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What would cause a slate to split apart?
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JulioRice
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What would cause a slate to split apart? - 06-05-2019, 12:57 PM

Why would a slate break apart on it's own?

Just the facts...

Antique Brunswick. T-rail side bolt. About 100 years old. 10' pocket table. Original slates.

This table is in a high end home and was not set up by a hack. The slates were in very good shape when last recovered and set up, I believe about 5 years ago. No issues to speak of.

This table is in a players home, not the Boys and Girls club. Very knowledgeable player and not abused in any way.

During a game a ball gets hit towards a corner pocket firmly and about 8-10" away gets airborne and comes off the table. The table gets uncovered to the discovery of the corner has broken loose, more like de-laminated we often see on old side bolt slates. Not sure of the right term but you guys know what I mean. Splitting loose in layers, not broken clean off.

That's it.. Why?? My only guesses are fluctuations in temperature and humidity. And or, tension from the rails themselves. Say if the rails had and upward bend to them and were pulled down when they got tightened up they would always be exerting an upwards force on the slate until it gave. Thought???

Thanks, and take it easy. Julio
  
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06-06-2019, 04:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulioRice View Post
The slates were in very good shape when last recovered and set up, I believe about 5 years ago. No issues to speak of.
Just speculating here but I would add to the above statement "as far as I could tell". Cracks in rock propagate over time. I suspect that a crack had long ago nucleated in your slate, and after 100 years of stress, had propagated to the point where it needed just one more little nudge to break through and that last shot was the straw that broke the camel's back.
  
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06-06-2019, 11:18 AM

I got a T-Rail table in 2004. Before that, it was assembled and in play. When I tore it down, no cracks. It was in storage from 2004-2016. Finally set up in 2016, still no cracks.
When it was re-felted late last year, there was a crack, from end rail bolt to slate seam - fixed that. An obvious cause: a knot in the slate liner had come loose, and as a result there was poor support near one of the corner pockets - leaned on, that would be a place to crack.
But I also noticed the beginnings of some hairline cracks from other bolt holes, not all the way across yet. No obvious cause for any of them.
Maybe just from being leaned on and played, after so many years in storage? Heat cycles etc., on top of them being really old already.
Maybe the bolts were over-tightened, but I really don't think so, they were hardly more than hand tight - but that's something to watch out for.
  
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