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WestElder
04-09-2005, 07:27 AM
I have a new $4000 9' pool table with 1" slate. It's in my basement on a carpet on top of a cement floor. I keep the humidity and temperature within the range of normal household settings. The table has had only light use, but both of the seams have popped already. The first one happened within days of being installed, and the other one less than a week after they came back out and fixed it. I don't want to mention the brand of the table at this point, but it is a well-respected name. On the other hand, if knowing that is important to get a reasonable explanation, I would be willing to share that. The dealer says this is pretty rare, and I'm inclined to believe him. At this point, I expect him to make good on the warrranty and quality I would expect of the installation. Can anyone explain why this would happen with a new table?

Dave

drivermaker
04-09-2005, 07:31 AM
I have a new $4000 9' pool table with 1" slate. It's in my basement on a carpet on top of a cement floor. I keep the humidity and temperature within the range of normal household settings. The table has had only light use, but both of the seams have popped already. The first one happened within days of being installed, and the other one less than a week after they came back out and fixed it. I don't want to mention the brand of the table at this point, but it is a well-respected name. On the other hand, if knowing that is important to get a reasonable explanation, I would be willing to share that. The dealer says this is pretty rare, and I'm inclined to believe him. At this point, I expect him to make good on the warrranty and quality I would expect of the installation. Can anyone explain why this would happen with a new table?

Dave


Did anyone stand on the table once it was put up to install your light?

WestElder
04-09-2005, 07:42 AM
Did anyone stand on the table once it was put up to install your light?

No, no misbehavior at all. The table was covered most of that time and not even played on for the last 4 days.

Troy
04-09-2005, 08:03 AM
My guess is that it's a combination of the carpet settling and the frame settling after assembly. Fairly rare for the slates to pop, but certainly possible. Ususlly the table simply goes out of level and good installers will return to re-level the table at no charge.
It's also possible the table was NOT assembled correctly, but I'm giving the benefit of doubt to the installer.
Either way, the installers should stand behind their work and return to fix it at zero charge.

Troy
I have a new $4000 9' pool table with 1" slate. It's in my basement on a carpet on top of a cement floor. I keep the humidity and temperature within the range of normal household settings. The table has had only light use, but both of the seams have popped already. The first one happened within days of being installed, and the other one less than a week after they came back out and fixed it. I don't want to mention the brand of the table at this point, but it is a well-respected name. On the other hand, if knowing that is important to get a reasonable explanation, I would be willing to share that. The dealer says this is pretty rare, and I'm inclined to believe him. At this point, I expect him to make good on the warrranty and quality I would expect of the installation. Can anyone explain why this would happen with a new table?

Dave

NineBallNut
04-09-2005, 09:16 AM
Hey, any of you installers out there still using a joint stabilizer like liquid nails or just shimming and sealing the seams. Only reason I ask is because I've never had a slate seem pop on my installs while using it. at the seminar I was at, we actually got up on the table and stood and could not pop the center. It was pretty damn cool

ceebee
04-09-2005, 10:08 AM
my local Pool Hall had a slate pop (both ends) about a week after a re-cover.

The pool table mechanic uses Bondo. His reasoning was the Bondo must have mixed "too hot".

The pool table mechanic covered two (2) 9 footers, same day, one table popped & one was fine. The good repair is still fine, after several months.

When I covered my home table, I covered the seams with a very thin clear packing tape, carefully making sure of "no bubbles". A Pool Table mechanic in Tulsa showed me that trick. He says the tape traps any matter that might shake loose over time. There is no "roll off"...

Good Luck with your table repair ...

Williebetmore
04-09-2005, 02:26 PM
both of the seams have popped already.
Dave

Dave,
If its an Ohlhausen, its probably not very rare. My old Ohlhausen had this problem very soon after installation. It was fixed twice by the installer, but the problem recurred very quickly (you could feel a bead of the bonding material, and the ball would occasionally even hop a little going over it). They kept saying it was a humidity or settling problem. I got a second opinion from a master installer who was a friend of a friend, he came out, installed some extra shims (he had seen this problem with Ohlhausens before) in the center of the slates, re-bonded it; and the problem never recurred (approx. 2 years). PM me if you have an Ohlhausen and I can go into more detail (its a little more complicated than I have described )- it is definitely fixable, and was NOT from the humidity in my case.

cuejoey
04-09-2005, 02:58 PM
ask the installer to use liquid dowel to piece together the slates...if bees wax was used it can pop..

mechanic/player
04-09-2005, 06:00 PM
when i was a rookie,i had some trouble with the seams popping but after 750 or more succesful installs i must have gotten it right.i havent had a slate seam pop on me in a few years and i only use beeswax.have them fix it again.

Troy
04-09-2005, 06:16 PM
It must be a East Coast / West Coast thing, but Bondo® is the choice here.

Troy
when i was a rookie,i had some trouble with the seams popping but after 750 or more succesful installs i must have gotten it right.i havent had a slate seam pop on me in a few years and i only use beeswax.have them fix it again.

Rickw
04-09-2005, 07:23 PM
I agree Troy, bondo dose seem to be used a lot here. Do you remember Rebco tables? I think he was out of Fresno or Bakersfield. He used beeswax and was just about the only one that I remember using it. I don't know what Earnesto uses, I've seen him recover several times but just never checked it out. I would guess bondo but can't say for sure. Seems to me that it gets too hot in the Central Valley to use wax.

Troy
04-09-2005, 08:29 PM
Ernesto uses Bondo® as does the top table mechanic in the SF Bay area.

Troy
I agree Troy, bondo dose seem to be used a lot here. Do you remember Rebco tables? I think he was out of Fresno or Bakersfield. He used beeswax and was just about the only one that I remember using it. I don't know what Earnesto uses, I've seen him recover several times but just never checked it out. I would guess bondo but can't say for sure. Seems to me that it gets too hot in the Central Valley to use wax.

mechanic/player
04-09-2005, 08:43 PM
for the record,they dont pop due to the type of seam/joint filler used.

Rickw
04-09-2005, 11:41 PM
Then why do they pop Mechanic/player?

Troy
04-10-2005, 04:51 AM
IMO one of four reasons -- Settling, abuse, poor assembly, poor construction.

Troy
Then why do they pop Mechanic/player?

mechanic/player
04-10-2005, 06:37 AM
they can pop lots of different ways,not to worry the original poster of this thread but troy's answer is probally correct. the joint filler only fills the seams,most modern slate is diamond honed to ten thousands of an inch,it doesnt need much work to get them smooth,the slate weighs 275+ lbs a peice and they are secured to the frame by large shank ,three or four inch screws.

WestElder
04-10-2005, 08:25 AM
IMO one of four reasons -- Settling, abuse, poor assembly, poor construction.
Troy
It's not floor settling, since this is thin industrial grade carpet over cement, and I'm the sort that covers the table every night rather than hosts dance parties on it. Since it's a very reputable brand and came with pre-assembed support framework, I think that leaves assembly.

I looked at the table just now and noticed one or two things that might matter. The seam is raised in the center of the table, but not near the rails (3-6"). The center slab is raised, and there is a shim under that piece. I'm not an installer, but can I fix the problem myself by backing the shim out a little or all the way? The beeswax joint would still be broken, if I did that. Would the table need to be releveled? I'm asking because the felt (Simonis 860) has already been stripped off once and restapled, and I am worried about weakening the slate framing or chewing up the cloth edges.

Troy
04-10-2005, 10:54 AM
When I said "settling", I was referring to the legs settling into the carpet at an uneven rate causing the table become un-level. If severe enough, the slates could possibly pop.

Troy
It's not floor settling, since this is thin industrial grade carpet over cement, and I'm the sort that covers the table every night rather than hosts dance parties on it. Since it's a very reputable brand and came with pre-assembed support framework, I think that leaves assembly.

I looked at the table just now and noticed one or two things that might matter. The seam is raised in the center of the table, but not near the rails (3-6"). The center slab is raised, and there is a shim under that piece. I'm not an installer, but can I fix the problem myself by backing the shim out a little or all the way? The beeswax joint would still be broken, if I did that. Would the table need to be releveled? I'm asking because the felt (Simonis 860) has already been stripped off once and restapled, and I am worried about weakening the slate framing or chewing up the cloth edges.

NineBallNut
04-10-2005, 01:04 PM
I've found over the many installs I've done that sometimes the center shim works its way loose and can make the seem pop, you can usually take care of this without pulling the felt. you just have to know a little bit about what you are doing and show a little patience. I have however found some tables that just fought me the whole way, always popping a center after about a month of play. for this I decided to use liquid nails to stabilize the joint and haven't had problems since

mechanic/player
04-10-2005, 04:20 PM
at this point youve got nothing to lose by removing or adding a shim,if you cant fix it put it back in and call them back.you may or may not damage the wax,if you do sometimes you can roll it flat with a ball or something similar,if not call them back.the frame on your slate can be reused many times,the cloth,if not installed correctly can only be used so many times.the cloth needs to be tight as you can get it,yet still loose enuff in the pocket area so that you have enuff slack to attach it to the framed slate,without the puffy pocket look or the shreaded cloth problem you described.

drivermaker
04-10-2005, 05:06 PM
What's the major difference between beeswax and bondo...why is the preference one over the other for certain mechanics...and what are the pluses and minuses of both?

mechanic/player
04-10-2005, 07:06 PM
the dealer i was trained by used beeswax so that was the only way i knew how to do it,after i started re-clothing other tables i found that other mechanics used bondo and also a white mixtue of some kind to seal the joints.the bondo and other nonflexible fillers can crack/chip easier than a flexible filler like beeswax.just my opinion,alot of good mechanics use bondo and thats ok,the beeswax filled joints feel like glass when they cool.

cardiac kid
04-11-2005, 05:07 AM
Hi Folks,

We have a similar problem here in Rochester. A few of our GC III's pop their seams regularly. The tables are in a basement. The humidity changes regularly. The GC III slates are not doweled. One of the reasons or all? My understanding is, the slates are held together by business cards that were saturated with "crazy glue". The seams were then finished with "bee's wax". The mechanic suggests that people are sitting on the tables. Not in my memory but, I'm not there 24/7. Any suggestions?

cuejoey
04-11-2005, 02:13 PM
i have spoken with owners of tables and 2 mechanics in the Chicago area ..all of which solved the propblem with liquid dowel..one mechanic had 26 years experience the other about 15 years ..they swear by the stuff..since they started using it about 1 1/2 years ago they have never gotten a recall......

WestElder
04-11-2005, 02:52 PM
i have spoken with owners of tables and 2 mechanics in the Chicago area ..all of which solved the propblem with liquid dowel..one mechanic had 26 years experience the other about 15 years ..they swear by the stuff..since they started using it about 1 1/2 years ago they have never gotten a recall......
The installer is coming back and will use "grout", by which I think he means plaster. From what I have read in the responses to this thread (thanks to all for your comments!), this is a tried and true old school way to solve the problem. If it doesn't work, you'll hear the scream all the way from my basement.

Dave

cuejoey
04-11-2005, 07:50 PM
Good luck let us know how it is ...

JimS
04-12-2005, 04:22 AM
i have spoken with owners of tables and 2 mechanics in the Chicago area ..all of which solved the propblem with liquid dowel..one mechanic had 26 years experience the other about 15 years ..they swear by the stuff..since they started using it about 1 1/2 years ago they have never gotten a recall......


I had a table that popped the seams regularly and the Liquid Dowel was the cure. I never had problems with the table after using this stuff and we used it on my Diamond Pro when we put it together and have never had the slate pop. My friend the table installer started using the Liquid Dowell after his experinece with my other table and has never had a slate pop on any table he installed after having started using the Liquid Dowell. I got it through Brady Bherman from Q Masters (where the US Open is held...hope I got the name right..bad memory).

EL'nino
04-12-2005, 03:17 PM
I have a new $4000 9' pool table with 1" slate. It's in my basement on a carpet on top of a cement floor. I keep the humidity and temperature within the range of normal household settings. The table has had only light use, but both of the seams have popped already. The first one happened within days of being installed, and the other one less than a week after they came back out and fixed it. I don't want to mention the brand of the table at this point, but it is a well-respected name. On the other hand, if knowing that is important to get a reasonable explanation, I would be willing to share that. The dealer says this is pretty rare, and I'm inclined to believe him. At this point, I expect him to make good on the warrranty and quality I would expect of the installation. Can anyone explain why this would happen with a new table?

DaveDamned if you didn't just jinx me (NOW MY SLATE JUST POPPED)

WestElder
04-12-2005, 05:50 PM
Damned if you didn't just jinx me (NOW MY SLATE JUST POPPED)
Uh-oh. If I were you, I wouldn't read any threads about tables falling through the floor :eek:

FWIW, the installer is coming back later this week and will strip the table down to the frame and rebuild it back up. I'm still more hopeful than exasperated, so one more time...

Dave

Poolschool
04-12-2005, 08:55 PM
Often popped seams are cause by unqualified mechanics. IMO the leveling process is by far the most critical part of installation. I can relate to mechanic/player I learned from my own mistakes. Now its like tying your shoes.

I try to stay away from wedge shims as often as possible. They tend to back out over time if they arent really snug. I prefer flat shims at the corners and if needed a wedge shim at the center. I also use bees wax... Maybe it is a E/W thing? I find it much easier to work with. Its not an easier application but it will be appreciated by you or the next mechanic in the future. There is nothing like spending more time dismantling a table then setting one up. I hate bondo and I hate plaster. If I have to fill holes or chips I usually use plaster. Beeswax has a very high melting point so its pretty hard but I don't trust it for deep holes in the playing surface. My seems feel like glass!!!

WestElder
04-19-2005, 05:32 AM
I hope this is my last post on this topic. The installer came back last Friday. He took the cloth off, reset the slate pieces, shimmed, etc., like a new install. He used bondo to seal the seams this time. So far, so good.

Dave

matthew staton
05-23-2005, 08:02 AM
my local Pool Hall had a slate pop (both ends) about a week after a re-cover.

The pool table mechanic uses Bondo. His reasoning was the Bondo must have mixed "too hot".

The pool table mechanic covered two (2) 9 footers, same day, one table popped & one was fine. The good repair is still fine, after several months.

When I covered my home table, I covered the seams with a very thin clear packing tape, carefully making sure of "no bubbles". A Pool Table mechanic in Tulsa showed me that trick. He says the tape traps any matter that might shake loose over time. There is no "roll off"...

Good Luck with your table repair ...



SLAte lines I hate them seems every 9 ft table i ever play on at the pool hall has them rising up making the balls jump they get so bad.

WestElder
05-23-2005, 08:15 AM
The seam popped again two weeks after their last trip out there. The installer/dealer have now decided that the base the slates rest on (and are screwed to) has an alignment problem, basically a manufacturing defect. The mfgr is shipping a new base, which will be installed in early June. If I never post to this thread again, I'll be a happy guy.

Williebetmore
05-23-2005, 09:28 AM
The seam popped again two weeks after their last trip out there. The installer/dealer have now decided that the base the slates rest on (and are screwed to) has an alignment problem, basically a manufacturing defect. The mfgr is shipping a new base, which will be installed in early June. If I never post to this thread again, I'll be a happy guy.

West-man,
Good luck. This sounds eerily familiar. FWIW after the second time the dealer fixed my popped seams, they speculated about the humidity in the basement, kids secretly jumping on the table, and table base defect (as you recall from my PM I was fortunate enough to have a local mechanic from whom I could get a second opinion) - it turned out to be none of the above. At least your dealer is working on it. I hope you get it fixed correctly this time. Keep us posted.

WestElder
05-23-2005, 10:00 AM
West-man,
Good luck. This sounds eerily familiar. FWIW after the second time the dealer fixed my popped seams, they speculated about the humidity in the basement, kids secretly jumping on the table, and table base defect (as you recall from my PM I was fortunate enough to have a local mechanic from whom I could get a second opinion) - it turned out to be none of the above. At least your dealer is working on it. I hope you get it fixed correctly this time. Keep us posted.

Yes, the phantom menace (I live alone, so it involves children materializing from nowhere) was one of their first guesses. We couldn't find any footprints on the table or candy wrappers on the floor, so they reluctantly moved on to more plausible scenarios, such as that I had lifted one end of the table to vacuum underneath. I rolled up my sleeves and flexed my biceps, and we then quickly moved onto other ideas. At least they now accept that there was a problem with the installation or the table itself. The mfgr, store and installer are all engaged at this point, so I'm hanging in there for another round.

Honestly, I don't know how tight the specs and QA are on the base design and construction, so even getting a new one may not be the happy solution everyone is wishing for. One of the cross pieces on the base is about 1/2" off, which means that a center screw (into laminate) is hitting air. They should use hardwood (or thicker laminate) to begin with and should have caught the misalignment problem during manufacturing. IMO, there's too much reliance on the "kit" approach to assembling a table these days. Some art has been lost in the better engineering approach.

Ever...so...slowly, we're getting there....

SlateHumper
05-23-2005, 01:17 PM
It must be a East Coast / West Coast thing, but Bondo® is the choice here.

Troy
I am new here but I'd like to chime in on this one... I have been a table mechanic for about ten years now. IF a pool table was to be put up ONE TIME and stay in that spot FOREVER, I might say bondo wouldn't be a bad way to go. I am a firm believer that sand paper should NEVER touch a piece of slate. However, Most tables don't stay in the same spot and bondo is a real pain in the butt to get back off of the slate once it has set up. It also has a tendency to chip the slate as you try to remove it. So many new tables are made of so many inferior materials nowdays. I have always used bee's wax and have had over all great results. On the few tables I have experienced repeted poped seams, I used a product like Duram's Rock-Hard and never had any other problems.

WestElder
07-05-2005, 09:41 PM
Well, I've waited 3 weeks since the last work was done to make sure that the table is really fixed, and it finally is. The first big problem was that the base was poorly made, specifically the cross-pieces that the slate is screwed into were manufactured 1/2" off from where they should have been. The screws holding the centers of the slates didn't have enough of the wood to grab onto and were hitting air, so the slate "flexed" and the seams popped. I don't know why the installer didn't see it the first time. So, they replaced the base.

I knew that that wasn't the only problem, so when he put the slates and the felt back on the new base, the table didn't play right. I showed him how the ball drifted north-south at one end and east-west at the other. He tried to convince me that it was because the felt was new, and the problem would go away once it got broken in (?!). I called bullshit on that, and finally got him to agree that one of the pieces of slate was domed and that he didn't level the other one right. He gave up eventually and told the dealer that the slate was bad.

The dealer offered to swap the domed piece with a piece from another table they were holding for someone else. I told him that I would give him one more chance (their 5th) to get it right, and then I would raise a public stink locally and make the manufacturer take back the table for a refund. They then decided to give me a full set of new slates. A different installer came a week later and did the job in 2 hours. The table is now flat and true, and I love it. Even though there were manufacturing problems with the slate and the base, most of the fault was in the installation. Either the first installer didn't see the problems, or he didn't think I would make him deal with them. I guess people who put tables in their houses don't usually have high expectations

Anyway, time for a couple of racks before bed.