10ft re-rubber and re-cover in Lincolnshire + other work in the same area over two to three days

This week I have been working away for a few days and staying overnight at a caravan park in Lincolnshire.  I took on around 4 jobs in the same area, so stayed central to complete them all at the caravan park I was doing the main work at.

The main job was the caravan park’s 10ft snooker table which had been badly installed from new and had dead Chinese green rubber on the cushions.  I started by stripping the rubber off the cushions and then I replaced it with best Northern Rubber as used on the main tournament tables used on TV.

After fitting the new rubber I had to reform the pocket openings on this table.   As the table is used mainly by the park’s tourist caravanners and residents, they did not want small hard to pot tight pocket openings so opted for a large 3 3/4 inch width at the drop, which is around 1/8th larger than club tables in most snooker clubs.

The slips that hold the cloth in on the last re-cover where all nailed in.  This is bad practice and will in time split those wood blocks off the cushion.

Just take alook at the badly carved rubber around the pockets and the nailed in cloth retaining slips.  I have lifted the nails up to show just how many were in.  This is just utter cowboy work.
caravan nailed slips and carved rubber

Take a look at the next photo to show new slips that were fitted after the new rubber was fitted and new pocket angles cut.  As you can see, not a nailed in slip, just a tight fitting one.
caravan new rubber new slips
The finished table
caravan finished table
The bed of the table was not very level and the frame bolts where all loose.  The table was fitted with adjustable muntins (centre slate supports) but these were not even tightened up against the under side of the slate.  The slate also had beer mats put between frame and slate in an attempt to level it.  I removed all the beer mats, took all the packing out of the legs, tightened the frame bolts, levelled the table, adjusted the centre slate supprts to prevent slate sagging and refilled the joints with a good soft sand car body filler, before sanding the entire bed down.

The table, although not 100% level, is 98% better than it was before I levelled it.

A photo showing pocket openings after the re rubber with ball for referance of size of opening.  You may also note I fitted a new set of Riley match plate pocket leathers.
Caravan new cloth and pocket opening
A photo of the old cloth and pocket opening , as you can just about see the rubber is not as thick at the back end of the old pocket as it is on the new opening.  You need this extra rubber at the back edge to avoid cloth wear and the noise of knocking as the ball hits the thin rubber.  Better to have a bit more rubber there to protect cloth from splitting and also ball bounce out from the thud of the ball hitting the wood.  The old pocket openings where around 4 inch wide at the fall!  That’s almost two balls side by side being allowed in – the term ‘buckets’ can be aptly used to describe pockets like this by snooker players.
Caravan worn table corner
I was not finished after this re-cover and re-rubber as they also wanted me to re-cover the old pool table out the back that the kids use.  I turned the old cloth over from the snooker table.

Here it is, not too bad for second hand cloth turned over is it?  It is only used by the kids anyway.
caravan pool table cover old cloth
During my stay there I nipped out each evening.  One trip to Woodhall Spa to pick up some 9ft cushions to take home to the workshop for re-rubber and re-cover.  Due to refit next thursday with other work in the area.  The next night a trip up the road to dismantle a full sized snooker table in a garage.  It really helps if you are in the same area to combine these jobs as it helps to reduce travelling time (and costs) and thus increase the time I can spend on fitting.  I estimate with all the work I did on this trip, it saved me 8 hours travelling and that’s a day that would have been lost.

Not finished there, on the way home on Friday I popped into Newark to look at a job to quote for and then over to Southall to quote for another job. So a very productive week.

Next two weeks are just as busy, with tables to move and set up, re-rubbers x 3 and recovering pool and snooker tables.

Not much on for June although the first week is starting to look full, so anyone requiring work for June, just pop me an email at c.large@btinternet.com or phone me 0n 07753 466064.

By all means leave comments on this work just done, but any enquiries please use the two contacts just supplied.  Email is the preferred contact method, but if you want a quick answer the mobile phone is the best.

More Snooker Pool table work for GCL Billiards in Nottingham Derby and Lincolnshire for April and May

Having just completed the large Snooker Club installations in the centre of Nottingham, we move onto a run of pool table re-covering in Derby and Nottingham.  Then we re-rubber, re-cover, nets and leathers on a full size snooker table  in Nottingham.  We then move onto Lincolnshire for another re-rubber and re-cover, this time on a 10ft, before ending back in Basford, Nottingham to work on another pool table.

The phone is busy and work is still coming in, but we still have some days spare in May to fill.

We are still hoping to get more work in from Leicestershire and the West Midlands, so if you are thinking of having work done to your cue sports table, we are just an email or phone call away.
Hidden spot match table 2

A recent re-cover in 6811 Tournament Strachan cloth, with new extra extra broad bow leathers and nets.  The pocket size on this table is 3 inches and 5/8ths at the drop, whereas a standard match table is closer to 3 and a half inches at the drop.

GCL BILLIARDS for Snooker and Pool table work in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire this last week

We have been very busy again after the Easter Bank holidays.  We started off in Leicestershire at a hospital recovering in blue speed cloth a large 8ft pool table.  Then we went over to Sleaford in Lincolnshire to look at a full size snooker table that required a lot of work.  We were then back in Leicestershire near Melton Mowbray to level an old Thurston 10ft and re-stretch the bed cloth.  The last day we were over in Northampton re-stretching and offering good advice on how to brush and iron a full size table as a new person had taken over this maintenance work.  The brush he was using was nothing more than a clothes brush which left more dust on the cloth and with static this was sticking to the cue ball.  We supplied a proper pure horse hair top quality Peradon brush and showed him how to brush, wipe down with a napper and how to iron the table.  Also to use Aramith ball cleaner to polish and reduce static on the cue ball.

riely aristocrat Northampton

Set up Orme and Son’s and refit cushions to new slate in Lincolnshire

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.
Wragby Orme table finnished

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.
Wragby orme bolt hole alignments
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.

GCL Billiards can also inspect a table before purchase to make sure everything is ok.  Any defects reported and a guide price to the table can also be supplied.
Wragby orme leg style circa 1899

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.

wragby orme end plate IVORY
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.
Wragby table perfect slates
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.

GCL Billiards and snooker are very busy in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derby and Leicester

What a very busy month March has been for snooker and pool table work and April looks like being the same as orders are coming in for even more work. Starting off in march we went to London. We have then been to the East coast Linconshire, also Lincoln, Wragby, Bardney, Leicester, Nottingham, Stapleford, Beeston, Mansfield, Newark, then over near Melton Mowbray, back to leicester, then to Hinkley and Nuneaton and we now have some work in Derbyshire at Barton on trent, plus possible work back towards the East coast again.

We are solid right upto the 12th of April and just starting to fill the rest of April in. Although we are very busy, the workload is not going to make us rush jobs in order to make extra money. When I started GCL Billiards it was with the determination to take our time with clients tables and make sure we do a good job. Most of our work is by recommendation and Geoff has been in this trade nearly 40 years. We are now picking up some nice work for large organisations. Repeat work is also coming back to us, but we do not intend to get any larger as an organisation, prefering to offer good quality service and materials and also good value for money is our aim.

Together with our pool table hire business we are doing very nicely, slowly but surely we will get to a point where we will have to turn custom away rather than spoil a good reputation by doing speed work to increase profit. But that is a long way off yet. If you have a cue sports table that requires work, then please get in touch with GCL Billiards on email c.large@btinternet.com

Wragby table perfect slates
Wragby, a very good level set of Welsh slate

pool 6ft before
The sort of job I am called out to do on a pool table, they really let loose on this table in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

pool 6ft after
The table after a re-cover

stapleford recover door
Another full size re-cover in 6811 Tournament cloth, with new leathers fitted in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

pool 7ft jaques
A Jaques home play pool table

Black v red rubber

Fitting Northern Rubber to pool table cushions, fitting the best in Lincolnshire

Northern rubbered Pool cushions

This week I have been re-rubbering a set of winner supreme pool table cushions, ready to fit to a table in Bardney in Lincolnshire.  The client was very specific that he wanted this high quality rubber fitted.  I have two types of rubber that I fit to pool tables, one is standard black rubber and the other is this high quality (as fitted to full size snooker tables on TV) Northern Rubber.  This rubber is the best you can buy and is made in Retford, Nottinghamshire.  The rubber itself is much more expensive and I have to buy a full set of snooker rubbers to cut down.  Luckily for me I can get two sets out of each set of rubbers.

Northern rubbered raised lettering

As you can see from the above photo, there is raised lettering under the nose of the rubber.  This is your guarantee that I have used the best rubber you can buy.  Because I have to cut the rubber lengths in half, the top painted print stamp is also cut, so you will not see this on pool cushions as you would see in the centre of a 6 ft long snooker cushion rubber.

This set being dated October 2012, as can be seen from the cut off ends in the top photo.

Northern rubbered the stamp 2012

The above photo shows the rubber before I cut it in half for pool tables.  The red rubber in the background is well known for going hard within a few years from new.  It is not being used anymore by Supreme, they now use black rubber.  The dye in the red rubber was the main thing that made the rubber go rock hard, that and the warm sunlight shining through a window or warmth of the room.  The black rubber is much better and Northern Rubber should be good for at least 20 years.

Northern rubber the old stiff rubber

The last photo shows just how hard the rubber had gone, note the black Northern Rubber has just drooped down from my hand where as the red rubber (which you can see is also starting to crumble and crack) is like a stiff pole.  The ball hitting this would just die and not rebound.

The cost for standard black rubber to be fitted by GCL BILLIARDS at the same time as a re-cover is just £100.  fitting new factory supplied cushions complete but not Northern rubber is £120 exchange if good wood or £140 if old cushion are no good  ,  The cost of best quality Northern Rubber is much higher and so the cost is £165 if fitted at same time as a re-cover.  Both re-rubber prices are exchange price, we take your old cushions to refurbish with new rubber if they are suitable , if not suitable allow £20 extra  .  Once the new rubber has been fitted and pocket openings shaped, you will have your pool table back to performing as if it was a brand new table.

prices correct at time of posting but may vary if materials and costs increase

Please make sure that if you have any other firm in for re-covering, they do not exchange your cushions on a re-cover.  You will probably end up with dead cushions and your nice newly rubbered cushions will be sold on as a replacement set.  I have seen this done many times.

At GCL Billiards, the only time we swop cushions over is when they are being replaced with a new or re-rubbered set.  Don’t get caught out, we always stamp any cushions we re-rubber with a GCL Billiards stamp.

Another move and set up of full size snooker table in Lincolnshire

Today I have been over to Lincolnshire, this time for subcontract fitting work of dismantling and moving a full size snooker table from one house to another, a distance of approx 6 miles.  The table is made by Barton Billiards circa 1985 and is in good condition.  It only required a recover in 6811 tournament cloth by Strachan.

The new owner has put up a nice log cabin in the back garden and this is now his pride and joy.  New lighting to be fitted soon.
Barton table in Log Cabin
Barton Table in log cabin 2
The move went very smoothly, no stairs involved, ground floor with easy access from the dismantle to the install.

If anyone is thinking of buying one of these log cabins, the owner informs me the cost was approximately £15,000 including ground work, base and electrics.  It is a very large building and very warm too. the building in kit form was  delivered and plonked on the owners drive for self assembly for just £6000.  I think total spend includeing table came to around £17000.

Tomorrow I’m off to Market Harborough to recover a 9ft table and sort the bags and nets out.  Work is coming in steadily and the phone is ringing every day with new clients asking for quotes, which shows our advertising efforts are spot on.

GCL Billiards has found its niche in the recover and maintenance market of cue sports tables.  A mixture of regular own clients and some contract fitting work from people within the cue sports trade, plus our pool table rental business.

If you are a private or retail client or a cue sports business that can use our fitting skills on a subcontract basis, then please get in touch.  We are always willing to talk and give free advice.  We are reliable and always strive for perfection in what we do best and thats cue sports maintenance to a high standard.