I Need Advice on Antique Table

Dan_B

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
..dam, ain't that special, it just dawned on me,
that, that's what's on my player...

tip5th.jpg

if you notice a difference in the cloths, there is, 17oz on the rail and the table cloth is in the 22 range from what I can recall.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I found this pic on the internet. This appears to the exact same Billiard table as the one I just picked up. My table is oak and I think that its white oak but I can't tell for sure because it is SO dirty and wet. It was literally frozen with ice on it when I picked itt up. My table has the same two vertical panels with the ribs in it, near the back corners just like this one. Initially I thought these two panels were a thin plywood, but on closer examination I can see that they are thinly cut (1/4" of less) oak. The table below was auctioned off for $351 on this web page (https://www.blackrockgalleries.com/...ions-9-foot-billiard-table-ca-1910-52848.html). They claimed that the table below was made around 1910. Is the 1910 estimate even remotely accurate? The owner thought the table was from the 1920's, possibly early 1930s. Not that it really matters, but it would be nice to know its approximate age. Does anyone know what model this is? Thoughts?

I also attached a few pics of the pieces of the pool table below.


View attachment 578731
That table is before WW1; probably before 1900.
From restoration perspective, the good news is that i think those are all solid wood. Given your descrption of storage conditions veneer would be peeling off in sheets. Solid wood framing moves a bit more with the seasons but is a heck of a lot easier to work with & fix. It will need to be down to about 7% MC all the way through & every piece before working on it, though. Get is stored a racked in an area and method that will gradually air dry it down to that in a couple minths or so while you plan & work on the room or maybe make the new rail stock.

Any oak except white oaks were considered trash wood and secondary materials before the 1950’s. So yours will be w. Oak as you surmised. Repair materials need to be not only the same species for a decent match, but also similar grain count, figure, & actual cut. (QS vs slab sawn, e.g.)

It’s pretty likely you can find a matching pic & some details with some searching in the Brunswick Library online.
i’ll try to add a link separately. Learning an ipad & not very good with it yet.

edited: here‘s an example. Your table is older than the ones in this 1898 catalog. It has a lot in common with the Narraganset except without the fancy legs. Use the search options at the top of the link to other searches for older catalogs. My frustration with that site is that it does not seem to respond directly to including the year in the search phrase. (Might just be me). But ime youhave to page through the catalog options of all eras & hope to chance upon one that relates.


smt
 
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BeerBrewer

New member
Below is a pic of the brass label tag on one of the rails off my table. I can't find much info about the table, but I did learn the Brunswick merged with Blake and Collender in 1879 and they used this tag until 1916 (at least what a couple web sites claim). So my table was some where between 1879 and 1916.

The top of the rails is solid oak, but the sides are definitely veneered. The veneer is hanging on well to most of rails, but not to sides of the table where the veneer is lifting in sheets. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. I probably can re-glue a lot of the loose veneer, but I don't know if its worth it, so I may end up installing new veneer. I also found a few broken support pieces which I'll have to deal with.

As you can see the rails are in rough shape. They are wet and moldy in spots, but none are warped or rotten....which I'm very surprised with. I'm going to let it all dry out for a couple weeks and start tackling the repairs after Christmas and New Years.

Rails.jpg



label.jpg
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Below is a pic of the brass label tag on one of the rails off my table. I can't find much info about the table, but I did learn the Brunswick merged with Blake and Collender in 1879 and they used this tag until 1916 (at least what a couple web sites claim). So my table was some where between 1879 and 1916.

The top of the rails is solid oak, but the sides are definitely veneered. The veneer is hanging on well to most of rails, but not to sides of the table where the veneer is lifting in sheets. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. I probably can re-glue a lot of the loose veneer, but I don't know if its worth it, so I may end up installing new veneer. I also found a few broken support pieces which I'll have to deal with.

As you can see the rails are in rough shape. They are wet and moldy in spots, but none are warped or rotten....which I'm very surprised with. I'm going to let it all dry out for a couple weeks and start tackling the repairs after Christmas and New Years.

View attachment 578761



View attachment 578760
You need to contact Derrick at that link i posted. He knows more about old B'wicks than just about anyone. Great guy as well. Another good place is here: https://www.classicbilliards.net/contact-us.html
 
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Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
That was the weakest thing about old B'wicks.
The one I had used slate cutouts that weren't 90deg and balls that rolled near the pockets would often get sucked in the holes.

Made for some very entertaining trips by the side pockets.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
P.S.- that table looks very much like a wellington. I had one and believe it was made around 1910.
 
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Dan_B

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I thought the #37 profile was that square face nosing on the cushion, me thinking that profile would accommodate the 2". 2 1/8", 2 1/4" balls.
the #37 cushion at classic billiards didn't show it as that type. He had a page that showed all of his cushion's in one image that had that type of profile shown, a quick look didn't fine.
just thinking... something to consider... gotta go.........
 

BeerBrewer

New member
Oh yeah, this table is a disaster, but there's no need to panic.....yet.

Today I removed the "cloth" from the bumpers to help with the drying process. As someone speculated above, as the pieces dry out they are shedding the old veneer, like a snake sheds its skin. Its coming off in one whole pieces! Oddly enough everything is remaining straight, nothing is twisting or warping, I hope that holds. As long as the top rails remain straight and true, I'll keep going. I can easily re-veneer the the pieces.
 

BeerBrewer

New member
Today I discovered after removing the grime that one of the rails on the short side (4.5') has an old poorly done repair. It looks like the back edge (away from the table) cracked off and someone glued a new piece on and it looks bad. It wont interfere with play, it just looks bad since they made no attempt to match the grain. In fact the repaired wood grain is 90 degrees to the existing grain and sticks out like a sore thumb. Is it possible to replace this piece? Where would I find the part?

Thanks
 

poolflake

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Restore it properly and if it does not fit, trade with someone who wants a 9 footer for a nice 7' Diamond.
 

HNTFSH

Birds, Bass & Bottoms
Gold Member
Silver Member
Might be worth taking a good picture of that and posting it.
 

BeerBrewer

New member
I rounded up my kids (all adults) on Christmas Eve and we picked up the rest of the table and all the slates. All the slates were crated up and seem to be in perfect condition.

I also had more time to look at the parts and I'm pretty certain that someone (a hack) worked on the table at some time. You can see that by the way that legs are done and poor repair done to one of the rails. I'm going to make a new rail to replace the repaired one. The legs just don't seem to match the rest of the table. To me they look like someone nailed red oak boards together to form the legs and trimmed it with oak colonial case molding. You can actually see the ends of the 10 penny nails in the pic of the leg below.

Now this is very odd, when I unbolted one of the legs from the frame an odd piece popped out. It looks like a piece of the original leg (pic below) was used to form the leg. Its about 6" x 6" and 4" high. Its dark brown, but its definitely oak veneered. It looks like it may be the top of the original legs. There is no way that Brunswick would go though the trouble of veneering a piece then hide it inside the leg. Does anyone recognize it? If so, a pic of what it originally looked like would a great help. Does anyone know of good source for replacement legs?

I also took a pic of the back of the table because it shows two decorative wooden pieces running vertical near the corners. These are not plywood, they are solid oak and are about 1/4" thick. I have not seen many tables with this decorative trim, but did see table called the Algeria with similar wooden details but the legs were different on that table.

So far nothing has warped of twisted, which is really good news! My goal is to restore the table so it looks as close to what it originally looked like as possible. Since I'm still waiting for the wood to dry out, I'm going to start making the new rail once I obtain a nice piece of white oak that matches the grain on the other rails.

Lastly, I appreciate all of your inputs!
 

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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Now this is very odd, when I unbolted one of the legs from the frame an odd piece popped out. It looks like a piece of the original leg (pic below) was used to form the leg. Its about 6" x 6" and 4" high. Its dark brown, but its definitely oak veneered. It looks like it may be the top of the original legs. There is no way that Brunswick would go though the trouble of veneering a piece then hide it inside the leg. Does anyone recognize it? If so, a pic of what it originally looked like would a great help. Does anyone know of good source for replacement legs?

as posted previously i still think that is a Narraganset/ New Narraganset.


You can see how cutting off & squaring up the leg would yield the piece you show.
Iterations of that model seem to have been made from about 1890 through maybe WW1 era.

Adams makes all kinds of “suitable” leg options and will do customs. Doubt you’ll beat their price even if you make them yourself. Although probably most cost effective if they make the blank and you do any veneer work on the square sections.

For competent functional repairs using comparable materials even if the grain does not match it is a bit harsh to call someone a hack. It is rare these tables are ever worth anything, certainly not what a really sensitive restoration costs in time & money even if you do it all yourself. Though the legs are a bit shall we say “insensiitive”. In my ongoing restoration that i linked earlier, you can see a lot of short cuts that just make sense if a person hopes to finish and attain a playable table in any reasonable time frame. Neither of us are working on tables that were top of the line or rare models at the time they were built.

OTOH, like you, i won’t compromise on the rails or slate. Only parts left on mine to finish, set aside while redoing the house and shoring up the floors as mentioned earlier post.

smt
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Looks like it's got potential. FWIW those rail caps look like Ash to me, not oak. I agree with Ssonerai, that it is probably a Narraganset, minus the nice turned legs. When I was filtering through the Brunswick on-line archives that was the closest that I could come up with. Am I the only one who hates what Brunswick has done with their website in regards to finding info on antique tables? It used to be so easy, all their tables, at least mass produced tables, were listed alphabetically with a pic of each. It seems the more advanced we get, the more backward we go.
 

BeerBrewer

New member
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be harsh, but using 10 penny nails to attach oak boards to an antique billiard table is not what a skilled wood worker would do. Mixing red oak and white oak on the table is also tacky. The repair done to the rail also wasn't the best either. Aside from not making at attempt to match the grain, he also didn't even make the repair even with the rest of the rail. It literally sticks up about an 1/8" or more. I agree that matching that matching the grain direction isn't that big a deal, but not sanding it down to match the rest the rail is.

Now that I think the table originally had fancier turned legs, I totally agree that it is probably its a Narraganset or New Narraganset table.... Thanks!

As for the type of wood used on the rails, I think that it is while oak. I agree, Ash and Oak can look very similar, but Ash just seems smoother to me. Meaning, you can see the grain with Ash, but you just can't feel like you can Oak. Oak grain feels rougher to the touch and for that reason I feel that Ash is just nicer wood for furniture.

Lastly, I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the Brunswick History web page. It just seem unnecessarily confusing.
 

BeerBrewer

New member
Last night I was on Brunswick website reading all I could on the Narragansett table. Well my table seems to match it very well, except for the rails and the legs (I know these are original). As you can see in the pics, all of the rails appear to be oak, but the description on line says that the Narragansett had rosewood veneered rails. I also found another potential table that it could be if originally had square legs called "Algeria". Even the Algeria had veneered rosewood rails. So this morning I looked at the rails and most of the diamond rail sights seem raised a bit. Originally I thought this was due to moisture getting behind them and swelling the wood underneath, but I'm thinking that whomever worked on this table must have peeled off the veneer. Does anyone know if Brunswick ever make a tables with exposed oak rails? Thoughts?
 
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HNTFSH

Birds, Bass & Bottoms
Gold Member
Silver Member
lol...laughing with ya not at ya but this just keeps getting worse!! 😧
 
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