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View Full Version : MUST readiing on pool table manufacturing...



bradb
11-08-2007, 07:28 PM
After some seaching I at last found this rather disturbing consumer report on buying todays tables. (scrool down to "A note about current developements in the American pool industry/"

http://www.ahpooltables.com/pool-table-consumer.htm

It seems ALL the top names now make all their tables in Brazil or overseas. Thats why we're getting some wood problems even in high end tables.

The report is in valuable in warning us on what brands and product to look out for. -brad

1Time
11-08-2007, 07:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr>"A note about current developements in the American pool industry/"

http://www.ahpooltables.com/pool-table-consumer.htm
<hr /></blockquote>

Lots of good info there on pool table construction. However, there was no info regarding pocket width, depth, or playability.

bradb
11-08-2007, 07:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr>


Lots of good info there on pool table construction. However, there was no info regarding pocket width, depth, or playability. <hr /></blockquote>

The whole point is the mention that no tables are now being manufactured in the states. Some of the big names only put their label on them. Its something the dealers don't like to tell us.

Casey
11-08-2007, 09:45 PM
OK, I haven't read that report yet but I will right after this post.

So most people following this know that I had two separate sales rep's tell me Brunswick's tables are now made in China. One a rep from Beringer directly, the other, a sales guy from Champion Billiards (Olhausen dealer)-who showed me a box that had the "Brunswick America" label and also "Made In China". He said table legs came in that box.

After disbelief by Brad I sent a email to Brunswick through their contact page. I don't have that email because when they replied it was not forwarded. They did however respond very fast, I was impressed with that.

The email I first sent went something like. :
I have heard Brunswick tables are now manufacturerd in China. Does Brunswick manufacture/produce tables or materials for them overseas?

This is the reply:

Brunswick has been a global sourcer of pool table components for over 30 years. Our table components come from the US, South America and Asia (including China). We aim to supply consumers with the best designed, manufactured and priced product available.

Joan Ledanski
Administrative Projects Manager
Brunswick Billiards

This seemed wishy washy to me so I sent this back:

Thank you very much for such a fast reply.
I am still wondering, is there any table construction done over seas? How about
lumber or wood materials, does any of that come from overseas? I saw a box that
said "Brunswick 'Made In China'" and was told a pool table leg came out of it.

To Which I Received This Email:

If components are sourced overseas they have to be marked with the country of origin. If you saw a box of legs that said "Made in China", that is where that box of legs was sourced from. The hardwood we use in our tables
also comes from all over the world and in some instances is shipped from the US to Brazil and/or China, and in other instances is sourced from these
countries.


Joan Ledanski
Administrative Projects Manager
Brunswick Billiards

Looks like its sad but true....

Casey
11-08-2007, 11:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> After some seaching I at last found this rather disturbing consumer report on buying todays tables. (scrool down to "A note about current developements in the American pool industry/"

http://www.ahpooltables.com/pool-table-consumer.htm

It seems ALL the top names now make all their tables in Brazil or overseas. Thats why we're getting some wood problems even in high end tables.

The report is in valuable in warning us on what brands and product to look out for. -brad <hr /></blockquote>

Brad, Thanks for finding &amp; posting this; that section you pointed out is VERY INTERESTING.

A couple things that went through my mind though.
1. The prices listed in the guide would be MSRP's not actual prices.
2. Unfortunately, this guide was writen by and posted on a competing manufacturer's website. Although I believe it is true I also think it may be a very small bit exagerated.

I think what it shows is you now need to be very careful when you buy ANY new table and not just think name=quality.

I think this trend also shows though that you can get a quality table made overseas but make sure you know what you are buying. I doubt this now means Brunswick=poor quality.

I really don't think there was anyway to prevent the companies from outsourcing overseas when labor is soo much cheaper. Its the manufacturers that don't care about quality that one has to watch out for (and be angry about). It would be nice to see an outside report testing for a degrading quality in the name brands after turning to imports.

Not to start an old argument but if I had to bet I still think those initial tables that started the debate are a very good quality table. I saw many "IFFY" Asian made tables for sale new on Craigslist, Ebay, and in retail stores (NAMCO). I would not have put any faith in those and some did use tricky wording and what-not to try to fool the buyer. But, unlike those this company DID seem like they were selling a quality product that they stood behind and wanted to prove it. (Some things even seemed like better quality than the name brands, like 4 bolts per rail vs. 3)

BUT...

For someone who has the time to wait on a deal, everyone's advice of buying a quality used table is the way to go though I think.

BTW: As far as slate goes I know Olhausen still uses Italian and Brunswick now uses Brazilian (?Maybe Chinese too???)
Supposedly Olhausen wanted to go to Brazilian because shipping it here would be much cheaper but Italy worked out a deal with them b/c Olhausen not buying any slate from them would bankrupt the industry. (Supposedly)

1Time
11-09-2007, 12:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr>
Lots of good info there on pool table construction. However, there was no info regarding pocket width, depth, or playability. <hr /></blockquote>

The whole point is the mention that no tables are now being manufactured in the states. Some of the big names only put their label on them. Its something the dealers don't like to tell us. <hr /></blockquote>

Right, unclench bradb. My criticism was of the article, not you. The article is titled “Consumer Guide to Pool Tables”, yet it does not address the importance of a table’s pockets. I did not want readers to think the whole article was good, just because I said it has a lot of good info on a pool table’s construction. Good of you to bring this excellent resource to the attention of this forum.

bradb
11-09-2007, 10:30 AM
Yes, I was quite surprized that ALL tables now are made in China. Brunswick was making theirs in Brazil but nobdy can now compete with the Chineses products.

The report goes on to say that even top brand tables are now starting to drop in quality as they must compete with other knock offs who are stealing their business. Many name brand tables on the net are fakes and sadly there is no way they can be stopped.

When I went to Olhausen for my table I was told they were all made here. that was a year ago, now sadly they too have folded up shop.

I found an article by the US wood producers accusing China of smuggling in Indonesian wood (Laws are against exporting it from Indonesia) for furniture and tables and that is where the problems are rising. US brands really have little control on the end result. - brad

bradb
11-09-2007, 10:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr>
Right, unclench bradb. My criticism was of the article, not you. The article is titled “Consumer Guide to Pool Tables”, yet it does not address the importance of a table’s pockets. I did not want readers to think the whole article was good, just because I said it has a lot of good info on a pool table’s construction. Good of you to bring this excellent resource to the attention of this forum. <hr /></blockquote>

No problem, you no how emails are, they come off wrong. I was concerened over the export problem. When we tell people to be wary of Chineses tables we will now have to say be wary of all tables even the name brands unless you are paying the top price.

ceebee
11-09-2007, 10:50 AM
This info should help sustain "higher prices" for older tables. This info could also be a real bummer for the local Retail Billiard Companies.

SPetty
11-09-2007, 12:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Yes, I was quite surprised that ALL tables now are made in China. <hr /></blockquote>You've said that several times now... 1) I cannot find in the article where it says that 2) What makes you certain that the article is true?

Are Diamond tables are made in China? I can't find "Made in U.S.A." on their web site...

Bob_Jewett
11-09-2007, 12:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> ... The report is in valuable in warning us on what brands and product to look out for. -brad <hr /></blockquote>
On the other hand, I'm more comfortable with web sites that have names and addresses attached to them. The cited site seems to have no such info. The phone number is in the Atlanta area code, but that means less and less these days.

Recently American Heritage (formerly Gandy?)tables in Georgia went out of business. Is this other business related to that?

Another point is that a manufacturer normally avoids specific criticism of its competitors. That avoids "do not" "do too" "do not" exchanges.

So, while some of the info on that site may be useful, prepare yourself with waders and rock salt.

bradb
11-09-2007, 01:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> Yes, I was quite surprised that ALL tables now are made in China. <hr /></blockquote>You've said that several times now... 1) I cannot find in the article where it says that 2) What makes you certain that the article is true?

Are Diamond tables are made in China? I can't find "Made in U.S.A." on their web site... <hr /></blockquote>

By "all" I meant top brands. The article says that only Schmidt and Golden West along with some small makers still manufacture and assemble tables here.

The key is "manufacture." Of the remaining large stateside makers, they bring the pieces in and assemble them here. I would hope that the very expensive tables are still made mostly here but who knows, price is driving the market now and things are changing rapidly.
I found another site that says only 8% of the total market on tables is completly manufactured here. I realize that these sites are all speaking from there own agenda.

I sent a quiry into Diamond but have'nt heard back yet.

Casey
11-09-2007, 01:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr>
When I went to Olhausen for my table I was told they were all made here. that was a year ago, now sadly they too have folded up shop.<hr /></blockquote>

That article said as of June '07 85% of Olhausen's manufacturing was still here in US. They moved to TN b/c that part of the country is cheaper.

bradb
11-09-2007, 02:47 PM
I emailed the company that posted the article. They are American Custom Pool Tables in Atlanta Georgia, but I could not get an actual address. Their tables are very hign end and expensive.

They claim Connelly tables are made in China and Taiwan and assembled here. Diamonds are made here, but they are not sure if that means assembled only. Olhausen is 85% made here in TN. as you noted but no feed back yet on them as to wood.
I heard from Diamond but they said they needed more time to answer my request. -brad

Casey
11-09-2007, 03:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> I emailed the company that posted the article. They are American Custom Pool Tables in Atlanta Georgia, but I could not get an actual address. Their tables are very hign end and expensive.

They claim Connelly tables are made in China and Taiwan and assembled here. Diamonds are made here, but they are not sure if that means assembled only. Olhausen is 85% made here in TN. as you noted but no feed back yet on them as to wood.
I heard from Diamond but they said they needed more time to answer my request. -brad

<hr /></blockquote>

Bradb, you've really taken the "ball in hand" on this one (excuse the pun), keep up the good investigating work!

Its hard to believe that there is no "independent" study done on if/how this has degrading quality in the name brands.

The 2nd reply from Brunswick said sometimes they ship US wood to Brazil and sometimes local lumber is sourced there. As I think most of us agree that is the most important component, it would be nice to know when they do this. It would be nice if it is only on certain models but I would bet it goes in all their tables.

bradb
11-09-2007, 03:23 PM
I talked to my Olhausen dealer here and he told me that they also sell Chineses tables but they sell them under another name.

They make and assembled their tables in the US but they do import some of their wood. However he said they buy only the best wood from Brazil or China. I would imagine he is refering to their top end tables. So if that is true we can assume that they are still a viable US made table.

This is all from a dealer, I would like to know how much wood and is that still the status now?

DeadCrab
11-09-2007, 04:40 PM
If furrin' tables or parts bother you that much, build your own table.

Seriously. It is a good project and you learn a lot from it.

bradb
11-09-2007, 05:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DeadCrab:</font><hr>
If furrin' tables or parts bother you that much, build your own table.

Seriously. It is a good project and you learn a lot from it. <hr /></blockquote>

No its not the furriner's. In my neck of the woods Chinese is the first language, Punjabi the second and english down the list... Its the fact that the table I just bought is not all made here as I thought.

But you are right there are some sites that will sell you the plans and the hardware... but I can't even make a bed.

Best thing to do is what Big Rig Tom did, check out the table he got for 250 bucks on the other thread..
-brad
:

okinawa77
11-09-2007, 06:55 PM
Yes, pool tables are made in Asia...big deal. I bought an Olhausen table that was made in Malaysia. It cost me $1300, and it is nicer than the $3000 tables. The table is sound, and most importantly....it comes with an Olhausen guarantee. If there are any problems with the table, they will fix it, or replace it.

MrLucky
11-09-2007, 06:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> After some seaching I at last found this rather disturbing consumer report on buying todays tables. (scrool down to "A note about current developements in the American pool industry/"

http://www.ahpooltables.com/pool-table-consumer.htm

It seems ALL the top names now make all their tables in Brazil or overseas. Thats why we're getting some wood problems even in high end tables.

The report is in valuable in warning us on what brands and product to look out for. -brad <hr /></blockquote> <font color="red"> Good article The facts are that almost all Case goods (wood furniture) now comes from Asia ! Some of your most expensive big name manufacturers Like Thomasville, Bernhardt etcetera in the furniture industry have or are in the process of closing their remaining American factories and now are shopping out their goods to be made with (in many cases ) less than high grade woods (most aren't even wood anymore but thin veneers over MDF ) and inferior craftsmanship in order to remain competitive while maintaining margins! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

bradb
11-10-2007, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote okinawa77:</font><hr> Yes, pool tables are made in Asia...big deal. I bought an Olhausen table that was made in Malaysia. It cost me $1300, and it is nicer than the $3000 tables. The table is sound, and most importantly....it comes with an Olhausen guarantee. If there are any problems with the table, they will fix it, or replace it. <hr /></blockquote>

No argument on buying a brand name, now in light of everything we know its almost a MUST!

That was really my point, but I will add that as the market gets tighter and tighter for the big names its buyer beware! If a brand name table's legs start cracking when this has never happened to older versions of the same table then we know somethings up. The warranty may be good. but who wants that hassle. -brad

bradb
11-10-2007, 12:57 PM
<hr /></blockquote> <font color="red"> Good article The facts are that almost all Case goods (wood furniture) now comes from Asia ! Some of your most expensive big name manufacturers Like Thomasville, Bernhardt etcetera in the furniture industry have or are in the process of closing their remaining American factories and now are shopping out their goods to be made with (in many cases ) less than high grade woods (most aren't even wood anymore but thin veneers over MDF ) and inferior craftsmanship in order to remain competitive while maintaining margins! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Yes its especially true here in Canada which used to pride itself on quality furniture.... that has all changed.

I should amend my statement that ALL brands are now in China, as of this writing its most, but the others are moving in that direction. The writing is on the wall for this industry, its all about price now and soon no one can compete in this market unless they go with the imported materials.