Pool ball collecting.

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
First of all: Your pics (K2Kraze and Rubik's) are great. I know: Once you are deeply involved in a hobby you always strive for perfection. However, I don't think there is more than a 5% improvement to be gained in most of your pics. So - you'll have to decide if it is really worth it. If it is just a "hobby challenge", go ahead. But I don't really see a need for even better quality - unless you want to use the pics in a book or something like that.



Back to a few things you talked about:



1) A shaped tray. You could do that - I think - by inserting a regular one in hot water or using some kind of hot air blower to bend it to your needs. However - two drawbacks come to my mind. It will only work with one specific lens perfectly if you tune it to that one. And it will be unstable so you would also have to create some sort of support so it doesn't wobble.



2) If you want to get distortion completely out of the pictures easily, I would either go the telephoto route (BTW a fixed focus lens is always better than a zoom) or you could use dedicated software. I know you can do it all in Photoshop or Gimp. There are some - even free or shareware - software packages which are even easier to handle. Sadly, my old computer died a year ago so I can't look what I used to use back then. It was a really easy to use shareware software which got the distortion out of pics with 2 or 3 clicks once you saved the parameters for different lenses. I used it mostly for extreme wide-angle pictures. The last step was always a slight crop and you could not tell that software did the trick.



If you search for something like "lens distortion correction software" enough stuff should come up. I found this page for example. A little further reading might be advisable:



https://listoffreeware.com/best-free-lens-distortion-correction-software/



You hit upon two key points and personal hot buttons for me, Meucciplayer - chasing perfection (an enjoyable pursuit), and the goal of having pictures worthy of a reference book and large format prints. Very large. Borderline hobbyist venturing on fanatical attention to detail. You know - the fun stuff

Agreed on every point you’ve made - from lenses to techniques. And that is where the magic lies......blending the elements to achieve one’s desired result. The art of it all. In short - The passion. Hard to explain, but understood and acknowledged with a simple head-shake between those of us that know.

Thanks for the link - and ideas, sir! I’ll stay the course and see what magic I can create

~ K.

Oh - one last thought regarding edge distortion: let’s say we did have some specialty concave photo board made - wouldn’t we still have the balls at their furthest edges slightly distorted? Looking at the 12 ball in a typical tray let’s say, the further you look from the dead center of that 12 ball, it will appear to be a bit oblong. It would be minimized, yes, but it’s always there due to the nature of the lenses at close range. I’ve experimented with similar layouts having balls on the outer slots a tad higher, angled, and turned slightly toward the camera, with similar distorted images when you look closely. Again, it’s better and minimized - but still present.

Ok - Time to contact the folks at Nikon and get their thoughts. See what they’d use and how to do it.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Raschig Rings. Insert Card 3.

Good evening, everyone. :)

Here is the latest update of my insert card project. If you would like to learn a little more about the process followed in photographing the balls shown in the rectangular picture frame, or perhaps how I drew the computer generated image underneath, please refer back to my original post number 1133.

Best wishes,

RC.
 

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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Many thanks for another excellent contribution, Mr M. Such useful information and advice is always much appreciated.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Beautiful and artistic work, RC! I especially love the detailed reflections in the lower layout. What an adventure that was for us acquiring the mysterious Ringed Raschigs

~ K.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good evening, Mr K. :)

It was indeed an adventure, sir. And something of a challenge, of course, contending with the language barrier and transatlantic shipping.

Whilst we’re on the subject of Raschigs, dear fellow, I’ve stumbled across another unused snooker set for sale. Box is original but rather tatty. The size isn’t listed, but they’re almost certainly either 2 1/16th or 2 1/8th inches. Does that rule them out for your collection, my friend?

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Wesv1988

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After talking with Rubik's Cube about an Aramith Disney Ball Set and some "Round Dart" Centennials I'm selling I discovered this thread and I gotta say this is one of the best things on AZB! I love looking at all these vintage and rare sets and K2's pictures are very professionally done. A lot of awesome and interesting things buried in these pages and I wish I would've found this sooner. I've read about half of ALL the posts in one day and didn't stop until my phone died haha. I already have more hobbies than I do money buuuut... I'm gonna have to buy a set of bicentennials in the future lol.

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Thank you so much for those kind words, Wes. It’s really gratifying to hear that you found the thread interesting, sir.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
After talking with Rubik's Cube about an Aramith Disney Ball Set and some "Round Dart" Centennials I'm selling I discovered this thread and I gotta say this is one of the best things on AZB! I love looking at all these vintage and rare sets and K2's pictures are very professionally done. A lot of awesome and interesting things buried in these pages and I wish I would've found this sooner. I've read about half of ALL the posts in one day and didn't stop until my phone died haha. I already have more hobbies than I do money buuuut... I'm gonna have to buy a set of bicentennials in the future lol.

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk



Hello, Wes - Great to have you with us on the fanatical PBC thread, and thank you so much for the generous compliments. We’re here to share as well as help any ball collectors or just fans of the phenolic treasures in any way we can

Please share any of your prized sets with us - and especially when you find a set of Bicentennials - one of my favorites!

~ K.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The motto: “Come as a friend, leave as family”.

I’ve always loved that sentiment.


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On of the finest and most recognized around the world since 1795 would be none other than....


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Put George Thorogood and The Destroyers version of One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer playing in the background along with these beauties and you just may get a crazy idea...

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Post up $1 minimum per brave shooter. Rack these 21 as depicted; break (cue ball scratch on the break is ok); spot any balls made on the break; ball in hand behind the head string; call pocket rules. Any ball any pocket BUT the first three balls pocketed must be reds. Then the fun begins.

After those first three reds are pocketed, you (can) make the One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer balls at any time BUT IN THAT ORDER. Reds can be made between them but the Bourbon, Scotch and Beer balls must go down in that order. Since they are each marked with an 8, they are worth 8 points. The reds are worth 1 point. Shoot until you miss or foul which ends your turn at the table! Next shooter is up. Points earned determine your score and the highest score WINS.

Serving premium Bourbon, Scotch and Beer (of course) will make for an evening of fun, memorable stories for years, and most likely new swear words.

Come as a friend, leave as family indeed!



~ K.
 
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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Outstanding, Mr K. :)

Another great find, sir! I’ve seen the Jim Beam set before, but only in the slightly smaller two-inch version. I particularly like how you have arranged the starting rack, dear chap.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Outstanding, Mr K. :)

Another great find, sir! I’ve seen the Jim Beam set before, but only in the slightly smaller two-inch version. I particularly like how you have arranged the starting rack, dear chap.

Best wishes,
RC.



Thank you, RC! This particular set was a bit of a challenge since the last 2 sets of the Jim Beam balls were either 2” (from Australia) or terribly abused and damaged. Unplayable.

Unveiling this ball set amongst friends was fun - which led to the Bourbon/Scotch/Beer game....except the prize wasn’t cash - I put up a sealed JB Devil’s Cut. Their games weren’t up to speed since no one left with it - I’ll leave it on the billiard bar to entice them next time and encourage smarter play



~ K.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Being amongst fellow fanatics here in this fantastic forum discussing fortuitous phenolic finds with friends and “family” from places both familiar and afar, I’d like to share a fun and fanciful find....from none other than our very own fine fellow and founder of this PBC thread, my friend, Rubik’s Cube

A few collectors may be familiar with a ball set manufacturer that hails from the Northeast and takes tremendous pride in not only being a family-run business for many generations, but they stand behind and promote proudly the “Made In America” motto as good as any company large or small - still in business today.

Emilio Parrella began his dream company in 1952 and thought what better name than his own to place on every product - thus began EPCO. Fast forward beyond their initial success with manufacturing bowling balls, EP decided that bocce and billiard balls could be fashioned using Partek and Thermoset resins. Using his family-friendly nature promoting Made In America, he set out to lure those wanting custom and personalized billiard balls...

On the other side of the country, another man had a crazy idea that started with borrowing $1,000 from his own mother - and I wonder if she knew what it was for?

The notion that the world was ready for “frisky and playful” gave way to something in December, 1953, that took most people by surprise - but none more so than the founder and creator. He was so unsure of any possible success, that he didn’t even place a date on the cover of his inauguration first magazine issue! Putting Marilyn Monroe on that cover was just the start he needed.

A few decades later, imagine this phone conversation: “Hello, Emilio, this is Hugh Hefner...” sharing an idea for something unique he’d like to offer the fans and readers of his frisky and playful magazine. Something to be played with amongst friends that knew how to celebrate their motto at the time: “entertainment for men”. This could be interesting....

This relatively rare ball set was acquired by the tireless and ever-searching Rubik’s Cube earlier this year...and when he asked if he could have them shipped to me here in Texas for a few days and see what I could do with them before a trip back to his home in the U.K., I jumped at the chance. “Why even ask such a silly question, my friend? A wasted email, indeed. Why, OF COURSE! Now get them on the way.” The mission: Restore, clean, polish. Whatever magic a keen eye and guarded tricks I had up my sleeve could muster. Is it even possible they can be made to look new again? Based on the ball case they arrived in, I had my doubts.

Here they are.....the unique and elusive marbleized ball set dedicated to those pursuing and appreciating entertainment for men....


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Dare I say better than new

I think it’s time to let RC chime in on this short story now....



~ K.
 
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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good afternoon, Mr K. :)

What a truly fantastic result you have achieved with my once neglected Playboy Marbles, dear fellow. Your restoration skills border on sorcery. Not only is the incredibly generous gift of your valuable time and experience deeply appreciated, sir, I’d also like to express my sincere thanks for your admirable endeavours in saving all these treasures and recording their history in such a professional and entertaining manner. We’re quite a small group, us crazy billiard ball collectors, but it’s a harmless pastime and more will surely follow in the future. Without noble folks like your good self so much would be lost forever.

With your permission, sir, I’ll be shamelessly plagiarizing some of that wonderful provenance for my own insert card display. :)

Best wishes, my friend.
RC.
 

Meucciplayer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi Rubik's,

do you still have a picture of the sad state the balls were in before our friend K2Kraze polished them to like new?

Greetings to both of you.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hehe - some sets I take before and after pics of (and I should do that with every one) but this full set.....I MAY have a pic of them when they first arrived. I’ll comb the photo library when I have a moment.

In the meantime - I have the original ball box that I can snap a photo of to give you an idea of how they were cared for and how they arrived . Coming up later this weekend though when I have access to it.

~ K.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Hello, gentlemen. :)

Mr K was indeed kind enough to send me a picture of the Playboy Marbles when they first arrived at his beautiful home in Texas, Mr M. They were in a sorry state for sure. Alas, following a catastrophic computer meltdown some time ago, many precious files were lost and I no longer have the photograph. Apologies, sir.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I found the before pic of the cue ball...

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And one of the case...

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What a transformation - and no time or expense was spared getting them back to new for you, my good friend!

~ K.
 
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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Camel Marbles. Insert Card 4.

Good evening, everyone. :)

Here is the latest update of my insert card project. If you would like to learn a little more about the process followed in photographing the balls shown in the rectangular picture frame, or perhaps how I drew the computer generated image underneath, please refer back to my original post number 1133.

Whilst compiling this document an obvious flaw in my A5 template design became apparent: the rather small surface area is simply not sufficient to fully recount this set's historical provenance, particularly the debt of gratitude owed to XPLSV and K2Kraze. For this reason, ladies and gentlemen, I beg the indulgence of reprinting (in blue) the entire story from fifteen months ago.

Please allow me, dear reader, to take this opportunity in recounting an exceptional act of altruism and generosity to a stranger by a fellow AZB member.

Aside from a desire to share some pictures of my billiard ball collection with a few like-minded souls, I created this thread two years ago in a rather forlorn hope that a fellow enthusiast might help me secure one particular set above all others... the exceedingly rare marbleised Joe Camels. I had a fleeting chance to acquire a box in the early 1990s but balked at the asking price, a decision bitterly regretted as (to the best of my knowledge) not a single other example has ever appeared for sale anywhere ever since. And believe me, my friends, such elusiveness was not for the want of searching... I looked everywhere.

I had even begun to fear that my memory might be suspect. Were those elusive dromedaries merely a figment of a fevered mind? Although a mirage, perhaps, might be more apt in this instance! Imagine my astonishment and delight, therefore, when XPLSV joined the board (on the previous page) to reveal an incredible discovery. Even then, if it wasn't for the beautiful photographs that accompanied Mr X's story it would be hard to believe... a pristine set of Joe Camels!

After congratulating XPLSV on such a wonderful find and offering a word or two of thanks for his valued contribution to the thread, I fired off a brief private message to enquire if the balls could possibly be available for sale. Mr X's swift reply amazed and humbled me in equal measure. He told me that he remembered my appeal on page one of this thread and had always hoped that he might be able to help out one day. Yes, indeed, he would be glad to let me have this rare set as a much desired addition to my collection.

At this point I was already celebrating such a serendipitous stroke of good fortune, even though it would surely come at quite a hefty cost. And what price did our fine fellow quote for this 'must have' set of billiard balls plus shipping to my home in the United Kingdom? I will tell you, ladies and gentleman... he asked for absolutely nothing! Zero. Zip. Zilch. And that included the considerable international postage!

Words cannot adequately express my genuine gratitude for such a remarkable act of selfless altruism, it really was a wonderful surprise and truly humbling. It is to my shame, undoubtedly, that I felt unable to entirely accept XPLSV's most noble of gestures and, after many entreaties, I eventually managed to persuade him to at least allow me to cover costs as a very small token of my appreciation.

As has so often been the case during my time on the AZB forum, I am also indebted once more to K2Kraze in this happy tale. Not only did he offer to take receipt of the Camel Balls, adding them to a forthcoming consignment from Texas, he liaised with Mr X during the handover on my behalf and then wired across some typically beautiful images for me to enjoy.

Thank you, gentlemen, you are both a credit to this forum. I can only hope to do half as much and vow to 'pay it forward' as you say in America whenever the opportunity arises.


Best wishes
RC.
 

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