Friday, February 15, 2013

all the pretty pool tables

i've been making pool tables now since about 1989 .... hmmm almost 25 years?  seems like a blink.  i was first captivated by pool in high school, at the bowling alley, at Fry's, the luncheonette with two pool tables 'in the back', one for an open 9 ball game (50 cents and a dollar) and one for the 'old men' to play one pocket on.  high chairs to watch too.  there was also another 8 table room on the second floor above woolworth's where we hung out and played games to 25 or 50 for 'time'.  loser paid for the table time.  i got hooked by the geometry, the skill building, the camaraderie and pool hall culture.  and, in one of my fondest high school memories, my father, who was also good with a stick, took me into 'the city' to play at Allinger's, the famous philly pool room where they still had girls come around and rack your balls up and a pretty fair sized gallery section to watch the action on the hot tables.  it was something.  but i digress ... the table above was a redo of an old brunswick table i bought with peeling veneer and a broken leg.  i was making it for my boys, but a client (for the second time) bought the table as i was working on it.  click the photos to enlarge them.

the table above, with claro walnut rails by will and a steel frame by sam is one of our latest.  finished last fall and shipped to chicago.  more pictures and info here. 
10/7/17 ... we've made 5 versions of this design now
side view, in the shop

this one was for a special client, back in 2003.  they were building a large barn/party/entertainment building and we got to make the pool table and a large kas style tv cabinet.  i'm doing some work there now and it's great to revisit this stunning space.  we received a design award from custom woodworking business magazine for it in 2005.  there is a video of how this table plays at this link.  i hope to get better at this video thing as time goes on, but it gives you an idea of how the table plays.
and here we have our first attempt at acquiring a pool table in about 1989.  this one was in rough shape when i bought it for $500. and i had to make new curly maple rails, new legs, and strip the peeling veneer off the body and paint it,  but it was worth the effort, though that one sold too before i finished it.
the 'mark of zorro', table a version of my original beidermeier inspired table

then we got into our 'arts and crafts' era.  this one's mahogany with burl accents and i wish i had a better picture of it ... it also had a nice wood frame light above it inspired by the brother's green and i know i have a picture of it somewhere.  also 2003.
and this one, yet again the same year (it was a VERY good year), a little fancier with some baseball inspired motifs on the legs and some fabulous quilted maple panels ... i'm planning a visit to as many of these tables as possible to take videos of them in action.  they all play great.
simpler version of the same style ... 2012 ... more photos here
and then in the 2004/2005 ea, we had a short 3 edition run of these vertical grain fir tables.  simple, direct, effective, and they all went in spectacular rooms with lots of windows.  stratton mountain, vermont above ...
weston, vermont ...
and finally, greenwich, ct
and then our next diversion/trend was for some 'post and beam' style tables.   this one was for a builder friend who made the base and leveled it up, we just did the slate work and built the rails and the did the cushions and felt work ... 
 this one came next in 2009 and it went to martha's vineyard.  will and i took it down one crystal clear january weekend ... i never saw the vineyard quiet like that.  we felt like we owned the place.  the blog post about this one is in my list of  'popular posts' off to the right there.  that post can get you started if you are interested in building your own pool table. 
and this is our latest version of the 'post and beam' style.  we delivered that one to sugarbush, vt just last december and here is a link to a video of it in action ... more video links to follow soon i hope.
now we're looking forward to our next commission, which is in manchester.  that project will be an older table that has lost its slate (somehow).  we've ordered some new slate and when it comes, we'll set up the base, refelt the rails and cushions and set that one up in a spectacular recently remodeled home.  more on that later.

pool .. i love it.  i think i'll go to my man cave and shoot a few racks right now ...
man cave with my modestly 'restored' 1915 brunswick balke-collender pool table.  after selling the first two attempts to get a pool table for myself, i decided to not make this one too fancy so no one would buy it.  it almost sold once, but i talked the clients into a new table, and i still have the one above in my cellar today.
sam and will, (now 30 and 28), on the day of the original set up in our previous home.  this was in the very early 90's i think. no date on the photo and that period of our lives was pretty much a blur.


johannes michelsen said...

Dan, Great job as always, you and
your crew are w/o compare!!

Anonymous said...

awesome stuff

Ed Sloane said...

These are a lot nicer that the "pub tables" nice post guys.


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Unknown said...

high chairs to watch too. there was also another 8 table room on the second floor above woolworth's where we hung out and played games to 25 or 50 for 'time'. loser paid for the table time. i got hooked by the geometry, the skill building, the camaraderie and pool hall culture.
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