Rex Billiard Table

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Project by Michael Brailsford posted 07-24-2008 02:23 PM 8911 views 19 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I call this table the “Rex” because all of the wood for the project came from recycled handrails from Rex hospital. It makes me sick to think of the thousands of boardfeet of maple that went to the landfill before I was able to claim the rest. This was my first billiard table and it was an exciting project. A Little more on the wood, the hand rails were installed in the hospital in 1980. I started working at the hospital in 97 and they started changing the rails out to plastic ones in 99. They are easier to keep clean.
So when I got each rail they had many coats of poly on them, as well as lots of gum and god know what else. They were milled to 8/4 and had a one inch wide groove routed in the back about 1” from the top (that was where the majority of the gum was). Each one was able to be milled in several ways. I could resaw off two 3/8’s strips off the back, one 1” and another about 3” wide. That left me with a piece of 3/4 x 5”. I could also rip it at the groove and get a piece 1 3/4” x 3”. I used it in both ways on the table. The base was laminated up pieces of the 1 3/4×3”, while the legs were laminated pieces of the 3/4” x 5”.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

42 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4275 days

#1 posted 07-24-2008 02:31 PM

Echoing Brian’s comments, that is a tremendous table. This is the kind of project to do once the kids have grown and aren’t using the basement as a play area…I could use it as a play area LOL. Thanks for the great post.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


528 posts in 4160 days

#2 posted 07-24-2008 02:31 PM

Awesome, really makes me wish I had room for one. Out of curiosity, where did you go for the slate?

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View glennl's profile


24 posts in 4190 days

#3 posted 07-24-2008 02:32 PM

Awesome table!

-- GlennL, New Jersey

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4330 days

#4 posted 07-24-2008 02:33 PM

Great looking billiards table. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

254 posts in 4157 days

#5 posted 07-24-2008 04:32 PM

I did not follow any plans. The story behind it is as follows: I had been building furniture for many years but building a billiard table never entered my mind. My wife and I were out shopping for a table and were pretty much blown away by the prices for a quality table. A Brunswick Mission style table (btw the Brunswick salesman told me that Brunswick has to pay for use of the Mission name…..How Pathetic) is $5500. After looking my wife said “why don’t you build one”. As silly as it now seems in retrospect I was thinking “because billiard tables are made at factories”. After doing a little research on line I found there was nothing on a billiard table I could not do. I learned the needed dimensions of different parts, drew up some prints and went for it. I bought all of the parts needed on line, retail. I then was able to find a place to by wholesale for the next two tables, but have now been shut off because I do not buy enough from them (????). If you build one expect to pay around $1000 for materials. The first table took me 160 hours. The bed frame I built with 8/4 poplar it was cheaper and easier to work with and the parts of it that are visible I covered in maple. Be very careful on how you have you slate shipped my first set came broken and it took alot of time and energy arguing with the trucking company to get them to cover the loss. The hardest part to fabricate were the rails. The tolerances are VERY tight. It is what controls how your ball rebound.
I hope this information helps

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4890 days

#6 posted 07-24-2008 05:00 PM

great table. and a great salvage. I would love to have one of these in my living room, who needs a couch!?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4448 days

#7 posted 07-24-2008 05:42 PM

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Thanks for posting.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4279 days

#8 posted 07-25-2008 03:06 PM

Great looking billiards table.

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4862 days

#9 posted 07-25-2008 09:09 PM

One of the nicest looking pool tables I’ve seen.

Great craftsmanship!

It’s a shame about all the good material that ends up in the landfills.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 4963 days

#10 posted 07-26-2008 03:25 AM

Great Table. We had one as a kid and I remember my father wanting to move it from one room in the basement to another. He was going to have a company move it. I suggested that we try and if we fail then get the company involved.

Setting up the table was simple. we found that shoting the balls on just the slate, it was easier to determine if it was flat that to use a level and find that you were off a part of a bubble and never know it..

Very nice design and construction.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4337 days

#11 posted 07-26-2008 05:30 AM

Beautiful table! You did a great job on it. I only had a chance to work on one of these tables in a restoration job. A guy had a 1889 Brunswick table that was his grandfathers. It had been stored up in a barn loft for years. It was quite elaberate and really had fun redoing it. Always regret that I never took a before and after picture of it. I was surprised I could find all the parts for the restoration at the time. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4414 days

#12 posted 08-04-2008 11:46 PM

Very nice job Michael. I know the work that goes into making one of these tables. Good luck in the contest.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

254 posts in 4157 days

#13 posted 08-05-2008 12:41 AM

Thank you Grumpy. It was a bunch of work but well worth every bit. Billiard tables are alot of fun to build

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4869 days

#14 posted 08-06-2008 05:56 AM

From the hospital hall to games of nine ball, nice save and best of luck.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4277 days

#15 posted 08-06-2008 02:29 PM

Wow, this is really nice! You’ve done a great job on it…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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