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poolturtle
05-12-2005, 07:23 PM
Forgive the possible stupidity of this question, but I've always been a little confused about checking the rails on an unfamiliar table. Everybody says to do test bank shots and see if the angle is true, and I do that some.

My question is: Can a rail be "true" in one part and have a dead spot too? For example, could the right half of the head rail be good, but the left half be dead? Or is it safe to assume that if you test one contact point, the rest of the rail will react the same?

My personal experience has been that the entire rail is usually dead, but most of the tables around the town are poorly kept anyway.

kyle
05-12-2005, 09:48 PM
Some times I walk around the table lightly bouncing a ball on the top of the cushion, you can here the difference if it's loose.

Cane
05-13-2005, 06:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolturtle:</font><hr> My question is: Can a rail be "true" in one part and have a dead spot too? For example, could the right half of the head rail be good, but the left half be dead? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, that can be the case. I played on a table in a pool room in St Louis last weekend that was a beautiful table. Couldn't reliably bank ANYTHING on it. The adhesive between the cushion and the wood had given up the ghost at some point on about half of the table. You could MOVE the rubber under the cloth... So yeah, one part of a particular cushion could be good and another part dead, but you usually won't find that on good equipment. This place catered mostly to bangers who couldn't intentionally bank a ball to save their lives. I mentioned the problem, politely, to the guy running the room that night... you could tell by the look of confusion on his face that he had no idea that loose cushions were a problem.

Later,
Bob

Scott Lee
05-13-2005, 06:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> So yeah, one part of a particular cushion could be good and another part dead, but you usually won't find that on good equipment. <hr /></blockquote>

Bob...Sometimes even on GREAT equipment, you can have a 'dead spot' on just a part of one rail. A friend of mine who posts here had a 2" section on the foot rail where the balls sounded funny, and didn't respond exactly the same as other places on the rail. This was on a 9' top quality, professional table. We thought the problem was just as you described it...the glue went bad in one spot. Turns out, the table had "bad rubber". The manufacturer had gotten some poor quality rubber from Asia, and it had been put on a bunch of tables, without realizing the problem. They stood behind it, and recently came to her house and totally replaced all the cushions! Not only that, they offered to 'upgrade' her cushions to AccuFast rubber, for a very reasonable price. Who is this company? None other than our own American manufacturer...Diamond Billiard Products!
Just another reason why these tables are among the best, if not THE best, tables made anywhere!...and REASONABLY priced too!

Scott Lee

Cane
05-13-2005, 06:58 AM
Scott, That speaks well of Diamond. Actually, I've never played on a Diamond table, from the Pro9 to the 7' Smart tables, that I didn't enjoy.

These tables I played on this past weekend were NOT Diamonds. This pool room only had two 9' Diamond tables and they were taken up the entire time I was there. I was still on the waiting list when for a Diamond when I left at 1AM. I had played on those Diamonds in the past when I'd visited the area and they are top notch. Apparently, they're the ONLY tables this pool room took care of!

Later,
Bob

Troy
05-13-2005, 07:00 AM
A rail can certainly be OK in one area and dead in another.
With a ball, lightly tap along the NOSE of the cushion. A dead area will have a dull "thud" compared to a section that is OK.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolturtle:</font><hr> Forgive the possible stupidity of this question, but I've always been a little confused about checking the rails on an unfamiliar table. Everybody says to do test bank shots and see if the angle is true, and I do that some.

My question is: Can a rail be "true" in one part and have a dead spot too? For example, could the right half of the head rail be good, but the left half be dead? Or is it safe to assume that if you test one contact point, the rest of the rail will react the same?

My personal experience has been that the entire rail is usually dead, but most of the tables around the town are poorly kept anyway. <hr /></blockquote>

SpiderMan
05-13-2005, 07:49 AM
When I "check the rails" on a table, usually I'm thinking of just seeing whether the combination of rails, cloth, and balls tend to make standard banks and kicks go long or short.

At the ACS nationals in Reno last week, all the tables ran extremely long on the standard three-rail kick out of the corner pocket. You actually had to aim through the first diamond above the side pocket in order to three-rail kick into your adjacent corner. If you didn't check this, and tried a three-rail hit for the first time when hooked in a game, you'd probably give up ball-in-hand. Interestingly, the standard two-rail kick from side pocket to adjacent corner was almost right-on.

Dead spots on rails can be a problem. I think it usually happens where the rubber comes unglued from the wooden backing. You don't see anything because the cloth covering is stretched tight and holds the rubber in place, but this will be a spot where the rebound of a ball is deadened considerably.

For half a year, we had a small dead spot on one of the side rails (about a diamond up from the foot rail) on the #1 9' crown at Rack Daddy's. Amazingly, the table was refelted at least once without the mechanic re-glueing the dead rail. If you tried a cross-corner bank on that table, and happened to hit the dead spot, you'd miss by a mile. I wonder how many games of one-pocket were lost by guys who got stuck with the wrong pocket?

If I wanted to look for dead spots on the rail, I'd probably walk around the table and see if there are any areas where the rubber can be moved relative to the backer. Any loose places would cause a dead rebound. I don't make a habit of checking this, maybe I should, but there are endless lists of things you could do if you wanted to take the time.

SpiderMan

al654321
05-13-2005, 03:45 PM
I don't know about full size tables because I play primarily in bars on bar box tables but I think many rail problems are created by people plunking their butts down on tables which pulls the rail away from it's backing or even loosens the screws holding the rails. I generally try to tell people as nice as possible not to sit on the edge of the tables and then I explain why.

poolturtle
05-15-2005, 06:57 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Some times I walk around the table lightly bouncing a ball on the top of the cushion, you can here the difference if it's loose. <hr /></blockquote>

You know, interestingly, I've been doing that for years just as sort of a nervous habit while waiting to break. Now I'll have a purpose for it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif