I am planning to replace the cloth on my homemade table, and would like to add the leatherette balk area, but would like some advice as to how this is done. My original cloth was just some cheap green from the local fabric shop, as I was unsure this project was going to work out, but now after playing regularly on it for over a year, the flaws have caught up with, and overshadowed my skill level. I need a regular surface without flaws. The only table I have ever seen in real life is the one I made, so I am relying on pictures. Also I built it so the table bed is attached to the base frame with hinges, and the side panels and cushions attach after the cloth is stretched and stapled along the sides.
This being said, How is the leatherette incorporated? Do you stretch the fabric over the entire surface first, then perhaps glue the leatherette down with fabric adhesive? If the leatherette is on top of the cloth there will be an edge, while not in the field of play, could still raise, or get debris underneath unless it is attached tight. In my design, wrapping the leatherette around the two sides and the balk edge will add some dimension to the edge that will need to be accounted for when attaching the side panels. I found this out when I built this thing to fit tight, and then when I added the cloth on both he surface and the cushions, I fount the tight fit I had strived for was off, not much, but enough that I noticed. If the leatherette is glued down, it may not need to wrap. Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.
Seems to be as your table is a self build you are better off covering the entire table with cloth. On a commercial table the slate playing area is separate to the baulk area so can be and are covered separately
Leatherette is optional, just protects the cloth from handmarks a bit more. Difficult to get a smooth surface if you start gluing. Important that you use a non stretch leatherette, which should be linked to in one of the threads.
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Mark so you would have a wooden frame as a base. the top 3/4 is slate screwd to it. you then pull the cloth over the slate and staple the cloth onto the wood. The 'leatherette' is an oblong of wood covering the first 1/4 of the frame. A slit would be made for a coin and then it's covered in a leather replacement material and glued down. The leatherette is usually screwed to the wooden frame after you have dropped the frame into the top of the table. I wedge the slate so that the table is symetrical using the middle top hole(10/30), the 100 and the 200 holes to get it spot on. Then the three clothed and one leather covered cushion are screwed on.
I check and double check for symetry with the cushions on and go back if I have to. I then squeeze a gap and slip the glue covered leather D in the gap twixt leatherette and cloth and then hold it down till set.
I then level the table ofer several matches and adjust 'the spot' from 2-3mm wide by adding on one edge or the other till it is a 4-5mm dot. the break shot must be symetrical. Sometimes I have to rip the D out and move it over 2-3mm and re-glue. It takes me a week to get the "D, dot, table level, slate straight' right. Taffy
Thanks guys for the ideas. I had no idea when I made this table that the surface should be broken up into two sections. Too late to change it now, so I guess I will just cover the entire top, and just add the leatherette to the balk cushion. As I made the top a bit short, the balk area is minimal, and your bridge hand is on the cushion anyway, so I think it should work. This is the first refit since I got it up and running, so I plan to also add some ramps to speed up, (and quiet down), the return.
Taffy, your system makes a lot of sense, except my playing surface is attached to the base via the hinges and cannot be adjusted. The sides and cushions are mounted to the surface, and could be adjusted with shims perhaps, but the table seems to play fine, so I'm going to leave the fine adjustment for a few years down the road when I have the skill level to notice such irregularities. Thanks again, Mark