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DeadCrab
12-29-2006, 01:53 PM
1. Why is wood framing used, as opposed to something rigid like welded steel?

2. I play on 8' Brunswicks at a local University, and they get beat up pretty good by the students (I have actually seen foot prints on one). Are the funky rolls in certain locations (especially corners) likely the result of frame insufficiency?

3. AMF is making a table with a phenolic surface. This would seem to make sense, provided harder than the phenolic balls. Is this considered a valid slate alternative?

QuickNick
12-29-2006, 03:53 PM
Let me see if I can shed some light.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DeadCrab:</font><hr> 1. Why is wood framing used, as opposed to something rigid like welded steel?

2. I play on 8' Brunswicks at a local University, and they get beat up pretty good by the students (I have actually seen foot prints on one). Are the funky rolls in certain locations (especially corners) likely the result of frame insufficiency?

3. AMF is making a table with a phenolic surface. This would seem to make sense, provided harder than the phenolic balls. Is this considered a valid slate alternative?
<hr /></blockquote>

1. Wood vs. Steel framing. If you're referring to the actual construction of the table, and not the framing of "framed slate", I think the answer would be cost and appearance. Furniture-style tables are wood for cosmetic purposes, and it stands to reason that the internal supports of the table be wood as well. That way, all of the materials will react the same to variances in temperature and humidity. Wood is cheap, durable, and it works well.

In specific applications, I've seen all sorts of things used...like aluminum in some outdoor tables. Some lower-end import tables have steel crossbeams that support the slate as well.

2. I'm not sure what funky rolls you're talking about. If it's rolls in the cloth, then it's probably just been pulled away from the adhesive from use.

3. I see no reason to replace slate as a playing surface, UNLESS the phenolic top will be used on outdoor tables. Slate is porous and will absorb moisture, so it's not always the best material to use outside. I would be curious what benefits the phenolic is supposed to offer over slate.
Short answer: If it's not slate, it's not regulation. That could change, I suppose.
-Nick

Scott Lee
12-30-2006, 09:47 AM
Actually, the Gabriels Signature Pro table is constructed with a steel frame underneath. You can only see it, if you get down and look underneath the table. Very solid construction.

Scott Lee

FatsRedux
12-30-2006, 04:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Actually, the Gabriels Signature Pro table is constructed with a steel frame underneath. You can only see it, if you get down and look underneath the table. Very solid construction.

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

Yes. The Kim Steel tables also use steel frame construction. Billares SAM in Spain ditributes the Kim Steel line.

Fats

caedos
12-30-2006, 09:32 PM
I do some table work with another much more accomplished table mechanic. He and a few others I've heard commonly say that about the time Brunswick came out with the GC III, there were some quality issues with the companies contracted to build parts of the table. I know 9' tables in general tend to have a 'belly' that requires shimming unless the frame was engineered extraordinarily well or used metal like KimSteel or Gabriels. Depending on the mechanic who sets up the table, he could be chasing a wave of imbalances as the table is stressed and re-stressed in the leveling process. At some point he'd either start over with a new plan, or quit thinking he'd done the best he could.



So yes, wood is readily available and cheap; many tables could have better engineered frames, but serve very well for most recreational players; and I don't know enough about phenolic beds to comment.

Cheers!


Carl

Shaft
12-31-2006, 08:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DeadCrab:</font><hr>

3. I see no reason to replace slate as a playing surface, UNLESS the phenolic top will be used on outdoor tables. Slate is porous and will absorb moisture, so it's not always the best material to use outside. I would be curious what benefits the phenolic is supposed to offer over slate.
Short answer: If it's not slate, it's not regulation. That could change, I suppose.
-Nick <hr /></blockquote>

It is good to have an open mind. As players, we should not confuse tradition with performance. Slate is superior to the old wood tables, and it is the current tradition, but is it really the state of the art forever and ever amen?? Suppose phenolic (or corbomite, or kryptonite....) was cheaper, harder, less saggy, easier to machine and more dimensionally stable? Would some of us still demand slate? Not me... I want the best, even when it comes time to retire slate.

I expect the day WILL come when a pool player will say: "My grandfather once played on a tabe made of slate. Can you imagine they used to use materials that crude?"

Look at the evolution of pool balls: wood, clay, ivory, cellulose, polyester, phenolic resin - each material was a stepping stone to something better. Despite their historical value, I do not want to play with ivory pool balls today, thanks.

If players do not OBJECTIVELY evaluate the performance of new materials - and instead cling to tradition - the materials of the game will improve at a slower pace.

MHO. Keep an open mind.

Shaft/Paul

QuickNick
01-04-2007, 11:33 AM
It's not that I don't have an open mind to new materials, I'm just referring to what the BCA considers "regulation".

You'd have to take it up with the BCA as far as letting new materials slip in.

One thing I have to say, though, is what's WRONG with slate that it needs a replacement? It's relatively cheap. It's heavy. It's perfectly flat and doesn't warp. Billiard ball construction materials have deviated over the years as a matter of durability and cost. The point being to get the longest lasting balls at the lowest possible cost. Slate doesn't wear out so there's no need to find a more durable alternative.

I just think this is an attempt at making a new material for sake of saying it's a new material.

If they can make something that maintains all the positive properties of slate (weight, warp-resistance, life span) but costs, say, 50% less AND can get it approved by the BCA, I'll be all for it. Of course, it would also be the burden of the inventor to market it well enough that my customers won't continue making sour faces at anything that isn't slate. That's partially my job as a salesman, but the company that created it would have to build a solid and public case for the new material.

DeadCrab
01-05-2007, 06:59 AM
It is difficult for me to consider slate to be "cheap". But, compared to similar materials (granite, quartzite), it is a better buy.

But in terms of encouraging sales, consider this - some of us have a room big enough for a pool table, but there is no feasible way to get the table into the room, and out again when we move in a couple of years. Suppose there was a table that derived it's stability from a rigid metal frame anchored to the floor rather than just dead weight. Assemble and anchor the frame, then slide in a 3-piece surface and cover after the table is installed.

I have not seen this table in person, but it looks like it could serve as a model for a "new" type of table with construction along the lines described above. Make an indoor model for under $2K, and I want it in my basement tomorrow.
http://www.tribilliards.com/amf_keywest.html

caedos
01-05-2007, 12:17 PM
Or, if dead weight on the table is the stabilizing force, use a lighter but playable bed material and winch as much dead weight as you want to a system installed under the table to the outer/inner framing components. I don't see a way around it, either anchor to the floor or use weight to anchor the position.

c