Home   Call: (519) 332-8112  
  All About Billiards  
 
   
 
faqs.jpg
     Product Line  
 
 
 
Balls and Ball Washing
Billiard Tables
Clearance & Sale items
Cloth - Pool and Snooker
Cue Acessories
Cue Cases
Cue Racks
Dart Boards
Dart Cabinets, Foams, Lighting & Mats
Dart flights
Dart Scoring
Dart Shafts
Darts
Dome Hockey
Falcon Cues
Foosball Tables
Game Room Accessories
Game Room Furniture
Harley Davidson Products
Jump/Break cues
Lighting
NEW Arivals
Poker Tables
Pool Cues
Score Boards
Shuffleboards
Snooker Cues
Table Accessories
Table Tennis
Training Aids
Used Pool Tables


 

Do you want your table to just look good or play good as well?

Where will your Warranty come from?

Who is setting up your table?

5 important factors to consider when buying a table.  

  • Size:  How big is you room?  The most common length of a pool cue is 57"-58". This means you will need 5 feet around the playing surface of your table to play comfortably. although shorter cues are available for that not quit perfect shot.

Many dealers speak of regulation size tables. What does that mean? All tables will have a length that is twice the width of the playing surface.  All tables are regulation size.

Most commonly used sizes are now 7', 8' and 9' tables.  To measure a table place a tape measure on the inside of the rubber and measure to the opposite side.

This will be 39" for a 7', 44" for a 8', and 50" for a 9'.

I have included a chart for your convenience to measure your room size

  • Slate: Tables are classified as Slate and Non-slate Models. If it does not have a slate top on it is not going to be able to provide a true and level playing surface. The slate should have a bed liner attached ussually made of Particle board as this is the best for adhesion and holding staples, solid wood liners tend to eventually warp and become un-attached from the slate, cheap made plywood from over seas will breakapart very easily when the staples are taken in and out.

The liner is there so the cloth can be stapled to the slate not glued.  Gluing creates a build up on slate and leaves a potion of the cloth if it is taken apart for moving, but most importantly it allow the cloth to be streched tighter for Qaulity of play and longevity of cloth.  

The liner also reduces the sound as the ball rolls over the slate top.

The best slate is from Italy and Brazil, both of these countries have been milling slate to 10:1,000" for years.

  • Quality of Play: Many customers get caught up in looking at the design and colour of the table and forget that they are buying not just to look at, but the table is being purchased to play on.  One of the biggest factors is the rubber on the rails.  Most companies say their rails are made of Natural Gum Rubber.  This is true for everyone.  

Where the difference is how the rubber is mixed with other compounds then baked to make it into a playable rail.When rolling a ball across the table with a average shot the ball need to bounce of both rails, or like wise end to end it should be able to travel the best part of the tables length, if not you will be forced to hit hard and not able to concentrate on accuracy.  

 Ask how long their warranty is on the rubber and how to collect if needed.  Olhausen has a life time guarantee on "Accu-fast" rubber specially made to their standards in the USA.

Cloth is a key factor that the individual dealer decides. Not all cloth plays the same or last the same. A good quality blended cloth will get about 2000 hours of play, where as most dealers sell blended cloth that will only last 800-1000 hours. 

Worsted cloth will play faster (Mostly for League players), but is that what you want and is the trade off of speed for longevity and ball controll, more important.  Ask us about the differences.

  • Construction: Just because it is made of solid wood does not make it the best.  Solid wood allows us to make nicers more decorative designs, better quality of finishing.  Becareful to see if the it is really all solid wood or just certain components, like legs and Top rails only.

Many manufactures use veneers over a veriety of products and tell customers they have solid wood tables.  The quality of finish is exstreamly important for a pool table as the top rails gets rubbed,brushed and abused on a regualar bases when being played on.  A high gloss finish is the last thing you want on a top rail. Take a look at look at high gloss hard wood floors finishes after just a few months. 

Many times, tables made over seas use any kind of solid wood and spray on a one step finish Acrylic Finish on the wood. This is colour and gloss all in one spraying. Question how long it will stay looking like that and can it be refinished in the future if a issue arises.  Your table should look great for decades not months.

How the frame is assembled and the legs are attached is very important factor in the play of the table and longevity.  When playing on a table we constantly lean on the surface,  when our weight causes shifting on the legs, we do not want the supports to wiggle loose over time. Steel brackets sound like a great choice but they are generally attached with barrell bolts screwed into the frame, with a 25 lbs leg attached to the bottom, they regularly loosen over time.  A permenant wood brace works much better, but is seldom used on imported Tables that are designed in many small pieces for ease of shipping in sea containers.

Quality hardware makes a difference when assembling and taking apart a table, poor quaility steel screws and bolts make a difficult job for the mechanic working on the table.

With such a big investment do you really trust your self to get the most out of your table when assembling.

  • Accessories: Dealers decide what kind of cues, balls and brushes to add to your table.  A good quailty maple cue will make all the difference in your playing experience. If they stating you will want to upgrade maybe that is a warning of what quailty their tables are as well.

 What make a good quailty maple Cue? Selection of wood is important

The fural on the end that the glued on tip is attached should be of a yellowish or off white colour, screw on tips and hard plastic fural will break quickly when useded. 

The quality of the joint is tricky for a beginner to determine but the 2 pieces of metal should not be of the same type, 1 piece cues will play better but lack the ability to travel with you.

The wrap on the handle should be of leather or Pressed Irish linen, Never nylon or pollyester, Ask to be sure what you are getting.  if it unravells in a few weeks you will be looking for new cues.

The best balls are phenolic resin they have a yellowish look not a bright white finish, they are harder and more durable.

To download and print our frequently asked questions please click here.

How do I install a pool table?

Are all natural gum rubber rails the same?

Is there different types of body construction, they all look similar from the top?

Does the thickness of the slate make a better playing table?

Does slate warp?

What should I look for when buying a used table?

     

How do I install a pool table?

All manufactures will agree that a slate pool table should only be installed by a trained pool table mechanic. Warranty on a table is only honored by manufactures when the table is installed by a qualified mechanic. When installing the table all pieces of slate must be true and flat, this is not something the average handyman is going to be able to do. Proper tightening of all screws is important, too tight and there is a chance of a crack while too loose could leave the table room to move. Stretching the felt takes years of experience to master. One must be sure to have correct tautness in order for the table to play and wear properly. The alignment and positioning of the rails also play a critical part of how the table will play.  Here at All About Billiards Mark has 20 years of experience,  that means he has worked on thousands of tables not only “the best in billiards” but on all brands. “The table is only as level as the person who put it together.” Do you want to invest your hard earned money on a table and not have it play the best it can?

Back to top.

 

Are all natural gum rubber rails the same?

There are five grades of natural gum rubber. Most slate pool table manufactures claim to have natural gum rubber and say they meet BCA standards. This may be true but the higher the grade of gum rubber, the more accurate the rebound of the ball and the more lively the response. Olhausen is the only company to offer the Accu-fast cushion with a lifetime warranty, made from premium grade rubber mixed with proprietary chemicals and pigments to increase accuracy.  Anti revision chemicals are used to prevent the rubber from reverting back to its natural state. A true k-66 face profile is used as a standard for over a century. 100% bonding, compared to 66% used by most manufactures ensures the best possible end product. Of coarse the cushions are made in the USA to unsure the quality control need to produce the most important part of the game.

What the rubber is attached to also makes a difference in the play of the ball. A hard backing secured properly to the slate will make all the difference in how the ball will react. A rail secured with free floating plates held by a staple will vibrate loose and change the play of your table.  This will also need regular tightening to keep in place and have a rattling sound. Olhausen tables are installed on only hardwoods using “T nut” construction. This combined with high quality bolts and washers maintain a consistent level of play.

Back to top.

 

Is there different types of body construction, they all look similar from the top?

Many tables designed have been copied from other larger brand manufactures. The problem with a copy is that corners are cut to make the selling price lower. Most of us have heard the saying “You only get what you pay for”, this very true in pool table designs. Most copies are made over seas with inexpensive labour, therefore the attention to detail is lost because of non skilled workers. The frame is made of many pieces so more tables can be packed into shipping container, the quality of wood is generally overlooked which can cause the finished table warp in the future. Just because the lumber is from North America does not mean the wood is high quality. Cheap low quality lumber makes for a poor strength final product that has lots of screw, bolts and metal brackets that weaken the overall integrity of the table. A true flat surface is needed to stabilize the slate.  We do not drive a car with four bald tires, or build a house on a weak foundation why would we buy a table the will shift when you put any weight against it.

Back to top.

 

Does the thickness of the slate make a better playing table?
 
No. The thickness of slate is not as important as where it comes from and how it is finished. More importantly, what is the slate being laid on?
For many years the standard thickness of billiard table slate was ¾”, making 1” an upgrade for 4x8 tables.
The thickness of the slate has minimal effect on the overall playability of the table. Thick slate is often used to add weight to a table giving customers the false impression of stability which should come from the tables frame.
Olhausen offers 1” thick slate, with a bed liner glued to the back as a standard.  
By attaching a bed liner with glue not screws, the ball will have less vibration sound when rolling on the table; this also provides a more stable piece of slate when handling during shipping and installation. The bed liner also offers the ability to staple cloth to the slate instead of gluing. Stapling will allow for a much more controlled installation and removal of cloth, therefore improving the end playing enjoyment.

Back to top.

 

Does slate warp?

No, slate can not warp. The best slate in the world comes from Italy and Brazil; hundreds of years working with the stone have provided them with experience needed to create the highest quality finish.  Diamond honed slate is ground on the top surface with a series of peaks allowing the surface to be much truer and flat. Many tables now offer slate from the orient and Brazil.  If the slate is not true and flat before it is installed than how will a mechanic be able to make it level on the table?

Back to top.

 

What should I look for when buying a used table?

When buying used there are many factors that come into play. 

What shape is the cloth in, and does it need to be replaced? 

Does it have a slate bed in it? 

Does the table have good working rubber on all Six cushions, is the rubber the same age and consistency for the table to play properly. This is an expensive part of the table to replace if the rails are dead.

The way to check the rails for lively, consistent play is to bounce a ball off of all 6 rails.  The ball should bounce off far enough for a bank shot to be made in any pocket.  The harder we have to hit the ball the less accuracy we will have.  The rails are the key to a table playing well.

What shape are the accessories in? 

Another question you should ask is what kind of wood is the table made from, or is it even real wood?

 A table should be set up and moved by a professional. Each slate slab can weight between 145 pounds and 375 pounds. If a piece of slate is damaged during transportation you will want to replace all 3 as they should be a matched set.  Every Make of table has a different bolt hole pattern, Therefore they do not fit every table.

 
You should also be aware of whether or not the table has the type of rails you want (pool or snooker).

Very often you can purchase a new Olhausen table, complete with no headaches for about the same price, as a used table that is filled with many hidden costs. Everything you need to get playing is included, plus professional installation. For many customers a billiard table is a “once in a life time purchase”, this  is why it is so important you know what you getting for your money.

By contacting our store we can educate you about what to look for and give you comparable pricing from new to used. We will also educate you about the details of what makes up a great playing table.  If you decide to buy used we can move it, recover it, replace rails, or just sell you the accessories you will require.

Making a educated purchase is always the easiest one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Last Updated 2017/01/10 05:30:27PM