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Diary of an antique Brunswick
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Bigkahuna
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Diary of an antique Brunswick - 02-03-2008, 02:22 PM

Diary of an antique Brunswick


If this table could talk it would probably have some stories to tell. Like the guy who came and replaced the cushions one day totally bastardized me and I never felt right again!

I did an earlier post you can view here: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=84527 In that post I outlined all the playability problems I had with this table two of them were cushion nose height being too high and the table measuring 100 3/8" X 50 1/4". Today I have just started working on it and have discovered a few things.

So two of my issues have been figured out with the disassembly where I found someone installed the wrong cushions. The first photo is the measurement of the old cushion and the second is of the new. So at least I no longer have to worry someone tried to modify the sub-rail with a freaking belt sander! I did a mock up with the new K-55 cushions and everything looks like it should with correct nose height and the nose further into the play surface. The other thing I discovered was that in many places the cloth was bunched up and sandwiched between the rail and the edge of the slate, you can see this in photo three. I would imagine this would effect a host of things. Photo four shows the difference in how the old and new rubber fits the rail with the old rubber not covering the bottom of the sub-rail where my screwdriver is. In photo five are the cushion facings which really make this a hack job!

I originally bought this table from a room owner who took it in on trade. He was a real good player and heard Grady Mathews used to come up and play him when he was up here in Maine. I remember him telling me I would have to belt sand the sub-rails and install K-66 cushion to get it to play right. I think I am glad I did not listen to him at the time. I guess I always believe if you are going to do something do it right. I really can't believe I have put up with this table playing so poorly as long as I have and I am sure this why I have not found my game. I know it is!

My next step will be to strip the finish from the rails and then clean up all the old adhesive from the sub-rails after which I will make up and install the sub-rail extensions then some sanding and finishing. But now it is time for the Superbowl! Name:  1st pool table pics 009.jpg
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Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 09-29-2008 at 04:15 AM.
  
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A little progress and a set back
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Bigkahuna
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A little progress and a set back - 02-10-2008, 08:00 AM

Well, today disappointment. I came home after being away for a couple of days to find my leather pockets I had been waiting for. Pulled them out of the box and they looked great. Compared them to what I had and the irons were different, rats! Well, at first no big deal. I was told the original irons I wanted to keep and in fact send them into Hood Leather to have them put pockets on the original irons. So it did not seem like a big deal to drill out the rivets and swap them over, BUT, to send them into hood and wait six weeks, well, this is why I just bought the set!

So, going from bolt on to now swapping them to the new irons was a bit disappointing but worse was the side pockets. The leather that wraps around the iron is too short buy about an inch! I am sure I can get the wraps from Hood Leather and swap them over but then the fringe and inside liner need to get sewed on and this is getting way beyond what I was expecting to be a bolt on! GRRRRR!

So, now I am trying to decide:

Do I sell these nice pockets I have now and get what ever I can for them? Then just send my irons into hood and wait the six weeks.

Do I try to take what I have now and make it work? Maybe I can just add something to cover the iron, decorative? Buy two iron covers and take them to a local leather repair person to swap everything over?

Have some photos of the mock up swapping the leather of to the original irons. As you can see I am coming up a bit short but maybe I can get creative and find a way to trim this off???

The rails I chemically stripped earlier this week. I cleared an area to do this work and made some quick trays using cardboard boxes and plastic to hold all of the goopy crap. When I was done I just threw it all in the trash and the messy part was over. The trick to using chemical stripper is after you scrape take steel wool dip it in denatured alcohol then rub everything down. Really only took a couple of hours once I got set up.

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Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 09-29-2008 at 04:18 AM.
  
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Cuephoric
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02-10-2008, 03:15 PM

maybe this can help......
http://www.classicbilliards.net/html...billiardp.html


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Great and beautiful cues may come and go, but ugly ones will keep showing up in your closet years after you thought they were gone........

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Tom334
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02-11-2008, 06:43 PM

I bought some of their pockets and was surprised to see that they used hot glued and rivets to hold them onto the irons. I swapped them over to the original irons I had with the table. Streched them using some water to make them fit better, trimmed them up and hand stiched them like they did in 1920. Turned out beautiful... Not sure if that is how everyone makes them, but I was disapointed. The leather was great and had the Brunswick logo in it. The real reason I went with them... As for yours, have you tried wetting them and streching the leather??? It looks like they are real short, and I don't know how far you can work the leather... Good luck either way...
  
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Bigkahuna
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02-12-2008, 07:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom334
I bought some of their pockets and was surprised to see that they used hot glued and rivets to hold them onto the irons. I swapped them over to the original irons I had with the table. Streched them using some water to make them fit better, trimmed them up and hand stiched them like they did in 1920. Turned out beautiful... Not sure if that is how everyone makes them, but I was disapointed. The leather was great and had the Brunswick logo in it. The real reason I went with them... As for yours, have you tried wetting them and streching the leather??? It looks like they are real short, and I don't know how far you can work the leather... Good luck either way...
Thank you, I did not think to try wetting the leather. A couple of questions... Do you soak the leather, like imerse into water? Probably would work for the corners but do think I can get that much out of the side pockets? Do you think the dye would be OK after the stretch? If not how do I deal with that?

BTW saw your earlier posts,,, nice table.


Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.
  
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Tom334
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02-12-2008, 04:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigkahuna
Thank you, I did not think to try wetting the leather. A couple of questions... Do you soak the leather, like imerse into water? Probably would work for the corners but do think I can get that much out of the side pockets? Do you think the dye would be OK after the stretch? If not how do I deal with that?

BTW saw your earlier posts,,, nice table.
All I did was wet the corners where they fold over the front of the iron. Didn't need much water to be able to work the leather and sew them up. The leather streached pretty easy... Try searching online and see what you can find for "tooling leather". I had no problems with the dye. And putting the whole thing in water, not to sure about that. Thanks for the nice table comment!!! Now if I stop playing pool long enough I can finish the basement... sometime... :-)
  
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The rails and diamonds
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Bigkahuna
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The rails and diamonds - 02-14-2008, 09:08 AM

The rails have seen one session of belt sanding but I have some cigarette burns that I am not able to get out. My research suggests sanding is the best method and a couple of times someone suggested using bleach, which, I tried but no effect. Are there any suggestions on dealing with this?

The rail edges were really worn due to years of heavy use. Using a router and router table I had to take about 4 to 5 passes with a round over bit on both sides to take this off. The round over bit is a profile for ?? wood and because I had 1? thick wood this left a 3/16? band between the bottom and top edge untouched. Using the edge of a rabbiting bit I made a few more passes to take that off.

The rails are starting to look too nice. I have taken off most of the patina, character or what ever you want to call it and need to figure out how I am going to end up with something close to what the base is like through staining and finishing. I think the first thing I have to worry about here is getting something dark in between the grain. What I have now is almost black in the grain, any ideas?

The diamonds have taken some time here. Because the diamonds measured 7/8 x 7/8 I was not able to find anything that was available in that size from billiard supply places. I considered a number of materials then decided on a good dark wood. First I started at my local woodworking store, (Rockler), to see what options I had. They had some edge banding used for veneering which was 7/8? wide so this was tempting but it was very thin so I was concerned about getting it flush and how much sanding it could sustain. I ended up buying a Bolivian Rosewood that looks almost black. It came in a size about 36x5x3/16?. Really way to thick for the pockets the diamonds sit into but I figured I could glue them in and then cut flush somehow.

I had to cut 7/8? wide first on a 45 degree to get the grain running the right direction and then cut it 7/8? on a 90 degree to get the end product. Cutting these small squares on a table saw was touchy but I still had all my fingers when I was done. I had to scrape out the pockets the diamonds sit into real good and this took a couple of hours but was necessary with all the glue and chalk dust that was in there. I then glued the diamonds in place with gorilla glue and let then sit overnight. This all took the better part of an afternoon.

To get the diamonds flush with the rail I tried a back cut saw that I usually use for cutting wood plugs but it just did not get it close enough. So I just used the router to get them cut flush. I had to be real careful with the adjustment as you can make a big mess real fast with a router. The end result was perfect and this should look really good with some sanding.

The pocket irons I have sent out for plating and have still not decided on how to deal with the leather wraps not fitting correctly. Tom334 suggested wetting the leather and then stretching them. I have gone online to look for leather stretching techniques but have come up with a million articles about stretching leather shoes and hats. Anyone know more?Name:  pool table pics 033.jpg
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Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 09-29-2008 at 04:20 AM.
  
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n10spool
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02-14-2008, 01:05 PM

I have a friend that has been an upolsterer for years he has been doing mine but its been 3+ years since had any done. Try Blatt Billiards they have the largest Brunswick inventory of antiques and restoration..

Craig
  
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02-15-2008, 06:36 AM

Nice job on the diamonds.

You may have to do the cig burns the same way, if they are deep.
  
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Sanding
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Bigkahuna
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Sanding - 02-15-2008, 08:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Crab
Nice job on the diamonds.

You may have to do the cig burns the same way, if they are deep.
Thank you Dead Crab. Yeh, on the cig burns, what doesn't come out in finish sanding I am going to have to call character.

N10spool I think I am going to try to stretch the pockets. I have found some info and I am going to give this a shot. I will let you know how it works out.


Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.
  
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Sub-rail Extensions
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Bigkahuna
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Sub-rail Extensions - 02-16-2008, 09:36 AM

Sub-rail Extensions

One of my goals here is to tighten up the pockets, so, I am doing sub-rail extensions. Although I am doing this to tighten up the pockets it has also turned out to be a repair and not just an upgrade. The ends of the sub-rails are so worn they are actually frayed. Imagine hitting a piece of wood with a hammer on the end a million times and you would end up with what I am calling frayed. The other issue with the sub-rails is missing chunks of wood from someone improperly removing the cushions. Most of this has happened near the ends. Guys if you ever try to replace your own cushions do not just tear them right off. Even though I was careful I still did damage in just a few spots and there were some places where the wood grain was previously split so I would recommend you go slow. I just took a screwdriver inserted it into the opening in the back of the cushion and worked it back and forth.

What I did to make the extensions was a 15 degree cut for the bottom and then a compound 33 and 45 for the back of the pocket. This took care of two of my cuts. I then nailed them on using Gorilla Glue and let them sit overnight. I then took my flush cut saw and trimmed them off. I tried using a belt sander to get the sub-rails extensions flush with the sub-rail but the first one took a little too much off and the extension was slightly rounded from the sander. I had my router table still set up to do flush cutting which I had done on the diamonds. So, I just laid the rail on the table and worked it back and forth for the final trimming and it looked great. I think this worked much better in this situation due to some wood missing near the end, (I have a photo posted of the worst one). After that I made one quick pass with the belt sander and perfection. Just have to get some Bondo to use as a filler on the sub-rails where the wood is missing to make sure the cushion is in full contact with the sub-rail.

I hope to get some stain and finish on the rails soon and then the cushions. Maybe I should do the cushions first then the stain and finish??? HMMM Name:  pool table pics 035.jpg
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Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 09-29-2008 at 04:21 AM.
  
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Thanks for the update...
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Thanks for the update... - 02-16-2008, 11:24 AM

Nice to see the progress. It all looks extremely time consuming. I hope you are able to fit it some actual "table time" while you are involved in this project.


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Bondo and Stain and OMG!
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Bondo and Stain and OMG! - 02-17-2008, 05:38 PM

Bondo and Stain:

Today I had some time to fill the damaged areas of the sub-rail to ensure the cushions are in full contact. I used Bondo which is excellent wood filler on something you are going to paint and or is not seen. The trick is working with this stuff while it is hardening. Bondo is basically and epoxy that uses a catalyzer to harden the two parts when it is mixed together. You have about five minutes to get this stuff on using a plastic spreader. Then wait another five minutes until it is just starting to set up sometimes you can feel this stuff heating up as it catalyzes. Wait until it can hold its shape but still be able to push your finger nail into it. At this point you probably have about five minutes to work with the Bondo in this semi hard state. I use a tool made by Stanley called a Surform and it works like a cheese grater as you can see in the photo. Within this five minute period you can really take off a lot of material using the Surform. After the Bondo has hardened just sand it using a sanding block and some 80 grit sand paper. I then checked everything to make sure I was flat using a straight edge. I did have one spot that I needed to do a reapplication to get the sub-rail flat.

My next task was to get some stain on. I cleaned my work area up real good and then used a vacuum with a brush head to vacuum down the rails. I then took the Minwax Golden Oak stain I bought and did a test area and it did not seem dark enough. I had some mahogany stain sitting on a shelf and added about 1.5 tablespoons to the 1/2 pint can I had and this seemed to do the trick. Two coats and OH MY GOD. I have owned this table for ten years and have never seen this! See the photos OMG this wood is gorgeous!

My next step will be to apply urethane finish and I will be either wet sanding or using steel wool between coats so I am hoping to come up with a real deep finish. This part will probably take several days.

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Playing cue: Falcon w Predator 314 first gen.
Break cue: Purple Heart Stealth Jump Break
Table: Antique Oliver Briggs 4.25" pockets
Check out some work I am doing to and old antique table
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=87941

If it's the early worm that gets the bird sleep in late.

Last edited by Bigkahuna; 09-29-2008 at 04:22 AM.
  
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Craig Fales
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02-17-2008, 06:02 PM

Looks real good....I should tackle a table project...
  
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n10spool
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02-17-2008, 11:14 PM

Your table is looking good.. It made me clean the garage up and start working on one of 7 antiques I have. Dont want to steal the thread but you are doing a great job...


Craig
  
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