View Full Version : Alternate table bed material

01-21-2004, 09:05 AM
I was wondering why in this day of advanced technology, why slate is still considered the only acceptable table bed material? Does anyone know why, for instance, glass might not be suitable? Or how about a high density plastic?

01-21-2004, 09:13 AM
I have thought the same thing. I dont know what the material would be, but you would think someone would come out with something very strong, but lighter than slate.

Of course I think it would be very hard for someone to break into the market, because like you said, slate at this time is considered the only acceptable table bed material.

01-21-2004, 09:25 AM
The weight of the slate is one of the qualities. It is very sound absorbing as well. I am sure there are others qualities as well. They have used other construction such as honey comb with a very high strengh to weight ration and it was awful. It stayed flat but was too light and played like junk. Not wanting to be controversial but, The slate on many old table seems to not have the surface you find on some of today's tables. I have recovered old tables that looked like one of my patio stones. If you look at the surface on a table like a say a Verhoven billiard table(sp?) you can see yourself in the slate it is so highly polished. It makes sense it would play faster a probably better. I don't know if they ever put that kind of polished surface on them years ago. It is fun to talk about the great old tables but today's tables may be better then ever.

Chris Cass
01-21-2004, 09:41 AM
Hi Popcorn,

Did you know that slate repaires itself over time? That's what I heard. Minor cracks and such. I would think though it would be a long time. Just some useless info.



01-21-2004, 09:45 AM
A friend of mine years ago offered to make me a tempered glass bed for my main bar table. He said no way would it ever break as that was a concern. You couldn't find a more perfectly flat surface but I wondered about the glass sweating. I doubt that would have been a problem either. I wish I would have taken him up on that offer. Weight comes to mind, I don't recall discussing weight. There have been marble beds made but it has imperfections also. I played on one marble bed and it was rock solid, no pun intended.


01-21-2004, 10:09 AM
I could see a two ply surface where you get the weight and sound absorbing quality of the slate, bonded with a surface that will not chip and could be ground to a perfect flat surface. I can't see any kind of solid synthetic material that could be used, not something that would not cost a fortune to produce a solid table top. There are synthetic counter materials, but they are really expensive and too light from what I have seen. It would need a core of steel or something to have the weight. I would be concerned about the sound the tables makes when you play as well. I have an old Sonuer Willham (sp?) in the warehouse I had set up once in my house and it has slates that look to be 1 1/2 inches thick. When you would break the balls it was very quiet and really nice to play on. I didn't like the T-rails though, they seemed to play inconsistent and also the slate is not as polished as you see today. I need to sell that thing to someone that wants something antique like for their home.

01-21-2004, 10:41 AM
Possibly the honey comb material you mentioned with some type of filler. Maybe one day something new will come around. I've played on Connley Ultimates with a 2" slate, man that stuff has to be heavy. You don't even need a jump cue unless the balls get fairly close. Not that I'm a jump fan but it goes to show how a solid surface effects play.


01-21-2004, 12:52 PM
Hey CC, Hold on to that coal in the cellar and you and Heidi will own this joint one day! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

01-21-2004, 02:11 PM
you can order a new table with glass, marble or concrete playing surface. The glass is 1/2 inch thick and backed with something, I don't remember what.

I hear the big problem with the 2 inch slate is balls bouncing off the table. Not what you want in a poolroom. Chris in NC had them in his room and took them out. They also spit balls out of the pockets.

I have an antique Brunswick and have a lot of trouble getting a ball airborn but it's much easier on a modern table. Not sure why.

Could be on the old tables you didn't see a lot of jumping. Then Earl came along and everyone said he was cheating. Someone came up with a jump cue just so people could play with Earl. That's true; just ask Earl.

01-21-2004, 10:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ken:</font><hr> Could be on the old tables you didn't see a lot of jumping. Then Earl came along and everyone said he was cheating. Someone came up with a jump cue just so people could play with Earl. That's true; just ask Earl.
KenCT <hr /></blockquote>
Hmmm, I've heard agruments about jumping (scooping vs hitting down) back when Earl was in diapers. Not sure when the bitty cues got popular though.

01-21-2004, 11:55 PM
I saw Earl practicing jump shots with a regular cue in an Atlantic City tournament back in the early 80's. He might not have been the only one doing it back then, but he was surely the best at it. When I watched him, he was shooting at balls the full table length away, jumping balls and drawing the cue ball back the length of the table. Despite Earl's prowess with ball jumping, Wade Crane (aka: Billy Johnson) won the tournament by running 7 racks in the finals. I don't believe he missed a single shot in the finals.

The guy who popularized the jump cue concept was Sammy Jones (Lori John Jones' husband). Sammy used to jump brilliantly with just a shaft. Somewhere along the way a minimum cue length was established, and the cue shaft idea evolved into the modern jump cue.