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  • New table is a bit of a mystery.

    Hi, we have not long got a new third table in to or club which plays totally different to the others. Hope some one maybe even “Geoff “ can shed some light on why it is so different. The table has a plate on the end (JOHN TAYLOR & SON , 110 Pricess Street Edinburgh “Record “ Low Set Cushions ) the table also has what looks like 4 ivory spots one on each side cushion. I read that these were where ashtrays were fitted under the table in the old billiard days and these cups were later used to hold chalk.
    The main difference a few of us have noticed is how the cushions react so differently. I play a lot of bounce games where I go for a lot of doubles and on other tables get a large percentage of them but on this table the cushions react in a way that I have no success getting the ball to double. I can be as much as 6 inches out. I usually have a great success in getting out of snookers from around 2 cushion escapes but I am miles out on this table, even one cushion escapes seem so difficult. The surface plays great even although it has very tight pockets they take the ball well.
    My thought was maybe this is a steal block cushion with a different type of rubber on the cushions there is definitely a different sound comes off them.
    Hope you guys might know something about this table.
    Cheers guys. Ricky.

  • #2
    New table is a bit of a mystery.

    It's probably down to the cushion construction. Sounds like an old table since lowering cushions was something which started happeninv as far as the 1850's. Modern tables have a firmer cushion. They use a moulded rubber rather than built up layers, and they often have a firmer rail behind the rubber, a harder wood, steel, slate etc. It could be one or a couple of these differences. A softer rail will be less reactive. A softer rubber will compress more and narrow the angle of the cue ball, a harder cushion would react sending the ball long.

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    • #3
      All tables Should have soft wood blocks that the rubber fits onto or Ramin as an harder wood , but we as fitters prefer soft wood to take staples and tacks without splitting , hard wood tends to split when using tacks or staples in it , although some have experimented and do fit hard wood it makes little difference to bounce .

      the main body of the cushion is hard wood though .
      or steel if steel blocks used ,

      the difference will be block height or type of rubber used or age of rubber

      John Taylor did not produce steel cushions .

      but burroughs and watts upgraded many other manufacturers tables as an after fit upgrade option , and this is why you sometimes get orme and sons tables with steel cushions on them or thurston tables for example .

      place a ball against the cushion and see where half way up the ball makes contact with the lower flat of the rubber , this should be a fraction above center of ball .

      if too high then bounce is reduced , if too low ball bounces up .

      if blocks are to high , then a re-rubber with blocks planed down or new blocks fitted will make a difference

      also check cushion bolt tightness , try wiggling cushions top to bottom from side if any movement they are loose .
      [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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      • #4
        Are you sure the plate refers to "Princess" Street? I would be interested to see a picture of the table and plate if you can post it.

        Incidentally, the "Record" to which the cushion refers, was Joe Sala's Scottish record billiards break of 486 made on one of Taylor's tables in 1896, and they continued fitting this model to tables (their own, and other manufacturers) until the 1960s. So the table could be quite old, but not so old that it would be significantly different to one of more modern build.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ricky2112 View Post
          110 Pricess Street Edinburgh
          Originally posted by 100-uper View Post
          Are you sure the plate refers to "Princess" Street? I would be interested to see a picture of the table and plate if you can post it.
          I have two photos of plates:
          1. John Taylor & Son (EDINr LIMTD) 110 Princes Steet, Edinburgh, "Record" Low Cushions; Royal Seal and two medals
          2. John Taylor & Son (late 110 Princess St) West Newington Place Edinburgh; RECORD Low Set Cushions, Estab. 1825 - Royal seal and two medals.
          Last edited by DeanH; 15th January 2018, 12:46 PM.
          Up the TSF!

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          • #6
            Yes, exactly so. The gender typo "Princess" would identify the plate to a time when they were not manufacturing full-size billiard tables, so confirming that the pairing could not be original. Hence the request for confirmation.

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            • #7
              hope a good set of photos are forthcoming - plate and table general
              Up the TSF!

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              • #8
                That's great. Look forward to seeing the pics. Incidentally, the two medals depicted on your plate are actually the two sides of a single gold medal which was awarded to Taylor & Son at the Belfast Art and Industrial Exhibition, which opened in April 1895 and ran to October of that year. It was for a billiard table they exhibited there and marked their entry into the Northern Ireland market, as they set up a local agency at the same time, using this as a base to supply tables to the whole of Ireland.

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                • #9
                  Hi guys thanks for your replies. My mistake the plate says 110 princes street. (EDIN R LIM TD) above address. I was told the table has had new rubbers fitted and they feel very hard. I measured the white against them and the centre of the white is touching the lower edge of the rubber. I played a league match tonight and it was a very tactical game but was ruined because of the throw of the cushions. The lad I was playing won our league last year and play the usual 2 cushion escape to rest in to a cluster of 12 red, his face when he missed the whole cluster by 4 inches was a picture. I have took some photos but they are on my phone so cannot upload them just now. This table is going to play havoc with our league games the guys take it very serious.
                  Soon as I get a chance I will put up pics of the plates and table.
                  Dean H its same plate as no.1 on your post. Seal and two medals.
                  Cheers Ricky
                  Last edited by Ricky2112; 15th January 2018, 09:39 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Great info

                    Just a quick thanks again for the info guys. Really interesting facts about table and plates. Was I right in what I said about the Ivory spots?
                    Cheers Ricky.

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                    • #11
                      One award, showing both sides, as per 100-uper info above

                      One of our tables in the club has ebony spots down the rails, they seem to coincide with the Baulk line, Pink and Black spots. Also one at each end for the centre line.
                      Last edited by DeanH; 15th January 2018, 09:50 PM.
                      Up the TSF!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ricky2112 View Post
                        Just a quick thanks again for the info guys. Really interesting facts about table and plates. Was I right in what I said about the Ivory spots?
                        Cheers Ricky.
                        The spots in the centre of the cushion, which are usually ivory, originate from the earliest days of billiards, and defined the "stringing line" which came to define the baulk area and originally occupied about a quarter of the table. As there was no "D" at this time, there was no need to draw a line on the cloth, so the spots were all that was needed to position the cue ball. The players would also break from either end of the table, so the spot was put onto both side cushions, and presumably for ease of manufacture, they were appearing on all cushions by the mid-19th century. Around this time they also began to install chalk holders on tables, so although the baulk line was re-defined and players only used one end of the table, the spots were still useful to identify where the chalk could be located, and the top cushion spots could be used to position the billiard and pyramid spots. However, by the mid-20th century they had no real use at all, but like the chamfer on the butt of a billiard cue without a badge, the feature was retained as a matter of custom rather than practicality. It only really died out after ivory became a particularly rare resource in the 1930s.

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                        • #13
                          Wow, amazing amount of info guys, thank you very much
                          Cheers Ricky

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                          • #14
                            Interesting read that about the baulk line dots Peter , on all the old billiard tables I have worked on the ivory or ebony spots on oak tables do not align up at 31 inch for baulk line they are just over that measurement
                            and I think I know the reason , on early billiard tables they would play on larger blocks and more overhang of rubber , so the 29 inch from face of cushion rubber if used would make the spots just over 31 inch from end of slate which is what modern fitters use becuase they go on a 2 inch nominal over hang of cushions , but most modern tables have 1.7/8th overhang , this enables a ball down the cushion to pot more easy .
                            and this is the reason when a baulk is marked at 31 inch that it does not align up with billiard cup spots inlaid on the side cushions .

                            the ivory spots on all cushions show the position of chalk holding cup's under the cushions

                            the ash tray theory was because many working men's clubs or smoky billiard halls had used them for that .
                            I have also seen them used for discarded chewing gum .
                            Last edited by Geoff Large; 16th January 2018, 05:47 PM.
                            [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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                            • #15
                              For a long time the baulk line was pretty much wherever you wanted to put it. I have reference of a match in 1861 where the line was drawn 27 inches from the cushion with the "D" at 19 inches radius. In 1872 another reference to the baulk line at 28½ inches, and in 1875, at 30 inches. There was very little consistency in the application of this measurement until the Billiard Association was formed in 1885 and set the baulk line at 29 inches. This encouraged standard practice, but even so, I would doubt that even this measurement was universally adopted for many years. It is quite probable that the cushion spots where used as a guide for much of the 19th century.

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