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Thbrewst
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Newbie learning about tables - 12-04-2017, 08:54 PM

I've been educating myself on table builds in advance of a purchase. It' tough to get past the marketing speak and get to the real guts of what is important and how to compare models/brands.

In looking at some of the major brands (Connelly, Olhausen, etc) and reading on here and other places, it seems that the key bits are;

1) solid wood all around (legs, frame, rails)
2) good slate, 1" plus, Italy or Brazil,
3) good rails/rubber, K55 or K66, 3+ bolt mounting
4) made in the USA doesn't really guarantee anything but I would prefer it myself
Note: I know the felt matters but that really seems the same at the level of tables that I am looking at.

Does that sound about right?

Assuming so, I am getting even more confused as I am finding some smaller vendors who also seem to meet these criteria (Kincaid Billiards in TN, Plank and Hide in OH, sure there are others). So other than playing the tables and comparing, which is hard to do unless they are all in the same place, how do I tell the difference? Are there aspects to my 4 criteria that would distinguish one versus the other? Am I missing key things that I should consider? Lastly, am I over thinking this? I'm certainly not a professional nor do I expect to be. I'm looking for a good recreational table that will last for a long time as this is only one I intend to ever buy (unless I'm wrong and I do indeed go Pro )

Any help, guidance, or opinions are appreciated. I feel like I'm overwhelmed with info.
  
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realkingcobra
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12-05-2017, 01:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thbrewst View Post
I've been educating myself on table builds in advance of a purchase. It' tough to get past the marketing speak and get to the real guts of what is important and how to compare models/brands.

In looking at some of the major brands (Connelly, Olhausen, etc) and reading on here and other places, it seems that the key bits are;

1) solid wood all around (legs, frame, rails)
2) good slate, 1" plus, Italy or Brazil,
3) good rails/rubber, K55 or K66, 3+ bolt mounting
4) made in the USA doesn't really guarantee anything but I would prefer it myself
Note: I know the felt matters but that really seems the same at the level of tables that I am looking at.

Does that sound about right?

Assuming so, I am getting even more confused as I am finding some smaller vendors who also seem to meet these criteria (Kincaid Billiards in TN, Plank and Hide in OH, sure there are others). So other than playing the tables and comparing, which is hard to do unless they are all in the same place, how do I tell the difference? Are there aspects to my 4 criteria that would distinguish one versus the other? Am I missing key things that I should consider? Lastly, am I over thinking this? I'm certainly not a professional nor do I expect to be. I'm looking for a good recreational table that will last for a long time as this is only one I intend to ever buy (unless I'm wrong and I do indeed go Pro )

Any help, guidance, or opinions are appreciated. I feel like I'm overwhelmed with info.
Judge tables by their resale value, and how easy it isnto buy them used, that should tell you something right there. Then look and see if you can find used Diamond tables.
  
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Thbrewst
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12-05-2017, 08:06 AM

Thanks for the response. So the Diamond part I get. As for the resale comment I'm not sure I'm following. In the ATL metro (where I am) I definitely see a lot of Olhausen and Brunswick for sale vs Connelly or any of those smaller brands I mentioned. But Olh and Brunswick also seem to simply have greater distribution so the fact that I see more of them could simply be that there are more of them in circulation. Is it proper for me to read in to that that Connelly or the smaller brands are better/worse?

Also, you mentioned brands vs construction. So, you think going with one of the smaller brands is probably not a good gamble?

Thanks again!
  
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12-05-2017, 09:53 AM

From what I have learned about tables the only tables I would buy are Diamond, Brunswick, or a Valley. I would also stick with commercial tables except for maybe Diamond, if their retail tables are heavy I would be OK with their retail line. The weight of a table makes it sturdier which makes it play nicer. The reason that I would choose one of these 3 tables is because it will be one of these 3 that any tournaments are played on in our area, the Valley is the least likely of the 3 I would choose. I would also personally stay away from Olhausen unless you plan to have the pocket openings rebuilt, it is my opinion that Olhausen pockets play terrible.
  
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bradsh98
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12-05-2017, 11:31 AM

What style of table are you looking for? Home style tables are much different from commercial style tables.

In regards to resale value, Diamond tables hold their value. There are a few reasons for that. Brunswick and Olhausen tables are a dime a dozen. Connelly are a bit more rare, and tend to hold a higher value.

If you want a home style table, be mindful that most will develop a sag in the frame. Not the end of the world, but over time, the table will droop toward the center.

There are fixes for any table's issues, though some issues are much more difficult to correct, and options may be limited. Hiring a good technician will be the key, regardless of the table that you choose. Fortunately for you, you are in Mark Gregory's neighborhood. www.perfectpocketz.com


Geoff Bradshaw
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I play with a Hammond Custom Cue. You should too.
  
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Thbrewst
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12-05-2017, 11:44 AM

This is definitely a home table and will have to get the wife's approval on aesthetics, but even the commercial tables seem visually decent. I mostly want to make sure that I am buying something that will last. The confusion was definitely setting in when I saw similar specs from smaller manufactures. I think I am missing the smaller differences 'in the weeds' that make one decent table better than another. Sensory overload with all that I have learned in the past couple of weeks...

Funny, I just saw Mark's post with his new website earlier today. I will definitely keep him in mind for any work we need done.

Thanks again for the additional guidance.
  
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12-08-2017, 07:56 PM

"Fortunately for you, you are in Mark Gregory's neighborhood. www.perfectpocketz.com"


What this guy says. If nothing else you'll get an education. If it all works right you'll be playing on the best table you've ever played on.
  
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