View Full Version : Cutting rail cushions

07-13-2005, 04:53 AM
I'm getting ready to recover my table again. I'm thinking about redoing the rails. What's the best way to cut the rails precisely? Also does anyone know of a tool to measure the pocket entrance and angle?

07-13-2005, 07:33 AM
Hi Chopstick, good luck to you. I purchased a hobby saw blade that had very fine teeth to cut the new cushion. Leave a small amount of excess (1/16 to 1/8) so that you can sand the end smooth. I used a belt & plate sander, so the ends come out great. The nicer the cushion end is, the better the facing will adhere. You can use the blade & sander to finish your facings too.

You can purchase a metal protractor (with an angular swing arm) from Sears, that will help you determine the precise angle to be cut. 41 degrees into the pocket & 11 degress back cut will get you where you want to be. Each of the angles have a tolerance band, I'll look that up & send it to you.

Attaching the new cushions with contact cememt will be your toughest job. Getting the cushion's nose to be straight & parallel will probably require some help.

07-13-2005, 07:39 AM
So far as just cutting the rubber... When I was shimming my table I tried cutting the rubber shims with scissors, sharp knife, etc. But the results were not good. Very ragged edges, looked terrible.

What worked the best was to install the rubber shims so they were "hanging out" all around, then use a belt sander to trim them down to be flush with the rubber rail/wood. This worked read good, easy to get a professional looking perfectly smooth/flush look.

So I don't know if also using a belt sander for trimming down new rubber cushions would be best, but if I were doing it, I would try that before trying to use a knife. i.e. cut rubber so it is too long, then use belt sander for the remainder.

07-13-2005, 07:51 AM
Proline billiards has a factury near you contact them see if you can see how they do it.

07-13-2005, 12:14 PM
Thanks guys. I tried to do it on my own the last time and I think I didn't do a good enough job. I know where that proline factory is. I think I'll drop by.

I'll pick up a protractor at Sears tonight and check what I have now.

What I am going by are the WPA specs here. WPA Table Specs (http://www.wpa-pool.com/index.asp?content=rules_spec)

I want to get it setup on the tight side of this. What I did before is glue the new rails down leaving the excess hanging off the end and took a long razor knife and held the blade against the wood inside the pocket to judge the angle. The cuts came out kind of ragged and the angels don't look right somehow. I am going to try and do a better job this time.

Anyway thanks again.

07-13-2005, 12:37 PM
The guy that did all of my tables used a thin flat blade knife. The trick was to keep a glass of water handy to lubricate the blade. As far as the angle, get some help there from someone who knows. The shelf distance and pocket angles are critical to a good playing table.


07-13-2005, 01:26 PM
The best thing I have found to cut the rails with, is an electric knife. Using a thin blade or hacksaw type blade will leave you with a crooked surface. The back & forth action of the electric knife cuts true without having to put pressure on the knife. Draw your line on the rubber with a ball point pen. Use a hand held sander to sand right to the line after cutting. Remember to get the SAME ANGLE & UNDER CUT as the old rubbers...JER