Today I have been over to Northampton to sort out a re-cover that had been done only 8 weeks ago. The client phoned me with a list of things he did not like about the work that had been carried out by a firm from down south. I cannot name them for legal reasons but for now we will call them Bodge it and Scarper.
On arrival I started to dismantle the table down for a re-cover. What I found will alarm some, but I do come across this type of shoddy work all the time. Remember a low quote normally results in shoddy work or lower priced cloth used. You are not saving any money in the long run using firms that do this type of work.
The first fault I found was the slips were hammered in low on the cushions. This made the cushions look untidy and you could feel proud staples under the cushion cloth from above the cushion where you rest your hand on sometimes to take a shot.
Photo 1: Just look at this stapled in slip with proud staples showing after I took the cushion cloth off. You could really feel these through the cloth!
photo 2 , fault 2 , I found where the very large V on the middle slate fall , this is where a person cannot fit the cloth properly and glues a piece of cloth in the fall before he attempts to recover as he knows he is going to end up with these very large upturned V shape in the pocket fall .
photo below of V in fall , a badly fitted cloth .
Fault 3 , the Bed cloth had been put on with a staple gun by Mr Bodge it , on no account should anyone put a Billiard table Bed cloth on with staples , it is amateurish and for a so called professional firm to do it , that is shocking workmanship as is all the faults that I am listing in this thread . and Fault 4 was the type of cloth they fitted to a Match table , Club grade is for normal snooker table use , 6811 Strachan is available in three or four different grades and in different weights in that grade , the cloth they should have fitted is Strachan 6811 tournament with two blue embroidered lines in , you can clearly see this 6811 club has red lines in . when quoting for a match table they should have been given the choice of match cloths not club cloths , and pointed out to them what the difference is in such cloths .
So bad choice of cloth and not fitted correctly .
The next fault I found was the none cleaning of the slate before fitting the bed cloth , under the spots on a snooker table you get a large mound of compounded slate dust , this should have been removed by lightly sanding the slate down , the client expressed that they where having difficulty getting balls to stay on the spots straight after the cowboys had re-covered it , When I removed the cloth , I found out they had not cleaned the slate down before fitting of new cloth . look at the photo you can see the two lumps of chalk dust where the old spots used to sit , this is common on tables where players pound the ball into the spot , it vibrates dust to the impact point and builds up small mountain of dust under the cloth which gets compacted just like these two lumps . but it takes months for this to happen not 8 weeks since they re-covered the table .
the next fault was the level of the table , it was expressed by the owners that the table be levelled when they re-covered this match table , they left it dipping towards the black spot end , by a very large amount , that a slow ball across the table just kept rolling off .
I also found that on one cushion the rubber had been nailed on for about a foot ,this should have been re-glued back on , but I cannot be sure the people who did this re-cover did this, so will let them off that fault , but I did take a photo for my records .
Right that’s enough of the fault finding for now , the following photo’s show what I did to rectify the poor workmanship .
First of all the Bed cloth was fitted using 5/8ths tacks as used in the Billiard table industry for fitting bed cloth for years and still used today , the slate fall on the centre pocket is fitted correctly no large V can be seen , the cloth used for this Match table is Strachan 6811 tournament cloth , there is only around £20 difference from using this cloth to Strachan club cloth , so is it really worth fitting the lower quality club cloth to the match table ?
I took the old cloth off as careful as I could this is now going back to the firm that undertook the first re-cover .
I put a strip of cloth in the large rebate that the cloth slips go into , to raise the slip slightly , this got rid of the sunken slip shape in the cushion . you may also note the Electronic digital level is at 0.0 , which is bang on level , although in places it is 0.1 which is the thickness of a £20 note out of level , which is nothing to worry about as the ball still rolls true . and is miles better than the 0.7 it was out by before I levelled it .
Pocket openings are 3.5/8ths at the fall on all corner pockets , the fitter who did the The last re-cover had one pocket wider than the other , it is very simple to make sure that both end pockets are the same , nip each end bolt up and measure, if they are not the same ,slightly slacken the end bolts and tap cushion across slightly towards the larger pocket opening , there is a 1/8th clearance around each bolt so this gives adjustment to make sure the pocket opening at the fall is identical , when they are simply tighten all the bolts up .
The finished table , why the other firm did not carry out the work to a satisfactory level is beyond me they also did three pool tables at the same time as this snooker table and made a mess of recovering the cushions correctly on at least two of these , I base my business on repeat work , by showing my new client how I went about the work show’s him I really care about my work ethics .
and the result was a promise of more work on their many snooker tables and pool tables , not only in this club but at their much larger sister Club .
I hope by showing the faults and what to avoid will point more customers my way , I may be £20 to £40 more expensive , but I do use more expensive materials and invest in the proper tools to do the work , so in reality am I any dearer ? and you can be sure I take my time and also improve the table if possible .