Where next for Brunswick

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have owned a businesses in the past (for 15 years). I currently over see contract construction. I understand cost estimates, equipment, material and labor cost.

I also have many over seas made items (mostly all quality and chosen per lack of domestic product or availability). I have no problem with over seas products to supplement domestic items.

My point is we should reward our U.S companies that stayed here whenever possible. That is it!

Brunswick will never get my business when other domestic tables are available for similar money.



Have a great day!
And you will always have a table that plays like crap. That's your god-given right

Tft
p.s. you could always upgrade to a Diamond!!!
 
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Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Even Diamond outsources slate and cushions because there is no US alternative

.....actually, during the 1980's....i was still going with a table builder to the slate mines in PA to pick up sets of table slate.

Quarries in PA & VT are not played out.
I still buy architectural slate in PA, though rarely anymore. (getting too old)
It just costs more to extract table slate in the US, than to source it overseas. First in Italy, now there as well as Brazil & China.

IIRC, 3 pc set for an 8' table ( size John mostly built) cost around $150 for clear. (You never want ribbon, which is cheaper, for tables. The ribbons machine & wear differently causing balls to roll funny) Can't recall if that included quarry cutting the pockets, or leaving them blank for john to cut (he did it both ways). Seem to recall price was same for 1" or 3/4" thick. Might have been more for 3/4" because basic sale unit was 1". Quarry had to do more machining to yield 3/4". All told, i am certain the price was under $200/complete set at the time. John had to drill for pins with my jigs, and drill for the rails, either T-rail or GC style. He did both types. Can't recall if Italy was more or less at the time. but definitely similar. John did not like Italian, claiming it was "softer". Everyone has their prejudices. Since then I've read some think the opposite.

When i've ordered architectural slate since 1990, it is shipped and have not personally been to a slate mine since about that time. But if you watch the online video of Brunswick's method for extracting table slate - saw up the bed in place like a checkerboard, with a roadwork type diamond saw, then scoop it out in layers near net-size blocks with a forklift......then go peer deep down in a pit in PA & watch them using plug & feather methods to split out big car size chunks, rig them up to the sheds/factory with cable lines, and process them on machines some of which date right back to the late 19th c, it is like comparing a modern operation, and going back to medieval times.

The quarry John bought from had geared up and had some modern equipment specifically for pool table slate. Including the flat diamond hone machine. They had been approached, and invested in special machines to make sets for a "major table manufacturer" but the contract fell through. I called them within the past year or two after getting interested in pool again. The manager laughed, and said "wow, that was a long time ago" "we sold that equipment quite a while ago".

OK, besides nostalgia, the point of all this is start with the basics. pulling rocks out of the ground. It could have been continued here. It wasn't because overseas can do it cheaper. Partly condition (better mines), partly investment/efficiency, maybe partly labor. Was it really that much cheaper at the time? It might also be a supply-line thing - overseas can apparently do it faster, more product, without bottlenecks. So we get to the bigger economic picture. Why did we let that happen? It was really not consumer choice at the beginning. Tables (or pick your -quality- merch) did not get cheaper for the consumer. The profit margin went up for the marketer, and the risk factor went down. It is American labor that has been taking the hit. Us that had decent jobs did not complain much until recently, because while our real wages stagnated since sometime in the 80's, our purchasing power seemed to increase. Lots of other peoples' industries simply closed the doors and they lost theirs.

I can see both sides. I'm a liberal. :)
Have also been in business for myself since HS.
But as a liberal i can see that for a liberal culture to flourish, there needs to be a balance between capital and labor, and some sort of coherent industrial policies without getting protectionist.

smt
 

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
.....actually, during the 1980's....i was still going with a table builder to the slate mines in PA to pick up sets of table slate.

Quarries in PA & VT are not played out.
I still buy architectural slate in PA, though rarely anymore. (getting too old)
It just costs more to extract table slate in the US, than to source it overseas. First in Italy, now there as well as Brazil & China.

IIRC, 3 pc set for an 8' table ( size John mostly built) cost around $150 for clear. (You never want ribbon, which is cheaper, for tables. The ribbons machine & wear differently causing balls to roll funny) Can't recall if that included quarry cutting the pockets, or leaving them blank for john to cut (he did it both ways). Seem to recall price was same for 1" or 3/4" thick. Might have been more for 3/4" because basic sale unit was 1". Quarry had to do more machining to yield 3/4". All told, i am certain the price was under $200/complete set at the time. John had to drill for pins with my jigs, and drill for the rails, either T-rail or GC style. He did both types. Can't recall if Italy was more or less at the time. but definitely similar. John did not like Italian, claiming it was "softer". Everyone has their prejudices. Since then I've read some think the opposite.

When i've ordered architectural slate since 1990, it is shipped and have not personally been to a slate mine since about that time. But if you watch the online video of Brunswick's method for extracting table slate - saw up the bed in place like a checkerboard, with a roadwork type diamond saw, then scoop it out in layers near net-size blocks with a forklift......then go peer deep down in a pit in PA & watch them using plug & feather methods to split out big car size chunks, rig them up to the sheds/factory with cable lines, and process them on machines some of which date right back to the late 19th c, it is like comparing a modern operation, and going back to medieval times.

The quarry John bought from had geared up and had some modern equipment specifically for pool table slate. Including the flat diamond hone machine. They had been approached, and invested in special machines to make sets for a "major table manufacturer" but the contract fell through. I called them within the past year or two after getting interested in pool again. The manager laughed, and said "wow, that was a long time ago" "we sold that equipment quite a while ago".

OK, besides nostalgia, the point of all this is start with the basics. pulling rocks out of the ground. It could have been continued here. It wasn't because overseas can do it cheaper. Partly condition (better mines), partly investment/efficiency, maybe partly labor. Was it really that much cheaper at the time? It might also be a supply-line thing - overseas can apparently do it faster, more product, without bottlenecks. So we get to the bigger economic picture. Why did we let that happen? It was really not consumer choice at the beginning. Tables (or pick your -quality- merch) did not get cheaper for the consumer. The profit margin went up for the marketer, and the risk factor went down. It is American labor that has been taking the hit. Us that had decent jobs did not complain much until recently, because while our real wages stagnated since sometime in the 80's, our purchasing power seemed to increase. Lots of other peoples' industries simply closed the doors and they lost theirs.

I can see both sides. I'm a liberal. :)
Have also been in business for myself since HS.
But as a liberal i can see that for a liberal culture to flourish, there needs to be a balance between capital and labor, and some sort of coherent industrial policies without getting protectionist.

smt
You always contribute so nicely. You write very well! Thanks for all you do.

TFT
 

Dartman

Pro Billiards
Silver Member
I'm going back some years but IMO Original Italian Slate (OIS) was always preferred
over any other billiard slate producing country to include the US.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I own a made in USA OLHAUSEN. My current table is old, but I think they are still made here. When I needed pockets for my table Colby OLHAUSEN sent two different styles and asked me to return what I had not used.

My point is I think there are still good U.S options (for people that can't afford a Diamond).

I wish Brunswick the best, however if they chose to build over seas I am out. Why would anyone buy a foreign made table? Especially if there are U.S choices for similar money and better quality?
My purchase decision would be based on how a table plays far before I worry about where it was made, while I appreciate that Olhausen are made in the USA I just cant come to terms with how they play, even their commercial tables seem no better in this respect. Just the same there are people who dont like Brunswick and some who dont like Diamond. I think the pool table marketplace is just too small to base your purchase on country of origin. It gets even more limited if you prefer commercial tables, you pretty much have to prioritize the qualities important to you, after having done that consider yourself lucky if you happen to have 2 manufacturers to choose from.
 

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
My purchase decision would be based on how a table plays far before I worry about where it was made, while I appreciate that Olhausen are made in the USA I just cant come to terms with how they play, even their commercial tables seem no better in this respect. Just the same there are people who dont like Brunswick and some who dont like Diamond. I think the pool table marketplace is just too small to base your purchase on country of origin. It gets even more limited if you prefer commercial tables, you pretty much have to prioritize the qualities important to you, after having done that consider yourself lucky if you happen to have 2 manufacturers to choose from.
You know whats up! It all comes down to the 2 if you want a commercial table. Diamond leads and Brunswick pioneered. Thats that. I dont even consider rasson a part of our market. www.buyusapool.org is going live soon!

TFT
 

A-1 billiards

FELT WRIGHT
Silver Member
Unfortunately, many American manufacturers don't choose to support American professional or amateur pool. Some foreign companies like Simonis do support the pro game heavily. I believe we should give our business to the companies that give back, especially to the pro ranks and organized league pool events.

Ultimately, it's about maintaining and growing the game. that requires the support of the manufacturers, dealers, distributors and service people. domestic or foreign. The leaders in this area, that I've personally dealt with are Diamond, Simonis, Aramith, Predator to name just a few. I would not consider withdrawing my support for any of these companies simply because they are not American manufacturers.

We were involved with the installation of Brunswick pool tables for the Pro women's tour 10 years ago. Brunswick had a very strong presents in the Pro tour events at that time. 12 events a year coast to coast just on the woman's side. even more on the Men's. For whatever reason, they as a company decided to withdraw their support, is fine. I don't believe we should penalize them but we should support the companies that continue to provide money, equipment and sponsorship no matter where they are from.

I love to buy American whenever possible. We are the distributors of Diamond Billiard Products for seven states. The fact that they are American made is great! However, virtually every Diamond table goes out with Simonis cloth, Aramith balls, Artemis cushions and Brazilian slate because they are the best products for those component parts.

I support quality and value wherever it comes from. if those companies are supporting my efforts, my game and my business, they've earned my loyalty. All things being equal, we strive to trade with American made products from American companies first. IMHO...

Jay Spielberg
 

Dartman

Pro Billiards
Silver Member
I remember when many people scoffed at "made in Japan" years ago.
Now you have China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the list goes on.
I do agree that if a product is well made then where it's made should not make
a difference. Just unfortunate that corporate America is more focused on better
profits thru outsourcing at the expense of the American worker.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
'Brunswick Billiards' is nothing but a name anymore. The current iteration is a few designers and the warehouse/assembly staff in Bristol. Might as well call it 'Bristol Billiards' as it has nothing to do with the once great brand. They are living off the history of the name. Brunswick(the corp) started outsourcing as early as '76 when the GC3 came out. Billiards became less-and-less an income source until they sold it off along with the fitness division to KPSPartners. I've always like playing on GC's but i wouldn't spend a quarter on a new B'wick product.
 
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trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
'Brunswick Billiards' is nothing but a name anymore. The current iteration is a few designers and the warehouse/assembly staff in Bristol. Might as well call it 'Bristol Billiards' as it has nothing to do with the once great brand. They are living off the history of the name. Brunswick(the corp) started outsourcing as early as '76 when the GC3 came out. Billiards became less-and-less an income source until they sold it off along with the fitness division to KPSPartners. I've always like playing on GC's but i wouldn't spend a quarter on a new B'wick product.

Brunswick still employs way more people than that silly.... you are finally showing your true colorz!!.
I love both companies and happy there are 2 commercial companies that AINT RASSON! IN THE MIDDLE OF A GC6 INSTALL IN FORTUNA CALIFORNIA! Next install is a Diamond. I love having diversity in my business. How can a guy go wrong selling the best 2?? It always feels like a win win to me !!

TFT
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Being a 3Cushion player and wanting my own table, my only choices are to purchase an antique or go overseas.
There's no quality US made carom table currently available. I started off with a T-Rail Brunswick built around the 20's then moved to a table from Belgium. Also a T-Rail BTW. Simple point is, I have no way to support current US production .... table wise.

I'm not a fan of China but over the years, in my former business, I've seen some extraordinarily high quality and innovative hand tools from China. Point here is they have the ability ..... "Made in China" doesn't always equate to junk. "Made in China" simply means, if you're looking for the cheapest "price", that label will likely equate to something less than high quality.

Last point: There's hundreds of reasons for a manufacturer to set up shop in another Country. One of the biggest is to enter that Market. I'm not sure what China requires but some countries have barriers to entry that simply make it impossible to sell in said Country. Brazil is one I'm remotely familiar with. If you don't have a manufacturing facility in Country, the tariffs essentially prohibit the sale of your product. In some cases, the tariff doubles the sale price to the customer. If you're talking about a Combine or a Loader, you're talking big money. An additional $500K or more.
If this is the case in China, one of the largest markets in the world, who would buy a Gold Crown in China for $25K? They may get a few hundred sales just because of the name. Hollywood and Min is the name there.
 

bigskyblue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I own a made in USA OLHAUSEN. My current table is old, but I think they are still made here. When I needed pockets for my table Colby OLHAUSEN sent two different styles and asked me to return what I had not used.

My point is I think there are still good U.S options (for people that can't afford a Diamond).

I wish Brunswick the best, however if they chose to build over seas I am out. Why would anyone buy a foreign made table? Especially if there are U.S choices for similar money and better quality?
I too own a 22 year old made in the USA Olhausen table. When I needed new pockets in May of this year, I called the Olhausen Billiards phone number listed on google and ended up talking with a very nice person in the Netherlands. He stated that Olshausen Billiards was now a part of an international consortium.
 

Welder84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I too own a 22 year old made in the USA Olhausen table. When I needed new pockets in May of this year, I called the Olhausen Billiards phone number listed on google and ended up talking with a very nice person in the Netherlands. He stated that Olshausen Billiards was now a part of an international consortium.

Interesting...
 
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