For the past two days I have been to a local club that has two tables. The first table is used by a local snooker team who had moved to the club from another club. They were not happy with the table so decided to self fund a recover out of their own pockets. The club then decided to have the other table done at the same time.
What a mess they turned out to be, the cushions were falling apart, they really need two new sets of cushions and pocket plates fitted, but at this moment in time they just wanted me to recover them and try to make them playable for the next two years at least. They pointed out the sagging pocket plates on both tables, which turned out to be a very poor maintenance by the last two firms who worked on them.
They should have made good the woodwork, by filling in the crumbling wood around the pocket plate holes and lugs. The pockets then would have kept their shape and not been loose. But this was not the only poor job they did, the cushion cloth retaining slips were all nailed and stapled in, on some cushions every 2 inches. This is very bad practice, as the time it took them to nail the loose slips in, would have took the same time to plane down new tight fitting slips. So yes you could say cowboy for this job when it was last done.
Here are a few photos of the crumbling woodwork and bad attempt of trying to pack those pocket plate holes up.
Nailed in slips? A message to the last fitter if he reads my blog, they are called slips because they are meant to slip out, not be nailed in! One set took me 2 hours just to strip the cloth off them. When these so called fitters nail in slips they can do a lot of damage to the wood blocks that the rubber sits on. One of the problems after time would be loose blocks, as the nails split the block away from the cushion body.
Below: What a mess. Look at the holes and you will see where the last fitter tried to pack the pocket plate pin lugs up with cardboard
when all he had to do was refill the hole and drill new holes.
Below: A photo of the other set of cushions. The tacks over the years have really nibbled away at the wood. This is why we now use thin staples for attaching the cloth. Believe it or not I have seen worse than this on other tables. Also note the ragged knife marks in the undercut of the rubber angle. If you have read my previous posts on how to undercut rubber, then you will see this is not good.
Below: The repaired cushion end. The large hole has been filled using a simple car body filler and then sanded and drilled for the twin lug pocket plates. It took me about 1 hour to fill all ends and redrill.
Below: A photo of the refixed and level plus tight fitting pocket plate, which should now last until the next time it is recovered. I have asked them to think about new cushions next time, as I think rerubbering these cushions is a waste of time effort and money.
Below: Both tables after recovering. The far table also had new nets and leathers fitted. What should have taken me 5 to 6 hours per table, turned out to be 8 to 9 hours per table. I lay the blame for this on the last fitter, very bad workmanship, no effort to try and improve those sagging pocket plates and nailing in all the slips which I replaced all 6 on both tables.
And finaly LEVEL ! The engineering bubble level is very accurtate , but The digital level gives me that bit more information that the eye cannot see .
at the end of the Day the thickness of a £20 note on napped cloth is not going to effect the ball , so as long as I can get the table within 0.1 then I am happy
I include leveling as part of the recover . also cleaning of the slate for compacted slate dust especialy under the end cushions and on the spots .