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homepc
02-10-2004, 06:59 AM
Can someone tell me what makes a cloth slow or fast? Is it just the quality of the cloth? And, is there any way to speed up a slow cloth. I resently recovered my table with some not-so-expensive-cloth and I beleive it's really slow. Is there a test to see how slow or fast your cloth is?

Thanks

Ray

Bob_Jewett
02-10-2004, 11:28 AM
Cloth is slow because it is thick, or dirty, or wet, or fuzzy. High-grade fast cloth is thin, smooth, without nap, and kept dry and clean.

Here is a method to measure the speed of cloth from the April 1995 Billiards Digest:

It is easy to measure the speeds of cloth and thereby compare the speeds of tables. The following procedure gives a number that is one over the "slope", so a 1% slope would be a speed of 100, and a 2% uphill slope would be a 50 speed.

Shoot a lag shot that barely doesn't touch the head rail (the one you start from). Measure the time between the contact on the foot rail and when the ball stops moving. Timing needs to be accurate to a tenth of a second and the cue ball must not quite touch the head rail. The time
will usually be between six and eight seconds. Multiply the time by itself and then by two. For example, if the time was seven seconds, the result would be 7x7x2 = 98. This is the speed of the cloth.

60 is a very slow table. I've seen tables as fast as 200. A good speed for general play is 100 or 120. If a table is very fast, it must also be very flat -- bad cloth can hide bad rolls.

SpiderMan
02-10-2004, 11:32 AM
What length playing surface is this formula referenced to? A slow but short table could also produce a result of 200.

SpiderMan

Rod
02-10-2004, 12:05 PM
Ray, you know if your table is slow just buy playing on it. Just to add to the conversation cushions and height can be part of the problem. If you really wanted to, you could make a Stimp meter out of wood or metal like used in golf. It wouldn't have to be as long and you could use anything to prop it the same height in the air off the table bed. Test your table, then go to a local pool room that you know has good tables. Compare the difference, remember the cushions are part of the answer. You can bypass that effect, if you choose, with just enough speed to get to the end rail. Stimpmeter (http://www.usga.org/green/DOWNLOAD/golf_course_managment/GREENS/stimpmeter.html)

Here locally a guy put new cushions on two tables. The same cloth was used on all tables. I told him they played weird and slow. He said no it's the same as the other tables and I haven't had any complaints from anyone. Just to prove it was slow I had a peice of aluminum at home. Next time I went there I showed him just exactly how slow they played. Almost 1 1/2 feet difference at the speed of a standard lag shot using the stimpmeter.

Rod

BLACKHEART
02-10-2004, 12:31 PM
You can speed up you cloth by spraying it with spray starch &amp; ironing it with the iron on the "wool" setting. Do 1/2 of the table at a time ...JER

Bob_Jewett
02-10-2004, 02:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> What length playing surface is this formula referenced to? A slow but short table could also produce a result of 200.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

It would have to be very, very short. The formula is for a nine-foot table (100 inches long) and you have to divide by the length if it's something else. You can also figure out what to divide by if the ball doesn't end close to the cushion on the lag, but only goes, for example, 80 inches off the far cushion on a nine-foot table.

Sidepocket
02-10-2004, 02:32 PM
I am now anxious to try this method. It sounds easy enough to accomplish.

Though, I wonder if it will be the same in both directions? I was always told to brush the table down from the head to the foot, always the same direction. Sounds like use of a stimpmeter-like device can duplicate the shot from both sides.

homepc
02-10-2004, 02:46 PM
Blackheart,

You said that I could increace the speed by spraying it with starch and ironing it. Is this a safe method? How did you find out about this method?

Thanks

Ray

cheesemouse
02-10-2004, 03:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote homepc:</font><hr> Blackheart,

You said that I could increace the speed by spraying it with starch and ironing it. Is this a safe method? How did you find out about this method?

Thanks

Ray <hr /></blockquote>

I have done this numerous times on my own table and it does increase the speed of the table but only last for a few days on my table. A few notes of caution:

&gt;besure your cloth is not rubber backed...LOL
&gt;clean the table very good before starting.
&gt;pre-heat the iron and test it on another piece of wool type cloth before putting it on the table cloth, if the iron sticks on the test cloth you will have to clean the surface with steel wool then try again, it should move smoothly if hot and clean.
&gt; do the table in small sections as the slate sucks the heat out of the iron very fast.
&gt;once your on the table surface keep the iron moving or else!!
&gt;if this backfires forget I said a thing....LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

The last time I offered advice about cloth, I think it was Popcorn who dump a bunch of woolite right onto his table...THAT REALLY CRACKED ME UP......in other words follow my advice at your own risk...... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bob_Jewett
02-10-2004, 03:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sidepocket:</font><hr>
Though, I wonder if it will be the same in both directions? I was always told to brush the table down from the head to the foot, always the same direction. Sounds like use of a stimpmeter-like device can duplicate the shot from both sides. <hr /></blockquote>

The test measures the equivalent up-hill slope of the section of cloth that is timed, from the cushion contact (or the start of timing) to the ball stopping. The direction makes no difference. A dead cushion makes no difference except that you will have to shoot a little harder. You can measure the speed across the table or on the diagonal if you include the correction for distance travelled.

A stimpmeter could be used, but they are much harder to have available than stopwatch, which is all the extra equipment you need for the rolling time test. Also, if the players lag for the break, you can measure the speed of the table without even touching it.

Sidepocket
02-10-2004, 03:58 PM
Makes sense. You just cleared up a lot of misconceptions on my part....thanks.

ras314
02-10-2004, 08:56 PM
How much does how tight the cloth was stretched when installed affect the speed? It seems to me that "loose" cloth is more affected by high humidity.

tateuts
02-11-2004, 07:52 AM
If you want a faster table, properly installed fine woven cloth, like Simonis, is the way to go. Any rolls the table has will be exaggerated by the faster cloth. In most areas you can have it professionally installed for \$400 - \$500 including cloth and labor. While it may seem expensive, the improvement in your table's play will be remarkable.

Chris

woody_968
02-11-2004, 08:12 AM
If the cloth is not stretched properly it will play slow. Our local pool room just had some guys recover the tables that didnt have a clue about what they were doing (long story). Anyway the tables now play like crap! There are some shots where you cant play the proper shot because to get the cueball where you would need it to go you would have to hit it at warp speed /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

ras314
02-11-2004, 10:47 AM
I don't know much about covering tables. Two tables were recovered in our local bar, same cloth and installers. I was there when one was covered, not pulled very tight. In fact your bridge hand would push up wrinkles of cloth. Played well for 2 weeks, then started getting slower and slower. Now it depends on the weather, very slow when humidity is up, somewhat faster after a few dry days.

Didn't see the second table covered but it has stayed reasonably fast and is obviously much tighter. Neither table is kept clean.

I helped cover another table in our senior citizens center. This was the same cloth as used on the bar tables but was pulled very tight. Enviromental control is much better and the table occasionaly gets cleaned. After a year this table still rolls fast. Going to check it with the stop watch method whenever I can find a stopwatch.

This subject is of interest to me because I hope to have a new table installed soon. And I intend to be picky about how it's done.

shoop1969
02-11-2004, 11:16 AM
Warning regarding Simonis installation:

If you are having someone recover your table with Simonis, Championship Tour Edition, or any other high quality worsted wool cloth, make sure to ask if the installers have experience installing this type of cloth. I was an installer for many years, and I learned from experience that stretching this cloth wasn't a no-brainer. The cloth has a weave that, if stretched unevenly in the corners, will affect the roll of the ball...

BLACKHEART
02-11-2004, 11:45 AM
I 1st learned how to do this in the 1950's in the pool hall, where I had a shoe shine stand. They did it all of the time. I used to install cloth on tables &amp; used this method for 15 years. SPRAY IT &amp; JUST KEEP THE IRON MOVING. The only thing that I would caution you about is that if you have more than one pieces of slate in your table &amp; WAX was used to seal the the seams, it will melt &amp; STAIN your cloth. Someone posted &amp; said that it would only last a few days. I don't know how they did it, but of the tables I've done they only have use a dry iron to freshen it up a couple of times a year. maybe they were too stingy with the spray starch, I can only guess. I starched &amp; ironed my daughters table &amp; it lasted over a year with steady play every week...JER

homepc
02-12-2004, 03:53 PM
Thanks for everyone's reply. This has been very interesting. I tried the stop watch method on my table. I received readings of about 6.5 seconds which gives it a speed rating of about 84.5 (Pretty Slow!!) Well, I'm not going to replace the cloth yet, so I'm going to try the Starch and Iron method. I'll let you know of my new speed rating after I "Starch" my table.

Thanks

ray

Frank_Glenn
02-12-2004, 05:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote homepc:</font><hr> Thanks for everyone's reply. This has been very interesting. I tried the stop watch method on my table. I received readings of about 6.5 seconds which gives it a speed rating of about 84.5 (Pretty Slow!!) Well, I'm not going to replace the cloth yet, so I'm going to try the Starch and Iron method. I'll let you know of my new speed rating after I "Starch" my table.

Thanks

ray <hr /></blockquote>

I strongly urge you to get some Quick-Clean and clean the cloth. Then test it. Starch &amp; iron may damage the cloth, I don't know, but the Quick-Clean will not hurt it and WILL clean it.

BLACKHEART
02-12-2004, 11:01 PM
It's no different than any other wool cloth. Ironing will not hurt it. Trust me I've done it dozens of times...JER

houstondan
02-12-2004, 11:27 PM
can't believe i read this whole thread and nobody mentioned windex. i know for a pure-dee fact that windex will soup-up simonis a bunch and is good for a few days. the best part is it's not leaving anything on the cloth. being ammonia based, it just polishes the dust off the fibers. forget getting any grab off the rails after you do it tho and balls will go in pockets a bunch easier too. for example, i think it would be very unsportsmanlike to windex your favorite pocket before a long session of 1-p. profitable, but unsportsmanlike.

spray it on a towel then rub the cloth or spray it over the table, let it drop, then towel off the cloth. either way, i've done both. finally quit cause it just get's too slick and fast and you have to learn a whole bunch of new bank angles etc.

dan

homepc
03-15-2004, 01:55 PM
Just thought I'd reply one last time to my slow cloth issue. I did try several things to speed up the cloth such as the starch and iron method. It work a little, but still not the effect I was looking for.

Then I saw a post about cleaning your pool balls. So, I put them into the dishwasher as someone suggested. They did come out clean. Then I waxed them with some car wax. Oh My GOSH!!! What a HUGE differance!! Now my table play as fast as any table I've played on! It wasn't the cloth after all!! It's amazing how well and fast a table will play with polished clean balls!! Thanks for everyone's help!

Ray