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Baby PacMan
06-24-2010, 06:34 PM
I know slate is used because it's heavy, flat, and doesn't warp. But why not just use a slab of steel? Steel can be flat, heavy, I don't know if it warps though.

Just curious.

Tokyo-dave
06-24-2010, 08:10 PM
Not an expert, but I believe that slate either dries quickly or absorbs moisture. If ya ever get a chance to see a piece of exposed slate, take a damp cloth and wipe at it and notice how quickly it dries. Metal would not only keep moisture in the cloth, but I would assume that rust would be an issue too.
dave

Measle Ball
06-24-2010, 08:36 PM
Interesting question.

I think slate may have better dimensional stability than steel WRT temperature and warpage. One could possibly make a table bed from Invar- a very low-expansion alloy- but the cost would be astronomical. I don't know how a steel bed would sound, either; jump shots might ring.

How about synthetic bowling alley surfacing for a table bed? Even though it would probably wear well, I still have a feeling that slate- at least in the foreseeable future- will be king over any man-made stuff.

Still a good question, though.

Mr Slate
06-24-2010, 09:28 PM
Mama used to tell me: "If it ain't broke.......don't fix it." :thumbup:

Hambone
06-24-2010, 09:41 PM
They tried it around 150 years ago. Its still not a good idea.
Besides the sound and rusting issues, check the prices on a one
inch thick steel sheet large enough for a table bed.

RunoutKing
06-24-2010, 10:19 PM
I agree with the other posts, steel might rust or because it attracts heat and moisture it may cause parts of the table to warp. I've always wondered if there will ever be a replacement for slate(too heavy) but I don't think there will be one.

nathandumoulin
06-25-2010, 03:35 AM
They tried it around 150 years ago. Its still not a good idea.
Besides the sound and rusting issues, check the prices on a one
inch thick steel sheet large enough for a table bed.

Who says it needs to be an inch thick though? Why not a quarter inch corrugated steel?

As for moisture, why not make a ton of tiny holes in the surface? Because it's corrugated, the moisture could pass through the hollow center without any loss of strength.

A small area heating device underneath could also be set to a specific temperature. The metal would act as a heatsink, and would ensure that the table always plays consistently, similarly to a 3c table.

(I dont know what I'm talking about here...just throwing out ideas)

easy-e
06-25-2010, 04:23 AM
Who says it needs to be an inch thick though? Why not a quarter inch corrugated steel?

As for moisture, why not make a ton of tiny holes in the surface? Because it's corrugated, the moisture could pass through the hollow center without any loss of strength.

A small area heating device underneath could also be set to a specific temperature. The metal would act as a heatsink, and would ensure that the table always plays consistently, similarly to a 3c table.

(I dont know what I'm talking about here...just throwing out ideas)


You have me convinced:thumbup:.

mattb
06-25-2010, 04:32 AM
there are a few problems with wood tables. First they can dent leaving a bump. Second they can act as a springboard. Try jumping a ball on a wood table compared to a slate table. Third issue would be warpage. A lot of those old wooden tables turned into a soup bowl over the years. I actually went out to recover one a long time ago and you could set a ball next to the rail and it would slowly roll to the center of the table and stop.

As far as the steel goes, there are issues there as well. The major would be the rust issue. Second would be cost. Third would be a weight factor. A table has to be so heavy to keep people from moving it, if you lightened up on the steel plate you would defeat the weight purpose. Even with several hundred pounds of slate we all know a big guy can bump a table hard and knock it out of whack.

TimKrazyMon
06-25-2010, 04:53 AM
Who says it needs to be an inch thick though? Why not a quarter inch corrugated steel?

As for moisture, why not make a ton of tiny holes in the surface? Because it's corrugated, the moisture could pass through the hollow center without any loss of strength.

A small area heating device underneath could also be set to a specific temperature. The metal would act as a heatsink, and would ensure that the table always plays consistently, similarly to a 3c table.

(I dont know what I'm talking about here...just throwing out ideas)

Wouldn't these "tiny holes" create divots for balls to settle into and throw off shots?

nathandumoulin
06-25-2010, 05:05 AM
Wouldn't these "tiny holes" create divots for balls to settle into and throw off shots?

Tiny...like pin holes.

I'm not saying any of this will work...I'm just throwing out ideas. :)

Dave Nelson
06-25-2010, 05:26 AM
Slate is obviously top choice for a variety of reasons but I think that fine grain cast concrete highly polished on the top surface could be used with good results. In fact, I would be surprised if it has not already been tried.

Dave Nelson

smashmouth
06-25-2010, 05:37 AM
the time is long past due for a replacement to slate

some of the composite materials they can produce now are incredible, anyone here play softball????

it's the same old story, the evolution of pool moving at a snail's pace

jridpath
06-25-2010, 06:25 AM
Just a thought here, what about bullet proof plexiglass? No warpage, no rust (which would be a problem with steel), able to handle the impact of bouncing balls, and much lighter than slate. Although, I would think the heavy weight is desirable in a pool table since you don't want it to move when you bump it.

Hambone
06-25-2010, 07:05 AM
Who says it needs to be an inch thick though? Why not a quarter inch corrugated steel?

As for moisture, why not make a ton of tiny holes in the surface? Because it's corrugated, the moisture could pass through the hollow center without any loss of strength.

A small area heating device underneath could also be set to a specific temperature. The metal would act as a heatsink, and would ensure that the table always plays consistently, similarly to a 3c table.

(I dont know what I'm talking about here...just throwing out ideas)

1/4 inch isn't heavy enough. 1/2 inch would actually be real close to the weight of 1 inch slate. The problem with any mild steel is its going to corrode slightly no matter what. Its just a matter of time.

You could always try a stainless piece. A 4x8 half inch thick sheet will run you about $2200.

thrash attack
06-25-2010, 07:18 AM
Check this out
http://www.nottagedesign.com/?id=1

nathandumoulin
06-25-2010, 07:30 AM
1/4 inch isn't heavy enough.

Other than reducing cost, the whole idea is to reduce the weight so that the single piece can be transported and installed easier.

The table can be lagged to the floor, or the missing weight can be compensated by putting weight in the legs or feet.

Again, I have no idea what I'm talking about...I'm simply trying to think outside the box for the sake of making conversation. :p

justadub
06-25-2010, 07:31 AM
Just a thought here, what about bullet proof plexiglass? No warpage, no rust (which would be a problem with steel), able to handle the impact of bouncing balls, and much lighter than slate. Although, I would think the heavy weight is desirable in a pool table since you don't want it to move when you bump it.

This is the second comment regarding weight being necessary to prevent the table from being bumped. To me, if there is a lighter material that could provide the consistent flat surface necessary, I would think that it would be a simpler matter to come up with material to put in the table for weight/movement purposes. Ballast, if you will. Such material could no doubt be simpler to move than one large piece of slate, and installed under the new playing surface.

As Nate said previously, I don't know nuthin', I'm just thinking out loud "in theory"...

*** Funny enough, Nate posted much the same thing as I was typing this! ***

jridpath
06-25-2010, 07:33 AM
Check this out
http://www.nottagedesign.com/?id=1

I like the idea of the glass bed (as long as it can handle the impact of bouncing balls), but transparent? I would prefer something more opaque. Seeing reflections on the surface and the table legs while lining up for shot would be very distracting. They say that the surface replicates the resistance of cloth which would be interesting to see if its true, and I wonder if it wears down over time. It would eliminate humdity slowing down the speed of the table though.

ric23
06-25-2010, 07:45 AM
I'm not an expert either specially with pool tables but I figured I'd chime in on the metal side. I work with mostly steel, titanium and aluminum in a very, very precise manner. And this much I can tell you, steel and aluminum is very hard to control. a degree of temperature causes them to shrink or expand. Holding a 24" x 24" steel plate on a flatness of .001 is attainable. But, temperature will be a factor if it stays that way. And we check this on a -guess what! - a 5'x8' x 9.5" thick slate!!! Certified grade A slate is accurate up to .0006 with a repeatability of .00008 on a temperature controlled room at 70 deg. controlled since the slate "moves" too. As far as rust, there are coatings that can prevent this. just my 2 cents...

jridpath
06-25-2010, 08:05 AM
This is the second comment regarding weight being necessary to prevent the table from being bumped. To me, if there is a lighter material that could provide the consistent flat surface necessary, I would think that it would be a simpler matter to come up with material to put in the table for weight/movement purposes. Ballast, if you will. Such material could no doubt be simpler to move than one large piece of slate, and installed under the new playing surface.

As Nate said previously, I don't know nuthin', I'm just thinking out loud "in theory"...

*** Funny enough, Nate posted much the same thing as I was typing this! ***

Agreed, you could still provide the neccessary weight to keep the table steady in other places than the bed. It then becomes a matter of practicality. With slate the table bed provides the weight and stability, with something lighter for a table bed you have add something to provide that. Is it practical and cost effective to do so, from a manufacturer's point of view? That I don't have an answer for.

mm4pool
06-25-2010, 08:12 AM
just a few thoughts, i work in a steel fabrication shop.

1" steel for a 4x8 table = 1306 LBS. 4.5x9 table = 1661 LBS give or take a few. the issue with corrosion is easily handles with either paint coatings or galvanization. next, finding a machine shop that can surface the piece to true flat. next i would not want to be the installer for this table. BTW, we are paying about .42 cents a pound for steel, aluminum is about twice that and stainless is going for around 5.5 times the price of steel.

Mike

Dave Nelson
06-25-2010, 08:26 AM
It's always nice to hear from people who know what they are talking about. My compliments to ric 23 and mm4pool.

Dave Nelson

nathandumoulin
06-25-2010, 08:36 AM
just a few thoughts, i work in a steel fabrication shop.

1" steel for a 4x8 table = 1306 LBS. 4.5x9 table = 1661 LBS give or take a few. the issue with corrosion is easily handles with either paint coatings or galvanization. next, finding a machine shop that can surface the piece to true flat. next i would not want to be the installer for this table. BTW, we are paying about .42 cents a pound for steel, aluminum is about twice that and stainless is going for around 5.5 times the price of steel.

Mike

Yeah, even with 1/4" one-sided corrugated steel, that's still over 300lbs.

That pretty much ends that debate. Thanks for the reality check. :p

Still fun to discuss though.

vasilios
06-25-2010, 08:42 AM
there is no material to replace slate at this time.maybe in the future they might come up with something.but it is very doubtful.the properties of slate are very hard to duplicate.slate is easy to find, it works and it has seasond for a billion years.pretty stable stuff for the money.

bill