Best way to check if a table is level?

7Baller

New member
I’m having my table recovered this week & they’re going to ask me if I’m happy that the table is level. What is the best way to quickly check that it is level?
Thanks.
 

Sheldon

dontneednostinkintitle
Silver Member
Slow roll some balls in several directions.
If you want to check their work, and have the tool a professional uses, buy or borrow a machinist's level.
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muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wouldn't commit to that question. Thats their job to know if its level. Just say, your the mechanic, what do you think.
There is more to it than just being level if you are using a high end cloth. Table could be level but still roll off due to a bad cloth stretch.
Sheldon gave you great advice.
 
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Renegade_56

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Level vs level enough is not always the same. I've seen tables show level with machinists levels but balls roll offline a bit in places. I've also seen tables leveled with a carpenter level and playing card shims tweaked by slow rolling shots at pockets and close to rails and the like that showed no roll off at all. I'd prefer the latter any day.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Table could be level but still roll off due to a bad cloth stretch.
OP is having his table recovered and leveled. There would be no excuse for a bad cloth stretch.

If the table is 3 piece, pay particular attention to slow rolling the balls across the seams, like a bank across the short side of the table. A machinist level is the key here but slow rolling balls will tell you the tale also.

Many mechanics will do a good job but you have to double check their work. Let them take their time so they can do it right. Being a mechanic has no qualifications so it's really up to the individual doing the job and the pride they have in their work. I got hosed with the work performed by a diamond distributor recently and spend a week of my free time re-seaming, re-leveling and re-clothing a 5 or 6 month old table.

Glen/RKC/realkingcobra has a lot of posts on here about knowing what to look for in a mechanic's work. It would probably be worth watching some of his videos or any videos in general to see how the process works so you can at least understand if the mechanic is taking correct steps. There's more than one way to skin a cat but generally they should be following procedures close to the ones you see online.

Best of luck!
 

muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I got hosed also by a Diamond dealer. The cloth stretch was all crooked, and a month later after buying my own Starrett level, I found the level off up to 3 lines in spots. I now have the level pretty much within 1 line but up to two lines in spots. That's the best I can get without risking breaking the seams for now. I will straighten it out when I recover, but it is pretty good for now.
Live and learn with unknown installers, I've learned to never trust them, always double check as when they are 4 hrs away, good luck getting them back.
I would never be passive with an installer again, if you don't have your own level, ask to use theirs when they ask you if it's ok. If they are using a carpenter's level and they ask if you think their leveling job is ok, tell them you wouldn't know with the level they are using.
A Diamond table with a single piece slate can be easily corrected for level, a three piece gets much more difficult depending on how far off, and where it is out of level.
 
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boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I got hosed also by a Diamond dealer. The cloth stretch was all crooked, and a month later after buying my own Starrett level, I found the level off up to 3 lines in spots. I now have the level pretty much within 1 line but up to two lines in spots. That's the best I can get without risking breaking the seams for now. I will straighten it out when I recover, but it is pretty good for now.
Live and learn with unknown installers, I've learned to never trust them, always double check as when they are 4 hrs away, good luck getting them back.
I would never be passive with an installer again, if you don't have your own level, ask to use theirs when they ask you if it's ok. If they are using a carpenter's level and they ask if you think their leveling job is ok, tell them you wouldn't know with the level they are using.
A Diamond table with a single piece slate can be easily corrected for level, a three piece gets much more difficult depending on how far off, and where it is out of level.
I had a similar experience. To flush the slates they simply pushed them together, superglued the outside 4"then beeswaxed the hell out of it. The slates were not flush. If you slow rolled a CB when it got to the edge of the wax it would roll off 2-3". Upon scraping up the wax I found one side was tissue thin, the other probably 1/16" of wax. I went through the process of flushing the slates with a bottle jack, completely redoing the seams with bondo (boiled linseed and wiping takes the wax off). RKC helped me get it level over the phone and I put new cloth on the bed. Glen was super generous with his time and knowledge, it now plays as good as any table I've played on. Buying new cloth to replace 5-6 month old cloth was a bitter pill to swallow but now it's a great table. Luckily my nephew needed new cloth for his valley and since their slate is smaller I can re-use the practically new cloth and it helps him out.

There's horror stories of table work gone wrong for a reason. A customer should watch videos on youtube so they can at least be armed with the info of how the process should work. Watching a few long videos a couple times over is recommended.
 

muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That had to hurt taking such a new cloth off. Mine is going on almost 4 years now, and quite honestly still in really good shape. I vacuum it once or twice a week and clean the balls every two weeks or so. I also don't allow jumping on my table. The main issue for me now is I have a roll out in two corners of about a 1/4" due to the twisted stretch of the cloth. Diamond has sent me a new cloth, so if I can find a good installer, I may pull it apart and level it, then have the installer come and recover. I think I have found someone qualified as they do the tables at one of the places we play at, they are valley tables, but Championship tour cloth is used, and they play really nice with a straight cloth stretch. I'm going to call them to see if they have any experience with Simonis.
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
I’m having my table recovered this week & they’re going to ask me if I’m happy that the table is level. What is the best way to quickly check that it is level?
Thanks.
Here's the million dollar question. If you're having the cloth replaced on your table, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you've got a few thousand hours put in playing on it.

Have you noticed balls rolling off anywhere on it? If not, why would you assume it needs checked for level? If yes, balls roll off, then yes, clearly you need the frame or slates leveled. BUT, you have failed to indicate that the balls roll off, therefore if they don't, then NO advice you get here on AZB is going to help you fix a problem.
...that isn't a problem!!!
 
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