View Full Version : Pool table slate
01-22-2005, 08:18 PM
I am about to purchase a new Thomas Aaron table for my home. I have the option of getting a 2" slate instead of the 1" it comes with. It will cost me an additional 250.00 to upgrade. What are the pro's and con's of "upgrading" to a 2"? My thinking is the added weight is a good thing and the overall feel would be better. Oh yeah, what about any opinions about Thomas Aaron tables as well...Thanks for the input!
01-23-2005, 08:13 AM
The only thing I would be concerned about is concentrating that extra weight in a small area. Players I know that have 2" slates have the table installed in the basement on concrete, I'm not an experienced contractor but I'm sure this extra 800 lbs should cause some concern. I'm sure someone around here must have or know somebody with a 2" slate installed in a upper room and they can give FIRST HAND knowledge of the situation.
Thomas Aaron tables seem to be a REALLY decent price, right? Hmmmm. I wonder why.
My thoughts? Get a reputable table mfg., and THEN decide if thicker slate is necessary. This reminds me of a guy with a Sears "Statron" table, and thinks he should put Simonis on it. Just back a$$words.
01-24-2005, 12:57 PM
Thanks for your input Brad. Although, Thomas Aaron tables run around 3500 for a 8 ft. table. Is that a "cheap" table as you inferred? I have seen the tables in person and they are solid maple with excellent hardware. Any additional thoughts would be welcome.
They're an import. And, no, they're not "cheap", they're just more decorative than solid. Again, going back to your desire to thicker slate, I think the effort should be placed in construction, rather than style. Retailers love them, because that $3500 table made in China, wholesale cost them less than $1200. Don't get me wrong, China mfg. is getting MUCH better. But if your buying the table for playability, and I think you are, table manufacturers with "history" tend to put in more thought to construction rather than a furniture manufacturer does. Thomas Aaron is a furniture manufacturer that thought it would be profitable to dable in pool tables.
Will you be disappointed in a Thomas Aaron table? Maybe not. It depends how high your standards of equipment are. With a desire for 2" slate, I suspected your standards were high.
Either way, shop around. Get other peoples opinion before you buy.
Here's a short story for you. When in the market for a table, a friend of mine(and a Very good player) visited a few local retailers. When he stopped at one retailer, he was chatting with the salesman, when the guy put his styrofoam cup of coffee on the rail of a table my buddy was looking at. While extolling all the virtures of this table, he was throwing a ball down table and back pretty hard. My buddy noticed vibration rings in the coffee. This was a SOLID PROFESSIONAL table, allegedly. Then he went from table to table, manufacturer to manufacturer, and dealer to dealer, until he found a table that didn't show the vibration. That table was a Crown.
just my $.02
01-25-2005, 01:05 PM
I have never heard of Thomas Aaron tables so I won't comment on them specifically. The extra weight of the 2" slate is significant. As mentioned above, you will want to have it on concrete or the floor will move and knock the table out of level. Also, I would be concerned that the extra weight of the slate would put an undue amount of stress on the table frame. The only table I have seen/played on with 2" slate was a Connelly Ultimate and that table is massive. It has six big legs to help support the weight. If the table frame can't support the extra weight of the slate it will spread, sag and ultimately pull apart.
The advantage of 2" slate is it is heavier and therefore it will not move very easily, if it is on concrete. So supposedly it will stay level longer. Also, the balls are suppose to roll quieter. The disadvantage is that the slate bed does not flex as much as a 1" slate bed will and therefore makes jump shots much easier. Some people may think that is an advantage. Also, when you break the cue ball jumps a little and will bounce higher on the 2" slate increasing the chance of the ball flying off the table.
I personally don't think 2" slate is worth the extra money. I would rather spend the money on "top of the line" balls and Simonis clothe.
BTW, some import table companies save money by buying wood that hasn't been seasoned long enough. It's cheaper, but the wood isn't as stable and may twist, shrink and crack. They also use cheap Asian made rubber rails that lose their resilience sooner than quality rubber.
01-25-2005, 02:31 PM
Almost all pool tables look solid from the top. What you want to do is get underneath the table and see how the slate is being supported. A good quality table will have support running the length of the table as well as at the seams (side to side) in the slates. It should be thick hardwood as well. Another thing to check is to see if they use any metal braces anywhere under the table. There shouldn't be any. It should all be nice solid wood construction and bracing. As posted earlier, roll a ball up and down the table while you have a hand on the table. If you can feel the ball rolling or hitting the rails through your hand, the table is not solidly constructed. JMHO
01-25-2005, 03:24 PM
Don't know anything good or bad about Thomas Aaron Tables but do know about pool tables. I have owned a Murrey, two Golden West, Gandy Commercial table, and presently a 9' Diamond Pro. One inch slate to 1.25" is as thick as necessary with popular wood backing to hold staples. Two inch slate is only desirable to keep table from moving when bumped or leaned against which may cause it to become unlevel. Two inch slate as mentioned produces more ball bounce and should only be used on a reinforced wood floor or concrete. All hardwood construction used with no particle(pressed wood) or plywood being used and no metal bracing. To get the most enjoyment while playing use Simonis 860 cloth and good quality rubber cushions ie, Accufast, Brunswick Super Speed, or Artemis. All those are good but Artemis is my sugestion and if you're buying a new table ask the dealer to upgrade to them. Hope this is helpful.
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