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  • Does slate flex?

    I am currently setting up a 10 foot, three piece, 1 inch slate table with wood backing. I have trued it up, and leveled it up as best I can with a 4 foot level and string line. When I roll a ball the length of the table ( bare slate) on the center line, the ball rolls true and straight. When I roll it slowly along the edge, it curls back to the center line. This happens on either edge. It appears that the slate is low on the center line. When I place a 4 foot straightedge from one side pocket to the other, I can slide a playing card in at the center point.

    Question: Can I loosen the screws along the perimeter of the slate, shim the center line, and tighten the screws, thus flattening the slate? Will this happen? Or will I crack the slate? I don't know the the flexibility of the slate, and I would prefer to set this up right the first time. If I had a local fitter who would work for beer, I would ask him. Please, any advice would be welcome. I know there are some fine fitters who frequent TSF, and I don't want to steal any secret knowledge, but I'm at a crossroad. When I get this table set up, I wont ask for any thing again about the fine art of table mechanics. (OK, maybe I will, but I will keep it just between us girls). Cheers.

  • #2
    in a modern or reasonably modern snooker table there are snooker center adjustment, which can do what you what, just shim the center line a bit, and tighten the screws, then shim it more and so on until you reach the true level. i think it would be better avoiding doing anything else, until its resolved, then continue with your installation

    Comment


    • #3
      takes slate off

      dismantle frame and take centre muntins out , if these are not present or you have twin muntins then just add centre muntins , Muntins are slate supports and on some table they do not meet the slate so require either wedging or shimming which is frowned upon , or a permanent fixture like joist hangers with a nut welded to it , or maybe contact thurston for ready made slate bearers brackets.

      once you have these fixed in the centre of the frame cut down the inner muntin ( slate bearer) you have removed and use again as a floating adjustable slate bearer or make new ones , they must be straight and true .

      have a look at this to see how to do it http://gclbilliards.com/adjustable-muntins-retro-fit/

      and this http://gclbilliards.com/10ft-karnehm...land-to-essex/

      just screw bearer upto slate then using the 1/4 turn method on each bolt , there will be 4 on a 9ft , slowly bring each nut up until the centre of the slate is level with the side.

      wedge's can drop out and often do when the ball hits the side cushion and vibrates the wedge loose , so wedges although they do work , these are not permanent unlike the adjustable brackets .

      paper or cardboard bear mat shims is a bit cowboyish and is frowned upon by Time served billiards fitters as they where trained not to use them .

      and get rid of that 4 foot builders level it is not accurate enough for this task and buy this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/J-R-Rabone...item4ad86bbbbe

      or this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/J-Rabone-a...item3ce42245bc

      I would recommend the 12 inch none GG tube version over the 8 inch GG tube though as you will be chasing that bubble all day long , the two lines on the 12 inch is more than enough to find a good level rather than the multi lined GG tube on the 8 inch , these are very accurate and I do not like using them . even though I own a few myself . But at just £30 it is a Bargain .

      At the end of the Day though a DIY job is not going to be as good as a Time served Billiards fitter , especially when it comes to things like re-covering and re-rubbering and also setting tables up level ,
      I would say use us or lose us , because once Billiards fitters disappear then you are pretty much on your own , and they are getting out of the trade due to lack of work !
      Time served billiards fitters go through around 8 years of training , I know some people who call themselves billiards fitters after just 1 year of working in the trade.


      Geoff
      Last edited by Geoff Large; 13th July 2014, 02:14 PM.
      [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I know of one pro that used to leave his table heaters on 24/7 so he could practice when he wanted, the end result was warped slates, his resolve to this as he had his table reclothed 4 times a year was to remove the slates 4 days before his table fitter was due to call and immerse them in water for two days and then let them dry out for two days before being put back on the table.

        I know the table fitter used to moan about this method but it seemed to work as he never had warped slates since doing this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Geoff for all the information. You really got me thinking. My table is not as solid as the ones you linked to. Pictures here

          http://s1287.photobucket.com/user/so...ooker%20Muntin

          I tried to shim up the center just to see if it work, and the weak center muntin just bowed, and the slate remained sagged. Obviously, the slate is stronger than the muntin. I thought this through, and I have some 2x8 oak planks that I could run one edge through the joiner, and fabricate a proper center support. I haven't quite decided how to hang and adjust them, but as I now am resigned to removing the slate and building some support, the details will come. Perhaps two cross supports the width of the table at the slate joints, and three muntins lengthwise between them. I think I can fabricate and weld up some sort of adjusting hangers, as I like the idea of being able to re-adjust down the road. Thanks again Geoff, your advice is invaluable.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ferret View Post
            I know of one pro that used to leave his table heaters on 24/7 so he could practice when he wanted, the end result was warped slates, his resolve to this as he had his table reclothed 4 times a year was to remove the slates 4 days before his table fitter was due to call and immerse them in water for two days and then let them dry out for two days before being put back on the table.

            I know the table fitter used to moan about this method but it seemed to work as he never had warped slates since doing this.
            That is a lot of work! I am hoping to get this table up and true, and then never move the slates again. SWMBO and I have decided that if we sell the house, the table stays in the basement, and we buy house with room for a proper full size table.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chessking View Post
              Thanks Geoff for all the information. You really got me thinking. My table is not as solid as the ones you linked to. Pictures here

              http://s1287.photobucket.com/user/so...ooker%20Muntin

              I tried to shim up the center just to see if it work, and the weak center muntin just bowed, and the slate remained sagged. Obviously, the slate is stronger than the muntin. I thought this through, and I have some 2x8 oak planks that I could run one edge through the joiner, and fabricate a proper center support. I haven't quite decided how to hang and adjust them, but as I now am resigned to removing the slate and building some support, the details will come. Perhaps two cross supports the width of the table at the slate joints, and three muntins lengthwise between them. I think I can fabricate and weld up some sort of adjusting hangers, as I like the idea of being able to re-adjust down the road. Thanks again Geoff, your advice is invaluable.
              Hi chess king

              What you have is a pool table , I thought you where describing a snooker / billiards table

              just make all cross bearers thicker and use some sort of joist hanger converted with an adjustable nut and bolt , the nut will have to be welded to the bracket , then place a large penny washer where the bolt would touch the underside of the adjustable muntin , this stops the bolt wearing into the underside of the wood .

              you could place a thick plank on the middle leg support overhanging onto the leg and use some sort of adjustable part from this at multi points down the middle , maybe 6 old bottle jacks or screw adjustable jacks. or even good quality Kitchen unit adjustable legs ? maybe these will be better, you will get these from Kitchen fitters ripping out old kitchens or down the Dump. or a skip .
              Last edited by Geoff Large; 14th July 2014, 12:49 AM.
              [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Geoff Large View Post

                What you have is a pool table , I thought you where describing a snooker / billiards tabled
                It is a snooker table, as it has the rounded pockets and the low cushions, however it was made by Gandy, a defunct American manufacture of pool tables, so the design is the same I suppose. I paid $400 for it with the thought of home table, as finding a proper table in Aurora Colorado is a challenge. We don't have snooker clubs here, only pool. The nearest table is fifty miles away.

                I like your idea of some modified joist hangers, and will get to work on that idea. When I get it built I will post some pictures. Thanks again Geoff.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I spent some time in the shop and fabricated some muntin adjusters, and replaced the light weight supports with 2"x 6" oak. The muntins have a recess drilled in the end to receive the adjusting bolt, and a penny is epoxyed in it to give a solid surface to work against. I wont get the slate back on for a few days, as I'm am short of help, so I don't know if this has solved my problem yet, but I have stood on the cross members and they are solid as hell. Got to be an improvement.

                  http://s1287.photobucket.com/user/so...?sort=2&page=1

                  Thanks Geoff for all the advice. You got my mind going in the right direction. It's not the quality of your work, but I think it will get me by. And if it works, then it really doesn't matter that its ugly. Cheers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That will work .

                    just make sure that the muntins are straight and true .

                    if you get a problem with slate joints you may want to insert a playing card on a low slate joint on top of the muntin to bring back upto level with next slate .

                    or you can feather fill the joint with soft sand car body filler . which in most cases may be the best bet as you do not know if any sanding by previous fitter has made the joint out of true when the frame is correctly leveled .

                    http://gclbilliards.com/adjustable-muntins-retro-fit/

                    Geoff
                    Last edited by Geoff Large; 6th November 2014, 01:54 AM.
                    [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a few muntin issues too. I have set the frame of my table up and found there is a 3mm gap under the builders level when I sit it across the table. I haven't had the slates on yet but I anticipate there being a gap under the slates or the slates being warped and contacting the muntins. I have a fitter coming this week but not sure what the best approach is going to be. Should I cut the nibs off the muntins and make some adjustable supports to raise their height or get some 3mm ply and lay it on top of the supports?
                      Any advice would be much appreciated.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Geoff would be the best to answer the "how", I just wanted to say from experience, solve this issue first and properly before moving on with the assembly. Without a solid level support to start, you will have leveling issues down the road. Cheers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 840aj View Post
                          I have a few muntin issues too. I have set the frame of my table up and found there is a 3mm gap under the builders level when I sit it across the table. I haven't had the slates on yet but I anticipate there being a gap under the slates or the slates being warped and contacting the muntins. I have a fitter coming this week but not sure what the best approach is going to be. Should I cut the nibs off the muntins and make some adjustable supports to raise their height or get some 3mm ply and lay it on top of the supports?
                          Any advice would be much appreciated.
                          make some support brackets and get them fitted , you only need to get some joist brackets and drill a hole , get the local garage to mig weld the nuts on and cut the fixed bearers down to fit , don't forget to fit a large washer to the underside of the muntin to stop the bolt digging in the wood.

                          http://gclbilliards.com/adjustable-muntins-retro-fit/
                          [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                          Comment

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