Dead rails

Banger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Rubber is probably hard as a rock. It happened to my home style table.

Take a pool ball in your hand, and tap it against the cushions, all along the rails. You will likely find spots that feel normal, and other areas along the cushions that feel like you are tapping the ball against a 2 x 4.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Many other listings. Not much info other than you should replace the rubber. My guess anyway...
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Gold Member
...but I'm wondering if the rails themselves are not securely attached...
That’s what I’m thinking.

I had a rail bolt come a little loose and got a “tink” sound. Called the guy who I got the table from and he told me they should all be torqued to 15 foot pounds. Fixed it right up.
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
I think this will be an easy fix,
I'd suggest you remove the problem rail, flip it over, pull the staples, check if the rubber cushion has become detached from the rail. sometimes people use spray glue or not enough glue or put it together too quickly, then the bond breaks, then the ball won't bounce back right. Slow balls will loose all their speed .


You can check the height, I think its 63 1/2 or 64 % of ball size, but I personally do not think that's really the problem and it wont change by itself. if too low, the ball bounces off table on return. shoot a ball hard, if it bounces off the table it's set too low.

If too high ball gets driven down. If they are set too high it will cause a gully in the cloth near the cushion, that will happen but it will happen faster if it's too high, than if it's correct.

a cushion that's detached from the rail won't rebound properly because much energy is lost by the gap and movement between cushion and rail. the more solid and heavy the rail is the better it wil return the energy. a really good snooker table has heavy weights int he rails to help and it also makes them very quiet. most of these new tables are particleboard MDF, its heavy but I also consider it to be junk used in place of good hardwood but you can have your own opinion on that. there arediferent qualities of MDF some is High density HDF I suppose.. the MDF is medium density particleboard. Thats only imortant if you are buying a table, or new rails, but you have what you have there.

you can see how bad it is and maybe try to pull it off , clean and re-glue then re wrap your cloth over it.

my take on posting in that particular help section was that there is one particular individual that is just very rude and won't try to help and seems to want to promote his own business..

He's a know-it-all basically, the type that can't learn because he has the inability to listen to others and find new information or change his viewpoint on things. No doubt he has recovered quite a few tables. I'd just take some reply posts from so called " official pool table mechanics" with a grain of salt. Its hardly rocket science.

if you think the rail is loose just hold it and have someone shoot balls at it and compare.
It'll shake if it's loose and the sound will be different. I bet this is not the case especially since you checked and the bolts were tight.

bad bond between rubber and the rail, Just reglue it. Remeber you can't glue to dirt so clean it before the glue. Id use contact cement, the stinky older stuff not the newer water based. put it on both surfaces, let it get sort of dry to the touch then press it hard together.

with the cloth off so you can see better, just wiggle it, youll probably see it's just come a bit loose, thats my bet. your cloth looks nice so I'd just do the one problem area.

after , if it's not an end rail it needs to line up wiht the other rail so get down low and sight along the two. they should line up accurately with one another.

I service joinery equipment so I made myself a carbide scraper holder that takes spent paner blades ,You can go buy a carbide scraper. when they are sharp they are really good for removing the surface junk and getting things flat.. a blade like that has one sharp endge and is ground to about 25 degrees. Put the square edge toward you can pull and it will work wonders especially as you practice more, I'd try on other things to get the hang of it.

on the rubber side, that might be a challenge if both are rubbery ..
I have a small grinder I use, you can very delicately use an agle grinder. mine runs at about 1/3 the speed of a normal one, with a stone mounted. its a 220 grinder running on 110 to make it go slow. I can use that in a delicate way to remove rubber or contact cement. sort of feathering over, touching down carefully , not going all gung ho.. It'll make rubber dust..

you can cut rubber with a sharp knife but there is usually a problem with the rubber deflection , you can grind it away. It difficult to sand a rubbery surface.. on the wood rail you can scrape and I'd use a sharp and new carbide scraper.

you want the glue off so it can bond, but if there is some it's not such a problem ,mainly you want a flat even bond so you don't want any lumpy junk in between.

I think if you clean the problem rail, re glue it, re wrap the old cloth it will be ok. If not you arent; any further back so long as you aren't making a sticky mess of glue.
 
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snookered_again

Well-known member
new rubber is made to specific hardness called it's durometer. if your table ages the rubber becomes harder, thats just how it changes. the bounce isn't as good after a long time. You reported one cushion is bad not all of them.. the others will be the same age. Its only one so it's not the rubber has aged. some things like heat or ozone or sun can cause faster degradation so it could posibly be more exposed than the rest due to location. under a heat vent always inthe sun , or similar,, I doubt this is the case.
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
If you think that you cant get the Phillips head to bite well enough without slipping go to an auto parts store and get a small tube of valve grinding compound. It has grit in it, it will prevent the screw driver from getting pushed out of the head of the screw and slipping. It makes a huge difference. You might have to go to a quality parts store like NAPA, not sure if the "big box" auto parts stores carry it (or even know what it is). It only takes a very small dab on the tip to work, everyone that tries it has always been amazed at the difference it makes, saves the screw heads from getting "stripped" too.
neat trick ;-)
 

snookered_again

Well-known member
neat trick ;-)
in canada we have more robertson screws, they dont cam out like the phillips screws. There was some some patent issue, way back.. henry ford didnt wanto pay the creator for the patent, it basically caused a situation where they are used less often in the US. It never reallyocurred to me until I wrapped p a machien , built a crate and sent it to texas or somewhere int the south.. the technician told me later he had a "hellova" time finding a square head screwdriver !

Very common here, yellow handle , tiny, green bigger, red larger, black the largest usually found..
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My guess is those screws only hold that side panel on and the actual rail bolts are located on the bottom of the table and bolt the rails to the slate? I know it's a cheap table but I still can't fathom those screws are holding the rails on.
Not necessarily true in all cases, but in this case, there’s a reason why the table was left with the house.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I found a picture of an 8 foot all tech table just like yours apart , it looks like the rail bolts are recessed into the 3 crossbeams pretty far into the table . There is probably a insert that bolts onto the rail and then you bolt the rail to the bed from underneath. That can get pulled out very easily if over torqued and would cause your problem also. Get under the table with a flashlight and look at the 3 beams that go from side to side for a hole to put a socket in. If you can get them off , without damaging them it can be fixed by drilling and doweling the old screw holes.
 

Sheldon

dontneednostinkintitle
Silver Member
I had a rail bolt come a little loose and got a “tink” sound. Called the guy who I got the table from and he told me they should all be torqued to 15 foot pounds. Fixed it right up.
15 ft lbs is for normal 3/8x16 rail bolts, and way too much for the smaller bolts that hold the rails to a table like Tomatoshooter's dad has.
They are likely not even bolts going into t-nuts and could just be large screws going into the wood of the rails.
It's likely the rubber is bad, and needs replacing. Penguin could make up some custom rails for the table, but they're not going to be cheap. A friend recently did this for an oddball table and I think he paid around $500.
OP could get some rubber and facings for around $50 (Wholesale) and replace it if they have the ability.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Gold Member
15 ft lbs is for normal 3/8x16 rail bolts, and way too much for the smaller bolts that hold the rails to a table like Tomatoshooter's dad has.
They are likely not even bolts going into t-nuts and could just be large screws going into the wood of the rails.
That’s the thing though. I don’t think the screws through that aluminum are what’s holding the rails on. Look at the width of the rail cap and the tiny screw head. Gotta be something underneath.
 

Sheldon

dontneednostinkintitle
Silver Member
That’s the thing though. I don’t think the screws through that aluminum are what’s holding the rails on. Look at the width of the rail cap and the tiny screw head. Gotta be something underneath.
Doesn't look like there's any rail bolts going in from the bottom in the pics Tomatoshooter posted. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
20240207_143854-jpg.742056
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is the perfect table for you to try to put new cushions and cloth on yourself! It's not that hard if you take your time and put pride in your work.

Use contact cement (dont use spray adhesive) and a 2 inch paint roller and roll it on liberally on both the rail and the cushion. The most important part is choosing the correct cushion. Let the glue set for at least 24 hours (48 is better) before you cut the cushion pocket angles with a 4 inch razor blade.

You can do it. It can't be any worse then it is now.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
in canada we have more robertson screws, they dont cam out like the phillips screws. There was some some patent issue, way back.. henry ford didnt wanto pay the creator for the patent, it basically caused a situation where they are used less often in the US. It never reallyocurred to me until I wrapped p a machien , built a crate and sent it to texas or somewhere int the south.. the technician told me later he had a "hellova" time finding a square head screwdriver !

Very common here, yellow handle , tiny, green bigger, red larger, black the largest usually found..
Yeah, they are different all over the world. Robertson in CA, Phillips in USA, (Now square drive coming on strong in the USA, but different than Robertson), JIS in Japan, Pozi-Drive in Europe. Hex keys are probably the most standardized in that all the countries use the same ones (only inch vs mm difference). Torx even has a few varieties with Torx-Plus. I've used them all, and find Phillips by far the worse.

Its like joint pins for cues:)

Edit: Ps, if any readers ever buy furniture from Ikea, do yourself a HUGE favor and buy a #1 and #2 Pozi-Drive screwdriver. They are NOT phillips. You will damage your Philips, and strip the screw head to boot. Wera is a top brand and sells Pozi-Drive on Amazon.
 
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book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it is a nice table to have fun on . I think I would take the rails off and see whats going on .
You might want to go to the mechanics section , lots of knowledge in there , especially rkc
Something holds the rail to the frame. There must be something bolted under that aluminum halding it all together, I would take the screws out of one of the "tinking rails"and I think you will see whats wrong.
If the head rail tinks , That would be where I started, you will also have to undo the pocket underneath it looks like. good luck sir.
 
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dendweller

Well-known member
My guess is those screws only hold that side panel on and the actual rail bolts are located on the bottom of the table and bolt the rails to the slate? I know it's a cheap table but I still can't fathom those screws are holding the rails on.
My first table was an inexpensive one, rails didn't bolt to the slate, I messed with it trying to get it to play better, didn't help much.
 
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