T-rail bolt system conversion per Mr. Long

hunger strike

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I edited diagram 2...

Fig 3 (as you depicted) allows room for a screw up thru the liner/slate into the subrails.
You could do the same in Fig 2 using a much longer screw up thru the frame/liner/slate into the subrail.
If the horizontal rail bolts and anchors are in good shape the rails should play as originally designed
without a need for extra screws. JMO

I edited diagram 2 to do just what you describe; I just cut and pasted the screw part of the diagram.....
 

gsm1sw

Banger by birth
Gold Member
Silver Member
From my point of view a 6 oz ball will have no affect on a roughly 8 lb rail in good shape attached to the table correctly and securely. For all the years Bwick and others cranked out T rail tables you would think if there was a problem with rails rocking then the mfg would have made some modification to the attachment method. I doubt they were thinking 100 years ahead tho and gave much thought to the amount of wear on the wood we typically see on the old tables so using vertical screws seems a good additional fix if rail attachment isn't sound using only the horizontal bolts.

This is fun.

The mfg did make a modification, they moved the attachment points to the bottom. Otherwise we would still be using the t-rail system. It just took them awhile to figure it out. :smile:
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
Quick hijack but since Glen is awake in here I have 1 quick question... I have a 39 Brunswick Moderne I just purchased... I did a happy dance when I went to buy it when I saw the thru the slate bolting up into the rosewood rails.... I was told by what I think is a reliable source that the Moderne was the first to have the thru the slate bolt system.... You have any clue about that being true or just hot air????


from what i understand, this is true.
although it was a somewhat subtle statement, Brunswick briefly mentioned this new development in their 1946 catalog...

"....Moderne carom tables have the perfect surface and accurate cushions so necessary for good carom play. A new type of rail construction eliminates vibration and increases player accuracy..."


that said, balls bouncing alone will not loosen T rails that much, if any.
but humidity flux, uneven floors, improper bolt tightening - and asses on rails - all eventually will .
 

Dartman

Well-known member
Silver Member
This is fun.

The mfg did make a modification, they moved the attachment points to the bottom. Otherwise we would still be using the t-rail system. It just took them awhile to figure it out. :smile:

Yea, like 50 years, lol -
but it's still not perfect since vertical rail bolts alone also get loose.
 

hunger strike

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Euro table with neodymium magnetized rail attachment

Don Owen told me he had a European model table with interchangeable rails using neodymium magnets as attachments. Have any of you seen these tables and do you know if the system works well? He said he is happy with his.....
 

Dave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
look out for the magnets

Don Owen told me he had a European model table with interchangeable rails using neodymium magnets as attachments. Have any of you seen these tables and do you know if the system works well? He said he is happy with his.....

All right... I'd like to invoke " seeing is believing" again.

Those magnets are pretty strong and my attitude towards the larger ones is not unlike my attitude towards bear... don't get between them and the food [or the steel] but....

Maybe Mr. Owen can chime in?

Great idea.... What would you like to play billiards, snooker, or some straight pool? ...hold on a minute while I change the rails.

That through bolting.... it's sooo old school. We use magnets now.

It's not close enough to April fools, but it is Mardi Gras time... could it be voodoo?

"Trust, but verify"
R Reagan, President #40 USA
 

hunger strike

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just repeating what Don told me....

All right... I'd like to invoke " seeing is believing" again.

Those magnets are pretty strong and my attitude towards the larger ones is not unlike my attitude towards bear... don't get between them and the food [or the steel] but....

Maybe Mr. Owen can chime in?

Great idea.... What would you like to play billiards, snooker, or some straight pool? ...hold on a minute while I change the rails.

That through bolting.... it's sooo old school. We use magnets now.

It's not close enough to April fools, but it is Mardi Gras time... could it be voodoo?

"Trust, but verify"
R Reagan, President #40 USA

I don't even know what brand table he mentioned but it was Euro with convertible rails....
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here's the issue with the old T-Rails. They're OLD. With mine, that I've been tinkering with for 20 years and working on others is that the rails are normally warped sometimes in 2 directions. Now on a pool table its probably not too noticable, but the long rail on a 10' carom table its easy to see.

Now if the rail is warped up (vertical) we have a bigger problem than if its out (horizantal) from the slate. The diagram of the wood screw going through the liner seems like a decent idea in an effort to pull the rail down. I use a large home made clamp. I put the center bolt in first then work to the clamped corner. Then I clamp the other corner and bolt toward it.

The next thing that needs to be considered IMO is that we can't just run the bolts in, put on the skirts and call it good. Some of the bolts WILL LOOSEN in the next couple of days and will need to be checked. Loosening comes from the fact that the heads are sinking into the wood.

Personally I don't think the modern design bolting system is any stronger. In fact I feel the contrary. But the modern design is easier to assemble and cheaper to fabricate, particularly the slate holes. No more inserts and leading. Its also less likely to crack a slate.

Here's a picture of one of the very best Carom tables made. Hmmm Notice its a T-Rail although an improved pattern.
Verhoeven

Verhoeven Bolt System.jpg
 

Cuephoric

1hole anyone?
Silver Member
Brunswick had a convertable table many many moons ago that used a latch system to unlock the rails to convert from pool to billiards, etc. not magnets, but.......
 

hunger strike

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Gabriels convertible magnetic rails

I spoke with Don Owen and he said his table is Gabriels. Shane Johnson explained to me why that made sense. Don said there are only two tables like his in the U.S., and he doesn't think they are made anymore. Cool idea though, neodymium magnets with indexing pins and thwump! The rails are on. Don is really happy with his, but isn't sure how much 9' snooker or 9' billiards he will be playing.
 

jim henrickson

New member
"Mr. Billiard," the gentleman who owned Long's Billiards in VA years ago (I am told he is retired and the son owns Long's now), told me at a trade show that he converted T-rail tables to the better playing modern style rail bolt system with new bolts coming from below rather than the side of the rails. I asked him why not just have bolts from the side AND the bottom, and he said yes that works also but some folks don't like so many bolts in case of recovering the table. I am wondering if anyone has seen a table that Long's has converted this way. I am told that slate drills through like butter, so it would not be a big deal, but it seems like inserts would be put into the slate for the bolts to enter. Any suggestions? I went by Long's in person recently to see about having this done by them... I wanted to see an example, but the new owner never called me back. I want to make my Kling 3-Cushion table play perrrrfect.
I am a Billiard player of 28 years and much prefer T rail billiard tables to thru the slate tables. The most preferable table with always be Verhoeven that is T rail in South America it’s Jimar which is also a T rail. That’s because they have a longer return which generally gives you more options for scoring. You could add about 4 brackets to each long rail and attach it to the board under the slate and sturdy up your system like a Verhoeven
 

Hard Knock Cues

Well-known member
I'm just reading this thread and was wondering if you cut off the T part of the rail and bolted it to the slate from the sides as made. Then drilled up through those pieces and bolted vertical into the rail top to pull them down to the slate. I'm just wondering how that would work for a quick switch to vertical bolted rails.
Just curious if anyone thinks that would work
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
I'm just reading this thread and was wondering if you cut off the T part of the rail and bolted it to the slate from the sides as made. Then drilled up through those pieces and bolted vertical into the rail top to pull them down to the slate. I'm just wondering how that would work for a quick switch to vertical bolted rails.
Just curious if anyone thinks that would work
I'm just curious as to how anyone thinks they can install vertical rail bolts into the T-rail designed slates. First off, the rails on sit on top of the slate about 3/4" on the base of the rails. Then to install vertical rail bolts, you'd need some kind of anchor nut inserted into the subrail for the rail bolt to screw into. But more importantly, the slate is almost flush to the edge of the cabinet its mounted on, as in it don't provide the overhang like oversized slates to, designed for vertical rail bolts. How does ANYONE propose to run vertical rail bolts up through the slate where there's NO exposed over hanging slate to do so???
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
I am a Billiard player of 28 years and much prefer T rail billiard tables to thru the slate tables. The most preferable table with always be Verhoeven that is T rail in South America it’s Jimar which is also a T rail. That’s because they have a longer return which generally gives you more options for scoring. You could add about 4 brackets to each long rail and attach it to the board under the slate and sturdy up your system like a Verhoeven
Or you could simply switch to the steel backed rail blocks, no more issues.
 

realkingcobra

Well-known member
Silver Member
Here's the issue with the old T-Rails. They're OLD. With mine, that I've been tinkering with for 20 years and working on others is that the rails are normally warped sometimes in 2 directions. Now on a pool table its probably not too noticable, but the long rail on a 10' carom table its easy to see.

Now if the rail is warped up (vertical) we have a bigger problem than if its out (horizantal) from the slate. The diagram of the wood screw going through the liner seems like a decent idea in an effort to pull the rail down. I use a large home made clamp. I put the center bolt in first then work to the clamped corner. Then I clamp the other corner and bolt toward it.

The next thing that needs to be considered IMO is that we can't just run the bolts in, put on the skirts and call it good. Some of the bolts WILL LOOSEN in the next couple of days and will need to be checked. Loosening comes from the fact that the heads are sinking into the wood.

Personally I don't think the modern design bolting system is any stronger. In fact I feel the contrary. But the modern design is easier to assemble and cheaper to fabricate, particularly the slate holes. No more inserts and leading. Its also less likely to crack a slate.

Here's a picture of one of the very best Carom tables made. Hmmm Notice its a T-Rail although an improved pattern.
Verhoeven

View attachment 215663
You simply can not have a horizontal warped rail with a T rail design by virtue of the fact that you are bolting the rails horizontally to the straightness of the slate the rail is mounted to. There is NO air gap between the rails and the slate, therfore that rail can not have a horizontal warp. But vertically, yes It can warp and not sit all the way flat to the slate, because there's no way to use bolts to pull the rails down, but you can clamp them down, until you can tighten the rail bolts.
 

Hard Knock Cues

Well-known member
I'm just curious as to how anyone thinks they can install vertical rail bolts into the T-rail designed slates. First off, the rails on sit on top of the slate about 3/4" on the base of the rails. Then to install vertical rail bolts, you'd need some kind of anchor nut inserted into the subrail for the rail bolt to screw into. But more importantly, the slate is almost flush to the edge of the cabinet its mounted on, as in it don't provide the overhang like oversized slates to, designed for vertical rail bolts. How does ANYONE propose to run vertical rail bolts up through the slate where there's NO exposed over hanging slate to do so???
I wasn't referring to going through the slate with the vertical bolts. I was referring to cutting off the lower T part of the rail and mounting it into the existing horizontal holes on the edge of the slate, flush with the top of the slate. Then coming up through those pieces into the rails to pull the rail down tight to the slate. My proposition was purely speculative and a curiosity within this discussion.
Would I do it to my table? I don't think so because it's probably not worth the trouble.
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You simply can not have a horizontal warped rail with a T rail design by virtue of the fact that you are bolting the rails horizontally to the straightness of the slate the rail is mounted to.
Assuming the table has Never been put in storage for a number of years.
 
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