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Vinman
05-08-2006, 06:03 PM
I have a problem for all the pool table mechanics out there. While breaking down my Gold Crown III, I encountered difficulty removing some of the rails from the slate bed. Once I did get them off, I saw what the problem was; several of the captive nuts in the rail and the wood around them were in poor condition. In fact, some nuts could spin freely within the pocket.

Around other nuts, apparently in an effort to lock them in place and provide resistance when tightened, screws had been driven into wood. This arrangement didn’t work too well and just left a neat pile of saw dust under the rail. To top it all off, the hardware didn’t seem to match since the bolts were difficult to tighten after a few turns.

Although I was able to remove the rails, I can see it may be difficult to attach them again. Is there anything that can be done to salvage them or will I be force to buy new? I seem to recall a company (Brunswick?) selling metal plates that could be fastened to the underside of the rail which in turn could be secured to the slate bed. Anyone know if this is true?

Harvywallbanger
05-08-2006, 06:45 PM
I had a GC III and had a problem with one of the metal pocket plates. The metal sleeve was turning in the wood so therefore my pocket plate wouldn't pull tight to the rail. Is this something like what your referring to?

NineBallNut
05-08-2006, 07:48 PM
the nuts that you refer to are actually rectangle shaped nut plates. You could fix this by retro fitting the round threaded plates that you spoke of into the rails where the existing bolts would screw into. You can buy them through meullers. It will require some removal of wood where the plates are to set and be screwed onto the rail as to fit flush. This is the type of system a lot of older tables used. Just somethin to think about.

smittie1984
05-08-2006, 08:24 PM
That table use to belong in a pool hall/bar didn't it?

9ballnut is correct. The round plates he is speaking of is the same as the old Gandy's. The rectangular nut plates are better but you have to do what you have to do.

Vinman
05-09-2006, 06:58 AM
the nuts that you refer to are actually rectangle shaped nut plates. You could fix this by retro fitting the round threaded plates that you spoke of into the rails where the existing bolts would screw into. You can buy them through meullers. It will require some removal of wood where the plates are to set and be screwed onto the rail as to fit flush. This is the type of system a lot of older tables used. Just somethin to think about.

Thanks for the help everyone. Your descriptions of round or rectangular plates match what I was thinking of. I checked Mueller’s website but couldn’t find any info on this item. Are they called “threaded rail plates”? Does anyone know if they are available from Gandy as well? Once installed, will they allow for firm tightening of the rail to the slate?

Since I’m breaking the table down myself to make room for a new table, this is my first time “looking under the hood” and seeing the damage. I bought the table used and had it professionally moved and covered years ago. I was told it originally was in a pool hall, but, judging from the staple holes in the frame, it has only been re-covered 4 or 5 times. It seems like a simply matter to attach and adjust the rails, I wonder how the table could have sustained so much damage in the first place.

Aside from this one problem the table is in good condition. A friend is interested in buying it from me, but I won’t sell it until I first resolve this problem.

SlateHumper
05-09-2006, 09:05 AM
National Billiard also used to use the round plates. It would be a fairly easy retro fit. Might need a forstner bit to make the recess for the plate. National may still have some. You can reach them @ 800-543-0880. I think Gandy is no longer in business.

mechanic/player
05-09-2006, 08:32 PM
I think it would be easier to repair the the original design then to install the newer type nut plates brunswick uses.You would have to remove the cushion and install the nut plates after you bored a recess large enuff to handle a floating nut plate If the original ones have stripped threads ,and it sounds like they are, then those need to be replaced . When you re-install them simply rotate them slightly so that you are screwing them down into fresh wood and make sure they are flush or counter sunk into the rails.

NineBallNut
05-09-2006, 08:35 PM
I think it would be easier to repair the the original design then to install the newer type nut plates brunswick uses.You would have to remove the cushion and install the nut plates after you bored a recess large enuff to handle a floating nut plate If the original ones have stripped threads ,and it sounds like they are, then those need to be replaced . When you re-install them simply rotate them slightly so that you are screwing them down into fresh wood and make sure they are flush or counter sunk into the rails.

I think the problem also is that some of the wood that area of the rail was damaged by the last guy who tried to cob it up. That was the only reason I suggested an alternate way.

Vinman
05-10-2006, 06:18 AM
I think it would be easier to repair the the original design then to install the newer type nut plates brunswick uses.You would have to remove the cushion and install the nut plates after you bored a recess large enuff to handle a floating nut plate If the original ones have stripped threads ,and it sounds like they are, then those need to be replaced . When you re-install them simply rotate them slightly so that you are screwing them down into fresh wood and make sure they are flush or counter sunk into the rails.

I was wondering if this would also be an option. If I remove all the screws, take off the cushions, and remove the damaged nut plates, could I simply replace them with larger nut plates if they are available, or am I just asking for more trouble down the line with wood damage? Can the pocket for the nut plate be enlarged without compromising the strength of the rail? If not, I guess I would have to go with the alternate method suggested by NineBallNut and SlateHumper.

Vinman
05-10-2006, 09:34 AM
I was wondering if this would also be an option. If I remove all the screws, take off the cushions, and remove the damaged nut plates, could I simply replace them with larger nut plates if they are available, or am I just asking for more trouble down the line with wood damage? Can the pocket for the nut plate be enlarged without compromising the strength of the rail? If not, I guess I would have to go with the alternate method suggested by NineBallNut and SlateHumper.

I had a further thought on this. Could material, either wood or metal, be glued inside the nut plate pocket to shore it up and allow for the standard size hardware?

NineBallNut
05-10-2006, 09:45 AM
I had a further thought on this. Could material, either wood or metal, be glued inside the nut plate pocket to shore it up and allow for the standard size hardware?

anything is possible provided you have the right tools and knowlege to do so. I suspect that you could literally rebuild that area enough to use the standard nut plate as a replacement. If it was just a matter of being able to use larger nut plates then I would cut 1/4 inch plate steel to desired length and with, then drill and tap a whole to except the rail bolts, this essentially uses the same floating nut plate theory with retro fit plates

Tablemechanic
05-10-2006, 11:49 PM
I would have to see the rail to let you know how to fix it. I fix alot of screwed up rails. if the plate is just turning, I would try to lock it in with 2 screws that would trap it so it can not turn. People tend to over tighten the rail bolts when they put tables together. You also really need to use the domed slate washers when you put the table together.

As far as the bolts being hard to put in. You should check the threads on the bolts and make sure they are in good shape and also retap the plates in the rails so they are good. The thread is 3/8-16, if you do not retap them and put bad bolts in. The next time you go to take it apart there is a good chance you will break a bolt.

If you can please post a picture of what it looks like and I will be able to help you more.

If you have any questions please send me a pm,

Steve

kyther
09-17-2006, 02:40 PM
This post is in response to Harvywallbanger’s question about the insert, or “sleeve” in the end of the GCIII rail that is used to bolt the pocket castings to the end of each rail. While the bulk of this thread has been about the problems with the rail nuts, HWB’s point is a valid one considering that GC IIIs, especially those in commercial use, are plagued with the same problem HWB is referring to.

PROBLEM

The daily ball pounding and vibration the pocket castings are subjected to and the very low torque it takes to inadvertently loosen or even remove this insert, combined with the relatively soft poplar wood Brunswick used to mill the sub-rail make this an ongoing problem. Attempts to use epoxies, bondo, wood putty, etc. to reseat the original insert are usually short lived. Mechanical fixes such as driving in screws or ring shank nails next to the insert are sloppy, unprofessional, also short lived and aggravate the already compromised hole in the poplar sub-rail.

ONE SOLUTION

If the original hole in the sub-rail has not been compromised by extreme wallowing, splitting or splintering, a relatively easy on-site fix can be achieved using Stafast replacement insert SK381630HD (steel insert 3/8-16 x 30mm HX Drive). This is a fantastic part, machined out of steel, with massive external threads that really bite into the wood and a hex head driven end. Compared to the cheaply cast original inserts, or even the hardware store machined brass inserts with a wimpy slot for the driven end, these inserts are amazing. Plus, because of the large diameter of the external wood threads, they are ideal for this repair. You will need a good variable speed cordless drill, a 5/8 inch FORSTNER bit, a 10mm hex driver fitted to a 3/8 inch ratchet with a 6 inch extension, and a tube of 5 minute epoxy. We usually replace all of the pocket casting inserts at the same time, charging appropriately for this service.

IMPORTANT! In the following step, DO NOT attempt to use a 5/8 inch spiral bit as it will bite into the existing hole and drill all the way through the top of the rail in an instant! Spade (flat) bits are equally problem prone as they will not cleanly chase the existing hole without chattering and the point of the bit will penetrate through the top laminate.

First, prepare the existing hole by carefully chasing at the same angle with the 5/8 forstner bit. The new, enlarged hole will have to be slightly deeper (30mm total depth) to accommodate the longer length of the Stafast insert. If you are unsure of your drilling skills, it is safest to fix a depth stop around the shank of the bit and make some test holes in a scrap of wood. A cut piece of pipe or tubing or a ½ inch drive socket works good for a depth stop. Keep in mind that this is a one chance process and the consequence of mis-drilling is an unsightly hole in the top of your rail. Once the holes have been prepared, thoroughly blow them out with compressed air or a soda straw so the new inserts will seat properly.

To install the new inserts, first clean them in denatured alcohol or acetone. This is necessary because the SK381630HD is a machined part rather than the cheaply cast original inserts and has a machining coolant residue on it. Next, carefully align the new insert with the hole (this is the purpose of the 6 inch extension on the ratchet) and thread it in until it bottoms out. Do not force it past the bottom of the hole or it will split out the sub rail and cause a bulge in the laminate on the top of the rail.

Now, back the insert all the way out of the rail and apply a thin coat of epoxy to the newly cut thread in the wood. Using epoxy keeps the insert from threading out and reinforces the wood threads. I like using the super glue for this but it is risky if you cannot quickly reinstall the insert without stopping. With super glue, I use a 3/8 inch impact wrench to final set the inserts. The epoxy is safer to use but does not penetrate the wood threads as deeply and there is greater risk of fouling the internal threads of the insert. In either case, check the internal threads and chase them with a 3/8-16 tap if needed.

Now you can align and firmly tighten the pocket castings to the rail ends. Do not blue torque them or you will risk pulling out the new insert. If need be, you can always tighten them up again after the table is fully assembled with a 9/16 inch wobbler socket and extension. During assembly, use domed washers or thick fender washers that over lap all three edges of the pocket casting without falling into the void. Standard 3/8 inch washers have too small of an outside diameter to be used here. Also, many bolts are not threaded all the way to the head, leaving an unthreaded “shoulder.” Make sure the shoulders of the bolts you are using aren’t running into the insert.

Final Note: When the existing holes have been compromised by extreme wallowing, splitting or splintering and they are already too big for the stafast inserts, there are other solutions that can be used. Hope this helps, KR

CaptiveBred
09-17-2006, 05:30 PM
I had a GC1 once... One of the plates were stripped. I had all the tools needed to fix it any possible way you could think of... What I ended up doing was the fasted fix. I took the plate off and drilled the hole out just a bit. Then I put a long bolt in it. The head of the bolt was between the rail wood and the metal plate.

Now I just put the rail on and stick the bold down through the hole and use a washer and nut to fasten it. thik of it as being backwards to the original system.

I kept the bolt long just incase I need to kepp the bolt from turning while tightening it. I can just grab then end of the bolt with some vice grips to keep it from turning while I tighten the nut.

I think I also had to remove a little wood from the rail to allow room for the bolt head under the plate.

It was real easy and fast and the rail is just a s secure as the original system. All it cost me was a 4 inch bolt with a nut.