View Full Version : when to replace cloth?

12-17-2009, 06:18 PM


Sorry for the long letter and even longer absence. Iím looking for objective information, in the form of an article, and etc., if possible, that I could use to make a case for whether or not a table needs recovering. An email from an expert might help. Iím on the Ďother sideí of a guy who wants to recover the tables at my senior center every year, instead of using the money for other items for which I can probably present documented criteria for them to be replaced. As far as the table cloths are concerned, Iíve demonstrated that the most worn area, from the foot spot to the foot rail, plays well and no different than the least worn area. There are no tears or bad dings, only signs of a bouncing ball at the foot spot, from breaking, and at the spots players break from. Even those dings donít affect play. We do have Ďbreak clothsí, but they are used very little. We could also be using a rack cloth, but thatís not the issue now. We need new balls and other items and the money saved from not doing the tables every year will more than cover that cost in just the first year. All 4 tables were recovered about 15 months ago. I estimate that the two tables with Simonis 860 are only 30-40% worn and that the other 2 tables, with less expensive napped cloth, are only 20-30% worn. That is the Simonis tables could go another 2 years and the others, another 3 years, before they really need recovering. Iím not advocating we wait that long, Iím saying the tables are just now broken in (from the extreme fast unplayable speed of the cloth when it was new - Simonis tables) and can easily wait to be recovered until when there is a significant decrease in playability of the most worn areas of the cloth. The rooms in the area do it that way and their tables are very playable. Anyway, I need an Ďacidí test. Is there any? The only one I know of is for the cushions and overall table speed: ďThe speed of the table cushions should be such that placement of a cue ball on the head spot, shooting through the foot spot, using center ball english, with a level cue and a firm stroke, the ball must travel a minimum of 4 to 4 Ĺ lengths of the table without jumping.Ē

Help! The expenditure is imminent!


12-17-2009, 06:44 PM
Most pool rooms change the cloth anywhere between 6 months and 1 year. But consider how much use those tables get. Many of them probably get somewhere around 6 to 8 hours of steady use every day. You can probably make a reasonable estimate comparing that with the number of hours your table gets used.

Unless you are getting torn cloth, or can see where it is wearing very thin, you don't need to be on a timetable. Replace it when it needs to be replaced.


Oh,those little white marks along the break line going toward the rack are burn marks from the friction generated when the cue ball is struck hard. They won't have much impact on how the cloth plays.

12-17-2009, 09:26 PM
If they are level and the cloth as described you are wasting money. Properly installed 860 isn't cheap, 250 to 400 depending on table size. From your desrciption the cloth will last another 2-3 years. Enforce the break cloth rule.


12-18-2009, 09:16 AM
If someone wants to replace the cloth after only 15 months, that person must be noticing that the table plays significantly slower than it did. I doubt the guy just likes to spend money. 2 things come to mind. Either you guys played a ton of pool in 15 months, or you should have your rail rubber checked.

You mention the speed test, and it is a good one. But, that test is based more on the rubber than on the cloth. Well, maybe its 50/50. I say this because I found myself in a similar situation, changing simonis every year to keep my table playing fast. This puzzled me for years. My problem ended when I replaced the rubber with a good set of brunswick k-55 superspeeds. When the rubber gives you a nice bounce, the cloth lasts alot longer.

I also found that using a small piece of paper instead of a break cloth, cuts down on the burn marks a little. I cant be sure, but the paper being flatter seems to help.

12-18-2009, 04:35 PM
Does anybody ever install their own cloth to save money? Posted a how-to video here if you're interested..

Scott Lee
12-19-2009, 01:53 AM
Art...I agree with the others that your Senior Center tables do not need new cloth, at this time. Print out these responses, and show them to the guy who thinks differently. Maybe that will convince him, he's wasting money.

Scott Lee

12-19-2009, 08:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: HomeBilliards</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Does anybody ever install their own cloth to save money? Posted a how-to video here if you're interested..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lnoyNgv8Es </div></div>

Nice video.

You do your side pocket folds without any relief cut?

12-19-2009, 04:54 PM

I have been involved in "when to recover" decisions for over 10 years and, noting your cloth description, I would NOT spend your limited money on it at this time. Unfortunately, there is no "acid test." I would say, though, that if you're not sure why you would need to do it at this time by looking at the tables...then you probably don't need it.

I agree that printing these opinions might help make your case.

12-20-2009, 08:57 PM
I agree that the WPA adopted test for table speed is meant for the cushions (rubber), but try getting 4 lengths with slow napped cloth. That is why I use that test as an overall indication of table speed. If it 'passes' the test and is fast/slow off the cushion or rolling to a stop, I'll just adjust and know that I can get around the table if I need to.


12-20-2009, 09:04 PM
Thanks for your replies so far. My feeling was that there may be no non-destructive test upon which to base a decision; however, I plan to wait a little longer for the call to get around. So, in the meantime, can anyone tell me the best way to print these posts? Contiguous would be to my liking.

Thanks in advance,


12-21-2009, 03:29 PM
Eventually there iz so much chalkDust under the cloth that it bends the shot -- so u havta remoov the cloth to clean it and the slate.
So, u might decide to renew the cloth at that time -- at least thats how it iz with woollen cloths.

Its funny how chalkDust forms lots of rivers -- uzually square to the major shipping channels.
Plus it iz attrakted to spots.