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I'm going to explain rails to everyone, and rail calibration!
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realkingcobra
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I'm going to explain rails to everyone, and rail calibration! - 10-24-2014, 12:37 AM

First of all, 10 sets of let's say GC 1's or Anniversary's, or Centennial's, well, all the line of Brunswick commercial pool tables that were not produced in the same production run, including their newest GC 5' are going to vary by 10000ths' of an inch per production run. They all have been produced with a sub rail bevel of 23.5 degrees down angle to mount the cushions on, in which on paper work is supposed to set the cushion nose height at 63 1/2% of the ball height, which is 1 27/64ths' of an inch, just a hair under 1 7/16ths'. Well guess what, if one one production run the rails came out a little thinner or thicker then the nose height on that production run is now different, being higher or lower than the targeted nose height, meaning the tables play different.

Now, wood also over the years drys out, which causes shrinkage, that effects the nose height. I use to deal with GC's years ago that had a lot of laminate damage next to and along the feather strip Dado because the wood had shrunk so much that there was a lip of laminate overhanging the feather strip.so that when you were removing the.cloth to strip down the rails, it would snag on the laminate causing it to pull up, or chip off....wood shrinks.

Moisture effects the rails if they're not sealed on the bottoms real well. What happens is the rail bottom that is over hanging the slate if it's not sealed, absorbs moisture in the air, and because the top of the rail is sealed with a finish or laminate, the bottom of the rails swell up, causing the outside edge of the whole rail to lift up, which in turn causes that 23.5% bevel the cushion is glued to....to tilt a little down, causing the nose height to drop. Don't believe that??, put a straight edge on the bottom of the rails you're working on sometime and check to see if it's flat, or a little humped

There is a formula that I pioneered that started this whole "rail calibration" thing. It's called A + B=C....C being the unknown sub-rail bevel that the rails would need in order to set the cushion nose height to the desired height. "A" is the sub-rail thickness, it's more important than the nose height is, because without consistency at the back end of the cushions, the nose height will be all over the chart. So now that "A" has been pointed out as being so important, for the installation of K55 cushions, it is critical to maintain a sub-rail thickness of 1 11/16ths' in order to set the position of the body of the cushions behind the correct nose height so that the cushions play at their absolute best performance, repeatedly, from rail set to rail set and so on.

So now, this brings use back to how important "A" is. Well, what happens to how the rails play if the manufacturer's over time forget about how important "A" is, and start producing rails that have sub-rail thicknesses no where near the mark of 1 11/16ths'?? And yet they don't change the sub-rail bevel and keep it at the same bevel for the last 70 years or so?

Here's what I know to be the facts, no GC rails, of any model have had the correct sub-rail thickness, nor any Anniversary's, or Centennial's. Not one of the tables mentioned have ever had consistent corner pocket angles, the right side of every corner pocket is always turned out a little more than the left side. The right side ear of the side pockets is always just a little longer than the left side. So when anyone extends the rails, or just adds more facings to tighten the pockets, all they're doing is making bad angles worse.

Figure 8 nut plates were a flaw in design, or Brunswick would have never switched to the capture nut inserted in the rails. To many times I've had to repair the mounting screws in the figure 8 nut plates because of the mechanic's who've worked on the rails before me, over tightening the rail bolts, pulling the wood screws mounting them loose...it's a flaw in design.

All the older tables I've ever worked on have had end rail damage from the amount of balls that have been pocketed, bouncing off the facing when going In the pockets, banging on the end grain wood of the sub-rails, which is what causes the wood to shatter and fall apart at the ends of the rails, not to mention how many times the pockets have been nailed in, instead of being screwed in, like some were designed to be.

So, in summery, rail calibration is all about making the table play at its absolute best, the best that it can be.made to play with today's materials, and today's knowledge.

Now let's talk about restoration work on antique pool tables. Most of the people who restore pool tables, for the most part, do a good job of doing just that, providing the customers who spend the money to buy these restored pool tables are only buying one to look at, like a painting on the wall, or they don't really play pool but the room the table is going in...looks like a pool table belongs their, so they buy the antique for that purpose. Well, I'm here to say that not all customers buying tables like these for serious money, are non players!

I've been contacted by such a customer in Connecticut, who laid out some serious money to buy his dream table, a 9ft Anniversary, refinished and rebuilt by a very well known refinisher. He asked for the Artemis cushions to be installed as well, so they were. Well, he contacted me to talk about how his table plays, because even though it's a very beautiful table, it plays like shit. He asked me if he should contact the seller and voice his concerns about how bad the table plays, to which I replied, if the seller knew how to make the table play right in the first place, you'd have never contacted me, so involving the seller in your complaint about how the table plays is going to be a waste of time.

It took me years of trial and error to learn how to build rails to play right, and now that I've put all that knowledge to work, I turn out some unreal playing pool tables, because I know what I'm doing.

Now, on to this subject with Mark and Trent. First of all, Trent, I never work on pool tables changing the cushions without calibrating the sub-rails to play at their best. I never get called to just recover, level, and change cushions on any pool table. My calls are always about "Can you make my table play like a Diamond" So, to answer your question, I recalibrate the rails on every pool table I work on. I also believe that when a pool table is rebuilt, restored or what ever, it should include the most that can be done to the table to male it look right, and play at the best the table can be made to play. There should be no up charge added to the price of the table, and what ever is done to the table to make it ready for sale should already be reflected in the selling get price of the table. YOUR customers are looking to buy a restored, beautiful pool table. Choices or options as you will, should be limited to the type of cloth, color of cloth, balls, cues, or whatever, but not to the quality of the rebuild or refinish do the table. By your lack of being willing to include completely rebuilding the rails in your selling price, I can only concluded that you are worried about not being able to sell the table if the price gets to be to high, so you option rail rebuilding to the customer, to which they really know nothing about, so they're not interested in having it done.

Here's a little sale info for you to think about. If the table you rebuild and refinish, don't better than any other table in the area near the cutomer, or better than any table the customer has eve played on in their lifetime, how are you going to set your tables apart from any other tables for sale? Think about it, your customer has friends that come over and play pool on that very same table, if they don't leave there thinking to themselves....that's the best playing table I've ever played on, I might have to see about getting me one of them! That's the customer your looking for next, because your not making any more money off the customer that already bought your table.

Because of the work I do, I can't keep up with all the customers wanting to hire me to work on their pool table(s) next, even to the point of offering me more than I charge if I'll do them next. And as far as Mark being high priced, trust me, he's not. I'm the highest price mechanic in the country, as I charge $2,500 to rebuild GC's and Diamond's, and I'm not even selling a pool table for that price. And to me, my pricing has nothing to do with how well the customer can play pool, it has everything to do with what I put into rebuilding a pool table, and it's not negotiable when I have such a waiting list.

So, to sum up rail calibration, every set of rails being rebuilt today need it done, it should be done, and I feel it's wrong to sell such high dollar antique pool tables if it's not done. I also feel it should be priced into the selling price of the table, not discussed as an option. That's like buying new tires for your car, but the air to fill them up is an option you can pay for or not.

Glen, the "Realkingcobra"
  
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Look Out - 10-24-2014, 04:13 AM

Uhh Ohhh....Somebody woke a sleeping Cobra....Welcome back Glen


Patrick O'Donnell
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10-24-2014, 04:33 AM

Good Morning Pat, I feel kind of bad that I broke my promise that I was never going to post on AZB ever again, but after reading some of the things being discussed here, it was to hard to hold back from posting my .02 worth.

Glen
  
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Post - 10-24-2014, 04:45 AM

SHUT THE DOOR!!!!

HELL YA!!!!

UNREAL!!!!







Rob.M
  
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10-24-2014, 05:49 AM

Wow, welcome back Big guy!
  
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10-24-2014, 08:20 AM

I knew the subject would bring you out of hibernation....lol
I wasn't trying to ugly with anyone.......but I'm not going to sugarcoat anything either.
Guys trying to sell houses with painted sides......but don't try and turn the lights on or use the bathrooms......cause that's and up charge and you didn't want to pay for that.
The price of the restoration should include top to bottom restoration.....no and if or butts.
But I'm the bad guy for trying give the heads up to customers.....im not against anyone making money.....I hope we all do.....and there's plenty to go around.
I just get up set when people try and cash in on someone that doesn't know any better....and is not informed.
Saying my customers don't want to pay for rail work.....is wrong.....they should not even have been asked anything about rail work.....that's part of the restoration if your going to give them their monies worth.....bottom line.
Someone please...show me 2 table's alike......cause I haven't found them.....so sub rail work...or cushion work....need to done correctly.....not just so the ball bounces.....and think your tables play great.

Mark Gregory
  
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10-24-2014, 09:01 AM

... RKC is back...
.


GAMES... http://sites.google.com/site/poolandbilliard

Recognize a 1/2 ball 30 degree cut, and the 1/8 ball angles.
Paralysis by aiming analysis happens by thinking too much.

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Happy to see you back RKC!
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trentfromtoledo
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Happy to see you back RKC! - 10-24-2014, 09:03 AM

I had been seeing your name pop up in the members online area!!

Happy to see you posting again.

I was told this by you a couple years ago, " Not ever table is supposed to play like a Diamond, if people want it to play like one, they have to pay for it. "

These wonderful old tables have a certain value to them as antiques alone. My prices are based upon that value. Sub rail modification would be an extra cost and therefore would reflect the total price I would charge. 99% of my tables are completely custom and the client picks out the options. I do tell them all about the sub-rail mod and have never been asked to add that to a project.

If I had completed a project with no client and paid to have the sub rail modification done on that table, the price would be higher than one with out. More input requires more time and $$$$, this is business as you know. I know what others charge for these tables and my prices are fair.

I commend those who love what they do so much that it makes them go far and beyond the norm. But, when they are really including it in the over all price at the end its not like they are doing it for free: they are getting paid for it. A completely restored 9 foot Centennial with no sub-rail mod. goes for around $10,000.00 on the average. I have also heard/ seen them for sale for around $15,000 and up for them. I sold my first Centennial for $10k, the client loves it. Is it the best playing pool table in the world, we all know the answer to that, no. Did I tell him it would be? No. He knew it would not be because I discussed the whole sub rail mod. issue with him just as I do everyone and he did not want the extra time or $$$ in the project.

Everyone does business differently and not every client is looking for the same things. Customers who are looking to make their antique tables play like a GC5 or Diamond and want the best of the best to perform the work, if they do the right research, will end up calling someone like Glenn or Mark and that's that.

Thanks for the very detailed sub rail mod post!!

Trent from Toledo
  
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10-24-2014, 09:13 AM

Welcome back Glen.
I don't if anyone would pay top dollar for restored antiques if they found out
their subrails are rotted or if the table is going to play sub-standard.


  
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I would never sell a table like that
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I would never sell a table like that - 10-24-2014, 09:48 AM

Never sold ANYTHING with rotten wood or anything of that nature.


Trent from Toledo
  
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10-24-2014, 09:52 AM

I agree with Mark and Glen about the rail work. Buying an antique table that has been restored and no work done to the rails would be like paying top dollar for a restored 55 Chevrolet that had the original brakes and motor that burnt 2 quarts of oil week and was painted at Maco.


Steve Lomax
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Taking a break :)
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Taking a break :) - 10-24-2014, 10:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevel View Post
I agree with Mark and Glen about the rail work. Buying an antique table that has been restored and no work done to the rails would be like paying top dollar for a restored 55 Chevrolet that had the original brakes and motor that burnt 2 quarts of oil week and was painted at Maco.
It really depends on the $$$ now doesn't it?

Anyways, as I have mentioned in my other post: WAY TO MUCH TIME SPENT POSTING ON HERE

Trent
  
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10-24-2014, 10:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by trentfromtoledo View Post
Everyone does business differently and not every client is looking for the same things. Customers who are looking to make their antique tables play like a GC5 or Diamond and want the best of the best to perform the work, if they do the right research, will end up calling someone like Glenn or Mark and that's that.


Trent from Toledo
I think Mark and Glen both said the same thing several times, their tables do not play like Diamonds and GCVs because tables on an assembly line are subject to a wide variety of tolerances. I think asking customers if they want it to "play like a Diamond" is a poor choice of words. Most of us know there are 2 different playing Diamonds, a Blue Label & a Red Label Diamond. I am most certainly not even close to what some would consider a "short stop", far from it, but even with my meager playing ability I can tell the Blue & Red Diamonds play different. With proper sub-rail modification you would be offering your customers the best playing table money can buy, unlike anything else, period.
  
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Thanks. - 10-24-2014, 10:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastone371 View Post
I think Mark and Glen both said the same thing several times, their tables do not play like Diamonds and GCVs because tables on an assembly line are subject to a wide variety of tolerances. I think asking customers if they want it to "play like a Diamond" is a poor choice of words. Most of us know there are 2 different playing Diamonds, a Blue Label & a Red Label Diamond. I am most certainly not even close to what some would consider a "short stop", far from it, but even with my meager playing ability I can tell the Blue & Red Diamonds play different. With proper sub-rail modification you would be offering your customers the best playing table money can buy, unlike anything else, period.
I do appreciate your very well spoken opinion. You always keep it very forward and respectful. I have learned a very large amount of information from this forum and this topic in specific. I have spoken to a handful of mechanics that perform the subrail modifications to contract the work to.



Trent from Toledo
  
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10-24-2014, 11:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by trentfromtoledo View Post
Never sold ANYTHING with rotten wood or anything of that nature.


Trent from Toledo
Trent, let me clear something up for you. There's always going to be some kind of imagination in someone's head about what the bottoms of the rails look like because if they work on pool tables, they've seen the damages that years of use and service will do to the rails, that being said, no one is saying you're sending out tables to customers that are in serious need of repair. But, from Marks perspective, and mine too I have to add, you really should take a step back and take some advice from some of us old timers that have been working on pool tables since before you were born. I commend you for the efforts you go through to do the best job you can possible do when it come to getting an antique pool table ready to sell, but I think you have this job of selling your pool tables a little confused. First of all, most of the customers you sell high dollar pool tables to are not pool players by any means, which means they wouldn't know what a good playing pool table would look like if their life depended on it. Matter of fact, I don't know of ANY pool players that would spend top dollar to even buy a rebuilt, refinished antique pool table. So that leaves the customers that have a job, make a very good living, and have a room in their house that looks like a pool table belongs there, so because they have the money, like to play pool with their friends once in a while, they start looking around at what's for sale. Most of this type of customers I doubt would ever step foot in a Walmart store to buy anything they have for sale there, because they can afford the "better" things in life, so they're not looking to buy a Chinese built table either. That brings us back to their value of money, and their belief that the more it cost, the better it must be, so since the Anniversary's and Centennial's are some of the prettiest looking pool tables ever built, and the kind of border on a more modern look as apposed to really old looking, any one that has one for sale becomes of interest to the customer looking to buy. That being said, a $12,000 Anniversary must be better than one selling for only $9,000 because there must be something wrong with it as its $3,000 cheaper, so scratch that one off the list.

Now, in discussing your price with the potential customer and then adding in an up charge for having the rails rebuilt, you just said something that just went right over their head, because at $12,000 it's ok, and they don't understand the need to pay for any kind of up charge on the rails, so they'll take it as is. Now a few years down the road, many years for most, they get the.cloth changed by some table mechanic. THAT table mechanic is only there to recover a pool table and get paid, and leave. But the first thing he's going to say when he sees the table is, "wow, what a beautiful pool table"....making the owner proud that he bought such a great pool table to put in his house. Then the mechanic is going to get to work recovering that pool table, and when he turns the rails over to pull the staples out, he's going to get a good look at the bottom of the rails, the sub-rails, and the whole 9 yards, and you know what? That mechanic is not going to say a single word about how the bottom of the rails really look, nor how the sub- rails look to the owner and do you know why that is? Because it looks just like every other table he works on, no different, because he don't know anything about that line of work, rebuilding the rails, and don't care. He's their to get paid and go on about his day. Now imagine that mechanic's s reaction when he flips that rail over and sees the best looking sub-rails and rail bottom that he's ever laid his eyes on, do you think he's going to tell the customer something at this point? You'd better believe it, as he's going to go on and on about how he's never seen a set of rails in such great condition, in fact he's more than likely going to even say I didn't expect the rails to be so perfect.

You're in the business of selling the best restored pool tables you can possible sell. Pricing has nothing to do with the average priced pool tables out here that you're selling against, but it has every thing to do with you as a sales person.

Trent, any of the work you can't do to a pool table, you outsource that part of the project to be done by someone who knows how to do it right, then add it into the sales price of the table, until everything that needs to and should be done, to the best of everyone's abilities gets done. Then you sit back and take a look at what you've paid out, what kind of hours you've put into the table, add it all up and then you know what your cost is, that's break even. Then you up charge that cost by what ever % you feel is fair, I don't know, maybe by 35% and that becomes the resale value of your table. Now, that customer is going to ask you all kinds of questions like....how come YOUR table is so much her in price than the other ones I've looked at for sale? To which, you reply....because the tables I offer for sale not only look the best, but they also PLAY a whole lot better than the rest of the tables you've looked at, because I spare NO expense when it comes to getting my tables ready for sale to......YOU!!!!

Glen aka, the "Realkingcobra"
  
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