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Another salvage job!

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  • Another salvage job!

    So, it appears that I'm a sucker for salvage jobs, or old tables that are beyond help.
    However, when browsing a facebook freebie site I came across one that I couldn't refuse. So, popped along to pick it up.
    It's a bit of a state...

    It's been outside for a while apparently. Everything is perished, however the slate looks to be utterly immaculate. The first thing that struck me, my friend and both of our backs when collecting though was the sheer weight of it. My god, neither of us are small or weak but this thing took ALL of our strength just to load it into the back of my estate. The first table I acquired for cheap was weighty, however this thing was literally twice the weight, if not more. The slate looks to be 1/2", the same as my other table however the bulk would appear to be the rails. Those things are meaty and certainly a lot larger, also allowing for the full size rubbers to be used. Which is handy, as I have a set of those!

    Anyway, one of the main things that drew me to this was this:

    Not related to Burroughs and Watts (as far as I know), Watts & Son is a local company that's been going for well over a century and known for their high quality furniture. Even now, the outside of their store looks like you would imagine the outside of "Are you being Served?" looks.

    It's all good, solid wood of unknown type. The only exception is where the cloth would staple to it, and where the cushioned attach to the meaty rails. Looks like some sort of thick fiberboard. It's wet and horrid. If I have any chance of making this playable, it'll all need replacing.

    Surprisingly, the structure of the table appears OK. This will be a long term project for sure, and it's likely I'll spend good time on each rail getting them sanded down, properly prepared, stained and finished.
    The fiberboard stuff under the slate where the cloth staples too will also need to go, I'm not sure how to handle that. I may go see what wood is available maybe from a reclamation yard.

    The slate is in absolutely wonderful condition, another surprise however that may be down to weathering. There's absolutely no chips or cracks in it, it's straight as a die and doesn't appear to show wear around the pockets.

    The pocket brasses are in good nick, and the runners aren't bad either. Those will all be salvageable. The nets will need replacing. The leathers though are also in good nick.

    Despite being outside the rubbers have good bounce, but obviously I'll change those out.
    The legs are lovely and sturdy.

    I've emailed the store to see if they happen to have any records of these tables. I didn't know they made any snooker tables so it's possible it's a rebadge or similar. There's no other markings on it at all. Still, I'd be interested to see if they have any information on it, the history of these things really interests me.

    Best case scenario is that I manage to completely salvage this quarter-sized beast. Worst case is that I can't, and I lose nothing. A good compromise though may be to swap out the slate with my table which is ropey to say the least. Possibly also the rails, these give such a reassuring sturdiness that I don't get from my Riley tabletop antique where you can feel the rails vibrate.

    So, again I'll keep up some pics on here with progress My full hopes and intentions are as follows:

    Rub down, prepare & finish the solid woodwork.
    Replace the "soft" woodwork with something appropriate
    Replace the rubbers and cloth (green this time!)
    Replace any hardware - all the screws certainly. They all attach to the soft fibery wood stuff too, so I'll find something more substantial. Probably coachbolts to also give it a better finish.
    Replace the nets
    Optional: The time I've spent perusing GCL Billiard's website has given me a lot of inspiration. As I have a good frame & legs, I'd like to fit a crossmember and also adjustable muntins, rather than having adjustment on the bottom of the legs.

    First glances, this is easily a lost cause. If I can make it play and look nice though, I'll be more than happy, and hopefully learn from the mistakes made on my first table as well as the great advice from here

  • #2
    I could be wrong here Kryton, but aren't the muntins to stop sagging,not to adjust the level?
    This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!


    • #3
      I believe you're right, however in the case of a wonky floor (or decking as in my case) they'd probably be easier than alternatives


      • #4
        Whatever you do, I'm looking forward to it, if you can get that looking spick and span again you will have done well, you might even make a couple of quid out of it if your lucky. Keep us posted on your progress, I like threads like this.
        This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!


        • #5
          Hopefully I can do it some justice.

          Impressively, I had a reply to my email from the MD of A Watts earlier today confirming they did sell slate bed tables in the 70's and it would most likely be a BCE

          So, keen to start (and to the annoyance of my wife) I decided to see what challenge I have with the wood that appeared to be good.

          So not the best of starts, it's warped. Not entirely surprising, however thankfully easy enough to straighten. Time to dry out and clamps will sort that.

          Then take some of the tarnishing off the wood with 80 grit.

          I'll take that. Smooth as a baby's bum, and considering it came from the below, happy. Will take time to get each one done to a high standard.

          Last edited by Kryten; 4th July 2016, 04:13 PM.


          • #6
            Anyone know where I can source replacement pocket sets (cloths, leathers, nets & runners) suitable for a table this size and 2" balls? All the ones I can source online appear to be for full size tables
            Ideally I'd like to have the closed type ones rather than the brasses that sit on top but understand that may not be possible (I'd make the relevant holes obviously)


            • #7
              Snooker balls.
              This is how you play darts ,MVG two nines in the same match!


              • #8
                Sorry, I meant the pocket sets to suit 2" balls, I already have those


                • #9
                  Quite a nice project here!! Can't wait to see the finished product

                  Actually, I'm very tempted to do the same once I'll be settled for good at home. Always love woodwork so I'll be following your progress closely, as inspiration Good luck !
                  Ton Praram III Series 1 | 58" 18.4oz 9.4mm | ash shaft + 4 splices of Brazilian Rosewood | Grand Cue medium tips


                  • #10
                    Perhaps surprisingly, the pocket plates are solid brass. I shall scrap my idea of replacing them with inserts and polish these up
                    The rails are in good condition, all things considering; replacing the nuts & bolts at the end, the leather straps, the nets and leather pocket backs will more than suffice!


                    • #11
                      Fascinated and intrigued by this thread . Unreal that you can restore that . Really looking forward to the updates . Good luck .
                      Still trying to pot as many balls as i can !


                      • #12
                        I will give you a good tip

                        replace the outer woodwork that sits under the slate bed with thicker wood , and where the cushions screw on drill out a hole all the way through , put a claw nut and bolt those cushions rather than wood screw them on

                        you will get a much better bounce if the cushions are bolted on .



                        • #13
                          Sound advice as ever I was looking at a few options but claw nuts are something I've overlooked. I will definitely give that a go!


                          • #14
                            Some little things tonight. I've been sourcing the timber to use mostly, and also playing with ideas about the pockets & brasses.

                            The brasses polish up well. The below is just with a little polishing, so I'll persevere with these

                            Following on from Geoff's tip, I've been looking up claw nuts and bolts. I know I can't go too thick on the timber but 40-45mm seems to be a good sweet spot. It's the depth that I'm struggling with.
                            Currently the softwood under the slate is quite narrow (30mm) and deep (150mm). I'd originally been looking at replacing it like-for-like with redwood, 140-150mm deep, 44mm wide. However, can't seem to source bolts long enough go all the way through.
                            So, I'll probably notch out where the bolts go through to be able to fit the claw nuts. Or I could use 70mm wide timber instead, but I worry that it needs to be more substantial to offer support to the slate.


                            • #15
                              Another salvage job!

                              nice brass
                              did I read somewhere that there is a lacquer type stuff you can use on freshly cleaned/polished brass to stop/reduce tarnashing?
                              Up the TSF!