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Project Features
King City
Vienna, ON, Canada
Published on:
December 20, 2023 at 11:18:03 PM
Photo Credit: 
John Tschirhart
Featuring:
Tschirhart’s Custom Billiards Inc.
Specialty:
Custom Pool & Snooker Tables
Service Areas:
Worldwide
Designer:
John Tschirhart
Website:

Ignite Project Features shares the stories of design, home staging and real estate projects, from designers and real estate agents across the world, detailing project origins, insights, and details about projects that you might not learn elsewhere. Project Features is designed to truly highlight the creative genius of designers and agents worldwide.

Turning Challenges to Trophies
Vienna, ON, Canada
Published on:
December 20, 2023 at 11:18:03 PM
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Can you share for our readers a little bit about you and your company?
Yah Sure, for the most part I am a one-man company. Sure, I hire out components outside of my skill set like welding & machining and when required wood turnings. But to tell the truth I have not done turning in years. The trend has been contemporary styles.
From a young age it was instilled in me the customer is King. Yah so my first job at age 16. The company had this poster on the wall with a Lion and that tag line. "The Customer is King” It has become a core value of mine and has served me well. When you offer CUSTOM the customer wants what they want. I am fortunate and unique in that way that I do have a diverse skill set that affords me the opportunity to deliver. Most Billiard companies simply offer their pre-designed table lines. Sure, they may offer customized colors and offer pocket options. But generally, my clients want designs that may be based on some concepts, but they also may only know they want something that fits into their décor perfectly.
Now having said that I also have unique antique pool and snooker tables that require TLC, and craftmanship skills that are very hard to find today. Now after the pandemic some things are even harder to get.
So, let's dive into your latest project. Can you share a little bit about the client and the context of the project?
This most recent client was truly unique. Like many inquiries it started with an email. The request was very specific. So, I knew he knew what he wanted and had done some serious research. He wanted a 5x10 snooker table with 1 ¾” slate. That in itself, is a tall order today. Of course, due to the fact I have many 6x12’ tables that are gorgeous I tried to sway him to one. But no, he wanted a 5’x10’ one due to the room size and to appease his friends and guests.
But as we went through the design process I came to know without a doubt he knew what he wanted and had some design skills of his own. So, I was thinking he was the Architect or a designer. But I had no Idea who he was or what he did. He kind of was reserved in offering those personal details.
So, each project has its, let's "challenge". What aspect of this design was a challenge from the onset?
This most recent client was truly unique. Like many inquiries it started with an email. The request was very specific. So, I knew he knew what he wanted and had done some serious research. He wanted a 5x10 snooker table with 1 ¾” slate. That in itself, is a tall order today. Of course, due to the fact I have many 6x12’ tables that are gorgeous I tried to sway him to one. But no, he wanted a 5’x10’ one due to the room size and to appease his friends and guests.
But as we went through the design process I came to know without a doubt he knew what he wanted and had some design skills of his own. So, I was thinking he was the Architect or a designer. But I had no Idea who he was or what he did. He kind of was reserved in offering those personal details. to the fact we were putting almost 2000 LBS on those legs. Then if some heavy guy must do a one leg off the floor and half his weight on the table. Well, that’s asking a lot for the leg style he wanted.
So, now that we know what you were up against, can you share with us the vision you had for achieving your client's project scope and goal?
My vison for this project is really the same for all.
“With an insatiable appetite for excellence, I put forth earnest effort to keep the tradition of old world craftsmanship alive. Guaranteeing you get quality custom furnishings you or your clients’ and their family will be proud to own for generations”
So, now you have the scope and vision. Walk us through your team of vendors, reps and specialists you leveraged to make this a reality?
This job in particular required some welding and machining skills. So, I have a local old school Mennonite welder who can build anything with metal. So, he does my metal frames which was a must for this job. Then we did have an issue with sagging and wobbling due to the weight. So, we need to add some Turnbuckles and extra material on the frame to strengthen it. This trade was invaluable for both his idea’s and skills.
Then getting the leg material. Quality walnut is getting hard to find. Then, we needed unusually thick Walnut material which is almost impossible to find. We were prepared to source out trees and cut them down and custom mill them to our needs. Fortunately, though we found a custom mill with an FM dryer which is a must for the extra thick material we needed.
With each project, there are certain rooms or aspects of the design that we are especially proud of. What were some key features that you enjoyed the most?
Well just being able to make the legs work is a great satisfaction. But when others notice the quality and complexity of the project that is most satisfying. With most of my projects they go into homes that hire the best of trades. At times that is intimidating. That was true with this job. So, at delivery one of the project managers of the home build was present. He was a trim carpenter by trade. Later the client told me he had made comments about the joints on the legs and how they were flawless. Those comments help me sleep at night.
Design projects can easily become a money pit, without the right team. What design hurdle did you guys encounter? And how'd you solve it?
Well, I won’t say this project didn’t go over budget. Even this client had some sticker shock with the final bill. But to be transparent. There were milestones where the client agreed to do mockups knowing there would be costs associated with it. We had three of those in this project.
Mind you the whole project came under scrutiny with the first setup. The table wobbled and sagged. Not unexpected. I had already proposed some options if this was an issue, and it was. So, this is where my Welder self-trained mechanical guy helped a lot. We first tried turnbuckles. That helped but not enough.
So, we then went all out and just beefed up the frame as heavy as we could. Without exaggeration that saved the project. But that is a complex set up and tear down at least three times. $$$ If that didn’t work….. well the whole design would have had to use thinner slate and no steel rails. That would be like putting a 4 cylinder engine in a Lamborghini. Looks pretty but……
Design projects can easily become a money pit, without the right team. What design hurdle did you guys encounter? And how'd you solve it?
I find with these challenging design projects technology does offer some help. However, what I need is costly to get the stats to make difficult decisions. So, for me its upping my skills and purchasing the addons need with the CAD tool I use or farming that out. Both options are costly and time-consuming.
Without doing a cost analysis, in hindsight, farming that out and or bring in another specialist may have saved time and well may be saved some costs.
This has been a blast sitting with you. If our readers wanted to work with you and your company, where can they learn more? And what would be their next steps?
Yes well you can visit our website www.custombilliards.com. If you want to save on the design process have a look at our clearance center. We do have some great inventory. https://www.custombilliards.com/clearance-center-new/ or if you have a need for a unique design and want to start from scratch I am semi retired but I can be tempted with a challenging project.
It has been such an honor to sit with you today. I look forward to sharing more of your projects with our readers.
Yes it been a pleasure and I appreciate your interest. Its actually been therapeutic to go over these details. Some projects can be a challenge but lets face it, that what drives us! I have a few more under my belt if you want to get together again.

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