Today we went back to Lincolnshire to finish off a table that I started to set up 2 weeks ago. The problem that stopped me completing the job on the first visit, was that the wrong slates had been delivered by another firm for this Orme table. But the slates that were supplied are one of the best for trueness that I have ever seen, so a very good set of 2 inch slates were used. The problem when doing this to a table is it can result in the cushion bolt holes not aligning with the slate that was supplied.
The end cushions did however align up, it was just the 4 side cushions that were out of alignment. What had to be done is a two part job to get the cushions to fit this table. Because we are very busy at the moment, we could not find time to re-plug all the holes up on the cushions for our client in the month of March. In fact we are fully booked until mid-April. I could only find one date to fit it in, so the owner agreed that he would do the re-plugging and at a later date I return to redrill out and finish fitting of the table ready for play.
Look how far out those bolt holes were! The owner replugged the holes using large and small dowls glued in and touched up with stain. I have bought some solid hardwood panels to cover the bolts and the original buttons will be put on these to match in by the owner. I also replaced every bolt with modern hex head bolts to get the cushions nice and tight up against the slate and this has improved the rebound value of the cushions.
The owner is sending the invoice to the supplier of this table to get the money repaid that it has cost to put right on this second visit and rightly so too. A lesson for anyone thinking of buying a table, if it is in pieces you will not know if it fits back together. If it is in a warehouse with other tables, have the slates or wood work got mixed up with other table parts? Has the supplier been using spare parts from a table to make another right?
It is always best to buy a table that is already up and running and then get a firm in to dismantle load and transport. That way you can test the table before you buy, things like rubber rebound, the way the pocket openings are cut, the trueness of the slates.
The table is an old Orme and sons circa 1899. I think the slates came from a Burroughs and Watts table, they are very good level slates.
The old ivory name badge which states Established 1845. The inclusion of the Prince of Wales dates the table late victorian circa I think 1899/90.
VERY LEVEL SLATES. In over 37 years billiard fitting it is only now and again that I come across slates as good as these, but then again they knew how to make quality slates in Wales. 2 inches thick and 1 ton in weight for all 5 pieces.