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Restoration Tips

And Product Reviews

Over    the    years    we    have    restored    countless    pool    tables    ranging from   billiard   tables   from   the   late   18th   century   to   late   20th   century. We've   seen   lots   of   tables   get   damaged   due   to   a   variety   of   causes.   In this   section,   we'd   like   to   share   with   you,   our   customers,   other   pool table   restorers,   furniture   restorers,   and   upholsterers   some   of   our techniques   and   products   that   we   use   to   insure   your   table   comes out as good as possible in the shortest amount of time. As   time   progresses,   we   will   give   you   insight   on   what   your   table will   need   and   why   it   needs   it.   We'll   also   share   with   you   the   specific tools   and   products   that   make   our   job   possible.   Hopefully,   this   will give   you   a   greater   understanding   of   the   work   and   cost   of   your table's particular needs. I   think   it   only   fitting   that   we   begin   with   what   most   people   would consider to be the heart of their pool table. The cloth. While   there   are   a   number   of   manufacturers   out   there   that   do   a   fair job   of   making   cloth,   we   have   found   that   the   level   of   quality   and service provided by Championship is second-to-none. They   offer   cloth   in   a   very   wide   range   of   colors   as   well   as   several different   types.   So,   whether   you   are   a   novice   at   the   game   of   pool   or a professional, they have something to fit your needs. Championship   offers   a   total   of   9   different   types   of   billiard   cloth. This   translates   to   a   tailor-made,   customer-specific   job.   They   offer two   different   versions   of   their   "Titan"   fabrics.   Both   are   designed   to be    extra    durable    for    home    tables.    Their    "Titan    Brite"    collection offers additional colors not typically associated with pool tables.​ Their   "Invitational"   cloth,   again,   has   two   separate   versions;   with and   without   Teflon.   Installers   around   the   world   use   this   particular cloth.   While   it   isn't   the   cheapest   cloth   on   the   market,   it   is   still   very affordable.   The   additional   Teflon   coating   helps   to   reduce   "scorch marks"   caused   from   the   extreme   friction   during   both   breaks   and extra powerful shots. Next   in   their   line-up   is   the   "Saturn"   cloth   with   Teflon.   This   is   by far,   the   most   economical   cloth   they   offer.   While   not   as   durable   as either   their   "Titan"   or   "Invitational"   cloths,   it   still   should   provide years   of   good   play.   Again,   a   Teflon   coating   has   been   added   to reduce   scorch   marks.   Virtually   the   same   cloth   is   offered   in   a   non- Teflon version called "Mercury Ultra". "Valley    Teflon    Ultra"    is    Championship's    hybrid    cloth.    This    is    a worsted    blend    designed    to    be    both    economical    and,    yet,    fast- playing   like   the   more   expensive   cloths.   This   cloth,   I   find,   is   best suited   for   coin-op   pool   tables.   Since   drinks   often   do   get   spilled   on tables,   bar   owners   and   amusement   companies   need   a   reasonably good   compromise   between   all   the   cloths   offered   and   yet,   still   be affordable   to   replace.   The   "Valley   Teflon   Ultra"   fits   that   bill.   While   I wouldn't   say   it   possesses   the   best   of   any   traits,   it   does   have   enough of them to make this, again, a good compromise. Moving    up    in    the    chain,    Championship    offers    (as    a    direct competitor   to   Simonis)   their   "Pro-Am   3020".   This   particular   cloth mirrors   the   characteristics   of   Simonis'   860   fabric,   with   the   added bonus    of    increased    durability.    Championship    boasts    that    their "Pro-Am   3020"   cloth   is   up   to   50%   more   durable   than   Simonis   860. This   is   a   true   worsted   wool   21   oz.   cloth   (very   similar   to   the   fabric used    in    a    fine    suit).    This    cloth    is    slightly    less    expensive    than Championship's flagship cloth.... "Tour   Edition   3030"   is   their   best!   Personally,   this   is   my   go-to   cloth when   customers   say   they   want   the   best.   It   plays   fast.   It   lasts   a LONG   time.   It   resists   divots. And,   it   just   looks   FANTASTIC!   When put   on   a   properly   installed   table,   this   stuff   is   wonderful!   As   with their   "Pro-Am   3020",   this   is   also   a   true   worsted   wool   cloth.   While slightly   heaver   in   weight   (24   oz.),   it   still   plays   extremely   fast!   From an   installation   perspective,   it   has   a   bit   more   stretch   than   any   of   the cloths     that     Simonis     offers.     This     additional     stretch     makes upholstering    curves    in    the    pockets    MUCH    easier    and    cleaner. Installation   of   any   worsted   wool   cloth   requires   special   techniques in     order     to     prevent     streak     marks     across     the     table     and puckering/dimples on the rails.
For   years   Hood   Leather   has   been   supplying   the   pool   table   industry   with quality   pockets.   Whether   it   be   #3,   #6,   "G",   or   any   of   the   other   sizes   made over the years, Hood has been there to take care of us. Most   people   (whether   in   or   out   of   the   industry)   don't   realize   that,   prior to   the   1930's,   there   was   no   industry   standard   for   pool   table   pockets.   The stock   market   collapse   of   1929   put   lots   of   small   pool   table   manufacturers and    pocket    manufacturers    out    of    business.    Before    these    smaller, independent   companies   got   bought   out   (or   simply   folded),   each   iron casting    company    used    their    own    specifications    to    make    their    own pockets.     Somewhere     in     the     1930's,     after     pool     table     companies consolidated   and   iron   casting   companies   consolidated,   my   guess   is   that the   biggest   players   in   these   industries   got   together   and   agreed   upon industry standard sizes. What   does   this   mean   for   the   end-user?   Well,   it   means   that   if   you   own   a table   made   before   1940,   you   should   be   careful   with   your   pockets.   They can only be repaired and restored. They can't be replaced. Hood   Leather   has   been   restoring   antique   pockets   for   years!   They   know their    stuff.    We    have    sent    pockets    to    them    for    complete    restoration; which   includes:   new   leather   uppers,   liners,   and   nets,   and   (on   #3   irons) re-plate    the    pocket    arms    in    either    nickle/brass/antique    brass.    Hood Leather   also   offers   hand-woven   silk   nets   as   well.   Although   their   service isn't    cheap,    it    is    always    the    best    option    when    the    existing    antique pockets are worn out, ripped, or the leather is destroyed. Hood   also   offers   a   large   variety   of   pool   table   covers.   Typically,   when   a customer   wants   a   quality   pool   table   cover,   we   will   measure   the   table, determine   the   type   and   radius   of   the   pockets,   determine   the   length   of the   skirt,   and   determine   whether   or   not   the   customer   wants   a   foam insert.   All   of   these   factors   insure   that   you,   the   customer,   will   end   up with the perfect cover for both your table and your home's decor. Doug Jiles ​8/14/2017

Update:

We   have   learned   that   as   of   6/30/18,   Hood   Leather   will   be   closing.   Their pool   table   covers   division   has   been   bought   out.   However,   their   pocket manufacturing division hasn't. We are very sorry to see them go.

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New Orleans’ premier pool table movers and installers
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I have found that customers basically fall into 3 different groups:

The   home   user   who   wants   a   decent   table   to   play   on   at   a   reasonable price.      For      this      customer,      I      recommend      the      Championship "Invitational"   cloth   with   Teflon.   This   will   give   years   of   good   service   for about   half   the   price   of   the   top-of-the-line   cloths.   Additionally,   a   larger variety of colors are available in this line. Bar   owners   and   amusement   companies   that   want   a   good   compromise for   the   widest   array   of   customers.   Not   all   pool   players   are   the   same. So,   in   this   instance,   the   table   owners   will   want   to   appeal   to   the   most number   of   people   while   maximizing   their   profits.   For   this,   I   would recommend   the   "Valley   Teflon   Ultra"   with   a   backing   for   even   more durability. The   customer   who   wants   the   best   he/she   can   get.   With   all   the   benefits of   Championship's   "Pro-Am   3020"   and   "Tour   Edition   3030",   customers have   a   myriad   of   reasons   for   choosing   these   two   cloths.   Whether   it's because   of   their   extended   lives,   excellent   play,   or   just   the   satisfaction of   knowing   that   you're   playing   on   the   best,   if   your   budget   permits, you can't go wrong with either of these two cloths. All   of   the   above   cloths   (with   the   exception   of   their   "Pro-Am   3020"   and "Tour    Edition    3030")    are    available    with    backing    for    commercial applications.   If   you're   unfamiliar   with   backed   cloth,   here's   what   it   is... an   additional   piece   of   thin   (typically   white)   fabric   is   bonded   to   the under-side   of   the   cloth.   This   gives   the   cloth   additional   durability   IN COMMERCIAL   APPLICATIONS.   Although   I   have   seen   this   type   of cloth   used   in   the   home   setting,   I   STRONGLY   discourage   its   use.   Since maintenance     on     a     pool     table     is     often     done     years     after     the recommended   intervals,   backed   cloth   will   break   down   faster   than   it's un-backed   counterpart.   The   glue   that   holds   the   two   pieces   of   cloth together   will   deteriorate   faster   than   the   cloth   itself.   This   means   that your cloth will be looser faster. Championship   is   the   best.   Bar   none!   Their   sales   staff   is   very   friendly, helpful,   and   they   know   their   stuff!   Their   cloths   perform   equal   to   (in some   cases)   and   exceed   (in   all   other   cases)   all   of   their   competition. That's why we use them!
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