to make sure it is all there , this is one of the pitfalls of buying a table allready dismantled , if it was still up , you would be sure it is all there .
I am not saying it is not all there , but things can get lost or misslaid when moveing them , I have a few horror stories of arriving to assemble a table to find parts missing , so know it can happen .
bens B7watts end legs section
If you require this table picking up and checking for parts , transporting and assembling , then contact GCL Billiards for a competitive quote .
If you are interested in the table then please  email c.large@btinternet.com and I will put you in touch with our client .
all we ask is please try and use our Professional qualified Billiard fitting services to move the table and set it back up in return for our free advert .

rough price Guide £500 —£1000….. GCL Billiards valuation and is  price negotiable with the Client .

Selling a table or tables? Please read if you want to advertise free of charge on GCL Billiards web site

We are getting a few people leaving a message in the comments section in the for sale section of our blog and just phoning leaving a message for me to phone back.  We do allow you to sell your table free of charge, but please do it in the following manner:

Email c.large@btinternet.com do not leave a message for me to contact in the message section as you are just asking me go around the roundabouts to read this when a direct email is the way to do this.

GCL Billiards do not buy tables.  We are not interested in buying any full sized snooker table.  We are 100% maintenance only. BUT WE DO offer a free service to advertise them on our web site.

When you email please describe the table and have your contact details for telephone number and email address and a postcode where the table is located.  Also state if any stairs or steps are involved in taking the table out.

Send an email to GCL Billiards attaching three to five photos of the table showing the whole table by using a digital camera.  Most iphone pics are not good enough so we cannot use them.  Photos to include the main table showing it in full, including legs, a close up of the leg, a close up of the pocket openings (centre and corner with a ball in the opening) plus any photos of scoreboards and accessories.  Please state what is in with the sale, an iron for example.

Just sending me a messsage with “we have 7 full size tables for sale at reasonabale price, please get in touch” is not the way to go about it.  It is you who is trying to sell, I am providing a FREE service, so please do not make my job hard by giving me the task of doing all the running around for you.  Just follow the procedure above, send photos, with contact details and asking price, plus list any stairs etc.  It is so simple that way, all I have to do is paste the photos and do a little description of the tables from the photos and list it.  This takes very little time for me to do.

We do offer this free advertising service in the hope that whoever buys will use GCL Billiards skilled fitting services to move and assemble the table.

Our sales section has worked for people and tables have been sold on.  Not everyone uses GCL Billiards to move the table, but some do and that is why we set up this free advertsing offer.  Please use us, we want you to use the for sale section, but please do it using the information set out above.

Again to make things more simple:

Photos and description plus asking price and contact details to c.large@btinternet.com .

If you are not sure about value, ask for Geoff to value it based on what tables are selling for in the current market.

*****any comments enquiries left in the for sale section under our advertisements will have to be removed *****

I’m afraid we are very busy and just do not have the time to chase them up, we only answer the email enquiries for items to be put  in the for sale section.

Table 1 refurbished at the Nottingham Snooker Academy

Today we brought forward a recover that we should be doing next week, but with a holiday booked we moved it forward.

Table one, the first table as you enter the Nottingham Snooker Academy, is a Riley Club circa 1920/30.  These are one of Rileys most popular tables off the production line.  You may notice that the legs have some rings turned into the middle section.  You will find this type of table in nearly every snooker club in the country.  They made them in their thousands and must have been the most popular model Riley have ever made, along with the basic square leg Imperial model.
NSA Table 1 Nottm snooker Academy
NSA practice on new cloth table 1
Lined up for practice, the new recover gets a try out before a match.  Note the table in the foreground, this is the next table lined up for a refurb next month.  This really shows the old nets and leathers and old cloth up with a fresh re-covered table next to it.
NSA close up practice on T1
A close up of the re-furbished playing surface in Strachan 6811 Tournament 30 ounce cloth plus new nets and leathers.
acadamy finished table
Just to show the difference, above the old lighting in the Academy before the fitment of the modern lights.  This is yellow light and dingy showing bright spots of the bulbs on the cloth.  Below the new lighting, bright white light, high frequency non-flicker.  Which would you rather play under ?
NSA all 4 with lights and seating
The new look Embankment cue sports room, now hosting the new Nottingham Snooker Academy, with plush seating on a raised plinth for good viewing.  Plus the new high frequency twin tube lighting with cool white lighting tubes, less shadow, better sightlines, better for the fitter to see what he is re-covering.  It’s a win-win situation, a great snooker venue for serious match play and to learn the game from a qualified coach.

GCL Billiards are proud to be associated with the Nottingham Snooker Academy.  We even wear the new NSA logo on our black polo shirts, along with the NBSA logo.  We also display both logos on our new van.  We like to do our bit to promote the venue.
polo shirt logos

On holiday next week in Tenerife

Due to my OTHER HALF booking a holiday in our favourite resort in Tenerife, she has forced me into a break, even though the phone is still ringing with work coming in.  So we will not be available from Tuesday of next week the 2nd of July right through to Friday the following week, the 12th of July.  But my daughter is manning my mobile phone and the home phone for any work that may come in for the remaining FREE DAYS of July and August.  I would like to thank Steve and the Nottingham Snooker Academy for letting me move the recover dates for the 3rd recover so this enabled myself and Carol to jet off for some much earned sun and sea plus our favorite watering hole the Whisky Jar pub.

Yesterday I had a repeat booking for a full size table recover in Nottingham.  This venue has a re-cover every 8 months on a full sized snooker table.  They have three tables and rotate the recover so that they get one done every 2 years, one per 8 month period.  We also service the other two when we are there.
three tables maintained
Today my new van had to go back in to have a noisy fuel pump replaced, but they ordered the wrong pump so have to wait another day.  I am in a little Astra van until I get the Movano back.

I have just agreed to have the van sign written with pool balls on the side and a snooker theme on the rear, have a look at the photos of the final design.
van design sign written final
The van is being sign written and wrapped when I am away on holiday, so look out for our bright design on the road.  We are sure to get noticed with this art work, and it is all free advertising.

Another 2 pool table re-covers and we have to remove the mess of the spray on glue

This week we started off with re-covering two winner supreme pool tables with best Strachan 6811 all wool napped cloth.  On removing the old cloth we found the slates were in a bit of a mess with the overspray of glue.  The previous person who covered the slates went mad with the over spray all over the top of the slate, this bonds the cloth around the pockets, but can leave a ridge that the ball stops on when aproaching the pocket.

At GCL Billiards we do not use spray on glue, we prefer to bond our cloths with contact adhesive using a comb to put the glue on the slate edge and the underside of the cloth, taking care not to get any where a ball may roll off, it will take longer but is the best way to do it.

Have a look at the following photos to see what we found and how we sorted it.
glue on pool slate
As you can see a right mess, if we re-covered new cloth over this, the ball would not run true.  GCL Billiards will always clean it off, unlike some speed fitting firms who have to get a large amount of tables done in a day to pay themselves and their middlemen.  They just recover straight over it, which is very bad workmanship.

glue on pool date slate
You can just about see the date of the slate here.  Have a look at the next photo, we stripped the glue off using a chemical and then lightly sanded the slate.
glue cleaned off pool slate
The slate is now fully clear of cloth and glue residue.  A ball has no obstructions under the new cloth for it to suddenly turn direction or stop.

I spent a full hour stripping the mess off these two slates and an hour and half taking extra long staples out of the cushions, 8 mm long when 4 mm would have done the job.
pool tables in process @pavilion
The two pool tables, winner supremes in black, the cloths ready to be glued on.
pool tables finished @pavilion
The finished tables ready for league play with their best quality Strachan 6811 cloth on.  These tables get very hard use and have to be re-covered every 4 months.

A month ago the nearest one got broken into.  They crow barred the cash box off, so we have fitted two siren alarms onto the tables, with two warning lights, one near the coin mech, the other near the cash box.  Also the Pub’s alarm has been upgraded and extra sensors put into the area to cover the window where they broke in.  The new siren alarms on the tables are very loud and work off their own internal battery system.  Recording cameras have also been put into the area.  The thieves got away with no money as the coin boxes are emptied each night, they just damaged the tables cash box and fixings.

As you can see GCL Billiards really went to town on these two tables, spending 6 hours on the pair of them and improving their looks, playability and security.  If you want the best for your table, get the best firm in to do the work …GCL Billiards every time !

We are billiard fitters first and foremost, trained on full sized snooker tables as well as American pool and UK pool tables.  We treat pool tables with the same care and attention we take when working on a full sized table.  We are not speed fitters and always do a first class job.  We may be £10 to £20 dearer than some firms, but we use the best materials, Strachan 6811  and 777 cloth and the best work ethics.  Is saving that £10 to £20 better than a first class job ?   We can do it at a lower price, just ask for the lower priced cloth they use, we can get it! (I am only joking, we would not touch inferior cloth).  As Tina Turner sang, we simply fit the best.  Steer clear of speed fitters and get GCL Billiards in for a proper job.  We do not charge VAT so take that into account too.

Graeme Dott’s steel block full size snooker table for sale…………….NOW SOLD



**** stop press just been informed that Graeme will accept just £900 for this steel block table as he requires the room , so first come first served .****
Email bigandy@mail2world.com  £900 for a 2006 world champions personal practice home  table that is a BARGAIN.



As always, if anyone would like a quote for removing the table, transporting and then re-erecting in a new location, please send details to me, Geoff Large, at c.large@btinternet.com ,just reference it Graeme Dott’s table quote.

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