Raising Funds for table maintenance, not a new thing?

With the recent news that Nottingham Snooker Academy’s members had raised funds to finance the re-rubber and re-cover of 4 snooker tables, another table re-covered this past week just happened to have the same process.

The owners of a Caravan Park were not releasing funds this year for the upkeep of the snooker table, as funds were required in more important areas of the park.  But the table was way past its sell by date for a new cloth and rubber plus pocket leathers.

The local Residents and Fishermen who use the site bar clubbed together in an 8 month fundraising venture to do it themselves.  A quote was provided 8 months ago and a few people decided to get fund raising events off the ground to raise the cash so to speak.  It took them around 7 months and a date was booked in to do the work.

The table in question was the 10ft that I have just put up on the Blog, but here are a few more photos of the strip down.
Caravan park Fund raiser
The wall fund raising chart
caravan rubber removed from blocks

The cushions have been stripped of cloth and rubber and the blocks sanded up to take the new rubber being glued to them.
caravan new rubber glued

The new rubber is glued all 6 at one time on my glueing board.
caravan old and new slip
As can be seen again from the photo  above, the old cloth retaining slip showing signs of where it was nailed into the cushion slip slot and a new planed to fit tight without being nailed in new slip.

Caravan old green rubber
This last photo shows the old green rubber.  Northern Rubber is black and can last upto 25 years.  This old green rubber lasted less than 7 years.  When pulling it off the blocks it was brittle and broke up.

Today I stripped down a 9ft set of cushions and the Black Rubber on them was dated 1935, but it was in much better condition than this green rubber.  But I am also re-rubbering this set too.

Low quality rubber can vary in the way it just goes off, you can get sunlight damage where the sun shining through a window catches part of a cushion and that part goes rock hard and crumbles.  Yet there may be 1 foot of the rubber length that cannot catch the sun that still remains good.  You get this a lot on UK pool tables that use red / pink rubber.

Northern Rubber  plays good in most conditions.  The only thing that Northern Rubber does not like is cold, but thats the case with all types of cushion rubber.
Northern rubbered the stamp 2012

Another example I have used before showing the hard red rubber with Northern Rubber at the side of it.
Black v red rubber

Pool tables really looked after in this venue in Nottingham, recovered using 6811 Strachan cloth 2 to 3 times a year!

com 6811 used on these .

I was in this venue recovering these two tables only 5 months ago, so to get a call back to re-cover the tables again in 6811 Strachan cloth really means this venue likes to keep both of its pool tables looking the best.  The Landlord was holding a pool final night this Thursday so decided to have the tables done a little earlier than the normal 6 months for winter and summer league starts.
com 6811 transfer on cloth
On the last recover he had 777 Strachan fitted, this time he wanted to upgrade to Strachan 6811 grade cloth.  It is a much finer playing surface than the 777.  Where the 777 scores highly on durability, the ball rolls a little slower on this thicker cloth.  The 6811 is well known in the trade as the bench mark for good speed, playabilty and wear, using all wool construction.  Unlike other makes of mixed fibre cloth when ironed you will not get black marks on the base plate of the iron where the man made fibres of the mixed fibre cloth will melt onto the iron.
com perfect 0.0 for level
Again we strive to get the pool tables to the 0.0 level indicator on the digital level.  At 0.1 it would be just the thickness of a £20 note out of level.  Just look at the very short nap of the 6811, it really is one of the best cloths you can buy and probably the best cloth for a pool table at league standard.
com perfect level 0.0 end
If you require your pool table to be maintained to this quality, then give Geoff a call at GCL Billiards or email.  We also clean out the inside of the table, washing down ball runs and the flip out side of the door.  The build up of sweat, grease and dust from the cloth and chalk results in ball jams.  This may result in players picking the table up to jolt the balls free by dropping it back on the floor damaging the feet and legs and in some cases even breaking the slate.  A cleaned out inside of the table will prevent the players from doing this as no balls will jam and run smoothly on nice clean internal rail system.

Poorly maintained tables do not attract players, in fact you will find players will start to play at other pubs where they look after the tables, such as the one here.  Five months ago new rubber was fitted to these tables and that new rubber is now at its peak of rebound value.  As new rubber has to be bruised in to this state of play, it will take around 3 months of use to get those new rubbers bouncing to their full value.

The previous people who maintained the tables, used to swop the cushions over and take the new ones away.  This resulted in the first year, that these tables where put in new (2007), that they lost their brand new cushions and second hand cushions maybe over 5, 6 or even 12 years old where fitted.  They were a right mess, some were hard others soft, some both.

At GCL Billiards we always re-cover the cushions on site putting the original cushions back on the table.  We only change over if the cushions are dead like the last lot 5 months ago.  These cushions will be good for at least 6 years, maybe more, it all depends on heat on the rubber from sunlight through a window etc.

I have seen where the sun shines through onto a rubber on a side cushion 2/3rds up the cushion go rock hard, yet the other third is still bouncy.  This normally happens to the red coloured rubber.  There is a pigment in the red rubber that makes it go hard if warm sunlight shines onto it.  This red rubber is not used by Supreme anymore, but is still available to buy.  Please avoid using this, only fit black rubber of good quality.

I use two sorts of black rubber when I replace the rubbers on a pool table, standard good quality black rubber which is ok for 6 to 10 years and Northern rubber which may exceed 25 years of use.  The black rubber will not get affected by sunlight as much as the red rubber.

I always advise that when ironing, not to let the iron touch the cushions.  This will also shorten the lifespan of the rubber.