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Precision SL8 vs. Natural Slate for Pool Table


Precision SL8 vs. Natural Slate for Pool Table

I am planning on buying a pool table (looking towards Brunswick, Imperial, Olhausen, or Legacy). I live in Mississippi, in particular the Delta Region, where it can get hot and humid in the summertime and cold and damp in the wintertime. In this region, non-slate surfaces like Slatron are not an option, although some people have these type tables, the unpredictable Delta weather would make either slate or Precision SL8 necessary.

I have read about slate tables and also a new surface called Precision SL8, which has the qualities of slate but does not weigh as much as slate.

I was wondering if I should go with Brazilian Slate, Italian Slate, Chinese Slate, or the new Precision SL8 surface.

Also, which is the best thickness of slate for a home table? Some say 3/4 of an inch, while others say 1 inch is best and is the thickness used for tournaments.

According to the website precisionsl8.com, the company says that the Precision SL8 surface:

  1. Has high density composition
  2. Warp Resistance
  3. Impervious to Moisture
  4. Replaceable Cloth
  5. Seamless One Piece Play Surface (compared to slate, which has three pieces)
  6. No need for professional installation (slate tables usually have to have this)

American Legend, Minnesota Fats, and California Billiard use Precision SL8 for their surfaces.

Any advice on what brand I should get (preferably 1" slate surface, ball return or pockets) that is between $1,000 and $2,000? Warranty is also important.

All opinions are welcome.

Precision SL8 vs. Natural Slate for Pool Table

Replies & Comments

  1. MrJB1103Mitch Alsup on 12/7/2011 4:34:14 PM

    In my opinion::

    Stick with real slate. Brazilian and Italian slate are on par with each other (possibly not true 10 years ago), I don't know anything about chineese slate.

    It seems to me that you are going to have "just as hard a time" with wood rot/decay as table-top decay. Thus, you should steer away from any pool table that uses any manufactured wood products in its construction. This restriction probably takes you out of your price range.

    For example, Olhausen has 4 grades of tables, laminates ($1600), Vener ($2000), hardwood ($2500), solid hardwood ($3400). {Prices from a few years ago--somewhat similar models} The laminate table is a melimine laminate over manufactured wood, the slate is backed by manufacture lashings. The veneer product is similar with the replacement of the ;laminate with a veneer. Even the hardwood table only has hardwoods as the outer 1/2 of the frame construction, but, here the slates are backed by a natural wood . When you get to full hardwood tables, there is no manufactured wood in the whole build process.

  2. MrJB1103MrJB1103 on 12/8/2011 6:28:09 PM

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am looking mostly at Legacy Billiard Tables which are made in Collierville, TN, a suburb of Memphis. The Memphis area has high humidity which means hot sticky summers and cold damp winters. I am thinking of buying from The Gameroom Warehouse of Jackson, MS (website: www.thegameroomwarehouse.com ). Of the tables my father and I are looking at, we are thinking about choosing from the following models: (Source: www.legacybilliards.com)

    1. The Destroyer: 3/4" wood cabinet with durable PVC laminate, High Torque T-Nut Fasteners, and a Lifetime Warranty, Hidden Bucket Pockets
    2. The Ryan: 1.25" (1 1/4") Solid Wood Cabinet, High Torque T-Nut Fasteners, Patented All-wood corner construction, Lifetime Warranty, Leather Shield Pockets
    3. The Mesa: 1.25" (1 1/4") Solid Wood Cabinet, High Torque T-Nut Fasteners, Patented All-wood corner construction, Lifetime Warranty, Leather Shield Pockets
    4. The Renegade Outlaw: 1.25" (1 1/4") Solid Wood Cabinet, High Torque T-Nut Fasteners, Patented All-wood corner construction, Lifetime Warranty, Leather Shield Pockets

    All tables have 3-piece 1" backed slate.

    Also, although on the Legacy website that the Destroyer had the ball return feature, the table does not. I want your opinion, which would you prefer, the Hidden Bucket pockets or the Shielded Leather ones? The Gameroom Warehouse representative told me that traditional pockets are better than the ball return because the unpredictable weather can cause the ball in the ball return to stick and children are bad about putting food in the pockets and also getting their hands or arms caught in the pockets with ball return. Which table would you recommend out of these four? I still may look at Olhausen and Brunswick, but I'm leaning towards Legacy. To each his or her own.

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Precision SL8 vs. Natural Slate for Pool Table

  • Title: Precision SL8 vs. Natural Slate for Pool Table
  • Author: (Jay Boyle)
  • Published: 12/6/2011 7:45:24 PM