You are about to read an article about, and view pictures of, a glass pool table. Yes, it is the worlds first, patented, glass top billiard table that actually plays as though there was real cloth on the table.
Glass Top Pool Table
Craig Nottage, the glass topped pool table designer, won bronze at the 2004 Dyson Australian Design Awards for his unique and innovative glass-topped pool table design. The UniSA industrial design graduate created the glass billiard table as his major, final year assignment. Nottage reports that the idea came to him after research revealed a lack of anything significantly different on the pool table market.
"I am looking at the feasibility of making a prototype that will double as a dining table by making the legs adjust to the correct height, and adding a fold-out cover for the playing surface," Nottage says.
In fact, his design can be easily disassembled and inserted into a flat box for transit and/or storage. This is a sharp contrast to the stressful job of moving a traditional slate pool table where the owner risks cracking the slate and weakening the billiard table's frame.
"My goal was to completely modernize the concept of pool tables so that they would sit better in a modern décor and architecture while not compromising the game itself." He goes on to say that “billiard tables have been made with basically the same materials and technology for hundreds of years,” he says. “I’ve brought all aspects of the design into the current age of materials and technology.” said Craig Nottage when asked about his unique billiard table with a glass playing surface. This is Nottage's first design award and naturally he was excited about what the future had in store. Among plans to have the table mass manufactured, he sees the inspirational value of receiving an award and believes it will be a motivating factor in his next achievement. It is four years later, and we have yet to see this glass pool table commercially available.
When I first looked at it, I could picture the balls clanking against the glass and once shot, never coming to an end due to what I'd imagined was a friction-less surface. That's where I was wrong. The table itself is made up of a modular frame topped with a thick glass playing surface. The secret sauce that I so stupidly overlooked, is the unique resin based material that covers the top of the glass and is comparable in play and feel to traditional felt surfaces. It accomplishes this feel because of how it's properties mimic the original rolling resistance, noise and spin properties of regular cloth. This resin is completely see-through (transparent) as you can see from the image.
"This is one pool table where you can spill your beer and there is no drama and you can never damage the surface with a poor shot," Nottage says. I sure could have used that in the past. I'm pretty sure I owe my old stomping ground a new billiard table. I'm sure I've spilled hundreds of dollars worth of drinks on their pool table.
Beneath the stainless steel and glass construction the ball return system can be seen. When a ball has been potted it makes its way along the ball runners to the collection point. However, the table’s innovative features are more than aesthetic, incorporating built-in surface leveling bubbles (Wow, if those work, a lot of pool table technicians will be out of business.) and storage areas for cues and balls. Other modernization features include a digital score keeping display and a fold out table-top which, together with the lowering the telescopic legs, transform it into a dining table. This is good since the market for such a table would seem to be those who own overpriced and tiny Manhattan Lofts. They need all of the home billiard room space saving help they can get!
“Most of the time a pool table sits unused with a sheet over it. The fold out cover, making my design double as a useful dining table, just seemed logical to me.” Read on for the details on how the glass billiard table surface works as explained in the US Patent and Trademark Office filing.
A glass top pool table is really just a ridiculous idea.
What you just wrote is really just a ridiculous thing to say. Back it up with constructive criticism. I think a glass pool table top is a great idea. Think about someone who is moving into a contemporary environment and wanting a pool table with a contemporary look that plays the same as always. Doubling as a dining table is thoughtful, and the durability of the glass surface of the pool table is great. I hope it's a success and becomes available commercially.
Nothing about this glass billiard table makes sense if you consider the surface "glass". The question is, how effective is the "resin" surfacing at creating a cloth-like resistance? I'd also wonder about durability of the resin over time (and the cost and hassle of refinishing it), risk of cracking, and the like. I would also think that using a backing or a colored resin on the glass, so everything isn't transparent, would be valuable.
New inventions are commonly scorned initially. It's an innovative idea and who knows, the inventor might even have done an excellent job of mimicking real pool table play with this.