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How to tell if a rail is dead?
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jaime_lion
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How to tell if a rail is dead? - 05-10-2020, 11:24 AM

So I am curious how can you tell if a rail is dead? I went back to the bar I was at the other day and one of the rails sounded different when I hit a ball on it than the other ones did. So what is a good way to tell if a rail is dead?

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05-10-2020, 11:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaime_lion View Post
So I am curious how can you tell if a rail is dead? I went back to the bar I was at the other day and one of the rails sounded different when I hit a ball on it than the other ones did. So what is a good way to tell if a rail is dead?

Thanks
Same angle in, same angle out. Shoot balls at different angles and speeds, into the rail and see if they come off at a different angle than they went in. Look down the length of the rail , sometimes they will sag. stand parallel to the rail and put your index and middle fingers over them and pull toward you,, try several places on the suspect rail and then on the ones you think are ok.
Sometimes they get hard. The sound could also be the rail plate bolt to the bed is loose. Nothing wrong with the actual rubber , just the connection , or the bolt insert into the rail that connects to the slate can be loose.
If it isn't obvious the rubber is loose , you might ask the owner to check it , or have it checked. This should probably be in the mechanics section , hope I don't get in trouble for answering in the wrong place , or bad rep, or mean hurtful words, in an unintelligible combination, meant to be a sentence, but failing miserably.

Last edited by book collector; 05-10-2020 at 11:52 AM.
  
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05-10-2020, 12:33 PM

A rail ,or the rail ?


A bull without horns is still dangerous.

Law of logical arguement-Anything is possible when you dont know what you are talking about.

  
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05-10-2020, 12:37 PM

How often should you get cushions and Cloth replaced on a home table that gets played on around 6 hours a week?
  
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05-10-2020, 12:50 PM

Throw a ball, slam it into the rail and see if you can get 4 or more rebounds off the rail. That's up and down the table. For across the table you should be able to get 4 1/2 or more.

If you get those results the rails aren't dead.

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Straightpool_99
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05-10-2020, 12:55 PM

Well, experienced players will know right away. You hit the ball into the rail, and if it doesn't come off at a decent speed, or is different to the other rails, it's dead.

There are many reasons for one rail to be dead and others not. Most commonly, the rail hasn't been properly bolted down. You can easily re-tighten those yourself. Be careful not to use too much force, so that you strip the nut. If you have the specs, a torque wrench may be a good idea, otherwise try your best to tighten all the bolts as equally as possible. One or more lose bolts will lead to non satisfactory bounce. Another cause could be the rubber coming unglued from the wood. Carefully wiggle (without any force that could actually cause problems) to feel if this is the case. Probe it carefully like a hurting tooth, not like a gorilla trying to tear down a tree. If a portion has become unglued, it can usually be reglued without much of a problem. The cloth must be removed and replaced and contact cement used to glue the rubber back on. It's an easy diy job. Both of these will lead to the difference in sound you observed. There will be a lower pitched, kind of "hollow" sound at impact.

There are other, less common issues, that could come up with tables bought second hand. The rubber can be mounted too high, or the rail could be resting on some cloth or some other object making the rubber hit high or the wrong rubber profile could have been used. That will kill the bounce.
If the rubber/rail is too low, the ball will bounce more, and usually hop.

If the rubber and rail are on there good, then the rubber has gone dead and needs replacing. Cutting a new cushion right and glueing it all on perfectly is a bit more difficult, and depending on your skills you may want to hire a professional for that. It used to be that a pool cushion could last 50 years maybe more, but because of plastic fillers and inferior rubber, the lifespan can be as short as 5-10 years now. We have also been made acustomed to livelier rails.

Last edited by Straightpool_99; 05-10-2020 at 01:14 PM.
  
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05-10-2020, 01:47 PM

Also look for dimpling, resulting in inconsistent hits and angles. Caused by stretching the cloth too tight when stapling. Can be felt running your fingers along the edge of the cushion.


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05-10-2020, 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by book collector View Post
Same angle in, same angle out.
Good plan, but a little tweak: a rolling ball will rebound a little long off a good rail - a dead rail will rebound even longer.

Bounce a ball off a good rail at a measured angle (using the diamonds) and mark where it hits the next rail. Then bounce a ball at the same speed and angle off the questioned rail and compare results.

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05-10-2020, 02:22 PM

How is your game progressing? Can you make a stop shot?
  
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05-10-2020, 03:21 PM

Sometimes it's not the rubber but loose rail bolts that hold the rail assembly. Get underneath and check if tight. Loose rail bolts will quite often act like a bad cushion (especially if you hear a metallic sound).


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05-10-2020, 03:28 PM

Check for a pulse?
  
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05-10-2020, 06:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by garczar View Post
Check for a pulse?
There you go! You want to know if a rail is dead, then hit a ball into it and see what happens. This is not rocket science.


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05-10-2020, 08:26 PM

it's dead if it doesn't kick back..heyo?


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05-10-2020, 08:28 PM

Hold a mirror under its nose.
  
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05-10-2020, 09:07 PM

Rails, mirrors, noses, oh my.


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