View Full Version : A Q For You Table Techies Out There...

11-03-2004, 07:28 PM
On Tuesday night I played at a new place (for me) in my bar league. We played on a 7' coin op table that didn't come off to me as a Valley Cougar. But it definitely was a plugged cue ball we played with. Heavy as heck and couldn't stop shot it, always rolling forward, but it was the same size as the rest of the balls.

Anyway, the rails played real "funny". We couldn't bank a shot to save our lives. Neither could our opponents. It seemed that the ball banked into the rail would come back straighter than expected.

Now does this mean that the rails are higher than the circumference of the ball? They sure looked like they were, but I didn't really take a close look. I just looked at the rails on my table and it seems they are just a *tad* higher than the circumference of the Centenniels I play with.

So how high are the rails supposed to be on a table as opposed to a ball's circumference?

Sorry if I didn't pay attention to this discussion before, but I've never come across such a badly playing table before. I refuse to play on such equipment willingly! I'm sure Pizza Bob would agree.

Barbara~~~spoiled rotten about equipment, but got an 8 on the snap last night for a first... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

11-03-2004, 08:41 PM
Hi Barbara,

My guess is that the heavy cb would make little or no difference in the angle off the rails. Only reason I can see there would be any might be because the ball may "sink" further into the rail and change the friction a bit.

The BCA rule book shows a standard 3 rail bank with some tolerance that a table to qualify for it's tournament play should follow.

%AN7O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I L7O4%JK6M5
%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%Pp9E7%WV6Z3%Xp2F1%Y D2O1%ZU5Z9

It also gives the range of rail height. Something a little over half the ball diameter I think. My copy is loaned out at the moment so can't give the numbers.

My Diamond has rails a bit higher than the Gold Crowns and it does seem to bank a little shorter. Also balls don't tend to bounce up when hit hard into the rail.

I sure don't like the heavy ball, only thing worse is the heavy and big cb. Many of the bar ball bangers hereabouts don't even notice the heavy ball. Lately I refuse to waste my time with a large cb and very seldom will play with a heavy one.

11-03-2004, 08:56 PM
Hey ras!

I know that shot. Jimmy Caras taught me that shot!!

I just couldn't do a simple bank shot. No one could, including the home team. The ball going into the rail banked straight back. It was scary. It made for a lot of great rail-long cut shots!


Pizza Bob
11-04-2004, 06:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr>I'm sure Pizza Bob would agree.
<hr /></blockquote>

All right, so I'm a purist....shoot me!


Pizza Bob

11-04-2004, 10:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> I know that shot. Jimmy Caras taught me <hr /></blockquote>
You travel in much more rarified atmosphere than I. lol

That three rail bank can be expanded to shift up and down the table, also can be used to get the cb to return to a mirror image point. The corner pocket version is simply a special case. Then using a little english can fudge the thing a bit.

The kind of shot I hate with the heavy ball and the bucket pocket tables you usually find them on.

No amount of low hit and speed is going to keep the cb from following into the pocket. So you have to get a hit off the corner or something to make the eight. If you don't clip it in any fool will run out on you. And of course everybody is wondering why you are sweating such a simple shot.

Like to see Bob Jewett ring in on your Q, I can't think of anything about a cb and rail that would make it play significently short. Assuming it is not cb spin of course. Possibly very dead rail and high friction? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

11-04-2004, 11:30 AM

This table banked so short, it was almost funny.

That shot you described going from corner pocket to corner pocket is one I use to determine the condition of the rails.


Chris Cass
11-04-2004, 12:56 PM
Hi Barbara,

I don't exactly know what the table rails were like because of course I wasn't there. I can tell you that if the rail cloth is stretched too tight? It can deaden the rail some and might just be the culprit.


C.C.~~the average rail height is usually very close to one another. I do notice the Diamond rails reverse quickly and I've felt they bank shorter than the Valley'. I do prefer the Diamonds over any Valley anyday but that's strickly my opinion. Not part of the war.

11-04-2004, 01:01 PM
Barbara, Pat Sheehan writes a column for "The Break", a monthly newsletter out here. Pat's been in the biz for 56 years, building, repairing, restoring tables, etc...
According to Pat's article from the Oct issue ( which jes happened to be on cushions ) the point of the rubber should be 8mm, or 5/16" above the center of the ball...and since he was nice enough to do the math 1 25/64" from the table bed.
Furthermore, according to Pat, some manufacturers, Valley being one, fill the air gap in the back of the cushion with a wooden bead, which produces shorter angles???
then, of course there is the Corealis Effect, which makes balls on the East coast spin(CCW) in the opposite direction of balls on the West coast. I know that when my game goes down the toilet........I'm spinning out of control
Pat built my table and while it's more filling in my garage, it plays great....I ordered 4" corner pockets so that I could have an excuse when I miss....which is often.
you can read his article(s) at www.onthebreaknews.com/ (http://www.onthebreaknews.com/)
Now what is a semi-pro like you doing on a 7 ft'r? Tain't fair to the other, less fortunates

11-04-2004, 01:09 PM

Rail height is suppose to be appx 62% to 64% of the ball height. That would be appx 1 3/8" to 1 7/16", they make rail guages but all are not exactly the same height, weird huh? The guy that did my tables had a guage that max height was 1 13/64", I don't remember the low number.

I like the lower height even if a ball bounces a tad when hit to hard. You just have to use low to prevent it. My guess is the rails were short because of height. When you hit high rails it actually puts a little backspin on the c/b. If not backspin then it will slide instead of roll for a distance. I think this is at least part of why it played short. Since it doesn't develope a natural roll, which is overspin and makes angles longer.

None the less I have played on tables that banked short and I'm not sure anything was wrong with the height. To me bar tables in general seem to bank short. I think this is because (say on a Valley or others for that matter) the rails are usually set high in the beginning. They set them slightly above the rail it bolts to. Otherwise it leaves a rather sharp square edge. The green arrow denotes the green cushion, which is higher than the long rail itself, the yellow arrow.
There is quite a bit of movement in this adjustment and most I see just set them at the top. Which is not always correct. I've measured plenty of them and they are set to high. It really depends on the table but that is what I observed most times. This is all an effort to keep the ball on the table, which bangars obviously need. I believe this height has changed over the years even on big tables. When I talked with Eddie Robin, he thought that as well since he knew some changes were made.


11-04-2004, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Now what is a semi-pro like you doing on a 7 ft'r? Tain't fair to the other, less fortunates <hr /></blockquote>


My bar league just sucked me back in. They've got me doing the league schedules and the weekly stats again after a two-year hiatus. My team's been league champs for 6 straight years now. Our matches comprise of 11 games, doubles and singles. Last year they won by 31 games but this year we're shooting for 50! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

And don't worry, I'm levelling the playing field by not practicing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif


11-04-2004, 02:49 PM

I've been thinking about that table and from all the responses I got, I believe the rails were just a tad higher than what they should've been. We've got another match at that place in February and I'll check then.