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Considering building my own table

Postby loopy1982

Hi folks,

I am seriously considering building my own table. I have been looking at second hand snooker tables on the classified ads but there are very few in my area (I live in the US so snooker tables are relatively thin on the ground, period). But in all honesty, I'm excited by the prospect of building my own. I am not the world's most amazing woodworker or DIYer but I can get by. I've been doing some research and I've found a few companies that can provide you with plans and ongoing customer support for extremely reasonable prices. Has anybody else here ever built there own table? Any hints, tips or experiences you could share?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer any advice.
Last edited by loopy1982 on 23 Jul 2016, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby PoolBoy

Good luck with the slate bed!
I remember watching a short speeded-up clip of the table-fitters at the Crucible, when the two-table set-up moved to the single table. It takes a whole team to do it - I believe the combined weight of the 5 slate sections is over a tonne! Also, they're extremely expensive to source and purchase, let alone the logistics of transporting them to your workshop.
However, maybe you could use MDF - as I'm sure your table won't need to be Championship specification.
You also might be better opting for an 8 foot by 4 foot table as the 12' x 6' are enormous. They are so much bigger than they appear on the TV! (if that makes sense!)
Such a negative response from me - I apologise! Go on - prove me wrong!

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby Dan-cat

Look at this dude, new on the forum and he's building his own table!! I like your style Loopy1982. Welcome :D

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby PoolBoy

Dan-cat wrote:Look at this dude, new on the forum and he's building his own table!! I like your style Loopy1982. Welcome :D

^^^ That's what I meant to say! :-D

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby loopy1982

Thanks for the feedback PoolBoy and Dan-cat. The slate bed could be a sticking point. That will need some further thought I guess. I hope I'm not getting ahead of myself asking such questions having only just joined the forum. I guess I can't progress and immerse myself further in the forum until I've got access to a table to play on, which at present I haven't. I'll give this some further thought and research and let you know how I get on.

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby acesinc

Welcome Loopy, from another Yankee.

I have been working on my game using English Billiards as a practice tool. English Billiards is a beautiful game in its own right, but I prefer the Snooker as being more exciting for my tastes. Anyway, my purpose here is to maybe help in your endeavour to build your own English Billiard table. (Sorry, I am just a bit anal....technically, there is no such thing as a "snooker table". Snooker is one of a variety of games which are played on an English Billiard table. "Snooker table" has become the common parlance, but I will resist to the end.)

There is a fantastic website for English Billiards and all things related, INCLUDING information about table construction and such. Incredible resource for all kinds of information. Here is a link to a page specific about the cushions but click all around for more:

http://englishbilliards.org/MakingCushionsPart2

As for the posts about slates, rather than completely building your own table, you may be able to find a used table somewhere in the Northeast and pick it up for a song. Full size tables were not all that uncommon here in the States going back 50 years or more so on occasion, someone buys a house that has a table in the basement that they don't know what to do with. They may just want to get the thing out of their house so you might pick it up for no cost at all other than transport and paying some beer money to a few of your biggest, strongest friends to help move the slates. This is basically how I got my table 25 years ago. Keep an eye on Craigslist and that sort of thing.

If you can pick up an old, used table like this, then you can put your wood working skills to repairing it as needed. You can even replace every splinter of wood if you are ambitious and just use the slates. Word of advice if you do this...always transport slates vertical, not laying down horizontally. Even if you put wood blocks between, bumps in the road could cause the slate to crack. Exactly the same reason you see glass companies transporting panes of glass vertical. Even if a slate is cracked, a good fitter can generally repair it to a point where you won't even know it when the table is clothed.

For the record, my slates weigh 380 pounds each, by far the most difficult aspect of moving a table around. I have moved my table three times now and hopefully, the next time will be my kids' problem. (It will probably end up one of those Craigslist items I mentioned above.)

Good luck, and if you ever come through Chicago, stop in for a game.

Re: Considering building my own table

Postby Dan-cat

Awesome post Acesinc, a snooker terminology pedant till the end!

Loopy - please post progress pictures. You've got to do this now you've announced it. I do this to myself to ensure I do something - tell everyone I know - public accountability!