Pool is one of the most popular pastimes globally due to how easy it is to start up a game and have a good time.
Many families that enjoy the game may decide to purchase a pool table so that they can play at home any time they want, and because of how expensive a quality pool table can cost, the table gets passed down through generations and kept within the family.
Other times, you may decide to buy a used pool table at a yard sale or through some other means. Whatever the reason may be, you now want to identify what the brand of the table is.
Knowing the manufacturer of your pool table can give you a better idea of its quality, manufacturing date, and even the value of the table.
Keep on reading if you want to learn some helpful tips for how you can identify your pool table’s manufacturer and also see some of the benefits that can come from figuring out who crafted your pool table.
- Why is it Important to Identify the Pool Table Manufacturer?
- Steps in Identifying the Manufacturer of Your Pool Table
- How to Identify Olhausen Pool Tables?
- How to Identify Brunswick Pool Tables?
- Finding Out the Age of a Pool Table
Why is it Important to Identify the Pool Table Manufacturer?
It may not seem like a huge deal to some people, but identifying who the manufacturer of a pool table brings along with it many benefits, makes your ownership of the table much more enjoyable.
For starters, you may want to identify the maker of your pool table if you are looking to purchase one second-hand. Pool tables are an expensive investment, and even those which have already been used can cost you a pretty penny. Figuring out who crafted the table before you lay down your hard-earned money is very important.
You can save yourself a lot of trouble and hassle by learning who made the table before deciding to buy it. The fact of the matter is that not all pool table manufacturers are known for crafting quality tables that can last a long time.
Some manufacturers make cheap tables that are known to have issues, so identifying who made the pool table is important in ensuring that you get a well-built and long-lasting table.
If you are not purchasing a used pool table but rather have gotten a table passed down to you from your family or friend, it is also a great help to identify what company made it.
Just like with a used table, learning about who made your billiards table can give you a heads up on the overall quality of the product and whether or not you need to watch out for issues.
Whichever way you come across your pool table, identifying who the manufacturer is will supply you with helpful knowledge on how you should properly care for your table, whether or not there are any known issues with tables made by that manufacturer, and also give you an idea of who you can contact if you ever need to perform repairs or buy new parts for your table.
Steps in Identifying the Manufacturer of Your Pool Table
Now that you know some of the best reasons why it is worth identifying the manufacturer of your billiards table, we will provide you with some helpful tips that you can use.
Even if you are able to spot the manufacturer with just a single step in our list, we recommend checking for multiple indicators of the manufacturer to be entirely sure of who made your table.
Keep in mind that pieces of the table may have been swapped out through the years, or repairs may have been made to the table that changed some helpful signs.
1. Ask the Seller
If you are buying a used pool table, then the simplest and easiest way to figure out who made the table is to ask the seller. They might be able to tell you more information about the table other than just who manufactured it.
They may have old receipts for the table or other documents that show who the maker of the pool table is. Because many pool tables come with accessories such as cues, balls, and a rack, you can even use these items as identifiers of the manufacturer if they are still around.
Should they now know who made the table, then they could still be able to tell you other important information such as repairs made to the table, the original color of the felt and whether or not it had been replaced, and where and how they originally got the table.
2. Check for the Manufacturer’s Mark
It may seem obvious, but one of the first things that you will want to check for is a marking from the manufacturer. A majority of pool table manufacturers will place a stamped metal plate on the top or side of the pool table.
This plate will often include the logo, name, and location of the manufacturer. If you find that your pool table has no such plate, you can check beneath the table body and the back sides of the table’s edges and see if there is a stamp that the manufacturer has left there.
Stamps are a common marking left behind by manufacturers that indicate the exact date on which the pool table was made and may even include the name of the company on it.
You can also check for a code left behind by the manufacturer that could indicate the pool table’s place in the manufacturing line for that year or a simple code for the model of the table.
If you have the original accessories for the table, like the cues or rack, then take the time to check these as well. They may have a unique mark on them that the manufacturer put there as they came as a set with the table when it was originally purchased.
3. Examine the Slate
If you find that there are no discernable markings present on any spot of the table, then you can examine the slate of the table itself.
Of course, not all pool tables feature a true slate tabletop; some are made out of wood or some other substance, but for those that do, this can be a helpful indicator for who the maker of the table is.
See if you can identify if the slate of your table is genuine slate or a slate substitute. Some companies only craft their tables using real slate, so figuring out what material is used for your table’s playing surface can narrow down your search by quite a lot.
First, you will want to take a look and see if your table is one that features three slabs of slate or a singular slab for the playing surface. You can check what type of slate your table has by taking a peek underneath the table.
A table that features three pieces of slate will have very clear lines indicating where the slabs meet, whereas a single slate table will be uniform throughout.
Three-piece tabletops are more expensive than single-piece tables, and they are also quite a bit heavier, so figuring out what type of slate your table has can give you a good idea of the company that made the table.
Learn More: Slate vs. Wood (MDF) Pool Table: Which is Better?
4. Examine the Pockets
A big indicator of the manufacturer of your pool table is the way that the pockets of your table are made and what material they are made of.
There are two main styles of pockets that a pool table can feature, those being either traditional drop pockets or a ball return system style of pockets.
Pockets that feature a ball return system, a system in which balls will roll to one end of the table once they have entered a pocket, give you a good indicator of what company may have made your table.
Not a lot of modern-day pool tables use the ball return style of pockets, so if you find a table that features this type of pocket, you can narrow down your search to a handful of manufacturers.
Most tables nowadays feature classic drop pockets. These are simple pockets where balls will stay inside of the pocket until you manually remove them.
Drop pockets are the most common type of pocket used in pool tables, and many companies produce tables featuring only this style of pocket and not the ball return system.
For pocket materials, you want to check to see if the pockets are crafted out of genuine leather or some synthetic substance.
Many higher-end pool table manufacturers make their pockets only out of leather, while some more budget-friendly manufacturers will make their pockets out of rubber or another synthetic substance.
5. Check What the Table Parts are Made of
Take a close look at your pool table parts and see what type of wood it is made out of. Some manufacturers use unique types of wood, and this can be a huge help in figuring out who made the table.
Manufacturers tend to get their wood from specific areas of the world.
You will notice that most manufacturers build their tables out of wood that comes from trees only found in North America, while other brands craft their products out of wood that can only be imported from more exotic locales.
6. Contact Professionals
If you can’t find any noticeable markings or indicators for who made your table, then you can always have a professional look at it.
Retailers of pool tables tend to know their stuff. Contact your local pool table retailer and see if a professional can come down to take a look at your table for themselves or take in some pictures and have them take a look at it.
If your pool table is an antique one, it’s better to take the exact length measurements for such experts to give you the most detailed information they know about pool tables like the one you own.
Having a professional who spends their life familiarizing themselves with pool tables take a look at your table is a great way to get an expert opinion and at the very least enlighten you a bit about who might have crafted the table.
7. Search Online
If all else fails, use the power of the internet to your advantage and see if a stranger can give you the information you need. Posting on forums and other sites where pool enthusiasts gather might just help to identify who made your table. Here are some forums solely dedicated to billiards or pool:
How to Identify Olhausen Pool Tables?
Olhausen, one of the most renowned brands in the billiard sports industry, offers 63 models in 6 different series. Most of them usually have the following features and characteristics:
- T-Nut Rail Construction: Olhausen pool tables have this rail construction in which it has a solid and non-bendable cross-thread feature. It eliminates hollow spots under cushions. The T-nut rail construction promotes easy installation and removal, longer thread grip, is structured in a precise alignment.
- Slate Liner: Specially designed to allow quieter play and reduce slate stress, pool tables manifest the reputation of the brand through an excellent slate liner. It ensures professional, faster, and tighter cloth installation.
- Bolt-Thru Cross Brace: Slates need physical support, and so Olhausen pool tables are built with a bolt-thru cross brace. It gets rid of frame spread and sag.
- Uni-liner: As the large slate-support area, Olhausen ensures a uni-liner with a quick and accurate installation. The uni-liner keeps the slate level and flat.
- Accu-fast: Olhausen builds their pool tables with the best playing cushions in the business. Impacts from the shaft and the balls will just run smoothly on this surface.
- KD Apron Bracket: This brand assures constant alignment with KD apron brackets. This prevents unsightly screws or holes. Apron brackets are even stronger than nails or glue.
- Premium Wood: Olhausen only chooses the best wood from the North Eastern US. Slow-growth trees have tighter grains, and thus this prevents their pool tables from extreme discoloration.
Related: Olhausen Pool Table Review: Are They Really Good?
How to Identify Brunswick Pool Tables?
Like Olhausen, Brunswick also creates their pool tables with distinguishable features and specs. You can identify a Brunswick pool table in the following manner:
- Recessed Area Below the Cushion: A Brunswick pool table is built with a recessed area found below the cushion near the felt. It keeps the rail attached to the slate surface consistently.
- Galvanized Steel Leg Plates: Check if your pool table has galvanized steel leg plates. They are responsible for attaching the legs to the table. They are held in the right place with bolts and nuts.
- Labels below the Felt Covering: Check the felt covering of the rail cushions and see if there are embedded labels by the manufacturers. These labels will certify that the pool table is an authentic Brunswick pool table.
- Metal Plate: Brunswick pool tables come with metal plates, mostly located along the base of the rails. They are used to attach the cushioned rail to the metal bolts of the slate.
- Solid Hardwood of the Rails: Brunswick pool tables are always crafted using solid hardwood. If the rails on your pool table are just conjoined wood pieces, this means the structure is not purely authentic.
Also Read: Olhausen vs. Brunswick: Who Makes Better Pool Tables?
Finding Out the Age of a Pool Table
The age of a pool table is evident in its constructions, wood and finish, pockets, slate bed, cushion rails, and pockets. Also, patterns and other specific aspects of design play a role in identifying the years that your tables have gone through.
But since they maintain a great representation, it could be difficult to figure out the exact dates of their production.
The best possible way to get an estimate is to reach out to local retailers or professionals. They will gather all the needed information and check out other factors that can lead you to identify the right age of your pool table.
It can be quite the task when you need to identify the manufacturer of your pool table, but hopefully, these tips will help you figure it out.
Just remember that even if you think you know who the maker of your table is, it’s best to crosscheck the information you have gathered so that you can be entirely certain of your pool table manufacturer.