Refurbishing the Brunswick Gold Crown.
Once you find your Gold Crown you will
need a skilled and reputable mechanic to check it for loose spots on the
cushions and cracked, chipped, or warped slate. Check the slates
very closely. My mechanic said that he sees a warped or cracked
one now & then, and sometimes the dowels have to be removed in order
to properly align the slates without cracking them out at the dowels (it
could be that this was on slates that were mixed between sets).
Have the table delivered and left in
pieces. Tighten all of the frame's bolts. It might also be a
good idea to drill and dowel all the frame's slate screw holes and start
with new screws into freshly drilled pilot holes. Strip the
paint from the table's aprons (side pieces) legs, and the bridge that
connects the legs (be sure to preserve the make & model
decal!). Fill any nicks with wood filler or spackling
compound. (It may not be necessary to strip the strip the aprons,
but I don't like having too much paint on stuff.) The ends of the
legs will likely be butcher-block maple, which if clear-coated makes for
a very nice highlight. When the clear is completely dry,
mask it off and then roll (yes, just like on your living room walls) the
rest of the wood bits with a few coats of gloss black
enamel. (Pull the masking tape off while the black is still
wet. Re-mask before the next coat). Make sure the inserts
that the feet thread into are mounted really well. As I recall, I had to
drill mine for additional mounting screws, as they were loose &
Clean the rubber cushions with naphtha,
acetone, or lacquer thinner - which ever works best (I used a
spray electronic contact cleaner called ZepElec). As I recall, the
original cushions will say Brunswick Monarch on them. I
can't remember if they are off-white rubber with dark red control cloth
or vice versa. Mine looked really bad when I stripped the cloth
off, but after the solvent cleaning they looked like new. (My
table mechanic, who now just restores antique tables, feels that the old
Monarch cushions will outlast all of the cushions that are being
manufactured today.) The rails should require no additional work
other than cleaning, however on some the footrail nameplate is proud of
the rail surface and can scratch cues. Use a Dremel or chisel and
recess the plate so that it is just below the surface.
The GC metalwork is weird: The finishing
shop said that the rail trim is aluminum, but they were not sure what
the corner castings are (I was lucky enough to get a full set without
ashtrays). I had everything chromed, which they said would be ok
indoors and so long as no one whacked 'em. This cost me $300 back
in '88. It would be a good idea to have the edges of the pocket
castings buffed, as they can scratch cues pretty readily. Black
chrome might look interesting.
Give the paint some time to cure and then
heavily wax every area where painted pieces will touch after the table
has been assembled. Now have your mechanic come in and set it up.
Buy a GC cue rack if they have one.
The rubber thingies that hold the cues in can be replaced by rubber
rod. On mine the cue butt recesses were so deep that the butt
plates hit, so after painting the thing black I put maple drawer knobs
in the recesses. This still gives a recess, and the maple mimics the
ends of the legs.
I did my table as described here, and
most everyone who sees it comments on it, even folks who are not into
pool. Unlike new tables in the same price range, a table such as
this will hold it's value. You will be proud of it, it will play
great, and you'll be able to pass it on to your grandchildren. To
see what one looks like, go to Tim's
Pool Room. To find out why you should buy an old Gold
Crown, read this.