Most unusual tables!

Most people know about snooker and pool tables but there are many others out there such as circular tables some which revolve, “L” shape tables, bar billiard tables, baggatele tables, 3 cushion or canon tables with no pockets – scoring is by canons only.

A full size snooker table is 12ft by 6ft but there are a few larger tables out there built in the early 1800s, often just to show off or to fill a large room – tables up to 15ft in length are not unknown!

I have personally come across a 14ft x 6ft 6inch table, which created a problem as the cloth is made to fit 6ft wide tables. By the time we had finished it was probably the tightest cloth in the country! Even now after over 40 years in the trade we come across tables we have never seen before, sometimes from makers we have also never heard of. In the early days tables were often commissioned by wealthy clients using furniture companies, not just billiard table makers, so there are a lot of one-offs out there. Often a furniture company would be commissioned to build the whole billiard room including all paneling, furniture and fixtures and fittings.

Types of Cloths

There are basically two types of cloth fitted to snooker and pool tables. Either napped or directional cloth (like dralon – smooth one way with resistance the other way) or nappless cloth often referred to as “speed cloth”. Snooker tables are normally fitted with a napped cloth whereas pool tables can be fitted with either napped or nappless cloth.

Napped cloths allow more control of the cue ball due to the extra grip, whereas nappless cloths are faster but offer less cue ball control.

American pool tables are usually covered with speed cloth. Napped cloths are available in several different grades for heavy duty use, through to superfine finish competition grades. There are not nearly so many grades in speed cloths.