Servicing Snooker tables today and work is still coming in from Derby, Nottingham, Lincoln, Leicester and East Midlands

I have been out and about visiting a few clubs and a private house to service their snooker tables.  One local club having been badly let down on a service contract getting in touch to arrange a service call plus replace two worn nets and discuss a contract going forward.  We have secured the contract so happy times for the client and for GCL Billiards.

If you require a service visit for your snooker table then please get in touch with Geoff.  We arrange a round where Geoff visits so many places in a day, usually around 4 clubs depending on how many tables they have .  We check level, brush and Iron the cloth, re-mark out the baulk line and D, re-spot, check nets and leathers and ball rail nuts, re-tip cues, check all long rests and small rests for feet missing.  We discuss with the owner how the cloth is wearing and when to expect the major jobs required, like a re-stretch or re-cover or re-rubber etc.

Our service visits start at just £30 plus traveling between post codes when combined with other clubs in your area.  If your table has not been looked at by a qualified billiards fitter in the last 12 months or so, it will be due a service visit.  Contact Geoff on 07753 466064 but we do prefer emailing to c.large@btinternet.com to work out when we are in your area for a service visit.
digital 0.0 level
We use engineers and digital levels to get the best cross reference on leveling tables.

We like to think we go so much further in our skill as a time served billiards fitter to get the job correct.  We cannot rectify badly warped slates but we have a go at getting a happy medium for the client.  Where other fitters just give up, Geoff likes a challenge.
acadamy getting table level

It’s all happening this week two tables sold off blog site, table moves and light unit fitted + more

The for sale section on GCL Billiards’ blog (which are all FREE advertisements) is working, at least for 3/4 sized tables, two sold within the last week.  GCL Billiards do not make a penny from these sales, we just hope we get the work for moving and setting up the tables.

The new high frequency cool white lighting is receiving plenty of interest from people for use above their cue sports tables.

We also have to finish off the last two American pool table moves from Mansfield to Alfreton this week.

Servicing on Friday and working on Saturday in Leicester recovering a pool table.  We really are that busy and it’s summer, a time when it should be slack in the cue sports industry.

We have more work coming too, table instalations, re-covers, re-polishing, re-rubber work, nets and leathers etc.

Our sister company, Double Eight Pool Tables, have rental tables coming up for their 6 monthly and yearly re-covers.

It will soon be August and then September when the work really picks up for the winter leagues.
welbourne 9ft 2
elston Gent table
Both the above tables have been sold from our free advertisement service for clients who recommend GCL Billiards as the firm to move the table once sold.
derby f new lights
New lighting is the way to go.  Most clubs have now seen the light and are ditching the old coffin shades to make way for a much better lighting system for cue sports.  The high frequency cool white lighting reduces shadow.  The white light is better for the eye and your game gets better from using it.  It is also better for the fitter’s eye when he is re-covering the table.  After years of working under bad light I can now see so much better when working under these new lights.  Also the lighting is hung higher above the table, which also lights up the surrounding areas for the cleaner.  We aim for 5 foot above the playing surface as the optimal height to fix the lighting.

Ask Geoff about the new lighting system at c.large@btinternet.com  or phone 07753 466064.

Local Nottingham club with carved Thurston snooker table gets two recovers

The last two days, Friday and Saturday, I have been working in a local club in Nottingham re-covering 2 full sized snooker tables.  One is very interesting, being an oak carved scroll type Thurston table circa 1920 /30.  The other a Riley Imperial also circa 1930s with new Riley Aristocrat standard cushions which they use as the match table.

Below a few photos of the carved oak Thurston table and two of the match table and pocket opening.

oak thurston decor leg 3
The carved oak Thurston table leg and side frame.
Oak thurston decor 1
This club has plenty of cue room around the tables.
oak thurston decor panel 2
These highly carved cushion panels hide the cushion bolts and slide on and lock into place.

Below the match table.
oakleigh match table riley imperial

The match table in this club has new Riley Aristocrat cushions which were fitted around 10 to 15 years ago.  The original table is an oak Riley square leg Imperial with good 2 inch thick welsh slates.  The pockets on this table are very generous, being 3 3/4 inches at the slate fall.  This is a full 1/4 of an inch larger than the standard match size 3.5 inches at the fall.

The carved oak Thurston table has 3 5/8ths at the fall, 1/8th of an inch larger than standard match size.
oakleigh match table three quarter
3 3/4 inches at the fall pockets.  I have fitted new nets and leathers, but I ran out of leathers for the oak carved table so I will call back and fit new ones at a later date.

I will also point out that the last fitter used a compressor stapler with 12mm staples which took an age to dig out.  6mm and 4mm infills would have done the job and made for an easy strip down, which is what I have done.  I always do a job with the intenton that it is going to be me who has to strip down the table next time.  Using smaller staples not only helps me to achieve this, but the blockwork that the cloth is stapled to also lasts longer when you do not have to dig the old staples out.

I have advised them to replace the light shades with the new High Frequency lighting (like the photo of some in a Derby club below) and they are looking into it.
pro lighting old shade under

Nottingham Snooker Academy 2nd table refurbishment completed

academy logo nottingham

Over to Nottingham Snooker Academy today to re-cover plus new nets and leathers on the 2nd table in the schedule of 4 visits in as many months.
nottm academy 2nd table with action
Another John Gent manufactured table circa 1920s, on this one the rubber is ok, so only requires a re-cover in Strachan 6811 Tournament 30z cloth, plus the fitting of new nets and leathers.

You may note the electrician has fitted single twin light units above the tables, this was an oversight by him and is being rectified with the addition of a further unit.  This will extend the length of lighting per table to 10 feet.
nottm academy 2nd table done
The player on the far table is getting some valuable practice time in.  The foreground table was the one re-covered today.  This one has larger pocket openings than the previous table, 3 5/8ths at the slate fall, rather than the match 3.5 inch at the slate fall.  This will enable the not so skilled players out there to build confidence.  I once told a young 17 year old player from Kirkby in Ashfield around 1983 he would never make it as a pro playing on 4 inch bucket pockets.  That young player was Gary Wilkinson and I think he was once ranked no. 5 in the world, so I never make the mistake now of informing players they will never make it on large pocket openings.  It builds confidence and self belief with good breaks.  Every club should have some tables with pro-sized pockets and others with club size before moving onto the more skilled stage.

Barry stark coaching Nottingham academy
Barry Stark showing just how you should hold the cue.  Barry is the resident snooker coach at the Nottingham Academy.  It is early days but soon there will be more youngsters coming through on the Nottingham (and hopefully world) snooker scene.  Nottingham has always been a hotbed for local snooker talent and let’s hope that continues.  With the Snooker Academy coming to fruition, at least they have a spring board to get into the sport and with Barry, an excellent coach.

Pool table Re-rubber and Re-cover in Lincolnshire

Today a nice little job over in Long Bennington in Lincolnshire for our client who works in the high class sound system and TV industry for Bang and Olufsen.  He certainly knows quality when he sees it and he was very satisfied with our workmanship in making his pool table play like new again.

Re-rubber the cushions on site with good black rubber after removing the old hard pink red rubber.  The table being a thinline Supreme table 7×4 ft in cherry finish.  One of the cushions was as hard as rock, no bounce at all, yet the other 5 were good.  But it is always best to re-rubber the whole 6 cushions.  Doing just one is false economy as the others are not far behind in going rock hard too.

Below the Pool table  after strip down of cushions.
Long Bennington pool strip down
Note my cardboard template far right on the next photo, that I made of the cushion pocket angles before removing the old rubber.  A simple job of then using this to trace around the exact angle onto the new rubber as Heywood Supreme pool factory had supplied from new.
long Bennigton rubber off

The last photo of the finished table.  The cloth of choice by our client was the upgraded Strachan 6811 pool cloth.  It has a finer nap than the strachan 777 and much better for speed of ball over the cloth too.
Long Bennington finished table

9ft Orme & Sons , ANOTHER NOW SOLD THROUGH A GCL BILLIARDS FREE ADVERT !

NOW SOLD to a buyer in Norfolk who spotted it in our for sale section .

Our clients are pleased to inform us that they have secured a buyer through a GCL Billiards Advert to a buyer  in Norfolk
GCL Billiard has secured the work of dismantle and move plus any other work that the buyer wishes us to carry out .
We have sold three 9ft tables through GCL billiards FREE to ADVERTISE blog , this puts the buyer in direct contact with the seller cutting out any middleman profit , we feel this helps secure a sale and hopefully as in this case , secure GCL billiards the work of moving the table .
We have the men and Equipment and the Billiards fitting expertise to carry out this work with no fuss and we also carry Public Liability insurance .
if you have a Billiard / Snooker or pool table you wish to sell , then please consider GCL billiards Free Advert Blog as a form of getting youre table noticed within the community , having this past year sold 3 of these 9ft tables and helped to move on some full sized tables from the free advertising , It proves our adverts do reach the right people who are looking for a table .
9ft orme near worksop retford
As you can see the table is located in a garage or workshop.  The table is ideal for two markets, someone who requires a low cost table of good build quality for their garage or outbuilding, or someone who wishes to have the table fully restored or part restored for use in the home.  The woodwork has marks from use and the cloth may be ok for the garage, but if putting the table inside then maybe a re-cover in nice new Strachan 6811 Tournament cloth would transform the playing surface.
9ft orme near worksop
Room size you would require is 19 feet by 14 feet 6 inches in order to have good cue room around the table.
Is this the table you have been looking for?  If so contact Geoff at c.large@btinternet.com  I can even arrange for you to try the table out before buying.
9ft orme badge retford
The genuine Orme & Sons Ivory name plate , you can tell it is real ivory by the grain of the elephant tusk in the background of the plate , sometimes known as cross hatch pattern.  Although it says “established in 1845” the table is circa 1901 to 1910 as referenced to by “appointment to King Edward VII”.  This is a well made table, made by one of the top billiard houses of the 19th and 20th century.

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

Another 9ft set up this time near Oxford – a nice George Wright reeded leg

This table was bought from an ebay sale, Geoff having put the new owner onto it and he was succesful in his bid and collected the table from London.  GCL Billiards’ job was to supply new nets, leathers and rails, put the table up in a new log cabin in the garden and refit the existing cloth.  Plus supply the new twin High Frequency lighting.
Oxon George wright 9ft
The above photo of the table roughly level with the slates on ready for the new slate linings being fitted.
Oxon george wright log cabin
The Brand new log cabin, which is a large one that could take a full sized table but no furniture, the owner preferring a bit of space for other things to do.  The 9ft can be seen with its slates on.

More and more people are having these types of log cabins for cue sports tables, from a small 7ft pool table to a full size, GCL Billiards have done them all within the last three months.  The cost of these buildings this size is roughly £6500 flat packed delivered ready for assembly.
oxon george wright new slate linings
The table with new slate lining fitted around the outside edge ready for the bed cloth to be tacked to, the old ones were looking a bit worse for wear.
Oxon george wright moth hole
The moth hole in the bed cloth !

The table had been in storage for over 6 years and the slates were packed into crates.  It was a very professional job, but there must have been a moth larvae on the cloth and the little grubs just love to chew their way through wool.
oxon george wright moth sewn up
The moth hole sewn up.  There were two moth holes in the cloth, but apart from that the cloth was in very good condition and did not require a re-cover,
but maybe next time it will require not just a re-cover but also a re-rubber.
oxon 9ft george wright finished
The finished table.  Those reeded legs are typical of George Wright.  The table was in very good condition and was very easy to put up and get level.
oxon ball in pocket opening three and three eigths
As you can see the cloth is in very good order apart from those two moth holes which are now sewn up.  With brand new nets and leathers plus ball rails, the table is looking good.  The pocket opening is tight at 3 3/8ths at the fall, but with 2 inch balls they look large.
oxon g wright ivory 21 medal plate
A very nice real Ivory name plate circa 1910.  21 prize medals for exhibiting their tables all over the world including Sydney, Paris and London.  This is the original plate that was put on from new.  It was manufactured after Victoria as it says by special appointment to His Majesty the King.
oxon g wright hubble rerubber badge and chalk cup
The Hubble and Freeman badge.  This was put on when it was last re-rubbered, or supplied by them.

The brass cup that swivels out is a chalk cup.  There are only two left on the table, one at each end, but all the cushions would have had one on at one time.  On top of the cushion there are little ivory dots inlaid.  This is to inform the player that a chalk cup is just underneath the cushion at this point.  Many players think these dots are positional markers for getting the angles of the shot correct, but they are not, they are for the location of the chalk cups.  Unlike the dots and diamonds on top of the cushions on an American pool table which are for getting your angles correct, the Brits did not need help to get their game to a good standard like the Americans did!  A bit like riding a bike with stablizers or without them?
oxon George wright matching original scoreboard
The new owner bought a very nice George Wright scoreboard from the same seller for £100.  These boards are being sold for upwards of £250.  There are scoreboard collectors who just fill a whole wall up of with different makes.  The George Wright ones always fetch a good price.

All in, this table set up with new lighting, nets, leathers, rails and scoreboard was under £1500.  One of the large billiard houses would sell this table for in excess of £2750, maybe as much as £4000 !

But it is a buyers market and the average price to buy a good used 9 foot  table is £750 before the costs of dismantle, move and set up, plus any renovation work.  3/4 size tables always have a market.  They are not as easy to get hold of, unlike 12 foot full sized tables which can be sourced for very little money as the market is flooded with them.