Connelly rail height

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
I've decided that this requires its own thread. Please see my post (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=1007016&postcount=10) regarding the new rails that I just received from Connelly.

The gist of that post is this: Connelly's current rails (at least their 'Ultimate' rails) use k55 profile rubber on a 1.5" thick rail, with a nose height of ~1-5/16".

This nose height appears to contravene both the BCA and WPA specifications.

Comments?

- s.west
 

balsa nut

Registered
When your rep says that the subject of the nose height has never come up, I have trouble believing that. I have had experience with manufacturers and vendors in various businesses who use that excuse (never been a complaint) repetitively to each person who points out something like this. My opinion, he is bending the truth.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
balsa nut said:
When your rep says that the subject of the nose height has never come up, I have trouble believing that. I have had experience with manufacturers and vendors in various businesses who use that excuse (never been a complaint) repetitively to each person who points out something like this. My opinion, he is bending the truth.
Well, this guy's at Connelly Central - i.e. I think he is at the top of the Connelly customer service food chain... And, yes, I have a little trouble believing it also.

But, having said that, I don't remember ever reading or hearing anything about this from any source; and I've been researching tables pretty heavily now for the last 2-3 months.

- s.west

p.s. Do you think I should move this discussion out to the main forum to get a little broader coverage?
 

Donny Wessels

New member
Silver Member
How do the rails play on your table? this is the most important question. I think the spec he gave you are wrong. I believe their tables have 1 3/4" rails, K66 Profile and 1 7/16" nose hieght.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
sdbilliards said:
How do the rails play on your table? this is the most important question. I think the spec he gave you are wrong. I believe their tables have 1 3/4" rails, K66 Profile and 1 7/16" nose hieght.

My table is yet to be fully assembled. So I can't tell you how they play yet.

This is the table I've been talking about from time to time on this forum (since sometime in November, I think), and I'm just coming to the point where it's going to be completed. I ordered New Rails from Connelly. I now have the rails in my possession. I've made the measurements, and read the name and profile designations printed on the cushions, and I assure you that the rails are 1-1/2", K55, and 1-5/16" nose height...

Furthermore, we measured a number of other tables in the showroom that is attached to their customer service center. They all measured 1-5/16". Only the Brunswicks measured 1-7/16".

As for playing, I shot some balls on the 'Ultimate' that they had set up in the showroom. It seemed to play fine...

- s.west

p.s. The old rails (that I deemed too far gone to rehabilitate) are 1-3/4" thick, K66 profile, and 1-7/16" nose height.
 
Last edited:

Donny Wessels

New member
Silver Member
good luck. I read your post about checking the rails for jumping off the cushions. I like to check the ball off the second cushion is where alot of the jumping will take place.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
sdbilliards said:
good luck. I read your post about checking the rails for jumping off the cushions. I like to check the ball off the second cushion is where alot of the jumping will take place.
Good idea.

When I did the 'test', I shot the short direction as hard as I could accurately shoot with that much topspin. I let the ball go for two or three trips across the table before I stopped it. So there wasn't any jumping off the second cushion... So that's good. I didn't try an, even harder, center-ball hit. mmm... shoulda done that!

But I'm still just flabbergasted by this whole thing with the rail dimensions.

The Customer Service guy, didn't know when they made the change from the old rail to the new. I think he said he had only been with Connelly for about 3 years (don't quote me on that; I'm not 100% sure that's what he said), and as far as he knows the rails have been like this for at least that long.

- s.west
 

reverend

Table Mechanic
Silver Member
swest said:
Good idea.

When I did the 'test', I shot the short direction as hard as I could accurately shoot with that much topspin. I let the ball go for two or three trips across the table before I stopped it. So there wasn't any jumping off the second cushion... So that's good. I didn't try an, even harder, center-ball hit. mmm... shoulda done that!

But I'm still just flabbergasted by this whole thing with the rail dimensions.

The Customer Service guy, didn't know when they made the change from the old rail to the new. I think he said he had only been with Connelly for about 3 years (don't quote me on that; I'm not 100% sure that's what he said), and as far as he knows the rails have been like this for at least that long.

- s.west

I went into that main Connelly store a few months ago looking for gold crown drop pockets (they are the Brunswick dealer in Arizona) and they did not know the difference in the corner castings between the GC4 and the previous tables.

I also asked them about some different rubber options they sold there in the store so I would not have to wait and order online. the head service guy went on and on about how all the tables in their store used k66 rubber (Connelly and Brunswick tables). I told him the Gold Crowns used k55 and he kept arguing with me (without getting mad). after a while he ended up calling out a few other of the guys in the back, not one of them knew anything about the tables. we looked it up in an older Brunswick sales catalog finally and they discovered what I had been telling them the whole time, that one the GC4 pocket castings were completely different than the earlier tables, and that the Gold Crowns used k55 cushions.

Just because they work at billiards stores, and are "pool table experts" doesn't mean much. not to bash anyone for this, just writing this to say watch out what you are told, always good to check and double check facts you are given.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
reverend said:
.
.
...the head service guy went on and on about how all the tables in their store used k66 rubber
.
.
Wow. I wish I had asked beforehand (actually realkingcobra suggested that I do this, I should have listened ;-)) what kind of rubber, and how tall the rails were, etc.; and then pull out the rails they just sold me to show him he didn't know what he was talking about.
.
.

Just because they work at billiards stores, and are "pool table experts" doesn't mean much. not to bash anyone for this, just writing this to say watch out what you are told, always good to check and double check facts you are given.
Roger that.

The thing that's getting me isn't so much the fact that he didn't know; I usually expect that (think Best Buy audio salespeople). I wasn't relying on his knowledge - I measured things right there in front of him. The thing that I'm on about is the fact that the rails they manufactured for me, and apparently are manufacturing for BCA tournament events, are only 1-5/16" nose height.

??

- s.west
 
Last edited:

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
Here are three pictures of the new Connelly rails.

The first is just a view of the finished, but un-covered rail; the second shows the brand, logo, and profile of the cushion; and the third shows the end of the rail, with some dimensions pasted in.
 

Attachments

  • md__IMG_1643.JPG
    md__IMG_1643.JPG
    80.7 KB · Views: 657
  • md__IMG_1644.JPG
    md__IMG_1644.JPG
    77.7 KB · Views: 648
  • NewRail2.JPG
    NewRail2.JPG
    61.8 KB · Views: 675

Derek

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think I have the K66 cushions on my 9 foot Connelly that is two years old. My experiences with Connelly (and Cal Spas) has been poor. If I had to do it all over again, I would not look into buying a Connelly (although I did win my table in a contest, but I sometimes wonder if I should have stuck with my imitation Brunswick).

I measured my rail height recently and I think it was right around 1.5". Consider, that is with the cloth on and attached to the table, which is what I would think the BCA specs are applying to. I would think your 1-5/16" dimension will increase once attached. I do, in fact, have a loose rail without cloth on it right now due to a manufacturer's defect (the diamonds were incorrectly located). I'll re-measure and see what I come up with.

As for playability, the rails seem fine. I do have some strange thunk noises occurring as of this time, but I'm pretty sure it's a result of the installers. I'll be having them come back out soon anyhow to re-level. I was trying one of those 7 or 8 rail shots the other day and the ball did travel the full distance without hopping off of the rails.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
Derek said:
I think I have the K66 cushions on my 9 foot Connelly that is two years old. My experiences with Connelly (and Cal Spas) has been poor. If I had to do it all over again, I would not look into buying a Connelly (although I did win my table in a contest, but I sometimes wonder if I should have stuck with my imitation Brunswick).
I hear you. I was drawn to this table because of the 2" slate and the ridiculously heavy-duty construction of the bed and legs; and I was expecting to be able to turn it into, essentially, a new table by purchasing new rails...
I measured my rail height recently and I think it was right around 1.5". Consider, that is with the cloth on and attached to the table, which is what I would think the BCA specs are applying to. I would think your 1-5/16" dimension will increase once attached. I do, in fact, have a loose rail without cloth on it right now due to a manufacturer's defect (the diamonds were incorrectly located). I'll re-measure and see what I come up with.
Well, the vertical distance from the bottom of the rail to the nose of the cushion is invariant, regardless of whether the rail is resting on cloth, slate, or shag carpeting... :D But the vertical distance from the table surface to the cushion nose, due to thicker cloth, or whatever, could only be decreased as the rail is compressed into that material with the rail bolts.
As for playability, the rails seem fine. I do have some strange thunk noises occurring as of this time, but I'm pretty sure it's a result of the installers. I'll be having them come back out soon anyhow to re-level. I was trying one of those 7 or 8 rail shots the other day and the ball did travel the full distance without hopping off of the rails.
Roger that.

While I was at lunch just now, I popped in to the Billiard Store (here in Avondale, AZ), and took a look at the table they had set up for play: Legacy Billiards. I asked the salesman if he knew the type of cushion rubber they used on those tables. He said it was a K66 profile. I measured the nose height on those rails: 1-5/16"! Has the whole world gone mad??!!
 

Derek

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1 5-16" is what I got. I don't see the rail height dimension in my 1998 BCA rules book, but it does state the ball must travel back and forth at least 4 or 4 1/2 times without jumping. I can get 4 times without jumping, but the ball does appear to want to leap if I hit it any harder. Maybe adding spacers is a solution?
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
Derek said:
1 5-16" is what I got. I don't see the rail height dimension in my 1998 BCA rules book, but it does state the ball must travel back and forth at least 4 or 4 1/2 times without jumping. I can get 4 times without jumping, but the ball does appear to want to leap if I hit it any harder. Maybe adding spacers is a solution?
Getting the rails built right in the first place is the right answer:rolleyes:

Glen
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
I had some e-mail discussions with the BCA folks about specifications and such, and also further conversations with Norm at Connelly. I'll have to share those tomorrow, as I'm too tired to compose a decent post tonight...
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
swest said:
I had some e-mail discussions with the BCA folks about specifications and such, and also further conversations with Norm at Connelly. I'll have to share those tomorrow, as I'm too tired to compose a decent post tonight...
So, further info on my Connelly rail saga...

You may recall that Norm (Connelly customer service) told me that he was going to check the rails on the tables that they recently sent to a BCA show/event in Las Vegas, and also check on the table that they were sending to a pro's video shoot up in Scottsdale. He found that they were all 1-5/16" nose height.

I e-mailed the BCA's person in charge of the BCA Stamp of Approval for training aids (Fran Crimi - very nice, helpful, and a WPBA player to boot.) She responded to me with to me with some interesting info. I'll post an excerpt of my question to her, and her full response. Sorry this is so long, but it can't be helped.

swest said:
.
.
When I got there [Connelly] I discovered that <all> the Connelly rails had a nose height of ~1-5/16". The head of their customer service department (Norm Saunders) told me that their rails are the same as the Brunswick?s. That turned out not to be the case. I measured one of their Brunswicks: 1-7/16" nose height.

Norm seemed a little surprised by this, but assured me that this subject has never come up. He informed me that they (Connelly) had just sent 9 tables to a BCA event in Las Vegas, and the subject of the rail height
never came up. I asked him if there was any question in his mind whether those tables had the same rails as those in the showroom, and he said that they were. In fact, he said, "We sell those tables when we get them
back from these events."

Can you (or anyone at BCA) shed some light on this for me? It appears to me, on the face of it, that Connelly is producing tables that do not meet the BCA (and WPA) specifications with regard to cushion nose height.
Fran Crimi said:
The BCA specs are being eliminated from the BCA rule book in 2008 because they are basically outdated and are no longer needed. As for WPA specs, they are specifically for all WPA sanctioned events. Men and Women pro associations in the U.S. have their own specs. I think the event you were referring to in Vegas was a UPA event (men's pro association). It was held along side the BCAPL, which stands for BCA Pool League. The BCA Pool League was sold 3 years ago to a private company and is no longer a part of the BCA.

I was a little surprised by the comment that the specs are "basically outdated and are no longer needed", asked her to clarify. Her response went a long way to helping me understand this situation:
Fran Crimi said:
To answer your question about BCA specs being obsolete: The concept of equipment specs was conceived way back when no other organizations had specs for competition play, so tournaments were taking place with no consistency in equipment. There was no World organization at that time and no Women's pro organization. There was a men's pro organization but they didn't have specs for competition.

So, the BCA decided to take the lead and create equipment specs for competition. Since then, and many years later, the men and women pro organizations adopted their own specs and the World Organization was formed, and created their own specs for world class play.

The specs are for competition play only. The BCA can now comfortably rely on the men and women's organizations to set the specs for competition nationally, and for the WPA to set the specs for Global Competition. On an amateur level, the individual amateur league associations set their own specs for competition. I think that you probably thought that the specs were for manufacturers to follow. The answer is that if the manufacturer wishes to contribute a table for a competition, they must follow the specs guidelines put out by that association sanctioning that event.

As a consumer, you can ask if the table you are buying meets WPA competition specs if that's what you want, but the manufacturer never had an obligation to meet competition specs for the general public.

Not all people necessarily want tournament specs, as some of them can be rather stringent, such as pocket width. You will find that most table pocket widths are substantially wider than tournament specs because they are made for amateur play rather than professional play.

So there you have it. This was probably already understood by all you smart guys out there who have been in this business for a while, but it was particularly instructive to me. Alas, I wish I had known this all before I ordered those rails... I would have bit the bullet and built my own rails to Diamond's specs. Oh, well. If, after a year of playing with these rails, I don't like them, I'll do that.
 

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
But wait, there's more...

I was just giving you a rest. I have more.

I was playing the other night (league play, Skip&Jan's in Tempe, AZ) and one of my fellow competitors overheard my discussion about this rail fiasco, and, unsolicited, he said, "I've had a Connelly Ultimate for a couple of years. Their rails are crap!"

He proceeded to instruct me as to why they're crap by demonstrating cue ball control that he says you can't get on the Connelly rails. He set up a nearly straight in shot from the middle of the table to a side pocket, cheated the pocket slightly and applied extreme inside, high, english. The cue ball went to the rail and rebounded down table at a pretty good angle off the side rail.

He says that if he tries that on his table, the CB will come off at a bit more angle than it would without the english, but would retain nearly all of its spin...

I'm sure "Dr. Dave" (www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga) could explain it, but I hypothesize that this was due, in fact, to the shorter nose height not causing enough compression of the cue ball into the table surface, and hence, creating less friction off the rail.

My guess is, also, that this might even make the rails more 'accurate', on bank shots that are struck very firmly... That's just a guess, however.

Maybe I'll ask "Dr. Dave" for his thoughts on this...
 
Last edited:

swest

goldmember
Silver Member
Even more!

This is it (for a while, anyway), I promise.

I called Championship (remember that the new Connelly rails use Championship, Tour Edition 55 cushion rubber.) On their website (http://www.champbilliards.com/product_type_cushions.asp?ptype_id=2) they include a tech sheet for their K66 profile rubber. This document shows, for the K66 profile, all the dimensions and angles you would need to know to allow you to produce a rail with optimum performance for that cushion. They didn't, however, have the corresponding tech sheet for their K55 profile rubber.

So, anyway, I called them and asked if they could make that available to me. I got two interesting responses: 1) No, we don't have those specifications; and 2) We don't know of any manufacturer, besides Brunswick, using the K55 profile.

Hmm... So, apparently, an OEM wishing to use Championship's K55 profile wouldn't have available to them the proper guidance for things like subrail face angle or nose height to allow them to produce proper rails; which is ok, I guess, since Championship wasn't aware of any OEMs using that rubber!

Before I hung up, I told the guy I was talking to that now he knows of at least one manufacturer using their K55 rubber: Connelly.
 

senor_kasper

New member
Even more!

This is it (for a while, anyway), I promise.

I called Championship (remember that the new Connelly rails use Championship, Tour Edition 55 cushion rubber.) On their website (http://www.champbilliards.com/product_type_cushions.asp?ptype_id=2) they include a tech sheet for their K66 profile rubber. This document shows, for the K66 profile, all the dimensions and angles you would need to know to allow you to produce a rail with optimum performance for that cushion. They didn't, however, have the corresponding tech sheet for their K55 profile rubber.

So, anyway, I called them and asked if they could make that available to me. I got two interesting responses: 1) No, we don't have those specifications; and 2) We don't know of any manufacturer, besides Brunswick, using the K55 profile.

Hmm... So, apparently, an OEM wishing to use Championship's K55 profile wouldn't have available to them the proper guidance for things like subrail face angle or nose height to allow them to produce proper rails; which is ok, I guess, since Championship wasn't aware of any OEMs using that rubber!

Before I hung up, I told the guy I was talking to that now he knows of at least one manufacturer using their K55 rubber: Connelly.
 

senor_kasper

New member
I can’t believe I found this 12 year old thread on this subject but only after I went through the trouble of learning and dealing with this issue by myself over the last 18 months or so. My story started when I bought a used Connolly 9 footer about 2 and a half years ago, not yet knowing anything about pool or pool equipment. I quickly became enamored with everything pool and have learned a lot since then. I will summarize by saying that I can confirm everything you posted about the Connelly rails, their deficient height and their using a somewhat weird type of British k55 cushions. My solution was to build up the sub rails with 1/8” poplar and change to Diamond brand K55 cushions. I wound up with a table that plays GREAT and accurate. Cushion nose height is now exactly 1 7/16”. My Connelly table is built sturdy, but if you buy one and want it to play decently be prepared to make some modifications that will require at least some carpentry skills, plus money investment in time and materials. BTW, I also reduced the pocket sizes to 4 1/2" by extending the sub rails with 1/4" poplar. The attached pictures show the cushions at their current height and the overall appearance of the table showing that the wider gap between the playing surface and the bottom of the sub rail is not
nosehight1.jpg
nosehight2labeled.jpg
visually offensive.
 
Top