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Pizza Bob
03-04-2002, 09:21 AM
I recently had a chance to play at Hardtimes (Bellflower, CA) on their table #1. The pockets on this table were extremely tight. This is nothing new to me, as the room I normally play in (Side Pocket – Trenton, NJ) has a triple-shimmed table (#12) that is reserved expressly for one-pocket. Tables with these extreme pocket dimensions actually change the game to a degree, creating a more defensive mindset. You don’t just “fire” at those tight pockets, and on the NJ table it is much easier to dislodge an opponent's ball from their pocket, unless it is centered, deep in the throat. I expected a similar result on the CA table, but after two attempts to dislodge an opponent’s ball resulted in pocketing it instead, I took a closer look at the pocket/rails. Here is what I observed: The ends of the long rail and the foot rail fit flush with the front of the pocket-liner, however they were not parallel with, or divergent from each other. In other words, if lines were drawn flush with the ends of those cushions, towards the playing surface of the table, eventually they would intersect; the faces of the cushion ends form a convergent angle. On the NJ table, the rear edge of the ends of the cushions, where they meet the pocket liners, actually protrude about .5” inboard of the liner on each side. However, the ends of the opposing cushions are parallel, or slightly divergent. Which table is properly set-up and what have been your experiences playing on these “extreme-shimmed” tables? My guess would be the NJ table is the way it should be – but it could just be sour grapes.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

SPetty
03-04-2002, 11:21 AM
I don't know if this will help, but here's the equipment specifications from the BCA web site regarding pockets:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: BCA equipment specs:</font><hr>
POCKET OPENINGS &amp; MEASUREMENTS (Cloth covered rails):
Pocket openings are measured from tip to tip of the opposing cushion noses where direction changes into the pocket. This is called the mouth.

Corner Pocket: Mouth Between 4 7/8" minimum to 5 1/8" maximum

Side Pocket: Mouth Between 5 3/8" minimum to 5 5/8" maximum

The angle at the corner pocket entrance on each side of the pocket is 142 degrees (±1 degree).

The angle at the side pocket entrance on each side of the pocket is 103 degrees (± 2 degrees).

Vertical Pocket Angle: 12 degrees minimum to 15 degrees maximum.

Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other where the nose of the cushion changes direction to the center of the vertical cut of the slate pocket radius.

Corner Pocket: 1 5/8" minimum to 1 7/8" maximum

Side Pocket: 0" minimum to 3/8" maximum

Drop Point Slate Radius: The pocket radius measured from the vertical cut of the slate to the playing surface.

Drop Point Slate Radius 1/8" radius min. to 1/4" radius max.
<hr></blockquote>

03-04-2002, 02:47 PM
Pizza Bob, we have very tight pockets here in our room. Regardless of how the corner pockets are shimmed, if done correctly they should be symmetrically even on both sides in relation to the side &amp; end rails and in relation to the slate drop-off point. It sounds like perhaps these were not.

Another critically important factor - on extremely tight pocket altered tables (if done correctly) the taper angle should have been diminished between the front mouth measurement and the back measurement (where the back of the pocket facing meets the pocket liner. On a standard cut corner pocket taper, that taper may be as much as 1" - from 5" to 4". However, if a pocket is shimmed to say 4-1/4" in the front and the rear of the pocket is decreased the same amount down to 3-1/4" (maintaining that same 1" taper) that pocket will play severely tough and unfair IMO - particularly on balls coming in towards the pocket from near the rails. This taper needs to be decreased from 1" to somewhere between 1/2" - 3/4" in order for them to play reasonably - and this can only be done by someone who knows what they are doing and has done it before.

The final factor to keep in mind is that the tighter the corner pocket specs are used, the shallower the throat of the pocket becomes. This is what makes it nearly impossible to kick a ball out of the throat of a pocket in one-pocket on a very tight table. It also (on a very tight table) keeps balls from rattling and remaining in the pockets. We have a table with 3-1/2" corners here that's an absolutely great practice table for higher level players. The thing is - even when you miss a shot by a hair, it never even gets in the throat of the pocket but misses the pocket entirely - making the miss look uglier than it actually was.

You're right about the game being totally different in strategy in many aspects on a tight pocket table - the tighter the table the more different. One has to play on one to truly understand what we mean. - Chris in NC

03-04-2002, 02:53 PM
4 and 7/8? Ernesto's famous pockets are 4 1/2 at the most. Ernesto must be doing something right. He has a few months' wait for his services. What does BCA know? They certified Olhausen K66 cushions even though they are NOT in compliance of a true K66 profile.

03-04-2002, 03:18 PM
Anonymous wrote...<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>They certified Olhausen K66 cushions even though they are NOT in compliance of a true K66 profile.
<hr></blockquote>

Why? Because their cushions don't have that groove where they attach to the rail? From what I understand, the reason most cushions have a groove behind them was for alignment reasons; it used to be that table makers made the rails with an alignment rods of sorts that the groove of the cushion fit snuggly onto. Now that table makers don't construct rails as such anymore, that cushion groove is unnecessary, and can lead to unconsistant rebounding.
Any truth to this?
Tim

03-04-2002, 04:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tim in ATL:</font><hr> Anonymous wrote...&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt;They certified Olhausen K66 cushions even though they are NOT in compliance of a true K66 profile.
&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Why? Because their cushions don't have that groove where they attach to the rail? From what I understand, the reason most cushions have a groove behind them was for alignment reasons; it used to be that table makers made the rails with an alignment rods of sorts that the groove of the cushion fit snuggly onto. Now that table makers don't construct rails as such anymore, that cushion groove is unnecessary, and can lead to unconsistant rebounding.
Any truth to this?
Tim <hr></blockquote>.........
Olhausen's rubber do not have canvas top either. Making it rebound too fast. It's also too soft and is smaller than K66. It is not near the quality of Artemis in playability. Buth Olhauses was the president of BCA when HIS cushions got certified. Coincidence?

Troy
03-04-2002, 06:31 PM
IMO there are basically two ways to tighten pockets ---

1. Lengthen the rails. The pockets can be made to any size (within reason). This is the preferred method but is costly. This method uses a single shim on each rail end. Ernesto does a superb job. He even alters the pocket angle.

2. Adding shims, usually 1/8" each per side, to obtain the desired tightness. Obviously less cost, but there is a definite change in how the pockets "play" since the shims do NOT have the same feel as the rails. It is very difficult to alter the pocket angle when only shims are used.

I have played on both and much prefer the longer rail approach. Tight bank shots in the shim area are close to pure guesswork on a triple-shimmed table.

Troy

03-06-2002, 12:45 AM
If you triple shim a table using only facing you will have dead rubber near the corner pockets (not desirable for those little English banks in one pkt). If you get the longer rails this is much more suitable for the same type shot (live rubber). JMHO. Fred

Chris Cass
03-06-2002, 01:01 PM
Bob,
If you ever at HardTimes again stay away from a one Terry Van Ert(?). He'll talk your ear off and mostly BS. LOL He'll cost ya. One time we played 1 game of 9ball that lasted close to 3 hrs. It was 2hr and 45 min before we got to the 3 ball.
Words to the wise,
C.C.

Greg/Diamond
03-10-2002, 04:33 AM
Glad to see somone questioning differences in pockets. I sure hope I can shed some positive input and give a rational explanation to what I believe is happening. The development of pocket specifications is what got me in the manufacturing of pool tables. My goal was to establish specifactions and turn pool from a "Game to a Sport". When we talk about words such as tight, loose, slow or fast it's much easier for me to communicate with players if I associate numbers with these words. Example: In my development of the Simonis 860 cloth I would hear some players using words as too fast or too slow. What's too fast for you may be too slow for me, so the answer was make a standard ramp, roll a ball from the same elevation and measure how far the ball rolled from the ramp. Ended up the 860 rolled 30 inches off the ramp, 760 Simonis rolled 40" and Mali, Stevens, Charles House clothes tested ranged from 20" to 25" so these numbers give you some way to communicate on the same level. This method is the way I'd like to address the pocket discussion. All I had to go on in 1987 was BCA sizes 4 7/8" to 5 1/8" on the corner and another range for the side, and the pros I questioned were asking for tighter, tougher conditions. This led to alot of trial and error. I did learn some important factors. There are three main things that contribute to pocket tightness. The first thing I call the "gate" is a tip to tip measurement, second "slate depth" and I feel the most important is "pocket facing angle". I need to explain what I mean by pocket facing angle. When pool tables were first made the facings were parallel to each other. If you were to sight from the back of the side pocket down either facing it would point to the respective tip of the other side pocket. The angle around the tip would be noted as 90 degrees on the side pocket. On the corner pocket your sighting would again point to the respective side pocket, but the angle around the corner tip would now measure 135 degrees still retaining parallel facings. Hope you're still with me! Anyway, in an attempt to make the tables play tougher, they increased the angles to around 145 degrees. This means the pockets got narrower the deeper the ball went in the pocket. You can get an idea of the new angle by looking at the new location on the rail where the sighting now directs you. No longer the tip of the side pocket.
On a straight in shot the pocket angle isn't importand, only the width of the gate. Shooting down the rail the angle really becomes important. The angle determines mostly, how far up the rail you can contact and still make the ball. There are other extremes you can talk about, but the main point I want to make is "one universal angle" doesn't work. The angle used by other table manufactures, one in particular was perfect in my opinion while using a 4 7/8" to 5 1/8" pocket, but reducing the gate thru double or triple facings and keeping the previous angle is incorrect. The angle of one facing tells the ball where to contact the other facing. If you reduce the gate you must release the angle accordingly or the pocket can become what I call "unfair". Good shots hitting entirely in the pocket, not even contacting the rail before entry can be made to jaw up. Ernesto and I have talked about this and even though I can't tell you his numeric angles, he's on the right track. All I can tell you is the best angle for Diamond, with a gate of 4 9/16 is 142 degrees. Also the slate shelf is designed such that 40 percent of the ball must be visible if one sights down the rail, keeping the ball against the facing nearest you and at the deepest point possible without falling in. Whew!!!! Wordy or what!!! At least this is another way of looking at what's going on.


development of the
simon

Alfie
03-10-2002, 08:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Greg/Diamond:</font><hr> All I can tell you is the best angle for Diamond, with a gate of 4 9/16 is 142 degrees. Also the slate shelf is designed such that 40 percent of the ball must be visible if one sights down the rail, keeping the ball against the facing nearest you and at the deepest point possible without falling in. <hr></blockquote>
Interesting, I have never thought of shelf length in this respect. How does this translate to the standard center of pocket, mouth (gate) to drop off measurement? What is the pocket radius measurement of the slate for a Diamond table?

MaineEAck
03-10-2002, 08:56 AM
Action Billiards in Hamden CT has a table #1 with really tight pockets!

JimS
03-10-2002, 11:04 AM
See Jack Koehler's book "Upscale 9 Ball" for an interesting discussion of pocket toughness as well as a way to rate pocket difficulty. Regards, JimS

04-21-2002, 07:07 AM
Butch is not now, and never has been, President of the BCA. He is currently second Vice-President.
Read the BCA equipment specs and you can see that BCA does not "certify" cushions. You do not know what you are talking about, so stop passing inaccurate info (all of your post) as fact until you choose to educate yourself.

TomBrooklyn
04-21-2002, 07:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Troy:</font><hr> to tighten pockets ---1. Lengthen the rails. This method uses a single shim on each rail end. <hr></blockquote>I don't understand this Troy. If the rail cushion is lenghtened, what is the shim for? You indicated you prefer this method to shims, but you say this has shims also.

JimS
04-21-2002, 08:01 AM
I really don't know much about tables but as I understand it there is a facing (also called a shim) at the end of each rail. I don't know exactly why it's there but it much have something to do with the actual end of the rubber rail, after it's been cut to make the pocket, not being of the right consistancy to withstand balls hitting it. Consequently a "facing" is used. More than one layer of this facing or shim makes the balls bounce in an unusual and unnatural manner and consequently narrowing pockets by installing new, slightly longer rails with new angles cut is the preferred method if quality is the goal.

Troy
04-21-2002, 08:56 AM
Right you are JimS... The ends of ALL rails have a facing, or shim. Putting a second facing (shim) on both sides of each pocket will reduce the pocket by approx. 1/4". A "triple shimmed" table will play a little different than a table with longer rails with a single shim.

Troy

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: JimS:</font><hr> I really don't know much about tables but as I understand it there is a facing (also called a shim) at the end of each rail. I don't know exactly why it's there but it much have something to do with the actual end of the rubber rail, after it's been cut to make the pocket, not being of the right consistancy to withstand balls hitting it. Consequently a "facing" is used. More than one layer of this facing or shim makes the balls bounce in an unusual and unnatural manner and consequently narrowing pockets by installing new, slightly longer rails with new angles cut is the preferred method if quality is the goal. <hr></blockquote>

04-21-2002, 01:20 PM
I am going to dissent from some of the posters here, and say that extremely tight pockets do not have to change the game. It just requires more from the player.

I have seen someone run 220 balls in 14.1 on a triple-shimmed table meant for playing one-pocket. The person that did this played in the 2000 US 14.1 Open, and did quite well.

My best friend is a champion pro, and has a triple shimmed Kim Steel table at home. He plays 9-ball the same way he does on any table. He likes being accustomed to the pockets, so a regular table seems a lot easier. He doesn't change his game for it.

My ex-girlfriend is a pro from Taiwan, and told me that 1.7 ball-width pockets are pretty common over there. She said it was for the same reason as my friend. To get accustomed to brutally tight pockets, and the "normal" pockets seem a bit easier.

I'm sure there are opinions on both sides, but from what I have seen, many world class players (of which I am NOT one) like to practice on TIGHT tables, playing the game just the way that they do on a "normal" table. In fact, my best friend/pro player/coach recommends that I practice more on brutally tight tables. Don't change the way I play, just bear down, focus, and put 110% into making sure I get that ball in the hole.

Like I said, I am sure there are opinions on both sides. I think a lot of it is a personal thing for the player. Some players like it, some don't. And I'm sure there are other pro players that would disagree with the pro's that I've talked to about it. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Doctor_D
04-21-2002, 01:48 PM
Good afternoon:

One of the rooms where I practice has a triple shimmed tabled which I will use for practice an average of Eight (8) hours each week. I will also use this table for 9 ball practice with several of my playing partners. The pockets tend to be very unforgiving however, once you are in stroke and focused, the time on this type of table has proven to be time well spent.

Dr. D.

04-21-2002, 02:01 PM
One of the great things about my friend's Kim Steel table is that, even though the pockets are BRUTAL, it takes shots that it is supposed to take. If you fire that ball in the hole, it WILL go in. It's just that the hole is a lot smaller! I contrast that with some really tight pockets I have seen that just don't take some shots that it's supposed to take! For example, some Dufferin tables I've played on in Canada, that have DEEP jaws. You can shoot the ball right down the rail, hit NOTHING but the wall of the pocket, and it will jaw and not go in. On my friend's KS table, that'll go. But you'd better not hit the rail on the way there! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

TomBrooklyn
04-21-2002, 02:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Troy:</font><hr> Right you are JimS... The ends of ALL rails have a facing, or shim. <hr></blockquote> Ahhh, now I see.

Just out of curiousity, what are these shims made of and how do they attach? Is the purpose so that they can be changed when they get beat up without having to change the entire rail, or something else?

When a pocket gets double or triple shimmed, is it actually 2 or 3 of these same shims, or a single shim that is 2 or 3 times as thick?

Troy
04-21-2002, 03:17 PM
The shims are 1/8" rubber-type material harder than the rail rubber and are glued on with contact cement. The shims protect the ends of the rail rubber. Double or triple shim means 2 or 3 on each rail end.

Troy

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Troy:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; Right you are JimS... The ends of ALL rails have a facing, or shim. &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; Ahhh, now I see.

Just out of curiousity, what are these shims made of and how do they attach? Is the purpose so that they can be changed when they get beat up without having to change the entire rail, or something else?

When a pocket gets double or triple shimmed, is it actually 2 or 3 of these same shims, or a single shim that is 2 or 3 times as thick? <hr></blockquote>

04-23-2002, 11:13 AM

04-23-2002, 11:52 AM
I used to practice with Snooker, period. 12x6 table, using the Snooker balls. The smaller balls make it tougher, too. With the smaller and lighter balls, hitting the cueball slightly off center has even more effect than it does on a Pool cueball. Being off by 1mm is more of an angle off of center for a small ball than it is for a large ball. The same goes for when the cueball hits an object ball.

That's why Snooker players use a different technique than Pool players. The Snooker technique really enforces a straight, accurate, consistent stroke. At the expense of having a shorter, more compact stroke. This can (I didn't say necessarily does) negatively impact the ability to really put a good stroke on the cueball. There are pros and cons to each method (Snooker technique versus Pool technique).

04-23-2002, 12:01 PM
In 69 I went to Northern IL. University for 1 semester. Sometimes I played on their 10' by 5' snooker table. You had to aim much more accurately then you do on a 9' by 4 1/2' pool table with regular balls. Going from that snooker table to a pool table would make the pockets seems large. And it made the longer shots seem easier after coming from the snooker table.

04-23-2002, 12:05 PM
Yep. I play mostly on 9-foots, but will play in a 7-foot bar-bopx tournament every once in a while. Going from a 12x6 Snooker table to a 9x4.5 Pool table really has the same perception for me as going from a 9x4.5 Pool table to a 7x3.5 bar-box. It seems to be about the same level of change. That 9-foot table sure does seem small and easy after practicing Snooker for a couple of hours.