A few searches suggest there are no pool table installers or poll table techs in VT.
That cannot be, because there's more than a few retail sellers in the state. Somebody's installing those tables.
I wonder if any of the major manufacturer's have a list of the people they've had in for factory training by zip code of what state they came from?
- Brucifer on 10/28/2010 9:43:42 AM
I would try contacting the retailers. If that doesn't work I just googled "Vermont Pool Tables" and found this site http://www.nineballbilliards.com/pool-table-service.htm I'm sure they can help you out according to their website. If that doesn't work I found a listing in the Blue Book Directory in Huntington at this link http://www.nexport.com/company.cfm?company=596800_VERMONT_BILLIARDS_BILLIARD_EQUIPMENT_SUPPLIES_RETAIL_HUNTINGTON_VT
good luck I'm sure you'll find something.
- Zeke on 10/28/2010 10:36:31 AM
The "Nine-ball" company's in MA and wants my firstborn to travel that great a distance. I can't blame them.
The Huntington guy's on vacation until 11/1/10, and "Pool World" wants $550+ to assemble and setup only. That sounds awfully "stiff" to me.
I'll await Huntington's return in a few days and see what's up.
- Brucifer on 10/28/2010 10:41:27 AM
Not knowing the economy up that way I can't say what's fair but in PA the typical set up fee is about 300ish. That's for a first time set up and doesn't include tear down or moving.
- Zeke on 10/28/2010 10:46:54 AM
The guy in Mass also quoted 300-bucks for "local" complete re-assembly and dialing in a table.
VT's economy is very slow and labor rates among the lowest in the country, which is why the 550 number made me do a "Say what"?
I'm hoping the Huntington guy has a decent number. I should know in a few days.
- Brucifer on 10/28/2010 11:48:01 AM
If you can't get it to around 300 bucks i'd keep looking and maybe even talk to some of the local billiard halls or regular retailers to get other sources.
- Mitch Alsup on 10/28/2010 12:21:28 PM
When getting a table recovered, the table mechanics fee will be on the order of the cost of a Simonis Cloth (figure $200 for the cloth and $200 for the labor.) (minimum)
It will take him time to disassemble the rails, remove the old cloth, you mauy need the the slates releveled and joints repaired, the cloth installed and streched, rail cloth removed and new cloth installed. Table assembled, and the rails squared to the table.
When I do it (I was a TM at the Frat house 35 years ago) It takes me min 5 hours. If I did it all the time (like 1 a day), I could get a top-notch job done in 2.5-3 hours. A first timer, with good set of instructions, and tools, will take the better part of a whole weekend to do it all by himself and get the table together and playing square. (longer if beer is involved)
- Zeke on 10/29/2010 5:53:32 AM
Thanks Bruce and Mitch. All good advice.
The cloth is almost new on the prospective Brunswick Medalist I envision in my space. So that's not a $$$ factor.
Had I even once witnessed a proper re-assembly of a similar table, I would try it myself. Having been a machinist as a kid, a race car mechanic as a young adult and a heating contractor for 30 years, my mechanical aptitude is decent, but the only parts of a pool table I am knowledgeable about, is that we never ever have food or drink within two miles of the table...
- probilliards on 11/2/2010 6:06:09 AM
Your OP didn't specify what work you needed done. Now you say "prospective" Medalist so I'll assume the table is being bought and needs to be setup (as a minimum) if you are moving it yourself.
$550 for a table move/setup is reasonable.
Just setup and reusing bed cloth then $300-$350 is a good price from a good mechanic,
Keep in mind you get what you pay for with people that do pool table work. A hack may be cheaper
but you won't get a quality job. One way to tell if the guy is a hack is that he uses a carpenters level
on the frame/slates. Top mechanics use machinist levels (Starrett).
FYI, table makers don't have "people in" for factory training. Now before someone chimes in about
Brunswick certified mechanics - be advised that these people, at best, have watched a video on table assembly.
If you want your table set up and dialed in "right" - call Jay Spielberg 603-765-6160
Jay is one of the top table mechanics in the country - and he travels the NE states.
- Zeke on 11/2/2010 6:50:13 AM
Joe, thanks for your input.
Your generalities about fees - is just that. Here in northern VT, the labor rates for all tradesmen is nothing like where I'm from, 20-miles from NYC.
Among other comparisons, the guys from VT did call back as the taped message stated, and did so on the date stated. The guy subs for all pool table retailers in the entire state and portions of NH and upper NY. He gets 200 for an assembly, plus 50 for being more than 30 miles from "home."
Meanwhile I have e-mailed and called twice, the guy in northern NJ who has a web-page and ads galore, and have yet to even get a return courtesy call, much less any commitment. This, after waiting a reply for five days.
The guy who referred him, recalls a fee of $400 to move the table from one side of the same town - to the other; both homes being under 10-miles from the tech's shop.
I urge you to avoid generalities regarding any relationship between rates and quality of work. That old saw has no legs.
- probilliards on 11/2/2010 8:15:32 AM
@Zeke - I don't know what any of this means. Taped message? Guy in NJ?
The shimmy is that a Medalist table is setup the same in VT as it would be anywhere else. You pay for the expertise of the guy doing the work, not where the work is located.
Do you know what a hack is? Hacks quote cheap rates to get work and do a crappy job as a rule. Makes no difference if you're in Vermont, Miami, LA or anywhere else. Hacks don't go by "labor rates for tradesman". They learn what the going rate is in the locale and undercut those rates. A hack wouldn't know crowned slate from crown royal or how to fix it. Hacks tighten pockets by adding extra facings (wrong), leave stretch marks when doing rails and have no clue how to evenly stretch cloth on slate to avoid cloth drift. If you want a bargain on table work hire a hack. This is not a generality but knowledge gained from being in the business for 20 years.
The preferred scenario is to locate a mechanic thru referral from people that a mechanic has done work for and are 100% satisfied with the work performed. May cost more but as I previously said, you get what you pay for. The mechanics at the top of the trade are familiar with each other and generally, if they can't get to a job they can refer someone that they know does good work. What it boils down to is saving money vs. spending a bit more to make sure the table is setup and plays right.
I gave you Jays' number. He's one of the best and travels throughout New England - to include NYC. If he can't get to you he can most likely recommend someone good. Up to you to make the call.
- Zeke on 11/2/2010 9:06:26 AM
I know what a hack is.
What I suspect you don't recognize is - that price has little bearing on the quality of the results.
I have written articles on such issues. Here's just one. Take a look and then tell us what you think:
- probilliards on 11/2/2010 9:54:18 AM
@Zeke - Sorry but when it comes to pool table work and billiard products I disagree.
People wait months for Glen Hancock to work on their tables - he's not the fastest in returning calls and he's not cheap but he is without a doubt the most sought after pool table mechanic in the country due to the quality of his work.
The waiting list for a Southwest Cue is 10 years and one of the most sought after cues to own due to the quality of the craftsmanship. Rare to get one for less than $2K. You can buy a top shelf McDermott for $800 but it's not in the same universe as a Southwest.
Should we also compare price and quality of billiard cloth and other billiard accessories? Would you rather play with a set of Super Pros or a set of $49 WalMart polyester pool balls?
Depending on the desired outcome - quality and price go hand in hand. As I previously mentioned and as the article mentions - the best person for the job is the one with the best rep and reputation and their bill is typically going to be higher. I don't mean to argue here but you really can't discount top quality work or products.
- Zeke on 11/2/2010 10:13:09 AM
You're not arguing. Simply stating your opinion.
I've stated mine.
To suggest however, somehow, the world of "billiard products" and "pool table work" fall outside the parameters of classic cost/benefit analysis - is indeed a very slippery slope. And one I choose not to embrace.
The Meucci stick I bought that is now delaminating vs. the "hack" stick I prefer now - being just one example of how truly irrelevant price and quality are...
- probilliards on 11/2/2010 10:39:51 AM
Meucci? They have had quality problems for years since Bob took his finger off the pulse of the company. I've never heard anyone complain about a Meucci Original tho.
Cost-benefit? The quality of pool table work becomes apparent when one does not need to call the installer back (if they will come back) to fix roll off or drift, improper banking, balls rattling the pockets, etc. Happens all the time. Every table has its own unique characteristics that has to be addressed by the mechanic to make the table play correctly. Not in the same category as a plumber replacing a water heater or getting a paint job at Earl Schieb or Maaco. Some trades require more art & expertise - one of the reasons people hire out table work rather then work on their own tables.
Regardless though, I hear what you're saying and I agree that just because something is costly does not necessarily equate to a quality product.
- Fenwick on 11/2/2010 10:46:32 AM
If this is the Glen I know as "realkingcobra" I can confirm that he is one of the best if not the best. There is a long wait for him to get back to to you.
I have no dog in this fight.
- probilliards on 11/2/2010 11:43:14 AM
Yes, Glen = RealKingCobra
It's no fight - just the (my) premise that there is a pecking order of table mechanics and that the mechanics at the top of the game generally charge a little more for the expertise they bring to the job. I've seen and heard too many instances of table owners complaining of shoddy work - usually by someone that watched a video or helped someone work on a table once and then think they can do table work on their own at a cheaper price. There's more to table work then simply slapping on some cloth and holding a hand out for a check and this is one of the reasons Glen is on a crusade to have mechanics train-up and produce a better product.
- Fenwick on 11/2/2010 12:03:47 PM
I understand, not a fight. I've seen his work and it's second to none. You mentioned that "Glen is on a crusade to have mechanics train-up and produce a better product." So true!