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Heated Billiard Table

Heated Billiard Table

This article about heated billiard tables is for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to heat your own table. Consult professionals. Billiards Forum takes no responsibility for any harm caused from attempts to heat your own billiard or pool table.

Heated Billiard Table

Many readers have asked where they can get a heated billiard table. Just as many have asked how they can convert their existing table to a heated one. We gathered a bunch of information on heated pool and billiard tables and compiled this article from the best of it.

To begin, please read this warning. Creating your own heating system for a billiard table is not a good idea, as there are many concerns with starting a fire. It has been suggested that one can install roof de-icing wires, radiant heat, or other methods, but because of their propensity to create fire, they should be considered with extreme care. Also, these methods, when not professionally installed, do not usually heat the slate in a uniform manner creating an inconsistent roll through the playing surface.

The benefits of heating a billiard table are undeniable. Keeping the slate just a few degrees warmer than room temperature can greatly affect playing conditions. The heat helps keep moisture out of the cloth, which makes it much faster. It also keeps the slate dry and warm, and the cushions from getting too hard and cold. Many major billiard tournaments have heated tables to reduce moisture that is created from humidity. Large audiences can generate high humidity levels from their breath alone. Even players add to the humidity levels. Sweaty hands on the table adds moisture to the cloth, which severely affects speed. In fact, many who have played on heated tables have reported that "laying your hand on that warm cloth is so nice."

The earliest well known story of anyone heating their billiard table actually comes from England, where Queen Victoria (1819-1901) played billiards on a table that was heated. This particular pool table was heated using zinc tubes, with the goal of preventing the pure ivory billiard balls from losing their shape due to warping. The first known use of electricity to heat a billiard table was in 1927. It was used in a table played in a tournament match between Jacob Schaefer, Jr. and Welker Cochran in 18.2 balkline. This use of electric heat was praised in an article by the New York Times. It read "For the first time in the history of world's championship balkline billiards a heated table will be used..."

Billiard table heating systems are available at a price, and generally start at about $6500 USD. Most commercial heated billiard tables are very well constructed, well insulated, and have a top wattage peaking out at 500 watts. These tables are available from manufacturers like Verhoeven, and are priced at around $10,000 USD on average. Some common designs available commercially include the use of plywood and special resistance heating wire. The wires are mounted on insulators under the plywood, which is attached several inches below the slate. The temperature is controlled by a thermostat.

Commercially heated billiard tables work by heating the slate to about 5 degrees Celsius above room temperature. As mentioned earlier, this helps make the table faster, and the ball roll and rebound in a consent manner throughout the table. This type of heated billiard table is actually required in certain billiard tournaments, like three-cushion and artistic billiards competitions.

If you can not afford a commercially available heated billiard table you are not alone. One billiard enthusiast who used to play carambole games in the Philippines claims that they used to burn charcoal under the tables to increase slate temperature. Other common home-built billiard table heating systems make use of either radiant heat from either heated water flowing through piping or from radiant wires. There have been a few examples of people attaching radiant wire to the bottoms of their slate, and running it off of standard 115 VAC, at 60hz. Again, there is a real hazard here if you are not experienced. Always consult a professional.

That about sums up heated billiard tables. If there is one thing you take out of this article, it should be that you must consult professionals to install a heating system in your pool table. Actually, I'll end with a story. A professional trick shooter, Fast Larry, who appeared on a season premiere of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, says that the show's crew almost burned down the set because they didn't follow his exact instructions for properly heating the two billiard tables he was to play on. The set builders bought the wrong supplies, and one of the tables caught fire. Let this be a lesson.

Heated Billiard Table

  • Title: Heated Billiard Table
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 7/26/2007 3:43:39 PM
  • Source: Internet

Heated Billiard Table

The Heated Billiard Table article belongs to the Home Billiard Room Tables category. Articles on pool, snooker, and billiard tables as related to home billiard rooms.

Heated Billiard Table Comments

  1. Mark SnookerMark Snooker from Wolseley, SK on 1/12/2018 2:11:05 PM

    I designed and installed my own heat system for my pool table. It works safely and marvelously. I could not be happier with it.

  2. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 1/13/2018 10:27:08 AM

    Interesting. Would you care to share the plans or details?

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