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Shuffleboard Buyer's Guide

Made In China Shuffleboard Tables

Shuffleboard Tables Made in China

Rock Ola Man Cave Shuffleboard

Consumers know the phrase “Made in China” so well they react with surprise whenever they learn that something they bought was made right here. Now that “Made in the U.S.A.” is making a come back, it’s no longer a quaint echo of the past. American industry is picking up momentum as the country looks for ways to enliven the economy, minimize impacts to the environment and to create jobs for those who call this home. Extreme outsourcing has taught us that keeping things local as much as possible carries deep economic and social benefits which bring healthy returns on investments while promoting sustainability. And when companies produce goods locally from resources readily available, they support suppliers and producers in the conduit; locally owned businesses therefor become intimately connected to the local economic and social fabric. Amazing things come out of business alliances that foster local talent, ingenuity, human and material resources while engaging the community.

For every product produced overseas and imported back into the country, outsourcing divert opportunities to foreign interests, ignore local resources, and don’t invest in our communities. Regional economies can’t exist in an outsourcing vacuum, but thrive when business is creating useful things that make intelligent use of local resources, including intelligent use of waste products. Companies organized around the idea of keeping things local tend to be long time players in the community and demonstrate their commitment to that community on multiple levels. Companies based heavily on outsourcing can operate from a satellite office anywhere in the country, so loyalty to locality isn’t part of their business model.

McClure Table Locally harvested hard maple.

Maple leaves in various fall colors
The sugar maple leaf is unrivaled for fall color

Dollars spent locally invigorate the community, and companies who use locally available resources are directly supporting their business network. When you buy bread from your local bakery, you support everything the bakery uses to bake bread on down to supporting the employees, suppliers, and indirectly businesses that conduct business with the bakery. Same thing goes with McClure Tables, a company that incorporates native grown trees into its chief product – shuffle boards. By being located in the heartlands of Michigan where hard acre maple grows and is harvested, all material needs are met locally, nothing is imported. Milled and machined in our shop, all aspects of the business work in harmony. Even saw dust generated from the milling process is integrated into the business plan as it is recycled for livestock bedding material. After the sawdust is separated from chips the chips are used for bedding in livestock pins like the chips you may see in a Pets store for hamsters or rabbits.  With North American maple growing only on the North American continent, we are blessed to have a hardwood that is uniquely suited to our needs, and we are able to recreate a vintage shuffleboard table that is in every way identical to ones built over 50 years ago. We can do all of this while supporting our community and play an active role in maintaining a sustainable business model.

Creating Shuffleboard tables that are a good value

We don’t just stop with recycle the sawdust, the hardwood rips or strips too small to use are recycled and used in boilers and heating systems to burn for heat during the winter months. At McClure, we create value by being strategically based where we have ready access to all the raw materials we need. Furthermore, since we produce all of our products on site, we have complete control over our overhead and production costs. And because we do it all right here, our customers don’t pay for anything to be outsourced. By taking advantage of local resources and doing everything in-house including extreme quality control, we have the ability to respond to customer concerns and to make order changes quickly. While high-volume manufacturers tend to sacrifice quality due to communication barriers, small shops, like ours, often have decades of experience in producing consistent, high-quality work. 

 

 

 

Where Shuffleboard Tables are made

Shuffleboard Table Buying Guide For Dummies

 

Categories
Shuffleboard Maintenance

How to Wax a Shuffleboard for Game Play

How do you wax or prepare a brand new shuffleboard table for game play? First for standard maintenance we suggest using vinegar and water or Murphy’s soap. Then wax or buff board with a paste wax. These steps are required to maintain and to get an old board into playing condition. You may have a lot of grease build up from years of spray silicone, or perhaps some old paste wax build up. The purpose of a heavy duty cleaner or steps like these are to prepare an old board to get ready for a game of shuffleboard. So what do you do with a new McClure Handcrafted shuffleboard table you just got and are ready to play?
We recorded these three short videos  about how you would go about preparing the board. The first step is there may be some packing dust from our warehouse and may want to just buff with a damp rag or we often use window cleaner like Windex. The new maple play board has a traditional finish that will last a lifetime for home use, but this is basically a thin coating of a plastic protectant. So the top is like or similar to a Formica or solid surface counter top. So keep the dust off and occasionally if you build up some silicone you can wipe down or spray with window cleaner to get a clean new top ready for play.
Step One is spray on a coat of McClure Shuffleboard Silicone spray by McClure Tables.

Spray Shuffleboard Silicone Spray

Step two is buff the silicone out so your board feels slick and you can feel the cloth or cotton towel sliding across the board with no friction

Step Two: Buff Silicone for Shuffleboard Table out

The Last and final step before your ready for an exciting game of shuffleboard on a handcrafted McClure Table is to apply the shuffleboard Wax. This is often the most confusing term for people as you would think of something like car wax or polish. However, it is more like sand, salt or dust. It is a powder we spread on like a lite snow fall to give a surface for the pucks to slide on top of. Do not apply shuffleboard table wax too thick or your pucks will plow.

How to Apply Shuffleboard Table Wax

If you want to learn more about shuffleboard game rules or how to play the Shuffleboard see our video.

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Shuffleboard News Shuffleboard Tables

McClure Tables Featured In The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection

The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection

What Is The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection?

The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection is a collection of America’s finest craftsmanship on display in one integrated tour hitting nine cities this fall. The idea was conceptualized by The Balvenie, a unique single malt Scotch company who embodies the idea that craftsmanship is alive and well. They created the Rare Craft Collection on the ideology that if their own distillery can remain true to handcrafted traditions in an age of mass production, then there must be myriad examples of that same passion across America.

Our Involvement

We’re proud to be part of the Balvenie Rare Craft Collection 2014. It’s an honor to be recognized for something that we have preached for so long and take to heart when creating our extensive line of shuffleboard tables and butcher block products. It’s our belief that something that sets us apart from our competitors is our dedication towards quality and zeroing in on the process. Our goal at McClure Tables is not automation of our production process, but refinement. We understand from decades of woodworking experience that craftsmanship is not simply a creed, it’s a way of life.

For this specific project, we handcrafted one of our famous Veneto Shuffleboard tables.

The Balvenie Collection Image Compilation

Check out Todd McClure’s spotlight within the Rare Craft Collection catalog:

RCC Booklet 2014 (LR) (1).14-page-001

Coming to a city near you! See the Balvenie Rare Craft Collection Tour Schedule:

RCC Booklet 2014 (LR) (1).2-page-001

Check out this post for a behind the scenes look at the making of the Veneto Shuffleboard Table we created for The Balvenie!

Categories
Shuffleboard Tables

Shuffleboard Tables for Sale: Handcrafted in the USA

McClure shuffleboard tables are all handcrafted one at a time in our Grand Rapids factory. We make every model in any finish and several wood combinations. Here is a photo gallery of two of our most classic shuffleboard table designs. Both are similar to models that would have been made in the late 1940’s. We have made either model in several different designs.

Natural Maple Rosette

Prestige Heriloom finish natural Maple
Prestige Heriloom finish natural Maple
Prestigee Shufflebaord Table
Prestigee Shufflebaord Table
Prestige Walnut and natural Maple Trim Shuffleboard
Prestige Walnut Horse Collar and natural Maple Trim Shuffleboard Prestige Horse Collar made with Walnut

Prestige_18_Cognac_wLargeScore

Score Unit in walnut with cognac stain

Tournament II 14 Foot Shuffleboard

Tournament 14 foot deer creek finish

You can find these and many other handcrafted shuffleboard tables for sale on our online store.

Categories
Shuffleboard Buyer's Guide

McClure Shuffleboards New Traditional Shuffleboard Playing Surface Finish

We have been in the game room industry for over 35 years. Most of that past was in the sales and service of billiard tables, game tables, and shuffleboard tables. I started as a billiard mechanic (someone who installs and repairs pool tables) when I was 19 years old. During our history we have had retail stores in Arizona and Texas but for the last 7 years we have focused exclusively on the manufacture and sales of shuffleboard tables available on our web site. Throughout our history we have heard the pros and cons of the polymer epoxy – bar top – poured type shuffleboard finish. At one time in Texas when we ran our retail store, we sold some game room furniture to a customer and was asked if we could move his shuffleboard from his old house to his new game room. He had about a 40 to 50 year old American Shuffleboard® and it was probably in a commercial location before he placed it in his home.

He asked if we could get the top refinished and we said, “Sure.” At the time, we called up Champion Shuffleboard® since they were in Texas and they gave us a price to have the board refinished with a new polymer top. They did a real nice job on the top but once installed it took less than one hour before the customer was calling us and asking to have it removed and bring back his old finish. He did not like the epoxy. It was not what he was used to. We called Champion Shuffleboard® but they did not do a traditional finish. They did refer us to a person who ran a repair route in Oklahoma that would go around to commercial locations and refinish boards or switch them out with a traditionally finished board. Once we got him a new top with a traditional finish he was very happy. We would like to point out here some of the things we have known about the difference from other finishes and exactly why the polymer tops are offered and prevail. The main reason was for commercial use. The type of lacquers and shellacs that were used 50 to 60 years ago simply couldn’t stand up to heavy use. The top surface would wear off after a few years and the board surface would need a new finish.

However, in the past they used all hard maple to make the board tops so they were resistant to the dings and dents when people dropped pucks on the board so wood remained in good shape and only the chemical coating needed replacement. I have seen boards that were in a commercial location for maybe up to 10 years and then in a customers home for 50 years still with the original finish or at best one extra coat of shellac put on top at one time. These boards have a few dents and dings but if we get one that is 60 years old in this good of shape we simply scuff sand it and apply a new finish. There is no need to sand down the top in a planner/sander machine and put on a completely new finish. How can we tell if the board has ever been ran though a sander and/or planner and resurfaced? It is simple; the original old boards were all hard rock maple and a full 3′ thick. Less than indicates work has been done. The main reason for this was that the board would be resurfaced a few times over its history and that 3’ thickness would allow for a new surface sanding through a machine periodically. I have seen old boards that were only 2.5 inches thick so they may have been a few times throughout their history.

Today many boards are made out of soft maple and because they pour an epoxy top over the wood, any impact on dents and dings will have no impact on the softer nature of the soft maple. However this epoxy is basically like a sheet of Plexiglas. The main reason manufacturers use soft maple is that it is less expensive, and easier on the machine tools for cutting and planning. Also if they are using a radio frequency press to glue up the boards, they can get by with a lower wattage generator since soft maple is easier to glue up and laminate. One other feature of the polymer top boards is they do not have to fill in or sand the top prior to pour the polymer with as much care because slight imperfections will be covered with the plastic. The polymer is a poured epoxy in a liquid form and it will self level and fill in any slight variations in the top. They will also surface the board down to 2 and ¾ inch thick before the pour the polymer so they can often start with boards that are only 3′ wide when they manufacture the board. With the traditional type finish we use hard maple wood just like they did 60 years ago, so it is resistant to dents and dings.

We also have to start with wood that is 3 ¼ inch thick as after we surface before the finish it will net out at a full 3 inches thick. We also have to take much more care to fill in and make sure the top is perfectly flat and surfaced both top and bottom with no imperfections prior to the finish work. With todays new finish materials you have surfaces that you can lay down 3 to 4 mils thick that are virtually either 100 percent solids or virtually all solids. We worked with our finish supplier to come up with a formula that we were confident enough to give a lifetime warranty but still retail the natural feel and beauty of the maple wood. We still offer the polymer type tops and in the case of people who want a logo on their board we have to use the poured polymer. We also will offer the polymer upon request but McClure tables makes so many traditional style shuffleboard tables.

Many are replicas of shuffleboards made in the late 40’s and 50’s so we made the decision to switch to a traditional finish on all our shuffleboard playing surfaces. Not only can you see the difference but you can also hear the difference see our latest shuffleboard YouTube video here or see below on the features of our new finish: