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be careful of the low quality tables

be careful of the low quality tables

be careful of the low quality pool tables that are given names like american billiards or similiar names. just because they look nice doesn't mean they are quality tables.

be careful of the low quality tables

Replies & Comments

  1. RMCORP2006kevin on 1/31/2009 8:48:24 PM

    I agree, I think that some of these older names have been re-established by newer companies with no real connection to their original counterparts. This is just my opinion not an established fact.

  2. RMCORP2006billiardsforum on 2/1/2009 3:13:27 PM

    Hey thanks for the tip, and for the record, I agree with you.


    For anyone reading your statement who is trying to find out more information on what brand of pool table to buy, you don't provide any statements of fact to back up your claim. What evidence can you present that proves those brands are "low quality" and please clarify exactly what conditions must be present to make a billiard table a "low quality" billiard table? Is it warranty? If so, how? Is it strength of the frame? If so, what have you learned about how brand name pool table frames are made that makes you think generic table frames are inferior?

    I don't mean to give you a hard time, I just want to ensure that we keep an unbiased forum where all claims made are backed up by facts, or at the very least, actual experience with the products being discussed.

  3. RMCORP2006RMCORP2006 on 2/2/2009 6:48:11 AM

    lol. well i use to do tech work on pool tables for a number of years and have enough experience with that and being a retail store owner that i would see the problems. there are way too many of these chinese junkards out there. here are a couple excerpts from our infomational site explaining a little of what makes these things inferior.

    North American companies must follow a higher regulated standard for their products. Designing their products state side, managing their foreign employees, and following behind them with quality control on the final product. These are the biggest differences.

    Chinese born companies don't follow these rules. Producing sub-quality products at the cheapest available rates. They aren't regulated like companies here are. Thus, you get a sub par product that may look nice, but falls apart in a couple months.

    These "import tables" don't have very good wood to begin with. To add to the problem, these woods are not cured correctly. When you cut a tree down it has sap and water, etc., in it. There are many ways to "cure" or dry these woods properly so that a couple things happen. First, as the wood cures it moves and twists. Second, it gets all the moisture out from it allowing a better surface for staining. "Import tables" don't cure their woods correctly (And/or don't buy from good companies that do).

    What happens? Well as your pool table sits in your home, it starts to dry itself out. Twisting, bending, and warping. This causes cracks especially in places extremely vulnerable to it like the legs.

    Staining is another important thing to note. Staining wood is sometimes referred to as an art. Similar to painting a picture on canvas is art. Staining a good piece of wood is also. Staining wood has always meant to be done with care. Using a brush to flow with the natural grains in your wood. "Import tables" don't do this. Remember, it's all about be cheap and low cost with them. They actually spray on their already low quality stains. After that they put a thick layer of poly as the last coat to "help protect their wood".

    These low quality stains, mixed with insufficient staining applications, coupled by incorrectly cured cheap wood, cause the most obvious things to happen. Cracking, as we discussed already. Chipping. Now think about this. These tables actually have chipping problems with the stains. Look at the nicest piece of furniture you have in your home. Notice your finish (the stain) isn't chipping. Stains are meant to soak into the wood to bring out it's qualities. Not be sprayed on then finished with a poly to speed up the process of drying the stain. "Imports" chip!

    the issue is too long to continue but that is some of what i am talking about. Oh and warranty? they give the standard warranty. but if you go to the topic pooltablesdirect.com and greenleaf billiards and read what is going on there you get an idea of what is going on. if you have a real warranty issue they aren't going to do anything for you. they subcontract their technicians (mostly the cheapest they can find which means two guys with a screwdriver) and when they break something they say to go through the retailer they bought it from and the retailer says to take it up with the techs. hmmm shady tables shady business. hope that clears most of that up.

  4. RMCORP2006Azzurri on 2/2/2009 10:55:24 AM

    Excellent points!

    With all the benefits of the internet and discussion forums, come some drawbacks, which include random opinions offered by so-called "experts" that, while perhaps validly formulated and based, owing to the limitations of space and time, come without the proper context, and perhaps more importantly, any back up either to authenticity, credentials, agendas, etc.

    Just as an example, I've been shopping for a used pool table since mid-December. I've visited showrooms, done whatever reaseasch I can on the 'net, and have even gone to check out pool tables for sale at peoples' homes. I even came across the website (mybilliardslinks.com) and saw the list of "Recommended Table Brands". Long story short, you can see my "situation" by viewing the "pooltablesdirect and greenleaf billiards" thread in this same forum. Anyway, this past weekend, I went to see about 10 tables. Among the tables I saw were an AMF Playmaster, Olhausen, Kasson and Brunswick, all "recommended" by that site. Sure enough, I was a bit disappointed in the construction of these tables. Granted, the "import" Greenleaf table I described I could get $1,200, including install and accessories was not assembled so it was not an apples to apples comparison, but looking underneath these various used tables (all in the $600-$950 range, excluduing, of course, transport/assembly) and sometimes new tables (Olhause Classic/Sheraton), I saw setups that left a lot to be desired compared to the solid-looking import table I saw in its dissambled state. The Brunswick's slate, for example, albeit a "Bristol" lower-end table, was sitting on the edge side of about a 3/4" board, with all sorts of bolts and screws underneath attempting to hold the thing together. That was it, slate directly to frame and only a 3/4" wide surface at that. The other tables left a lot to be desired in terms of bounce off the cushions or lack of base on the frame for the slate frame to sit on.

    Moreover, it surely looks like the beef that most consumers had with pooltablesdirect and the pool tables sold by them had a LOT more to do with delivery issues than the tables' quality itself. Seems like they were just (very) late or shipped the wrong or incomplete kit of parts. My assumption is that once they got squared away, the tables were more than satisfactory.

    Anyway, I will almost definitely take the offer on the Greenleaf his week. Brand new solid wood table, frame pre-constructed at the factory, with 1" slate (don't know where from, though), choice of color cloth. Apparently the table was between $2,500-$3,000 originally, is what I'm told. Who knows, could have been $1,500, but based on what I saw, I doubt it. But I did speak to a referral who purchased one a couplr years ago and is very happy with it. The next best-alternative is a 4-5 year old Olhausen Sheraton in excellent shape that can be installed in my house professionally for a total of $1,175. Includes cover and accessories, but all used, of course. It is between one of these.

    By the way, a very reputable billiards store in the Mass/NH area is now selling "imported" tables in their showroom.. Legacy brand tables. They compete with their Olhausen offerings.

  5. RMCORP20068ball on 2/2/2009 11:56:54 AM

    We usually think that new is better but sometimes it isn't. There can be advantages to buying a used table. Although there typically is not a warranty, after a few years any warping, cracking, etc. that's going to happen will have occurred. Check the entire table for cracks including the slate. Sometimes they can be felt by running your hand over the surface. Often you can do a visual from under the table. While you're under there check out the construction - make sure it's solid. Also, check the responsiveness of the cushions. If the table hasn't been played in a long time the cushions can dry out and become dead. Most importantly, if everything looks good play on it and if it plays well, buy it. However, one extra cost to consider on a used table is the cost of new cloth. On new tables it's usually included. It's a little more work but a used table can give you equal or better quality at a reduced cost. Last word - whichever you get, unless you know what you're doing it's better to have it professionally installed. Aside from leveling and properly seaming the individual slates and leveling the table, proper installation of the rails and stretching of the cloth can make a big difference in how it plays. Good Luck.

  6. RMCORP2006billiardsforum on 2/3/2009 5:41:33 AM

    I also wonder how to discern between bad model years for a name brand table? For example, lets use Brunswick billiard tables. They are arguably the best know, and perceived to be of very high quality.

    How would we know if one year's production of model X is any better or worse than another? (I'm 99% sure this happens) I guess we can only rely on forums and internet reviews.

    For example, look at Jaguar automobiles. There were once a prestige and high quality product. Ford bought the brand in the 80s I think, and production was shifted, and quality tanked.

  7. RMCORP2006patrickp123495 on 2/16/2009 11:22:48 PM

    thanks for the advice bud.

  8. RMCORP2006Noles20 on 9/16/2012 8:40:31 PM

    Are there certain Brunswick tables to stay away from? I am looking to get a used table. Is the Bristol II a bad choice? How about a black Geneva?

  9. RMCORP2006Zeke on 10/31/2012 7:20:22 AM

    RMC's comment:

    "North American companies must follow a higher regulated standard for their products. Designing their products state side, managing their foreign employees, and following behind them with quality control on the final product. These are the biggest differences."

    is pure BS. Which leads me to believe everything else he wrote - is also BS.

  10. RMCORP2006Mitch Alsup on 10/31/2012 9:03:13 PM

    I did this kind of research a few years ago, and came to several conclusions:

    1. Consider a new table that retails at the same prices a top brand table goes on Craig's List (or equivalent), you are likely to have a better buying experience with the Craig's List table.
    2. Consider that companies like Brunswick and Olhausen have several tiers of tables in fairly well defined price ranges. The tables in the higher price brackets are better than the tables in the lower price brackets in ways you cannot see when the table is assembled. For example, the backing wood on the slate pieces are manufactured wood strips on the lower end tables and poplar on the higher end tables. The low end tables are serviceable for 3-10 re-dos of the cloth and then stapling cloth to what remains of the backing board becomes problematic. A poplar backing strip is usable for decades. When I did pool table maintenance on the table (1910) in the Frat House, we replaced the backing strips after 75 years of use (the first time) and the cloth was replaced at least once per year.
    3. good NEW tables are not really available in costs less than $2500--where the key work is GOOD. Great new tables are not really available in costs less than $3500. So, if you affordable point is not in this realm, consider a used table from this original price point, and then factor in the $600 for the table mechanic to move the table and install it with new cloth. The only exception is that you are a pool table mechanic (wannabee) to do the heavy lifting all by yourself.
    4. Even considering C above, there is a reason Tournament tables start in the $6000 range and go up to $8000+. These are the tables built to take all the punishment reasonable players can deliver and retain their levelness, rail squareness, and playability over year of use and misuse. Tournament tables are built to take this kind of abuse--for decades with nothing but cloth replacements.
    5. You CAN take a substandard table and add the bracing, gusseting, that it takes to be a high quality table. The issue is that it will take you more time and effort to do this while the table sits un-assembled, and unplayable. All this takes is good wood working skills and the gumption to get in there and do it.
  11. RMCORP2006Zeke on 11/1/2012 7:22:21 AM

    Mitch said it all!

    Two years ago, I bought an "in excellent condition," 9' Brunswick "Medalist" for $1,900 and he threw in 3-sets of balls (one a "like new" set of Aramith's), a four lamp overhead fixture, half a dozen sticks, three racks and a wall mount stick-rack - from Craig's list !

    It had a burgundy cloth in decent shape but I wanted a more traditional green. To re-assemble the table, re-cloth it and install new cushions I hired a local tech and for an additional $700, got what I wanted.

    Total investment: $2,600 I doubt anything out there new - or used - will be a "better deal." Am I a happy camper?

    YOU BETCHA ;-)

  12. RMCORP2006Zeke on 11/1/2012 7:34:01 AM

    One last thing.

    Craig's List, even in rural areas, has a lot of new stuff every day!

    Just because there's no table listings today, doesn't mean it'll stay that way for long.

    Stuff listed today on C.L. will "disappear" from the front page in days - not weeks. And, when something is sold, they remove the ad (most of the time) quickly.

    So if you search today, and then a week later, just because you don't see any tables - doesn't mean one wasn't there, and was sold, in less than a week's time, and deleted from active status!

    Lots of pool halls come and go. Pool hall tables are almost always "better" grade tables. Keep your eyes open for pool halls nearing foreclosure. Occasionally, the owners/operators of these shaky enterprises are desperate for cash and if you can get the owner's number, cash can truly be "king." ;-)

  13. RMCORP2006tasha_silvester on 11/2/2012 6:04:55 AM

    One should be very careful before buying pool table as lots of low quality pool tables are available in the market. You should always check some essential factors like warranty, repairman availability along with quality of legs, frames, slate, rails, pockets etc.

  14. RMCORP2006Zeke on 11/4/2012 8:30:49 AM

    The warranty on pool tables is NOT a valid basis to judge quality. And, if the table is "used" - irrelevant anyhow.

    The person that will handle any warranty issues is key! Unfortunately, most of the techs sent out to handle warranty complaints are ill-trained, never went to the manufacturer's "schools" - if the manufacturer even has such a "school," and the so-called "warranty" becomes worthless.

    In fact, many of the lesser quality tables brag about their warranties - as if THAT alone infers some level of quality!

    Warranties for what - is the question! Read the fine print. The devil is in the details.

  15. RMCORP2006tasha_silvester on 11/5/2012 4:00:29 AM

    One should be very careful before buying pool table as lots of low quality pool tables are available in the market. You should check a few essential factors like warranty, repairman availability along with quality of legs, frames, slate, rails, pockets etc.

  16. RMCORP2006Zeke on 11/5/2012 8:23:36 AM

    The zombies have arrived, repeating the same thing over and over again...

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be careful of the low quality tables

  • Title: be careful of the low quality tables
  • Author:
  • Published: 1/28/2009 10:07:01 AM