FAQ's - Well Worth Reading
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Frequently Asked Questions - Well Worth Reading
1) How can I be sure the table will fit in my house?
I have never seen a house where the slate won't fit. However, about 20% of the time the cabinet (the main portion of the table) needs to be disassembled. In these cases, we assemble the cabinet, mark all of the pieces and then disassemble it. This adds about 15 minutes to the final assembly and is very easy to do.
2) After I order a table, how long before it's ready?
About 5 - 7 days.
3) What type of vehicle do I need to transport my table?
A pickup truck or trailer works the best. We can also fit the table in some minivans. However in the event you don't have access to the right type of vehicle we offer a drop off service at a very reasonable charge.
4) I can hardly use a screwdriver, what makes you so sure I can do the final assembly?
In all of the years we've been doing this, no one has ever had a problem. In most cases the only tools you need are a ratchet with a 9/16ths" socket, a hammer and any type of level. What you really need are a couple of friends for about 5 minutes to help you carry in the pieces. After that your 13 year old daughter can assemble it.
5) How much does the slate weigh and how hard is it to get into my house?
This is the #1 question. The slate weighs 265 lbs. To some this may seem like a lot, but to people who have actually carried things in their lives it isn't. In reality, if you are holding the slate flat (like a flat sheet of plywood) the weight is no big deal, but where you really feel the actual weight is when you have to flip the slate on edge to walk it through a doorway because this is where all of the weight transfers to one arm. What we suggest to everyone is to borrow your neighbor for 5 minutes and when you turn the slate on edge have your neighbor stand in the middle of the slate with his hand in the side pocket and lift up. This does three things: It takes some of the weight off your arm, helps stabilize the slate and gives you a little reassurance. Then if the slate is going downstairs simply leave the slate on its edge and slide the slate down your stairs. Doing it this way doesn't hurt the slate, cloth or your stairs. Pool table dealers will try to scare you with all the bad things that can happen, but the reality is that not one of our customers has ever been hurt or broken a slate. In fact, the general opinion of our customers is that getting the slate in is no big deal except they wouldn't want to do it everyday.
6) I know your slate is 3/4" thick but a lot of dealers tell me I need 1" thick slate but don't tell me why. What's the difference?
Great question! Here are some "secrets of the pyramids" within the pool table industry. To begin with, you need to understand that slate is just one of many components that go into making a pool table. Slate is used as the playfield, but to have a quality table you also need a strong "baseframe" (this is what your slate sits on) stable legs, good rails, and cushions. You'd be surprised how many tables lack all of these features.But the main reason that manufacturers use slate is for one reason only...it's cheap! Basically, slate is soft, cheap rock. Today we have many synthetics that are stronger, flatter and lighter than slate but they cost 5 - 10 times more, so we use slate. As far as the slate thickness is concerned, the short answer is that there is no difference. There is not a pool player alive who can tell what thickness of slate is under the cloth. Why? Because there is no difference! The ball doesn't know if it's rolling on slate that's 3/4" or 10" thick. So here's the little secret that no pool table dealer wants you to know...they are trading (and relying) on your ignorance. As consumers, all of us (myself included) have a "thicker is better" mentality, and in many cases it's true. Your house is built with 2" x 4" lumber but if it was built with lumber that's twice as thick you would have a stronger house. Now look at your dining room table. The top is probably around 3/4" thick. If it was 3" thick what difference would it make? Is it any flatter? No. Is it stronger? Well yes, if you were going to whack it with a sledgehammer, but who's going to do that? The dealers are very well aware of the thicker is better mentality and they have no problem using this against you, and here's how... When you are talking to a salesman, he'll take you to a table and say something like "This is our entry level table and it has 3/4" slate but this table over here is our largest selling table (costing hundreds more) and it has 1" slate." However they never quite get around to telling you why 1" slate is better because they know that there isn't any difference. Is 1" slate flatter than 3/4"? No, they are all machined the same way. Is it stronger? Back to the sledgehammer example. But 1" slate is heavier and as you'll see, that's not always a good thing...
Many of our customers are "expert shoppers." They do a lot of research on the internet and visit a number of different dealers, and what they tell me is that after a while all the tables begin to look the same. The reason for this is that there are just so many ways you can build a pool table. The end result is that they do begin to look alike. Because of this, selling pool tables requires creative thinking and you've seen how slate thickness plays a prominent roll in this. What you don't know is that today the manufacturers give dealers the option of what slate thickness they would like and many choose 1" slate to try to gain a selling advantage over their competitors. However, not all tables are made to take the additional weight of 1" slate. The result is the frame begins to sag in the middle and as you can imagine this causes a lot of problems.
7) I've been told that one piece slate warps. Is that true?
If you were ever going to try to make a case against one piece slate it would be this. The fact is if you take a one piece slate and suspend it between two sawhorses it would eventually begin to sag (not warp) in the middle due to its own weight. We know this. It isn't a big secret. To avoid slate sag we have to spend a lot more money in time and materials to provide a very strong baseframe in all of our tables, and it's because of these additional costs that most of the industry avoids building one piece slate tables. It is also the main reason that we sell to you direct. You see, because of the added expenses in building our tables we can't wholesale them to dealers, since after they mark them up the end result would be a table that few could afford. There is no question that we build better tables with many more advantages than the rest of the industry. Unfortunately getting one requires a bit more effort than just running down to your local retailer..but well worth it.
8) Do you ever sell factory seconds or scratch and dent?
Quick answer...we're not in the business of building seconds. The real answer is since we are the actual manufacturer if we do make a mistake we have the ability to fix it.
9) What style of table is the most popular?
The answer to this is really driven more by your personal finances than by the styles we offer. Generally, for the average consumer who has already been out and "sticker shocked" by the retail cost of a pool table, they usually purchase either a Paladin Ultimate or a Maverick commercial table. The reason is that both of these exceptional tables cost about the same (or less) than what you would pay a dealer for an entry level table. However, we also sell a lot of Ketterings because many people need to be more careful with how much they spend or are just looking for a decent table and aren't overly concerned with styling issues.
10) Compared to the prices I've seen at the pool table dealers, yours seem awfully cheap. How do I know they are not junk?
We've all heard the saying "perception is reality" and this is the biggest problem we have with our customers. Just like the perception that "thicker is better" it is difficult to believe that sometimes you really can get something good without paying a small fortune for it. So let me try to tie this all together.
We are an actual manufacturer. We don't bring our tables in from some far off continent. We design and build them right here in Janesville, WI. All of our tables feature one piece slate which has huge advantages for you such as; easy self-installation, no slate seam problems greater resale ect. But building one piece slate tables cost more than three piece tables. This would make our tables more expensive to the pool table dealer and in turn would lead to retail prices far beyond the reach of most people. It is because of these reasons that we sell to you direct. In our pricing we try to show you an approximate retail value of our tables versus what the dealers have. However, if you sat down and placed a true monetary value to all of the advantages in our tables, the actual retail price would be considerably higher. We don't build 50 different styles of tables, but what we do make is exceptionally good. This is why we say that "if you like what we build you will never get a better deal on a pool table."
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