Extended cushions


WO double hemlock
Silver Member
How do they sell cushion rubber? I want to tighten some pockets without using shims


Well-known member
facings are used to trim out the ends of the rubber profile near the pockets. there may be some variation table to table. what some do is put thicker pocket facings to narrow pockets, sure you can extend the rubber.. you still may want pocket facings, and depending how your table is built they may extend in towards the pocket.

cutting those facings accurately with a very sharp knife is one way but due to rubber stretch that can be more difficult than it seems to come out accurate..
You can grind rubber. it makes black rubber dust.. I have a special low RPM angle grinder that I use to accurately grind the rubber to shape it. often you can see through the cushions and detect where a previous rubber installer failed to get the trimming of the pocket facings accurate enough.. then it shows through the cloth.. If you DO see any sort of step there near the pocket, and at the end of any rail, it's poor workmanship. In some cases the pocket facings may extend into the pocket area.

ok tables differ, some have buckets some have nets and there are variations. those dimensions are factory standards that you are choosing to modify.

I have one where I added 1/4" all around the pocket and that was because the rubber that originally surrounded the pockets became no longer available.
I did find plastic trim pieces that covered that in but there is rubber behind them, why? to make up the thickmness difference between the thick but now non existant rubber OEM pockets and the new style rubbery plastic pocket covers..

you can just unwrap one pocket corner and look how the rubber facings end, youll probably want to recreate something similar to what you have there.. If you are extending the rubber and or the facings, look how they end on the inside edge toward the outside of the pocket. they will be contoured flush with the rubber and shaped accordingly at the inside edge.

if you are adding rubber to that area look and measure how the pocket is splayed outward. there will be a different angle on either side, that angle affects how likely your table is to spit out or swallow a near miss.

If you mess with any of this I suggest you make a template of what you have now, than you have that reference after any intentional changes are made. take some thick cardboard and mark it out so it fits your rails , pocket openings, save it. If you don't like what you did , you then at least know where you started .

it is sometimes possible or likely for a ball to hit that area on the inside of the pocket and if it has front spin, it can launch the ball upwards off the table.. the spinning motion of the ball can launch it.. this wont happen where the rubber is "7 "shaped, it can happen at the inside edge of your pockets when the ball strikes the facings near the pocket's entry with a bit of foreward spin, that angle can make the ball climb and launch itsef.

now if you are into shaping the pocket facings into wedge shaped pieces and you try doing that with a sharp new knife youll find out why the angle grinder is easier to control. the rubber will want to squish around and contort itself , and you may then find it's hard to cut in that way.. you might try a die grinder with a small stone, if you have that.

Id leave the facings 1 1/6" long then trim them down to the rubber profile accurtely using a grinder. some try with a knife and that
s where you may see a step in the rubber between the facing and the cushion.. where the two mate up, it should really be so perfectly flush that you can't detect any step , through the cloth..

what happens is someone is in a hurry so they attempt to trim the pocket facings using a OLFA cutter and a new blade, they get very close,, at that point it becones very difficult to take just a slight trim because as you try to cut rubber it pushes away from the blade.. If you remove too much rubber from the cheek you have ot start over. If you fail to get that detail correct you will then wrap your cloth and you wil be able to detect a step, it affects play, I wouldnt let that go but this is where doing it yourself can pay off. either the "pro" installer will rush though it or they will take the time to get that detail just right. - workmanship varies.

remember the ball doesnt; just hit the outside of the rubber, it can also hit just inside the edge of the pocket. Because of this, you may not want that cheek to be exactly perpendicular. I sugest you give it some thought.. compare to what you have. that small detail may cause foreward spinning balls to launch more easily than usual, if it's ignored or slightly incorrect. your cheek does not need ot be cut vertical where it is right near the pocket, you may want the bottom to be inset just a little. a bit like it's cut along the rails but less acute of an angle. I'd pay attention to how it is before you start because that little detail is important and it is easy to overlook.

on most tables it is possible to put foreward spin on a ball and hit the cheek and launch your ball. the owner may want to prevent balls from being launched more easily.

the distance of the pocket shelf can also be modified but i'd rather not go there , that's off topic.. I would mark it if you do make a template though..

in a perfect world the manufacturer may give you a template so you can keep the dimensions consistent, but it's not a perfect world.. If you go changing things I;d suggest you start by making one so you dont loose the original dimensions. Then you can modify at will to your liking.. and you will know where it started if you don't like what you did there.

what some may choose to do is layer the pocket facings and put 2 or even 3 in there. you can also just go buy sheet rubber in 1/4" thickness instead of doubling up to achieve more rubber thickness. most of the dealers that sell rubber just seem to carry it in 1/8" I found a place that services waterpumps, they carry the 1/4 inch stuff.

If you are choosing facings I'd choose real rubber not just rubbery plastic and then you also have choices of rubber hardness too.. its referred to as the rubber's durometer. higher shore durometer rating equals harder rubber.
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Silver Member
If you buy new rail rubber you will have to shim the subrail somehow. If you're talking about new facings, You can buy rubber in sheets or rolls and cut your own.
Thicker facings are not ideal, but are a cheap and easy way to tighten pockets.