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Italian Slate vs Chinese

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  • Italian Slate vs Chinese


    I have a old Alliance 12 ft table with italian slate. I've bought another table (Shender prince) that has chinese slate i suppose.
    Does anybody knows if there is a difference? Thickness, weight, quality?

    How about a Star table?


  • #2
    Is the Chinese slate definitely slate? I lived in China for 10 years. Most of the "slate" I saw on tables there was actually a composite material made of bonded stone particles. They played fine, but were not slate. I am not sure how long they would last.


    • #3
      How do we differentiate between the two?


      • #4
        I have no idea, but I shope Geoff will be able to help us.


        • #5
          You can tell good slate it is darker than the softer lighter coloured slate beds
          I moved a table the other day a Birmingham billiards 10ft table , I suspect the slate was Chinese , but it may be Brazilian , it was soft slate and one had started to delaminate or separate each shale piece coming away from the next .

          this is very bad and this low quality slate should not be used for billiard tables or even roof slates .

          the best slate is a belt that is formed from North Wales over to Southern Ireland , this is known to be the best available for Billiard tables , but was ceased to be quarried because of costs in the late 1960s to 70s .
          it is normally darker grey to blue in coloration and has a greater density and weight per same size to say Italian or Chinese slate .

          as to how it is formed then read this

          so to find out if you have welsh slate then look for darker more heavy and denser slate

          soft slates are graded from Italian lighter grey slate but can be prone to having marble streaks in it ,but the next best thing to Welsh ,
          welsh slate is only manufactured with 5 side cushion bolt holes and not 6 , but they do have 6 in the end cushions .

          Italian slate can be manufactured with 5 or 6 in the side cushions , for instance Enbild of Liverpool in the 1980s had their Italian slate beds made with 5 side bolt holes in the side cushions .
          most italian slate beds have 6 bolt holes in every cushion .

          to the not so good softer brazilain and chinese lighter grey slate .

          most Italian slates have Ardessia biggio in red ink stamped to side .

          look here

          if it has no writing on then it is probably Chinese .


          • #6
            Geoff what about the green westmorland slate found up in cumbria?


            • #7
              never seen this west moreland green on a billiard table


              • #8
                Just asking, so please be gentle.

                Why slate. Can there be any other type of stone or composite. Is slate the most dense or something like that...?


                • #9
                  With most things in life we have to accept a compromise. Slate is about the best material for a number of reasons. It is strong and heavy. It forms naturally in a flat structure. Given the proper equipment it is easy to machine. At the time when snooker tables were being made in large numbers, 100 years ago, it was fairly cheap, as was the labour to work it. It was available in UK, which was where all the tables were being made.

                  I understand that cast iron tables were tried and glass was even used in some tables, but neither of these caught on. Some dirt cheap tables nowadays have plywood beds, but those are not serious tables!

                  Perhaps someone could come up with a better man made product, frankly I doubt it, but given the modest demand for tables there isn't really the money available to do the research.


                  • #10
                    Phil - did you say that a table you had in China had a rock-composite bed? What was that like?
                    Up the TSF!


                    • #11
                      I think it did. I am no geologist! It seemed "too good to be true" or actually as it was moulded possibly "too true to be good". It seemed more like a granite effect kitchen work surface than any naturally occurring mineral.


                      • #12
                        You can get composite slate beds and you can also get composite frame and legs and cushion capping surround frieze for steel cushions .

                        all slate tables including frame and cushions are not urban myth

                        here are a few examples and the story . of story from Thurston / Clare web site