Escalade Air Hockey Tables

Escalade Air Hockey Tables

Escalade is a company we have been ordering from for many years and the customer can contact the company directly for any maintenance issues, so we are happy to recommend these to our customers.  Escalade provides customers with a parts list and contact information in case there are any problems post-warranty.  They have always replaced those items that don't function correctly within warranty, so we continue to order from the with confidence. 

 Add $100 for special orders (orders not included on a larger order we are submitting) and $150 for white-glove delivery and set-up.  Anything outside Missoula, add $1/mi one way.

Triumph 7' Blue-Line Hockey Table $499+s/h (Click on Titles to visit webpage with details)

45-6808 Triumph® 7' Blue-Line Hockey Table



45-6800W Triumph® 6' Lumen-X Lazer Hockey Table 
I would be careful about ordering this one.  Anything with extra lights that can break probably will ;-}



G03510W Atomic™ 7' Blazer Hockey Table 

 HJAW7 HJ Scott® 7' Wicked Ice Hockey Table 

This is probably the first model that I would consider for older kids (12-16yrs) for stability.


G04865W Atomic™ 7.5' Top Shelf Hockey Table

120 Volt motor, lights may not work forever!

Contour 7.5' Air Hockey with Scorelinx $899+s/h

This is most like the popular Phaser
 
Image result for Contour 7.5' Air Hockey with Scorelinx

  

G04864W Atomic™ 8' Avenger Hockey Table 

HJAR8 HJ Scott® 8' Raptor Air Hockey Table 

At this price point, I would either switch over to the Brunswick or pay a little extra and get the Arctic Wind by Valley Dynamo.


G04863W Atomic™ 8' AH800 Hockey Table 

This is a good price for a full-cabinet air hockey table.

Brunswick Air Hockey Tables

Brunswick Billiards Air Hockey


It has always surprised me that Brunswick Billiards invented Air Hockey in the 1960's.  The Wiki entry is as follows: 

Air hockey was invented by a group of Brunswick Billiards employees from 1969 to 1972. In 1969, a trio of Brunswick engineers – Phil Crossman, Bob Kenrick and Brad Baldwin – began work on creating a game using a frictionless surface. The project stagnated for several years until it was revived by Bob Lemieux, who then focused on implementing an abstracted version of ice hockey, with a thin disk, two strikers, and slit-like goals equipped with photo-detectors.  It was then decided that the game might appeal to a larger market and air hockey was marketed and sold to the general public. The original patents reference Crossman, Kendrick and Lemieux.[2][3] It should also be noted that the air table proper had already been patented before Brunswick's project, though for unrelated purposes.[4]

The main concern in the construction and maintenance of the air hockey table is the surface and the motor.  The surface should be protected with a cover to reduce the amount of dust and particulate that can build up inside the blow-holes. 

The motor is the obvious maintenance concern because if it goes out, you just have a "slide-hockey" table.  I prefer to work with companies who can replace the motor, offer a warranty of at 3 months (Brunswick offers a 90-Day warranty), and have a dealer support system.  For the family recreation room, Brunswick offers a quality product for a family-friendly price:

Brunswick Wind Chill Air Hockey Table: $775 (Include White-glove delivery for $150)





  • Sleek contemporary styling
  • Dual abacus scorers
  • Sturdy pedestal base
  • Constant flow UL blower
  • Dimensions: 83.875" L x 32.5" H x 41.125" W
  • Seven-foot table size
  • Two mallets and four pucks included with each table kit

Brunswick V-Force Air Hockey Table: $1,300 (Include White-glove delivery for $150)








  • Exciting table top graphics and logo
  • State-of-the-art imbedded abacus scoring system
  • Super slick, scuff-proof "“ice"” provides exceptional play
  • Cool black mallets are easy to control for precise shots on goal
  • Durable aluminum rails with powder-coated metal corners
  • Adjustable leg levelers guarantee a perfectly horizontal playing field
  • Dimensions: 83" L x 30.5" H x 41" W
  • Seven-foot table size
  • Two mallets and four pucks included with each table kit
The difference between the two tables is in the materials used to construct the frame.  The blowers are the same.  The more expensive table uses aluminum in the rail construction and adds leg levelers.   If you have any questions about these products, please give us a call at 549-1100

We Are Now an Authorized Viking Cue Dealer!

A535 $475
These beautiful pool cues are manufactured in Middleton, WI and are known for the beautiful pearls used as inlays in the custom Viking Cue line.

I've ordered all of the custom cues in 12.75mm shafts and weights (which can be adjusted) from 19.5oz to 20.5oz.  The first order includes four of the Viking Customs including the cue shown here and those shown below.  Viking has a wide selection of pearls to choose from.  If you want to have your own custom pearls, you can order it made. I was surprised how many were already in stock, but if you have to wait to have it made, it takes only 2-3 weeks.

Vikings have been made in the U.S. since 1965, so they are as old as I am!  In the hay-day of pool, this was a brand that drew double takes from both spectators and competitors.  And today?  They are still getting the nod from players who appreciate fine cues.

 

New Viking Dealer Special: 

From June 6th to July 6th, 2018, we are offering 10% off Viking Customs and 5% off Valhalla cues for any customer who mentions our Bing Promotion.  Just say BING and we will discount your new beautiful Viking cue!

In Stock As of June 6th, 2018:

A512 $375

A451 $430


A447 $315

Valhalla Cues by Viking: A Premium Import


The Valhalla line of cues by Viking are made in China, there's no getting around it.  Most custom cue makers are making a line of imported cues.  Generally, if the company has excellent quality control of overseas operations, you can expect a premium cue.  It's not going to be a custom cue made in the U.S., but it will provide you quality through the years that is guaranteed by the company.

Viking does one better than some other makers by offering a Lifetime Warranty on the Valhalla line of cues.  The other cue-maker that we carry who does this is Cue and Case with Player Cues.  WE appreciate it because it's awful to sell someone a cue, have the shaft warp and be able to do nothing about it!

The warranty on the Valhalla is as follows: "Each Valhalla cue comes with the assurance of Viking's Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects, including warpage.  All Valhalla cues covered by this warranty will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of Viking Cues knowledgeable warranty department.  Register your new cue at www.VikingCue.com or via mail with the Viking registration card provided."

What Makes a Quality Cue?


When we look for a quality cue, we look for aged-wood shafts, quality control in the making, a stainless steel or or quick-release joint, a linen wrap, rings in the right places, and vibrant finishes that make you look twice.  If the cue has inlays, we look for quality angles, even points, and generally fine craftsmanship.  If the cue is under $200 and has points or decoration, it will usually be stickers or decals.  In that case, you want the finish to be smooth with no defects or wrinkles in any of the decoration. If the wrap is linen, it should be Irish, double-pressed linen on the more expensive cue, and a normal linen evenly done on a less expensive cue.  Cues under $80 will generally have nylon wraps.  They don't work to keep the sweat from your hands as well as linen, so getting a cue without a wrap at that price point will be fine.

Weight should be adjustable.  Weight bolts not pre-drilled will be difficult to change and unless you are satisfied with the weight, should be avoided.  You should not be able to move any caps or rings and when you hit with the cue, it should sound solid, without clinks or ticks.  And, of course, it should be straight.  Roll both the butt and the shaft and then roll them together on a flat surface.  Very small movements are acceptable, but any medium to large obvious warps should be avoided.  
 

What About Shafts?


Shafts are an entire subject unto themselves.  If I have not had time to put up a separate post on shafts, the best way to learn about them is to visit Google or the manufacturer's websites and learn how they make their shafts.

Usually, companies will have a basic northern hard-rock aged maple shaft that is the workhorse of their line.  They will also produce a "performance" shaft that usually has a core replaced with a harder substance or is hollowed out or any number of other designs.  Viking's "performance" shafts are the Vikore, the Exact Shot, and the Exact Shot 2.  Viking's workhorse is the Vikore which comes on all its custom cues and the VPro which comes on the Valhalla cues.  The Vikore is similar to the G-Core from McDermott.  There are explanations of the way these are manufactured online at the following links:

General Video Showing Shaft Designs

Video Showing A521 its Shaft & Design

A Viking Video Showing Manufacture & Designs


The Shafts made by Viking are the following:

Exact Shot & Exact Shot 2 

(In the Exact Shot 2 They Simply hid the black stripes the Exact Shot made on the shaft)






VIKORE

















 

VPro Comparison Chart:


 

Crush


Viking Description: Introducing the V-Crush shaft, the most powerful shaft we've ever produced! The shaft combines advanced accuracy with crushing power to give you one hell of a hit. The V-Crush comes standard with our Viking Phenolic tips which are 100% made in house at our home here in Wisconsin. The V-Crush shaft comes standard on Viking Break and Jump cues and they have been getting rave reviews as the best performing Break and Jump cues you can buy, and the V-Crush has a huge part to play in that. 











 

Spin


Viking Description: Introducing the V-Spin shaft! This shaft is a reduced diameter conical taper shaft that enables the skilled shooter to achieve greater English on a shot when you need it. The V-Spin comes standard with a Le Professionel tip.









Cue Stix Accessory Kits

Cue Stix Brand Standard Accessory Kit

This kit is included in the price we quote you for a pool table along with your choice of the standard cloth (Championship Invitational 3066):

We use the Cue Stix Standard Accessory kit because we like the items in this kit better than most for the money.

You receive the following:

This kit include:




  • Action Standard ball set (not Aramith)*
  • Wooden 8 & 9 ball racks in Traditional Mahogany (TM)
  • Four 2-piece Action pool cues with matching stains
  • Aluminum bridge head
  • Two piece bridge stick
  • Nylon Rail brush
  • Nylon Table brush*
  • Tally ball set and plastic shaker bottle
  • 8' vinyl table cover*
  • 6 cue wall rack in TM
  • Cue repair kit
  • Table chalk holder
  • BCA Rule book
  • * The asterisks indicate those items that we strongly recommend upgrading in the near future.

    Table Brushes:
    Table brushes made of nylon have a tendency to shed...forever!  We sell the natural bristle brushes in our store and we can upgrade you to one of the nicer brushes for only $16.

    Billiard Ball Upgrades:

    Some people don't mind the basic phenolic resin balls and some strongly prefer the higher quality Aramith pool balls.  We offer the Aramith ball upgrade so that we don't have to charge everyone the much higher kit price for Aramith balls.

    If you strongly prefer the Aramith balls, please see the Billiard Ball Upgrade section; use the C&C Kit Price to determine the upgrade price if this Standard kit is the one you are going to purchase.

    Pool Table Covers:

    The basic vinyl cover that comes in this kit will suffice for a short time, but if you want to protect your cloth, we highly recommend buying a heavier Naugahyde fitted table cover.   You can see the upgrade options Here.


    The kit comes in a box for easy storage:


    Fitted Pool Table Covers


    Pool Table Covers are invaluable because they protect your investment.  Pool table cloth is not inexpensive and a recovery runs at least $350 for an 8' table, and that is with standard 3066 Championship Invitational 80/20 Wool/Nylon blend.  If you purchase the higher quality Simonis 860 Cloth, the price for a recovery is $595.

    Dust, always present in a Montana home, is your cloth's enemy.  It gets down into the weave of the fabric and breaks it down over time.  Light will also damage cloth, so if you have your table in a room where sunlight shines on the table, you should make sure to shade not only your cloth, but the table's wood framing as well.

    It used to be that the covers in the premium play packs would fit most pool tables, but with the advent of the "Rustic" style pool tables, like the Olhausen Breckenridge and the Brunswick Merrimack, the top side dimensions have changed and we must order special fitted covers for the tables with these dimensions.

    The company we currently order these covers from, Hood Leather, has also supplied the industry with pocket repair and specialty covers for many years.  They recently announced that they are closing their doors.  We are hoping that Hood Leather finds a buyer because if they
    go out of business, we are going to have a difficult time finding such high quality covers!

    Prices for the Breckenridge and Merrimack covers are $169, no matter the size.  If this company closes its doors (and as of 9/18 they have), this may change.  We're ordering extras!  We are starting to work with the company that bought them, and should have updated pricing soon.  For the time-being, we're working with Championship and the prices are the same.  The colors are different and I will post that soon.

    If you purchase a standard kit, the upgrade price is $159

    If you purchase a Premium kit, the upgrade price is $120.

    Available Colors:



     



    Why Buy An American Made Pool Table?




    Anybody can make a pool table. But manufacturing a pool table that is well-designed is an entirely different, and difficult, proposition. Excellent design ensures that the person who sets up your pool table is able to do so in less than 3-4 hours, and, at the end of the process, feels as though the table is well built and will play well.

    We've set up thousands of pool tables in the 23 years we've been in business and those that are constructed by companies that sell on the internet and manufacture overseas are almost always going to make my husband, Lance, master of the art of pool table construction and repair, cringe. Especially those that claim some sort of "American Heritage" in the name.

    If you are looking at a new design, probably rustic, probably with some slanty legs and metal pieces and parts and it has not been made by Olhausen Billiards, there's probably a good reason why. This isn't easy to explain, but the way my husband puts it is that most of the products that are not manufactured by small U.S. manufacturers like Golden West, AE Schmidtt, or the larger Playmaster AMF, Olhausen or Brunswick, or by any number of the small, ridiculously expensive, engineering firms that make them, are junk, pure and simple. The smaller companies tend to over-build them, and the companies that have moved their labor costs overseas tend to jump into the market with designs that have not been well-thought through.

    How can you tell who will have well-designed pool tables and who will not?   Have they changed their name in the last 5 years?  Have you ever heard of them before?  Has anyone you know ever heard of them before?  Do they hide the fact that their product is made overseas?

    The only exception I can think of is Legacy.  This company controls its process pretty well and they don't try to sell you $4,000 pool tables for $1,995 out of a warehouse in an alley.  They price competitively, control the design process, and sell a decent product.  Unfortunately, Lance still says they are not even close to the quality produced by Olhausen.  I guess he's pretty stuck on Olhausen, but when you put together hundreds of pool tables a year, you might know what you're talking about.

    Billiard Cloth Options

    Basic Cloth

    There are many different brands of billiard cloth and the choices can be confusing for even the most experienced buyer.  At Big Sky Billiard Supply, we have chosen Championship as our main pool table fabric vendor.  The cloth market contracted in 2008 and we lost several good vendors, but Championship stayed in business and continued to provide an excellent, consistent product.  Consistency is key.  If you are re-covering a pool table and you spread out your cloth only to find a blemish in the middle of the cut of fabric, it can be most frustrating.  Especially if you've driven 200 miles to your job.

    So, we choose the fabric that is the most consistent.  It is not always the cheapest, but in this business, you are better off buying cloth that is not cheap.  Cheap cloth breaks down more quickly than well-made cloth and then you end up paying for a recovery all over again only 2 years down the road.

    The two styles of fabric that we carry are the Championship Invitational 3066 and 4066.  The 3066 Invitational product is 75% wool and 25% nylon.  It runs approximately $50/yard and we stock kits that are pre-cut to 7', 8', and 9' sizes, including rail cloth cuts.  As of this writing (1/17/2018), an 8' cut of 3066 is $139.

    Here is the link to the Championship Colors.  When you "mouse-over" the colors, watch for the Invitational brands (one with Teflon [4066] and one without [3066]) and you can see which colors are offered in which brands.

    We must order 12+ quantities of fabric in order to offer the prices that we do, so if you need to order a fabric other than what we have in stock, there will be an increase in price of approximately $10.

    If you are purchasing a pool table from us, you are probably concerned primarily with quality and price.    All billiard fabric is somewhat water-resistant, but if you are concerned about spills around your billiard table, you should consider the 4066 product which adds Teflon to the mix.  The 3066 cloth is fine for most applications, including coin-op bar tables.  The 3066 fabric does come in limited colors, however, so if you want anything other than those found below, you will have to move to the 4066 product which at this writing is $169 for an 8' cut, and a $40 upgrade for table customers (table customers, please read below for worsted wool options):

    Basic Green
    Championship Green
    Dark Green
    Red
    Bottle Green
    Camel
    Navy
    Burgundy
    Wine
    Black

    4066 Invitational fabric is also 20oz 75% wool 25% nylon blend and comes in the colors above as well as:

    Olive
    Taupe
    English Green
    Electric Blue
    Golden
    Khaki
    Academy Blue
    Purple
    Euro Blue
    Brown
    Steel Gray
    Titanium
    Charcoal

    Worsted Wool Options:

    Worsted wool is wool that has had the "fuzzy" pieces removed from the strands.  It is thinner, more durable, and faster than the non-worsted wool options.  It is also double the cost.

    Centennial Cloth by Brunswick Billiards and Simonis 860 and 760R are three of the best, most consistent worsted wool fabrics made in the billiard industry.  If you enjoy your billiard game and want to play on the best surface, we believe it is a toss-up between these three products.  Championship also makes a worsted product, but it makes the Brunswick Billiards Centennial Cloth, and we get better pricing with Brunswick, so we order through Brunswick instead.  The 860 Simonis is excellent and comes in a wide variety of colors, so this is often a customer favorite.  If you are looking for stain-resistance in this product, the only vendor who carries it is Olhausen Billiards and it is called the Simonis 760R which we are happy to order.

    When you purchase a table with us, we offer the upgrade to Simonis or Centennial cloth at $300.  Normally $399 for just the fabric ($250 for an installation), we like to give our customers this option at the time of installation because this product will last longer and save you money and us a trip back to recover your table!

    These are the color choices for each of these products:

    Centennial Cloth by Brunswick: Color Choices

    Simonis Cloth by Simonis: Color Choices

    The 760R available through Olhausen Billiards comes in:

    Spruce
    Simonis Green
    Tournament Blue
    Burgundy
    Wine
    Red
    Camel
    Grey
    Black
    Royal Blue
    Gold
    Dark Green