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FastJoey
02-06-2005, 09:35 PM
what is the best way to level a 9 foot pool table? i know to use a machinest level but what size level is best 12inch or 18 inch?also do any of you use metal shims as the wood shims may settle? what should you start to level first length or width? and any other tips...thanks to all....

table_tech
02-07-2005, 07:48 PM
a simple way to do it is to lag a ball back and forth the length of the table and raise the low side of the table on each end.i try to set my tables up so i can stay within a balls width ,from one diamond on one end to the other end.

GeraldG
02-07-2005, 10:49 PM
A ball's width of drift? That doesn't seem very accurate to me.

SnakebyteXX
02-08-2005, 07:27 AM
My table mechanic (a master) used a four inch machinest level.

For a 'poor man's' machinest level get a piece of glass roughly 12"X12" - set it on the slate and place a cue ball in the middle. If the slate is level the cue ball will stay put - if it's not you can tell which way the slate is sloping and the approximate degree of slope by the direction and speed it takes when it rolls off the glass. Move the glass around the table to several different spots to check for over all level.

Bob Bebb, of Rebco, used a 4" mechanics level and a combination of wooden shims and playing cards (torn in half) to level my table.

Snake

table_tech
02-08-2005, 07:43 AM
ok,i'll bite,what is very accurate to you and how would you achieve it?

Troy
02-08-2005, 07:59 AM
Using a 12" Machinists Level with a combination of wood shims and playing cards. Check the slate every diamond or so with the level in both directions (short rail direction & long rail direction). One "tick" on the level means the table level is off about the thickness of a dollar bill. That's accurate.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote table_tech:</font><hr> ok,i'll bite,what is very accurate to you and how would you achieve it? <hr /></blockquote>

GeraldG
02-08-2005, 08:11 AM
I don't level pool tables, so I don't know the techniques...but I know that I don't want to play on a table that will drift a slow-roll by a ball's width. 2 1/4" (a ball's width) is enough to make you miss the pocket (or safety) for sure.

table_tech
02-08-2005, 08:26 AM
just one more question,on a 300 lb piece of slate thats screwed to the frame,clothed and attached to a finished table what is the poster supposed to do with the shims and playing cards?

table_tech
02-08-2005, 09:00 AM
after i install a table i use my ball ramps and i slow roll all the critical areas along both of the long side rails as well as from diamond to diamond the length of the table.then i make any adjustments at that point under the legs of the table.when i can repeat the ball returning to its original diamond within an inch of either side of the diamond after its trip across the table and back to me i know its close.at that point i know it may settle and i tell the client that if they need me to make any further adjustments within 6 months its included in the original price of the install and to feel free to call.

Pizza Bob
02-08-2005, 09:20 AM
Re; Wood shims
There's something new out there. When we recently leveled my table, my mechanic had plastic shims. They are slightly stepped so they don't back out and they are very dense, so they don't compress as much as wood. Pretty cool. My table may be from the '60's (GCII), but the leveling is strictly high-tech.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

LARRY_BOY
02-08-2005, 09:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> My table mechanic (a master) used a four inch machinest level.

For a 'poor man's' machinest level get a piece of glass roughly 12"X12" - set it on the slate and place a cue ball in the middle. If the slate is level the cue ball will stay put - if it's not you can tell which way the slate is sloping and the approximate degree of slope by the direction and speed it takes when it rolls off the glass. Move the glass around the table to several different spots to check for over all level.

Bob Bebb, of Rebco, used a 4" mechanics level and a combination of wooden shims and &lt;a href="http://www.serverlogic3.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=11&amp;k=playing%20cards" onmouseover="window.status='playing cards'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;"&gt;playing cards&lt;/a&gt; (torn in half) to level my table.

Snake <hr /></blockquote>Just for curiosity how do you know that the glass is flat? Unless you have access to some very expensive inspection equipment you don't have a clue where you are at.

crawdaddio
02-08-2005, 11:15 AM
I have a related question myself. I recently tried to level a diamond 8' pro with a 12" starret (machinist) level. Ok, here's the problem. I set the level at one end to check the "length" level. The level says this end needs to come up. I then "slide" the level length wise to the opposite (along the same rail) corner, and it says that this end needs to come up as well. What gives?? It seems that (lengthwise) the slate is bowed? Do I need to shim the slate in the middle? (Beyond my abilities as I don't want to screw this table up) Here's the thing that really pisses me off: Diamond techs came out on Jan. 2nd to recover and level the tables. Did they screw up? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
~DC

SPetty
02-08-2005, 11:25 AM
hahaha! I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you.

I, too, got a 12 inch Starret level to see about leveling my table since it always seemed different and I had gotten some complaints... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Turns out my table was twisted!!! No wonder I couldn't figure out where it was off level!!!

I haven't put the level to it recently, but the last time I did, I had a similar problem as you - one slate on one end is perfectly level, but the other two slates are sloped down away from the perfectly level slate. I'm expecting to see the seam line on the cloth any day now... But at least it wasn't twisted any more!

Based on your description, it sounds like your middle slate is high. How does the level look when on the middle slate?

And, as someone else pointed out, if it's just a tiny bit out of perfect level using the Starret, it's probably O.K.

My limited experience is that the guys that set up pool tables aren't nearly as perfectionist about it as we'd like them to be!

Oh, and my bar table is totally out of whack, but I leave it like that because it plays more realistic that way! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

crawdaddio
02-08-2005, 11:31 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Based on your description, it sounds like your middle slate is high. How does the level look when on the middle slate?
<hr /></blockquote>

That's the weird thing--if I set the level dead center of the table, it's pretty DAM close to perfectly level--both length and width wise. But we all know that if the corners aren't level, slow roll a ball at your hole in 1 pocket, and MAN you're pissed when it rolls off by a ball or more.

Oh well.............such is life.

~DC

Cane
02-08-2005, 12:02 PM
OK, There are a number of things that could be wrong, but the slates not being on same plane sounds like the most likely. I'm assuming that you're talking about a 3 piece slate table, not a single slate bar box. First, when the table was assembled, did the mechanic make sure the slates were on the same plane. I don't do tables for other people anymore, but I'm about to move my table into a new house and when i do, I'll set up the frame and shim the slates until I have everything on as perfect a plane as possible. I use a 16" machinists straight edge to make sure the slates are on the same plane with one another. Then, after I'm sure everything is right, I'll put three levels on the table... one across each end and one lengthwise in the center of the table. I get the table level according to those levels, then I fill the seams with water putty and put the cloth and rails on it. Yeah, it may settle a little, but even if it does, you can re-level it and your slates will still be on the same plane.

Later,
Bob

table_tech
02-08-2005, 01:12 PM
lots of good advice here,theres more than one way to skin a cat!

Troy
02-08-2005, 08:46 PM
There is no arguement here.
Obviously, at that point it's too late for shims/playing cards. The table was NOT set up correctly the first time, IMO.
Shims/playing cards are used prior to cloth installation and after frame assembly.
I know you know that.
Any settling should be able to be corrected via the legs, provided the assembly was done correctly.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote table_tech:</font><hr> just one more question,on a 300 lb piece of slate thats screwed to the frame,clothed and attached to a finished table what is the poster supposed to do with the shims and playing cards? <hr /></blockquote>

table_tech
02-08-2005, 09:46 PM
yeah i know ,i was just havin a lil fun sparring with you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

FastJoey
02-08-2005, 10:29 PM
Thanks for all the great responses..i'm learning alot..i just ordered an 18 inch and 4 inch Starrett machinest levels..i get one free level from the Olhausen dealer after the table sets awhile..i called the Olhausen factory.a rep says they use a dense rubber shim..i /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif know the mechanic that set the table up used liquid dowel to piece the slates together instead of the old method of bees wax...thanks for all the help and keep the ideas coming...

Donovan
02-08-2005, 11:32 PM
Great Thread FastJoey! This sounds like great advice. I would have to agree with the shims and playing cards idea so far. Although, those plastic shims do not sound bad either.

Here is a question: Since pool tables do settle over time, does it really hurt them to level them every so often, unitl it seems to have stoped settling?

Troy
02-09-2005, 07:59 AM
Nope. In fact, it's a good idea to check the table from time to time.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Donovan:</font><hr>
Here is a question: Since pool tables do settle over time, does it really hurt them to level them every so often, unitl it seems to have stoped settling?
<hr /></blockquote>