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Brunswick vs Olhausen Pool Tables part 2

Posted on November 05, 2014 | 0 comments
The most common question I receive on a daily basis from customers is still "who makes the better pool table Brunswick or Olhausen?"  I attempted to answer this question in my previous blog Olhausen vs Brunswick Pool Tables but since that was written Brunswick discontinued the Camden model that I used to compare the manufacturers.  The point of using the Brunswick Camden vs the Olhausen Santa Ana was to compare two middle price point tables with all the top of the line construction bells and whistles.

Today I am going to compare two tables designed to appeal to a much broader customer base and specifically engineered to hit a lower price point.  The majority of slate pool table sold in the US fall between $2,000 and $2,500 so lets compare Brunswick vs Olhausen Pool Tables in this more affordable price range.  Over the last 10 years we have two pool tables that are all time best sellers in this category.
The first table I would like to offer for comparison is the Brunswick Allenton.  This table is marketed under the Contender Line and is available through Costco, Sears, and some other mass merchant sellers.  The Allenton can still be purchased through the authorized Brunswick dealer network for the time being.  To compare I have our Olhausen Grace Pool Table.  The Grace by Olhausen is only available at Robbies Billiards Home & Patio and carries our Exclusive Lifetime Guarantee.  I am comparing these tables because they are very similarly priced, have a similar style, and are very popular for residential 1st time pool table buyers in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.  The finish on both tables is very consistent and durable.  Olhausen has a catalyzed lacquer finish with a matte texture and very smooth hand.  The Contender Allenton has a high gloss multi stage finish with a plastic like clear coat top layer for added durability.  If you like a more natural wood look the Olhausen finish is superior but the Brunswick finish may be more durable over time.
From an engineering standpoint the Brunswick Allenton and Olhausen Grace are very different.  The Allenton is made in Vietnam from South East Asian Hardwoods and Veneers, Plywood, and features Tru-speed cushion rubber (not Super Speed).  The base frame is shipped disassembled and must be built and squared on site in your home.  Brunswick builds a great knock down product but it is obvious the Allenton is not built to the same standards as the Brunswick Collection Tables that it imitates.  From the hardware to the packaging you can tell this table was built to hit a price point.  The Allenton features the same 1" tournament slate at the Brunswick Collection Tables but that is the only component of the Contender series shared with the higher end tables.

The Olhuasen Grace is a simple table with a solid Fruitwood cabinet and legs (better known as Poplar) and real Accu-Fast tournament cushions.  The rails are only 5" wide vs the 6.5" or wider rails on higher end Olhausen tables but they are real North American Rock Maple rails.  The cabinet is factory squared and pre-assembled but can be knocked down if needed to get into a tight space.   The slate is the same 1" tournament Brazilian slate that Olhausen uses on all of their pool tables and the entire table is built by hand in Tennessee.  Unlike the other Olhausen tables, however, you cannot custom build a Grace any way you like.  The Grace only comes in 7' or 8' and in Traditional Mahogany or Original Cherry wood finish options.  This is a concession to the price point and a great example of how an American company can stay competitively priced against China and Asian manufactured pool tables.

The verdict here is simple.  The Allenton is not a bad table by any means but is does not compare to the Brunswick Collection tables it apes.  If you are in the market for an import pool table you are still better off with the Contender line than other China made products. The Olhausen Grace is clearly a baby Olhausen but it still features everything that makes an Olhausen table special.  From the cushions to the hand built solid hardwood cabinet, you are still getting a real Olhausen when you buy a Grace.  If Made in the USA is still important to you then the debate is over.

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Williamsport MD Showroom Announcement

Posted on July 23, 2014 | 0 comments
I am happy to announce that our new Showroom and Warehouse Clearance Center is staying in the Bowman Business Park effective October 1st 2014.  The new showroom is under construction and will be open for business though the Fall and Winter 2014.  Our address will remain 10212 Governor Lane Blvd, Suite 1010 Williamsport MD 21795 in case you need to find us using GPS or Google Maps.  Robbies Billiards Home & Patio remains the oldest and largest Pool Table store in Maryland and we are excited to start our 66th year in business right here in Washington County Maryland where it all started!  Our Clearance Center and Pro Shop will feature a larger selection of high quality consignment items, floor models, and Western Marylands largest selection of Pool Cues, Cases, and Billiard Playing Accessories.  Call 301-331-7024 for store hours or email me directly at robbies.scheduling@gmail.com.

Patrick McGarity, Owner
Robbies Billiards Home & Patio

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Olhausen Nicholas Pool Table Installed

Posted on May 21, 2014 | 0 comments

We just completed a job for a design client in Northern Virginia involving a penthouse delivery of two Olhausen Nicholas Pool Tables.  The Nicholas is exclusive to Robbies Billiards Home & Patio and it looks stunning in this home when custom built with an Espresso finish on maple.  The client originally ordered Brunswick tables but they wanted custom options and Made in the USA product, so they purchased Brunswick accessory kits.  Check out the pictures and let us know what you think!



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Presidential Celebrity Pool Table Review

Posted on April 23, 2014 | 0 comments


Today we are going to reveiw the Celebrity Pool Table, one of the most popular tables by Presidential Billiards.  Presidential is world famous for thier unique African manufacturing facilty and rare building materials like Teak and African Mahogany.  Featuring a lifetime warranty, solid hardwood construction, and three piece 1" slate the Celebrity is a great place to start evaluating this companies product.

Style:  The Celebrity is a transitional style pool table that fits nicely in todays more contemporary homes.  By transitional I mean that it has a very traditional style rail assembly but a funky "tusk" style leg that flares out and a trendy Espresso dark chocolate wood finish.  This table literally "transitions" between traditional style carved leg tables and the more geometric modern style pool tables starting to become more common place.  Overall, the table is a looker (the picture does not show how this looks with modern leather shield pockets instead of those old school fringe pockets) compared to many cookie cutter designs in this price range.  If you don't like the tusk style leg you can opt for a more traditional Square Tapered Leg but the Tusk Leg is what makes the Celebrity so cool.  Grade:  A-


Construction:  Presidential uses exotic African Mahogany in the construction of the Celebrity.  This tight grained wood finishes like Maple and is eco friendly to harvest.  They do not skimp on the wood in this table either!  There are DUAL 2" wide center beams and 1.5" cabinet construction, no veneer or MDF in this pool table.  The 1" framed slate is Brazilian sourced and levels nicely as most major manufacturer's in the industry buy thier slate from the same couple of suppliers.  Level really does come down to how good the installation tech is at his job.  Our one complaint about the Celebrity is the Knock Down construction of the cabinet is not as solid as tables from manufacturer's like Olhausen who pre-build, square, and level the cabinet in the factory.  The hardware on the Celebrity is substantial but we would like to see a more robust leg bolt on this table to make up for the extreme curve to the "tusk" style leg.  Grade:  B+

Value:  The Celebrity pool table retails for around $3,000 putting it slightly above some of the el-cheapo China made pool tables but below the majority of Olhausen and Brunswick solid wood pool tables.  When you factor in the Solid African Mahogany construction, the funky transitional style, and the excellent reputation of Presidential Billiards this is a very tempting table if you like the look.  Think of it as a value version of the best selling Olhausen Chicago Pool Table.  Grade:  B+

Conclusion:  The Celebrity pool table by Presidential Billiards is a fairly new design but has already become a top seller around the country.  Transitional and modern style tables are very hot right now and the Celebrity hits all of the right buttons.  While we would like to see some improvements on the overall construction there is no doubt this table blows away most China made pool tables for build quality and price point.  Final Grade:  B+

 

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Pool Table Reviews

Posted on February 28, 2014 | 0 comments
Over the years I have written pool table buyers guides from the perspective of a local family retailer in Maryland since 1954.  The pool table reviews include tables from Brunswick Billiards, Olhausen Billiards, and many other companies and are kept in our Blog page.  Here is a full list of our pool table reviews so you can compare and shop some of the best selling pool tables in Maryland, Virginia, and DC right here at Robbies Billiards Home & Patio.  There are also links to our most popular buyers guides, enjoy!
Olhausen Americana Pool Table Review

Aramith Fusion Dining Pool Table Review

Brunswick Tremont Pool Table Review

Cuszoom Pool Table Review

How much room do I need for a pool table?

Pool Table vs Shuffleboard Table:  What should I get?

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How to fix a wet pool table

Posted on January 30, 2014 | 0 comments
Many of us are dealing with frozen water pipes this winter and the resulting damage to our homes.  One of the common casualties of this water damage is the pool table.  Here in Maryland the majority of home pool tables are in basements, making them easy targets for broken water heaters, frozen pipes, and even sewage back up.  Here is what to do after you call your insurance company and schedule Serve Pro or another clean up company to come out and get the water dried up.  Take this advice very seriously, most damage to pool tables happens during the clean up and home repair.
First let the insurance company know the pool table got wet, even if it is on the other side of the room excess moisture in the air for extended periods can destroy the wood and cloth on your pool table.

Next make sure the clean up guys do not try and move your pool table for any reason!  They can cut the carpet out around the legs or build a platform over the table to work in the ceiling, but do not let them move the pool table.
Make sure no one lays anything on the pool table including tools, debris, or rear ends.  Keep the dust cover or any plastic sheeting the workers bring OFF the pool table, it will only trap moisture and cause more damage.
Take pictures of everything related to the pool table, including wet legs, cloth, splitting, staining, mold, ect.

Show all of this to your insurance adjuster and then call Robbies Billiards at 301-331-7024 and be ready to send us those pictures as well.  We can let you know what it will cost to repair or replace anything from the pool table legs, cloth, or when the table is a total loss.
Before the contractors come out to install new carpet, drywall, paint, or replace anything have the table professionally disassembled and stored on or off site until everything is totally finished.  You CANNOT install carpet under an existing pool table even if the table did not get wet because pool tables cannot be picked up and moved like a big coffee table without voiding your warranty and damaging the table itself.
When everything is fixed have the pool table professionally re-assembled and leveled along with any new parts or cloth that was needed.  Most home insurance policies will fully cover the cost of all this work as long as you follow my advice!  Email to robbies.scheduling@gmail.com as well for advice on local pool table service in Maryland, Virginia, and DC or contact a local reputable authorized dealer of the model pool table you purchased.

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Most Popular Game Room Furniture Trends Winter 2013

Posted on December 27, 2013 | 0 comments


The Holiday season is almost over so lets look at the hottest furniture and game room trends for winter 2013. This info is based on actual customer purchases over the holidays, so you will be seeing these in homes around the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area!


Table Games: As usual the hottest sellers are 8' Home Pool Tables and 12' Home Shuffleboard Tables. Larger size 9' Pool Tables and the 16' and longer Shuffleboard Tables are few and far between this winter. We have sold a few 7' Pool Tables and 9' Shuffleboard Tables but most customers are going for larger size games for the same dollars.

Wood Finish Trends: Matte Black Lacquer on Maple is the hot wood finish for Winter 2013 in the home game room. The black goes with just about any style room and never goes out of style. The best selling Espresso dark chocolate finish is the 2nd most popular wood finish, with the all time best selling medium mahogany chestnut finish in 3rd place.

Style Trends: Traditional Carved wood pool tables are still king this winter. Combined with the more modern Black Lacquer and Espresso wood finishes the traditional style ball and claw, carved rams head, and spoon style leg game tables have made a strong come back from last season. The more contemporary arch leg and waterfall style cabinet tables like the Olhausen Chicago and Pavilion Shuffleboard are the 2nd most popular design trend this winter in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia Homes.

Best Selling Item: The overall best selling table game this winter is the Robbies Billiards Home & Patio exclusive Ellianna two-tone black lacquer/brandywine pool table in 8'. Many customers have special ordered this table in custom wood finishes, but most people LOVE the way the Brandywine top rails contrast against the contemporary matte black laquer maple cabinet. The 2nd most popular item is our all time best selling Grace 8' Pool table, followed by the Olhausen York Shuffleboard table in 12' length.

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Olhausen vs Brunswick Pool Tables

Posted on November 18, 2013 | 0 comments


As an Authorized Pool Table Dealer in Maryland for both Brunswick Billiards (since 1967) and Olhausen Billiards (since 2007) we are often asked by customer which company makes the better pool table:  Brunswick or Olhausen?  This is like asking "Who makes the better car, Ford or Chevrolet?"  Fans of either manufacturer will always be loyal to their brand, but I will try and objectively examine the pros and cons of the two largest pool table manufacturer's in the world.
First of all, we need to distinguish between the different price points of pool tables made by Brunswick and Olhausen.  At the time of this blog entry www.brunswickbilliards.com lists pool tables on their web site anywhere from $1,799 to $39,999 in price.  Olhausen Billiards does not list MSRP prices but they start around $2,150 and the sky is the limit for custom built one-off tables.  It is impossible to compare pool tables apples to apples at such varied price points.  Both companies have "value" branded tables with cost cutting engineering, and in the case of Brunswick, an import China made group of tables marketed as Contender by Brunswick.  To be fair you need to look at tables in the mid price point that feature top of the line engineering but not excessive ornamentation to drive the price point up.  Lets say between $3,000 and $5,000 MSRP.

A great head to head comparison between Olhausen and Brunswick is the Brunswick Camden Pool Table vs the Olhausen Santa Ana Pool Table.  They both have an MSRP of around $4,000 and feature all of the top features and engineering standards available to the respective manufacturers.  Both the Olhausen and the Brunswick are top selling pool tables in Maryland and around the rest of the country.
Both tables feature solid hardwood construction with no MDF, Veneer, Composite Wood, or glued together finished wood.  This is the real deal solid kiln dried lengths of lumber only on both tables.  Olhausen uses primarily North American sourced hard maple, although any wood is available as this table is custom built to order.  Brunswick uses South American hardwoods on the Camden, including JequitibaJequitiba is a species of hardwood known for its similarity to Mahogany and uniform grain and texture.  Both the Maple on the Olhausen Santa Ana and the Jequitiba/Poplar combo on the Brunswick Camden are beautiful in person, uniformly hard and durable, and match modern wood accents in the home. 
One of the largest differences between Olhausen and Brunswick construction is the "Knock Down" cabinet of the Brunswick vs the pre-built "Uniliner" framed cabinet built by Olhausen.  While the factory squared and perfectly stable base frame of the Olhausen is impossible to beat, not everyone can get that large a piece of furniture into the room pre-assembled.  Brunswick builds the hands down best Knock Down cabinet in the industry, with almost flawless construction perfected by tens of thousands of mass-produced units.  Olhausen does boast better "minimum cabinet deflection", but as impressive as these tolerances are they will not effect the roll of a 6oz billiard ball.
The most hotly contested element of the Brunswick vs Olhausen debate is the cushion rubber:  Olhausen Accu-Fast vs Brunswick Super Speed Cushions.  Both feature laboratory testing for consistency, patented manufacturing techniques, and decades of tournament professional play.  In the end this comes down to personal preference as they do feel different when you play on the Santa Ana then switch to the Camden.  More serious pool players do tend to prefer the Santa Ana if only because the pocket openings are 1/4" tighter than the Camden for more challenging play.
Overall most people would be lucky to own either the Olhausen Santa Ana or the Brunswick Camden Pool Table.  If you like the idea of custom building a table with your wood finishes, rail sights, or you just like Made in the USA furniture the Olhausen Santa Ana is an easy choice.  If you want a designer pool table with 160 years of brand heritage and the signature Brunswick roll and rebound don't hesitate to bring a Camden home!  Both tables are available at your local Robbies Billiards Home & Patio Showroom.

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The $50,000 Skyline Design Patio Furniture Give Away

Posted on October 09, 2013 | 1 comment


Now through December 31st every $1,000 spent at Robbies Billiards & Patio in-store or online gets you One Entry into the $50,000 Skyline Design Patio Furniture Give Away.  Two Lucky Winners will be drawn on January 1st and get to choose from two ultra high end Patio Furniture Collections from Skyline Design totalling $50,000 in value.  Choose from the Topaz Conversation Seating with matching tables, chairs, and Heri Hanging Chair OR the Bishan Day Bed with matching Miha Chaise Loungers and side tables.  Visit either Robbies Billiards & Patio Showroom to see the collections in person and try out this amazing outdoor entertainment furniture for yourself.  Delivery and Installation spending does not count toward the dollar totals, see store for details, call 240-331-7024, or email robbies.scheduling@gmail.com

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Olhausen York Shuffleboard Table Review

Posted on September 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Today we take a look at Olhausen Billiards best selling home shuffleboard table, the York.  The Olhausen York Shuffleboard is featured in our Maryland showrooms if you want to "kick the tires" and see why this is such a popular model.  Olhausen Billiards in Tennessee is the largest US based manufacturer of Pool Tables, Shuffleboard Tables, and other quality Made in the USA home entertainment goods. 

Olhausen products are available through a trusted network of local established authorized factory retailers, like Robbies Billiards & Patio. The York is a transitional style shuffleboard table made in Tennessee with hundreds of custom options.  Sizes range from 9' to 22' tournament length and recreational 16" wide to full 20" wide finger joined rock maple play surfaces.  The cabinets can be custom made in a variety of wood species and finish stains, just like every custom made Olhausen game table.  In Maryland Shuffleboard Tables tend to sell well in Maple Wood with a Dark Cherry, Mahogany, or Black Onyx finishes.  The most popular size shuffleboard for homes in Maryland, Virginia, and DC is the 12' Length.

 
Style:  The York Shuffleboard Table features a transitional solid leg with a square tapered cabinet similar to the style of the Olhausen York Pool Table.  There is a subtle routing on the "blind" or side of the play surface cradle.  The overall balance and style blend well with most traditional or even modern style game rooms.  The popularity of the York Shuffleboard Table comes from its versatility in any home.  It is not a trendy or old school design, rather it falls somewhere in between.  Some customers are indifferent to the York style, but no one absolutely hates the look of this table making it a very good design chameleon.
Grade:  A-

 
Construction:  Like all Olhausen Game Tables, the York Shuffleboard is custom made to order in Tennessee out of select hardwoods.  The main component of any Shuffleboard Table is the play surface, and Olhausen knows their boards.  With a virtually indestructible poured lacquer over finger joined Canadian Rock Maple, this play surface will last for decades in either 16" or full 20" tournament size.  Olhausen has developed their own patented "leveling" system made up of wooden climatizers to adjust the play surface as room conditions change.  Our experience is these boards are on par with the industry standard by Champion Shuffleboard.  The real difference is in the cabinet:  No one builds a better looking better quality cabinet than Olhausen.  With the stain and wood options the York can be build just about any way you like.  The kicker is that Olhausen is the only shuffleboard manufacturer in the industry with a full Lifetime Factory Warranty on the Play Surface AND the Cabinet.  That is an unbeatable guarantee and sets the Olhausen York Shuffleboard apart from the competition.
Grade:  A


Value:  The York Shuffleboard table has so many custom size, wood, and finish options we have a tough time putting it in a specific price range.  Even fully decked out, however, this table seldom exceeds $6,000 other than in tournament sizes.  Combined with the customization options, bullet proof play surface, and lifetime warranty on all wood components (something no other manufacturer currently offers!) the York is a solid value however you speck it out.  If you can live with the 16" wide recreational play surface option the York is priced competitively with many imported and off brand tables.  That makes this Shuffleboard table a great Made in the USA alternative for any value seeking buyer.
Grade:  A-

Overall:  The Olhausen York Shuffleboard Table is a best selling at Robbies Billiards & Patio in Maryland, Virginia, and DC for a reason.  The transitional "go anywhere" style, the personalized custom wood, size, and finish options, and the unbeatable Olhausen Lifetime Warranty on the entire board (not just the play surface) make the York our 1st choice for home entertainment.

Final Grade:  A-

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