Craftsman pockets billiard order
THE decision of a Clarence Valley craftsman to design and build his own billiard tables looks to have paid off with a $25,000 order for the Solomon Islands shipping from Brisbane today.
River Billiards owner Luke Muldoon decided 18 months ago to start building his own tables after operating his business from home at Blaxlands Creek since 1996.
Mr Muldoon said he received the Solomon Islands order when a couple from the Pacific Island country were playing on a River Billiards table in a Brisbane pool hall.
"They were really impressed with the way the table played and the look of it," he said.
The finish and quality of the product would be no surprise to anyone familiar with the Muldoon family.
Luke's father Jim Muldoon is a renowned wood turner with a reputation for craftsmanship of the highest quality.
Mr Muldoon junior learned his trade with Australia's oldest and most prestigious billiard table maker, Alcock, Thomson & Taylor, in Melbourne but came back to the Valley in 1996 to set up River Billiards.
Since then he has acted as an agent for the Melbourne company as well as servicing about 250 tables in Northern NSW and south-east Queensland.
He said his tables were totally local built and he used at least six local suppliers for wood, fittings, polish and transport.
The slate in the tables is imported from Italy, but Mr Muldoon hand grinds it to ensure the surface is flat.
He said local hotels, including Roches, the Crown and Blue Goose hotels, all had River Billiards tables.