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CopyGuy
09-11-2004, 10:30 AM
Here's my problem. I've set up my table as level as I can get it. To check the roll I place 3 balls together on the head rail near a corner pocket. Then while holding the center ball still, I tap it with the ball nearest the corner pocket using just enough force to make the third ball reach the other corner pocket. This should drive the third ball along the rail without any english. I then repeat this at the foot rail and both long rails. The assumption here is that on a level table the third ball should run straight along the rail and drop into the other corner pocket. This does not happen on my table. As the ball reaches the end of its travel, it begins curving inward toward the center of the table, ( about 2" ).
The table is an old 9' National Shuffleboard and Billiard Co. table, (the company is no longer in business). The playing surface is 3 piece 1 5/8th slate with 3 guide pins at each of the joints.
I leveled the table using a 1 year old, barely used, four foot carpenters level.

Any suggestions on how to stop this? or am I testing wrong??

Pizza Bob
09-11-2004, 12:19 PM
While using a four-foot level sounds logical in theory, in practice it's not. With a four-foot level you may actually "bridge" low spots in the slate. You need a machinist's level. I believe they are appx 9" to 12" long, and use this to do your leveling.

Pizza Bob &lt;--No table mechanic, but I've seen this one before

Troy
09-11-2004, 12:52 PM
BINGO !!! The tool of choice of every true table mechanic is a 12" Machinist's level. A good one will tell the thickness of a dollar bill by being off about a "tick".
Yes, they are costly.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pizza Bob:</font><hr> While using a four-foot level sounds logical in theory, in practice it's not. With a four-foot level you may actually "bridge" low spots in the slate. You need a machinist's level. I believe they are appx 9" to 12" long, and use this to do your leveling.

Pizza Bob &lt;--No table mechanic, but I've seen this one before <hr /></blockquote>

Scott Lee
09-11-2004, 12:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Troy:</font><hr> BINGO !!! The tool of choice of every true table mechanic is a 12" Machinist's level. A good one will tell the thickness of a dollar bill by being off about a "tick".
Yes, they are costly.

Troy <hr /></blockquote>

I believe you can rent these levels at tool rental stores. Otherwise you can check pawn shops for a used one, or go find a contractor, and maybe arrange to borrow one for a couple of hours.

Scott Lee

SnakebyteXX
09-11-2004, 01:08 PM
For a quick check there's an almost cost free alternative to running out and buying a Machinist's Level.

A piece of window glass and a marble.

Using a piece of glass about a foot square and a child's playing marble - place the glass on the area in question and place the marble in the center of the glass. If the marble remains centered and doesn't roll - the slate is level in that area. If the marble rolls off note the direction and speed of the roll. The direction will tell you a little of where the slate may need to be shimmed and the speed of the roll should tell you if it's a small problem or a big one.

Check the entire playing surface by moving the glass a few inches at a time all around the top of the table. Where the table is level - the marble will not roll. Where it needs help? Gravity and the rolling marble will let you know.

Levelling may not be your only problem.

There may be something other than table level that is causing the balls to roll off the rail. The rail nose height may be off. This can happen when rail bolts are not tightened properly or a fold in the cloth has accidentally gotten tucked between the rail and the table surface - among other things. There is a cheap and simple gadget that you can buy to check for this problem it's called a 'rail height gauge' and it's available here:

http://www.billiardsexpress.com/raigaugepage.htm

Rail Height Gauge

When reassembling your rails after a move or basic recovering of cloth, you will need to be sure your rails are set EXACTLY at the PROPER height.

This little gadget will instantly show you the optimum rail height setting for proper ball bounce! Comes with instructions.

You could probably make one for next to nothing. I recently bought one to test my old Brunswick table for the same symptoms. With that little block in hand I checked all the rails and found that they were un-even (high) in several places due to the two things mentioned above.

Hope this helps.

Snake

CopyGuy
09-12-2004, 05:56 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!
I looking for a machinists level now,... I've gotta redo the table anyway as the pockets are in need of replacement.
I was assuming the slate segments were straight when I used the 4' level. I tried the marble on glass test as a quick check,... it WAS out of level,... differently on each of the pieces.

Pizza Bob: Have you ever played in the Ball Room or Qball? the name Pizza Bob sounds familiar to me.

Troy
09-12-2004, 08:49 AM
There are a few 12" Starrett Machinist Levels listed on E-Bay.
http://search.ebay.com/machinist-level_W0QQsofocusZbsQQsbrftogZ1QQfromZR10QQsotrZ2Q QcoactionZcompareQQcopagenumZ1QQcoentrypageZsearch

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CopyGuy:</font><hr> Thanks for the suggestions!
I looking for a machinists level now,... I've gotta redo the table anyway as the pockets are in need of replacement.
I was assuming the slate segments were straight when I used the 4' level. I tried the marble on glass test as a quick check,... it WAS out of level,... differently on each of the pieces.

Pizza Bob: Have you ever played in the Ball Room or Qball? the name Pizza Bob sounds familiar to me. <hr /></blockquote>

Bob_Jewett
09-12-2004, 12:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote CopyGuy:</font><hr>... As the ball reaches the end of its travel, it begins curving inward toward the center of the table, ( about 2" ). ... Any suggestions on how to stop this? or am I testing wrong??<hr /></blockquote>
I think there's nothing really wrong with the test since what you are really interested in is whether the balls roll straight. The other tests may be faster or more convenient.
You don't mention whether the ball rolls towards the center of the table along all cushions. If it does, your table needs help beyond levelling.
One possible problem with your test is that roll-off can be due to the ball. Some balls are that much off-balance. You can sort this out by trying different balls or the same ball in different orientations.

Pizza Bob
09-12-2004, 02:06 PM
Copyguy:

I PM'd you.