Story - the inventor
From the SDFWA news letter
John Costello’s pool table is not your mother’s pool table. It does not weigh a ton, has a small footprint, does not have six pockets, is only briefly level, and looks remarkably easy to build. The single pocket, located in the center of one end, is diabolically difficult to hit.
Only one hole and hard to hit, you ask? That is the key to this offshoot of the pool table. The lovely, solid floor of the standard pool table is no longer there. It’s been replaced with an electric, gear driven mechanism that tilts the end of the table back and forth so the playing field is always in transition. The tilt, about five degrees to the right and then five degrees to the left, is the key to this pool table.
Several games are possible. One player can compete against the table or more players can take turns.
On John’s website, there is a video about construction. Making this table is so simple and easy that even I could make one.
If you go to his website and look at his video on construction, you’ll quickly notice two things. The construction is simple and elegant and John works in a minimalist shop. There are no table saw or band saw. A skill saw, your standard small bench with an assortment of screwdrivers, wrenches and other small handtools on a crowded pegboard plus a door, and a pair of sawhorses for a workbench. That is it.
John buys lumber from Home Depot. He has them cut the ½” birch plywood into strips of the right size, uses his Skill saw to miter the edges of the box and buys angle brackets to tie it all together. He buys the motor and the single pocket from Amazon. A remarkable feat and one that may find its way into the Design In Wood competition next June.
This leads me to make one more observation. Let me quote Gary Anderson, our current chairman in charge of finding and funding a member shop. Gary thinks, “This might be a perfect example of a ‘Special Project’ for our new Member Shop!”
John wants to donate the first table to Fire Engine Station #27 and to make all the parts available to whomever wants to construct the first table. I am pretty sure that Captain Ronnie Dizon and several of his crew will want to help build the table for Station #27. And to John, a special thanks for helping out the community and our local firemen!
The inventor is happily retired now. He has no need or desire to start a company that builds and or sells the pool table he invented. A patent has been filed because this table is new and unique. If some company is building and selling a table like this the inventor would like to receive a small royalty..)
Member of San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association (SDFWA)