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Bambu
04-16-2008, 08:48 AM
I used to use a product called the mini buffer to clean/wax my balls, but it looks like they took another product I liked off the market. This is the only place I could find that might have. Does work well, but I am sure there is something better.

http://www.billiardsstore.com/products/description/2307.cfm

The ball star cleaner looks pretty good. Best price I could find, $382.50 shipped, plus a 5% apa discount.

http://www.89billiardz.com/gameroom-billiard-balls.html

A bit pricey, and it only does 8 balls at a time. The only other thing I can think of is to just wax the balls straight up, in a typical plastic ball tray with a car wax buffing wheel, and call it a day. Maybe throw a cheese cloth or something soft on the plastic tray first? Anyone have any better ideas, or any recommendations for existing products? Thanks to all.

Rich R.
04-17-2008, 06:42 AM
For the past year, I have had a ball cleaner made by Leonard Bludworth and I recommend it fully.

Yes, it is a little pricey, but it does a full rack of balls, including cue ball, at one time. It comes with a concentrated liguid, which you can mix with water in a spray bottle. You just have to put the balls in the machine, give them a light spray and turn the dial. It does a great job, especially if you clean the balls regularly, and there is minimum effort.
http://www.bludworth.com/products_and_services.htm

Eric.
04-17-2008, 08:54 AM
I've heard good things about the Bludworth cleaner too.

Personally, I just clean mine by hand, one at a time, with a towel and cleaning solution. I shoot every day and clean them about once a month.


Eric

BigRigTom
04-17-2008, 10:37 AM
I have one of the Ballstar machines and it does a pretty good job but for the price I would not recommend it to anyone.
My wife bought this one for me as a Xmas present and I really like NOT have to get that cleaning fluid all over my hands plus I used to clean each ball by hand that that is a very slow way of getting it done, not to mention you have to find the time and stamina to do it....I usually wound up cleaning the balls about once per month and the amount I play...that was not often enough. With the machine I now do them at least once per week.

Why do these things have to be so expensive anyway?

Where are all our inventor's when we need them.
There should be a RONCO model that could sell for $19.95 on late nite TV info-mercials...where they always say ...WAIT! THAT NOT ALL! YOU WILL ALSO GET....!!!!

Eric.
04-17-2008, 10:42 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigRigTom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I...I usually wound up cleaning the balls about once per month and the amount I play...that was not often enough. With the machine I now do them at least once per week.

</div></div>

I guess everyone's cleaning schedule varies.

I play about an hour a day and about 2 hours on Sat and Sun. I vacuum my table about once every 2 weeks and clean the balls about once a month. They just don't get that dirty, that fast. Also, I am the only person using my table. Do you really need to clean your balls that often?


Eric

dg-in-centralpa
04-17-2008, 10:50 AM
A friend of mine made one using the motor from a washing machine. Actually works good, not pretty to look at, but it works.

DG

BigRigTom
04-17-2008, 10:59 AM
My table is in the garage and so it collects dust more than if it were in the house, the area above the table is open rafters.

I also play a lot compared to most of my friends.
I am on both an 8 ball and a 9 ball APA league so I warm up at home twice a week. Plus again before a tournament of any kind. On Wednesdays my friend and I have a regular practice schedule. We usually shoot about 3 matches in which we race to 5 in 8 ball. Being fairly close matched it is not unusual for those matches to go hill/hill so some times those matches will consist of as many as 27 games of 8 ball.

Depending on how quick those games go we will often shoot an APA 9 ball match afterward where we will race to 55 and again those matches will be pretty close.

I also do some practice drills just about every week end.
All this activity leaves a lot of chalk on the table and balls and then there is the dust from opening the garage door serveral times per day.

New2Pool
04-17-2008, 11:35 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I used to use a product called the mini buffer to clean/wax my balls, but it looks like they took another product I liked off the market. This is the only place I could find that might have. Does work well, but I am sure there is something better.

http://www.billiardsstore.com/products/description/2307.cfm

The ball star cleaner looks pretty good. Best price I could find, $382.50 shipped, plus a 5% apa discount.

http://www.89billiardz.com/gameroom-billiard-balls.html

A bit pricey, and it only does 8 balls at a time. The only other thing I can think of is to just wax the balls straight up, in a typical plastic ball tray with a car wax buffing wheel, and call it a day. Maybe throw a cheese cloth or something soft on the plastic tray first? Anyone have any better ideas, or any recommendations for existing products? Thanks to all. </div></div>

Thanks for the link. The mini buffer looks like a good idea. I specially love that they use a bikini clad woman to demonstrate the product in the pictures.

bsmutz
04-17-2008, 11:59 AM
You're getting close. A bunch of people are using a 5 gallon bucket for ball cleaning. There are two ways to go about it. You can mount an inexpensive random orbit buffer upside down in the bucket with a piece of carpet attached to the buffer pad and a strip of carpet attached to the inside top of the bucket above the buffer. Cut a couple of holes in the side of the bucket for the cord and to reach the switch and you're ready to go. You'll probably need a spacer underneath the buffer to bring it up a few inches.

Another, easier, alternative is to cut the bucket down to about 4" tall and put a piece of carpet in the bottom with a strip attached to the side. Put the balls in and then use the buffer on top to get them moving. This also allows you to use the buffer for other jobs without having to dismantle your polisher.

I went with the first solution before reading about the second one. I put a small drop of cleaner or polisher on each ball (8 at a time) and let it run for a minute or two, then wipe the balls off. It works really well. You can use velcro or double sided foam tape to hold the carpet to the bucket and polishing disk.

Deeman3
04-17-2008, 12:24 PM
Bambu:

Please be careful how you phrase these questions. I see that Sen. Larry Craig signed on until he noticed the real meaning of your post. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

JoeW
04-17-2008, 01:41 PM
I made a 16 ball cleaner. Used a grinder for the base with a wooden platen covered with carpet. Lined the inside of a 10 gal bucket with carpet. The first one is still working and performs quite well. So I made two more, one for my son and one for another person. Bought two more grinders from Harbor Freight and burned out both grinders within the first minute. What a bummer as I had about $100.00 in the next two and built to closer tolerances, too close I guess. I will post a photo of the one that works if I can post photos here.

Now I would not recommend that anyone build this type of cleaner. The motors are not strong enough. If I get around to it the next time I will use a $25.00 orbital buffer from Home Depot on top of the balls in a cut off bucket as Bsmutz recommends. You can then use the buffer for other things.

I have not done it yet but I think I can use the hole saw that is used for installing door knob sets to make 16 holes in a piece of inch plywood and line each hole with the soft side of a piece of Velcro. Drop each ball in a hole, place a drop of Aramith ball cleaner, clean, wait for the cleaner to haze over and change bonnets on the polisher. Seems easy enough and the whole rig should cost less than $50.00.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q146/JoeW04/BallWash006.jpg

bataisbest
04-17-2008, 04:37 PM
I clean them about once a week since I play every day for about 2-3 hours. I use the ARAMITH ball cleaner . It seems to work best for me. I also clean my table weekly since the chalk dust accumulates fairly quickly. It helps tremendously when you have clean equipment.

Rich R.
04-17-2008, 09:57 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Eric.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've heard good things about the Bludworth cleaner too.

Personally, I just clean mine by hand, one at a time, with a towel and cleaning solution. I shoot every day and clean them about once a month. </div></div>
Eric, I used to clean mine by hand too, but that gets old once the arthritis sets in. It also takes too much time.
I had a Mini-Buffer for a while, but doing three balls at a time takes time too.
I like the Bludworth cleaner because I can load it, turn it on and walk away, to do something else. Since this is really a commercial machine, it should last the rest of my life. Prorated over many years (I hope), the cost will not be that much and, to me, it was worth every penny.

BTW, I try to play for an hour a day, on any day that I'm not going out to play. The machine is so easy to use, I clean the balls every 4 or 5 hours of play.

av84fun
04-18-2008, 01:19 AM
Here's the CHEAP but effective method I use. I use Aramith ball cleaning cream...which is supposed to be applied with paper towel. Then I line the bottom and sides of a shoe box...stop laughing I'm serious...a shoe box, lined with folded over paper towel.

I allow the cream to form a film and then use a sheeps wool buffing pad on my drill motor and just swipe it back and forth over the balls while tilting the shoe box to help the balls turn over.

Shines 'em up just fine and I do it while watching TV.

I admit that it does not produce the SUPER shine that pro polishers achieve but the degree of "sheen" makes a BIG difference in how the balls react and when I play out, the "average" shine on the balls is about what I get with my method so for the sake of consistently, I have my doubts about the wisdom of using pro quality systems when you don't play on super shined balls very much in the real world.

Regards,
Jim

Rich R.
04-18-2008, 07:19 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I admit that it does not produce the SUPER shine that pro polishers achieve but the degree of "sheen" makes a BIG difference in how the balls react and when I play out, the "average" shine on the balls is about what I get with my method so for the sake of consistently, I have my doubts about the wisdom of using pro quality systems when you don't play on super shined balls very much in the real world. </div></div>
The super shine doesn't last very long, before changing to an average shine and it does continue to degrade. If nothing else, it trains you to deal with changing conditions, while practicing.
Granted, I never let the balls degrade to grossly dirty, as found in some pool halls.

Eric.
04-21-2008, 09:18 AM
I can see your point if the table is in your garage.

I'm just curious about the ppl that have tables in their house. My table is inside my house, I play every day and...things just don't get that dirty. Then again, one man's "clean" could be another's "filthy".


Eric

Deeman3
04-21-2008, 12:40 PM
I keep two sets, one that I clean regularly for nine ball and straight pool but the other set I leave dirty as it is better IMO for one pocket. I never polish the balls.

Bambu
04-21-2008, 05:58 PM
That has to be the best machine I have seen so far. Thanks Rich. I should have asked before, but is there a difference between cleaning, waxing and/or polishing?
I used to purposely not clean my balls. Not just because I am lazy, but because none of the pool rooms I played in did either. I practiced for years before returning to the pool rooms, only to find that things have changed. I dont know if its the wax, polish or cleaner, but the cleaner balls play with much less effort. Frankly, it almost seems like cheating when compared with dirty balls. Anyway, I'm just trying to emulate these conditions at home. Thanks to all for some great answers!

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Eric.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've heard good things about the Bludworth cleaner too.

Personally, I just clean mine by hand, one at a time, with a towel and cleaning solution. I shoot every day and clean them about once a month.


Eric</div></div>

I should have mentioned how lazy I am, especially when it comes to cleaning. But, thanks anyway!

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:01 PM
Thanks Tom, I will stay away from the ballstar.

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:06 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: New2Pool</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I used to use a product called the mini buffer to clean/wax my balls, but it looks like they took another product I liked off the market. This is the only place I could find that might have. Does work well, but I am sure there is something better.

http://www.billiardsstore.com/products/description/2307.cfm

The ball star cleaner looks pretty good. Best price I could find, $382.50 shipped, plus a 5% apa discount.

http://www.89billiardz.com/gameroom-billiard-balls.html

A bit pricey, and it only does 8 balls at a time. The only other thing I can think of is to just wax the balls straight up, in a typical plastic ball tray with a car wax buffing wheel, and call it a day. Maybe throw a cheese cloth or something soft on the plastic tray first? Anyone have any better ideas, or any recommendations for existing products? Thanks to all. </div></div>

Thanks for the link. The mini buffer looks like a good idea. I specially love that they use a bikini clad woman to demonstrate the product in the pictures.</div></div>

Haha! Good luck with it, if the mini buffer is still being made.

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:08 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bambu:

Please be careful how you phrase these questions. I see that Sen. Larry Craig signed on until he noticed the real meaning of your post. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif</div></div>

Lol Dee, it was just an "innocent" foot tap! The man obviously has a wide stance(not).

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:15 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I made a 16 ball cleaner. Used a grinder for the base with a wooden platen covered with carpet. Lined the inside of a 10 gal bucket with carpet. The first one is still working and performs quite well. So I made two more, one for my son and one for another person. Bought two more grinders from Harbor Freight and burned out both grinders within the first minute. What a bummer as I had about $100.00 in the next two and built to closer tolerances, too close I guess. I will post a photo of the one that works if I can post photos here.

Now I would not recommend that anyone build this type of cleaner. The motors are not strong enough. If I get around to it the next time I will use a $25.00 orbital buffer from Home Depot on top of the balls in a cut off bucket as Bsmutz recommends. You can then use the buffer for other things.

I have not done it yet but I think I can use the hole saw that is used for installing door knob sets to make 16 holes in a piece of inch plywood and line each hole with the soft side of a piece of Velcro. Drop each ball in a hole, place a drop of Aramith ball cleaner, clean, wait for the cleaner to haze over and change bonnets on the polisher. Seems easy enough and the whole rig should cost less than $50.00.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q146/JoeW04/BallWash006.jpg </div></div>


Very creative, Joe! For a home invention, I really like it alot.

Bambu
04-21-2008, 06:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here's the CHEAP but effective method I use. I use Aramith ball cleaning cream...which is supposed to be applied with paper towel. Then I line the bottom and sides of a shoe box...stop laughing I'm serious...a shoe box, lined with folded over paper towel.

I allow the cream to form a film and then use a sheeps wool buffing pad on my drill motor and just swipe it back and forth over the balls while tilting the shoe box to help the balls turn over.

Shines 'em up just fine and I do it while watching TV.

I admit that it does not produce the SUPER shine that pro polishers achieve but the degree of "sheen" makes a BIG difference in how the balls react and when I play out, the "average" shine on the balls is about what I get with my method so for the sake of consistently, I have my doubts about the wisdom of using pro quality systems when you don't play on super shined balls very much in the real world.

Regards,
Jim</div></div>

That has got to be the cheapest, thanks Jim. I feel the same way about the balls, but the room I am playing in lately has a kid dedicated to running the balls through a machine all day long. As you know, the balls really play differently when theyre freshly machined. I need to be able to simulate the conditions.

av84fun
04-26-2008, 01:24 AM
The super shine doesn't last very long, before changing to an average shine [/b]and it does continue to degrade. If nothing else, it trains you to deal with changing conditions, while practicing.


Exactly...which is why I don't use pro-quality polishers. They produce a shine that you will rarely see in pool halls.

Regards,
Jim

Treehumper
04-26-2008, 07:40 AM
Clean balls? It'd be nice if they didn't have chips in them! I really have to find a better class of pool hall.....

Rich R.
04-26-2008, 03:15 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> The super shine doesn't last very long, before changing to an average shine and it does continue to degrade. If nothing else, it trains you to deal with changing conditions, while practicing.
</div></div>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Exactly...which is why I don't use pro-quality polishers. They produce a shine that you will rarely see in pool halls. </div></div>
You are probably correct, you will rarely see polished balls in your local pool hall. However, some day you will find yourself in the first round of a tournament, with cleaned and polished balls. If you don't know how to play under those conditions, you will be on the one loss side before you know it.
Don't say this won't happen. I have personally walked into APA tournaments, where they had cleaned and polished balls on all of the tables. We had to play on small tables, with fast cloth, lively rails and polished balls. If you don't think that is a tough situation, you should think again. There were some pretty good players having a lot of trouble because they weren't used to those conditions. It doesn't hurt to use polished balls once in a while.

av84fun
04-26-2008, 11:56 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> The super shine doesn't last very long, before changing to an average shine and it does continue to degrade. If nothing else, it trains you to deal with changing conditions, while practicing.
</div></div>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Exactly...which is why I don't use pro-quality polishers. They produce a shine that you will rarely see in pool halls. </div></div>
You are probably correct, you will rarely see polished balls in your local pool hall. However, some day you will find yourself in the first round of a tournament, with cleaned and polished balls. If you don't know how to play under those conditions, you will be on the one loss side before you know it.
Don't say this won't happen. I have personally walked into APA tournaments, where they had cleaned and polished balls on all of the tables. We had to play on small tables, with fast cloth, lively rails and polished balls. If you don't think that is a tough situation, you should think again. There were some pretty good players having a lot of trouble because they weren't used to those conditions. It doesn't hurt to use polished balls once in a while. </div></div>

You gotta play the odds. I didn't suggest not polishing. I just suggested in ulta-inexpensive way to do it and to achieve the most likely comparison to the condition you are likely to find when playing out.

Besides, I LIKE the one loss side...I feel at home there and struggling back for the win is good for the soul!

(-:

Rich R.
04-27-2008, 07:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: av84fun</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Besides, I LIKE the one loss side...I feel at home there and struggling back for the win is good for the soul!

(-: </div></div>
I don't mind the one loss side either. I just prefer not getting there too soon. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Good luck to you.

coastal_tony
05-15-2008, 09:29 AM
I recently had my Renaissance La Paz table re-done with black Tour Edition cloth. SWEET! Now, with the black chalk, my balls started looking a little skanky. I went down to the local retail shop and picked up some Aramith cleaner & restorer. The S.A. balls I usually use wern't too bad, so I pulled out an OLD set of Brunswick Centenials and proceded to apply restorer, wipe off, re-apply restorer along with a few drops of cleaner, and manually started work using a small micro-fiber towel, as per instructions. Enjoying a few drinks, listening to the new GONG DVD, and after an hour or so noticed my hands had quite a color change, something like a sun tan. D'OHH! Them Brunswicks must have spent most of there life in a smoke filled pool hall. Today, I put on a pair of latex gloves to do the S.A. balls. I took a few pix and will send them to Picture Trail for URLs, and post them a little later

coastal_tony
05-15-2008, 11:35 AM
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL466/2217286/10180281/317406426.jpg

coastal_tony
05-15-2008, 01:31 PM
<span style="color: #CC0000"> </span> The picture above is a shot of that nasty grunge from the Brusnwick balls. This is a shot of the cleaned balls, and a few Meucci's on the 9' Renaissance La Paz table.
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL466/2217286/10180281/317406429.jpg