Pool Table Maintenance Demystified Blog will provide information that will prove useful to any pool table owner or player needing information on the maintenance of their billiard table or playing accessories. Information will be provided that will benefit both the commercial pool table operator and recreational pool players and owners. We will share information on the maintenance and repair of pool tables, tips and secrets that most will find helpful. Information including set up and moving pool tables, refelting a pool table, selection of rails, felt and supplies. There will also be helpful tips on figuring out the size of a table, differences in rail cushion profile shapes, how to select playing accessories and their maintenance will be shared that every pool player needs to know.
We have over 45 years experience in the amusement industry and provide sales, parts and service to our customers for all types of billiard and game equipment. If you need answers to your questions or we can help in any way, contact us by phone or email and we will help. We may use your questions for a upcoming issue of this blog.
How do you determine how big is your pool table and measure for correct felt size? One of the first steps involved in purchasing the correct pool table felt and accessories is to correctly determine your pool table size. Because of differences with cabinet styles and sizes, you can not tell the size of a table by measuring the outside length and width of the cabinet. The easiest way to determine size is to measure the playfield width from the inside tip of one rubber bumper to the inside tip of the opposite rubber bumper. This would effectively be the width and length of your actual playing surface. Use the chart and diagram below to determine the correct size with your measurements. If ordering pool table felt and you have a 8 foot oversize pool table and 8 foot oversize is not available, just order a 9 foot size felt and cut it down to the size you need.
6 Foot Size If Playing Surface is 32" W x 64" L
6 1/2 Foot Size If Playing Surface is 36" W x 72" L
7 Foot Size (standard bar size) Playing Surface is 38" W x 76" L
7 Foot Diamond (diamond smart table) Playing Surface is 40" W x 80" L
8 Foot Size (standard home size) Playing Surface 44" W x 88" L
8 Foot OS (Oversize or Pro 8) Playing Surface is 46" W x 92" L
9 Foot Size (Regulation or Tournament 9) Playing Surface is 50" W x 100" L
10 Foot Size (Regulation Carom) Playing Surface is 56" W x 112" L
12 Foot Size (Regulation Snooker) Playing Surface is 69.5" W x 139" L
Which pool table felt should you buy? Knowing how to choose pool table felt involves knowing several things about your pool table and what you expect out of it. Pool table felt is more correctly known as pool table cloth or billiard cloth and is manufactured in two basic styles.
Woolen napped felt is the most commonly found cloth on home and recreation pool tables. Woolen cloths are less expensive, provide good durablity and come in several weights from 18 to 24 ounces. Generally the heavier the weight of these billiard cloths the longer they will last, but at the price of slower ball speed and game play. Pool table cloths are becoming more and more available with teflon treatment for extra protection against stains and spills. Woolen napped cloth's weakness is that they loss fibers in fuzy pills that form from play, require more brushing and maintenance, are slower play and can form ball tracks and gullies affecting ball tracking and precision. These conventional felt like cloths trap dirt and chalk more within the fibers and wear quicker. They are inexpensive and work well for home pool tables and other non-professional tables. Backed napped cloth is used almost entirely on coin operated pool tables because of it's extra durability but game play is much slower and is not recommended for home or professional tables.
The other common style of billiard cloth is worsted or woven cloth. These are more expensive to manufacture but produce the flattest, fastest and longest lasting playing surface. Worsted cloths are made up of twisted strands of wool and nylon fiber that are then woven into a very smooth material that provides the most accurate and consistent play surface. These tightly woven fibers naturally resist dirt, chalk and spills so the cloth last longer. Because of this, worsted cloth is not normally teflon treated nor are they recommended to be. Woven cloth such as Simonis and Velocity Pro are perfect for avid pool players wanting game play similar to professional tournament play.
Most all pool table felt is available in many colors and sizes. For lower price and best value, we recommend Proline Classic pool table felt for most home and recreational pool tables. If you are concerned over spills and stains or kids are involved, our Proline Classic Cloth with Teflon treatment is a good choice. For the best professional grade worsted cloth we recommend Simonis Cloth. If price matters, Velocity Pro Cloth is a good lower priced alternative.
Your pool table's performance and appearance depend greatly on the condition of its felt cloth. Because of this, it is imperative that table owners pay attention to the care and maintenance of their pool table felt and the playing surface. Billiard cloth is made up of a combination of wool and nylon fibers that are either evenly sheared off as standard woolen felts are or are woven together into a worsted style of cloth. Both cloth styles can be damaged by chalk dust, dirt, liquid spills, pets and other objects impacting the cloth.
Chalk dust causes the most damage to pool table felt. It is very fine and abrasive and quickly works its way into the cloth were it begins to cut and wear on the fibers. Because everyone uses a lot of cue and hand chalk, it can build up very rapidly. There are many opinions on how to best deal with cleaning up this chalk but everyone agrees that regular felt cleaning is a must. The most important thing to remember is to do frequent cleanings before chalk has a chance to work its way deep into the cloth. A combination of brushing the felt with a soft bristle bed brush (preferably a horse hair billiard brush) and gentle vacuuming with a light powered vacuum cleaner seems to work best. Brush the cloth lightly from the center of the table toward the pocket openings. The use of a rail brush is handy for getting under table rails where the bed brush can’t reach. Brush dirt and chalk into the pocket openings where you can vacuum the accumulated dirt and chalk from inside the pockets. You can then use a light suction vacuum to go over the entire surface of the cloth to lift dust and dirt that is left over from brushing. Be sure to use light suction as you do not want to lift or stretch the cloth.
Dirt spots, liquid spills and other stains are best removed using a commercially available pool table felt cleaner. You should clean up any visible spots and stains as soon as possible before they have time to work their way deep into the cloth. It is best to follow the label instructions for the product but most have you test the product on a hidden area of the cloth first to determine color fastness and fiber compatibility. Spray or apply a light coat to the soiled area and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Be sure to turn the cleaning cloth often to prevent reapplying deposits. Do not scrub as this will deposit the soil further into the cloth. Repeat this process until soil is gone. It can take several applications to clean stubborn stains.
Follow these tips to keep your pool table felt in best condition:
1. Regularly clean, brush and vacuum your pool table felt.
2. Clean pool balls when you clean your felt.
3. Clean dirt and liquid stains as soon as they occur.
4. Keep pets, drinks and liquids away from the table.
5. Monitor and train children in proper shooting techniques.
6. Keep all hard and sharp objects off the felt such as coins, keys, etc. to prevent cuts and tears.
7. Wash hands before playing to prevent the transfer of dirt and oils onto the table and cloth.
8. Chalk pool sticks away from the table and use a minimum amount of hand chalk only where it is needed.
9. Always use a quality pool table cover when the table is not in use.
Proline is a new line of billiard cloth that is readily available and provides a style, color, size and price to fit anyone's needs. Proline cloth is available in Speed 101, Match 202, Classic 303, Elite 404 and ProForm styles.
Proline Speed 101 billiard cloth provides the best combination of speed and low price. Speed 101 pool table felt is a good choice for home pool table owners who want fast game play at the best possible price. Proline Speed 101 cloth is available in 6 colors including basic green, tournament green, dark green, burgundy, euro blue and camel. This billiard cloth is a blend of 85% wool and 15% nylon with a weight of between 18 and 19 ounces. Speed 101 cloth is recommended for 7 and 8 foot pool tables for recreational home use.
Proline Match 202 billiard cloth is a commercial quality pool table felt that is a good choice for the home. Match 202 is available with or without teflon treatment for extra protection against spills and stains. Proline Match 202 is available in 8 colors including basic green, tournament green, dark green, burgundy, electric blue, euro blue, black and camel. This billiard cloth is a blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon with a weight of between 20 and 21 ounces. Match 202 and 202T Teflon cloth is recommended for 7, 8 and 9 foot commercial and home pool tables.
Proline Classic 303 billiard cloth is Proline's most popular line of cloth. Proline classic cloth comes in 30 colors and is the best choice for performance and value. Classic 303 cloth is available with or without Teflon treatment for extra protection against spills and stains. This billiard cloth is a blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon with a weight of between 20 and 21 ounces. Classic 303 and 303T Teflon cloth is recommended for commercial and home use.
Proline Elite 404 billiard cloth is a top of the line woolen cloth recommended for quality 7 and 8 foot home and commercial pool tables. Proline Elite 404 cloth is available in 20 colors and is a blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon with a weight of between 21 and 22 ounces.
Proline ProForm billiard cloth is a quality worsted cloth that is available in 12 colors and is recommended for precision play on 8 and 9 foot home and commercial pool tables. ProForm Worsted cloth is a blend of 70% wool and 30% nylon with a 23 ounce weight and consist of finely woven fibers creating a very fast and precise playing surface. Woven billiard cloth is the style used in all major pool tournaments and is the choice of better pool players everywhere.
All Proline billiard cloth come pre-cut with bed cloth and rails already cut. This makes the job of recovering pool tables much less difficult, especially for first time pool table recovering jobs. There are also complete recovering kits available that make the job even more easy by having everything needed to re-felt a pool table including instructions on a DVD or video tape.
With Fall weather blowing in and the temperatures dropping, everyone is thinking about tailgating parties and college football. But now is the time to think about your college theme home game room as well. Just about everyone has a favorite college team and these days you can find college game room accessories of all kinds with your favorite college team logo attached to it. Many Man Caves, garages and home game rooms are being converted to have a college theme.
This is also the time of year when everyone is preparing their pool table for a long winter of billiard playing. Having a pool table recovered or re-felted is the best thing you can do to improve the appearance and playing qualities of a pool table. There are all kinds and colors of pool table felt available out there, but did you know that you can get a college logo pool table felt that will customize your pool table into the most impressive looking college theme accessory for your game room?
This college felt features your favorite team logos and allows you to really show your college team spirit and dress up your pool table and game room. And now you don't have to settle for just a decal stuck in the middle of the play surface to interfere with your game of pool. Most of these college felts are quality woolen nap or worsted felt that is smooth and free from obstructions. Most college logo pool table felts use special screen-printing to produce crisp, sharp and vibrant college logos against the rich cloth color.
For those fans that prefer to have a pool table cloth without the logo but still want the college theme effect, two-tone color pool table felt is available where the bed and rails have contrasting colors of the college university. So now is the time get that pool table ready for winter playing season and add a little more color and spirit to your home game room.
Which Rail Rubber Cushion Should I Purchase?
How do I choose the correct pool table rail cushion is a question we get asked all the time. You must first determine the size of your pool table. Once you know your pool table size, you can determine the profile shape of your pool table rubber cushions. The industry standard and BCA approved cushion is a full profile K-66 cushion. K-66 refers to the shape of the cushion. Full profile means that it is a full size cushion. K66 rail cushions are the most common rail cushions used today. It is the standard rail cushion we send out in all of our complete pool table refelting kits. The K-55 profile rail cushion is used mostly in commercial coin operated pool tables, although most of the rubber cushion profile shapes have been used on commercial pool tables at one time or another. The K-55 cushion has the same general profile shape of the K-66 cushions but is larger in size. The U-23 profile cushions are not as widely used and are a smaller profile than the K-66 cushion and were used on some lower priced pool tables.
When choosing a pool table rubber cushion you want to make sure it is made out of pure gum rubber and has canvas cloth reinforcement on both the top and back sides of the cushion. The canvas on the top of the cushion helps maintain its shape and controls the action of the rubber for more accurate and consistent play. The canvas on the back side of the rubber helps maintain shape and allows the rubber cushion to bond tightly to the wood rail ensuring that it will not separate and come loose.
Making sure you have the correct rail rubber cushion profile ensures that the cushion height or the rail strike point is in the proper position in relation to the ball. The rail height or strike point should be 63 1/2% of the ball diameter. (ex. standard pool ball is 2 1/4" in diameter, rail height should be .635 x 2.25 or 1.43" in height.)
Compare the profile of your rail cushions to those below to determine the rubber cushion profile type that you have. Contact us at 985-845-7146 with any other questions you may have regarding your pool table recovering job. We will be happy to help you.
How Do I Replace Pool Table Rail Cushions?
Often we are asked about how to replace pool table bumper cushions. Replacing pool table rubber rail cushions is not difficult but must be done right to get proper play from your pool table. The first step is to determine which profile type pool table rubber cushions you need. This is a critical step as each pool table is designed for a particular size and shape cushion. This matched combination gives you the correct ball strike point in relation to the cushion for lively pool play without ball bounce outs. If the rubber cushion strikes too high on the ball, the rebound action will be reduced and if the cushion strikes the ball too low, the ball will likely bounce off the table. Use this guide to determine what pool table rail cushion profile type you need.
Begin by stripping off the old felt from around the wood pool table rail assemblies. Use a staple puller, a small regular screwdriver or other pointed tool to remove each staple. Pay attention to how the cloth was folded and stapled to your rail assembly so you can duplicate it during installation of the new felt. Once you have the felt removed from the rail, use a knife of other flat tool to separate the rubber cushion from the wood rail. You just need to begin the separation enough to get a hand on it and pull the old rubber cushion off. You then want to remove as much of the old cement glue as possible from the wood rail assembly. Use a solvent such as lacquer thinner or equivalent to soften and wipe as much old cement off as possible. You may want to use a sanding block to help smooth out the surface face more. Just don't change the shape of the wood surface.
Once you have the wood rail assembly ready to accept the new rubber cushion, test fit the new cushion for a good fit. Note that the rubber cushion is longer than the rail assembly and do not cut until you have it centered and glued with extra rubber cushion overhanging both ends of the rail assembly. Once satisfied with the fit, place a thin layer of contact cement to both the surface of the wood rail assembly and the back side of the rubber cushion, making sure you have all of the area covered. Wait 5 minutes and press the rail assembly and rubber cushion together making sure that the rubber cushion is centered with the rail assembly so that each side is hanging over both ends of the rail assembly. Be sure that both the top edge of the rail assembly and the top edge of the rubber cushion are level and flush with each other. Also be sure the rubber cushion is laying flat and in good contact with the rail assembly. Let this dry completely and then use a carpet knife, razor knife or fine tooth saw to cut the rubber cushion off even with the end of the wood rail. Use the surface of the wood rail as a guide to get the correct angle of the cut. You can use water or soapy water to act as a lubricant during cutting, just be sure it is clean and dry before the next step. Then center and glue the rubber cushion facings or end pieces onto the end of the rubber cushion and wood rail assembly using the same technique as before. Once dry, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut around the profile end of the rail assemblies. Then simply cover with new rail cloth as it was done before.
Information on how to choose replacement pool table pockets, including pocket styles and mounting iron types. Leather pool table pockets are available with either #3 or #6 irons.
#6 Irons #3 Irons
How do you tell which pool table pocket style you need? #6 pocket irons are the most common irons used today. They have a round post on each end of the iron that fit into the wood rail and a bolt screws into it from the bottom. Also available are #3 irons, which have a rectangle flange that sits on top of the rail and is held down with two bolts from the bottom. Both of these types of tables are known as "furniture" style tables. Most newer tables use #6 iron pockets and older or antique pool tables use #3 irons pool table pockets for those tables requiring top mount pockets. These are very high quality pockets featuring a beautiful antique brass or chrome plating on the irons. Also available are a pocket called a modern bucket used on ball return tables that return the ball to either end of the table. Also referred to as "modern" style tables, these tables can actually be either antique or modern style tables. In these antique style ball return tables, your pockets will need to have a gully boot attached to the bottom. Also, the inside trim, where the ball strikes, is generally deeper into the pocket to hide the fasteners used to attach the boot. If you have the modern style ball return table, you will only need a top liner, as the gully boot is built into the table. These pocket liners are available in plastic or leather. All styles of pockets are easily replaced by removing and replacing the pocket mounting iron bolts. Pocket nets are either stapled or brad nails are used to secure each end to the table frame. Pocket liners and buckets are also secured with brad nails on each side to the wood frame of the pool table. Use your old pocket as an example on how to reattach your new pockets and pocket accessories.
Please note: If your pool table is a really old table; older than 35-40 years old, these pockets will probably not fit your table because of inconsistencies in manufacturing pocket irons during these early years. Your best bet would be to have your existing pool table pockets rebuilt. We can have our pocket manufacturer rebuild your pool table pockets for between $400 and $450 plus shipping. Call us at 985-845-0570 for more information on this service.
With the Christmas Holidays behind us, we know that many families have enjoyed playing billiards on their new pool table and game tables. Pool tables have long been the center piece of most commercial and home game rooms. Billiards appeals to almost any person in any age group and can provide the most long term enjoyment of any piece of game room equipment.
While problems with new pool tables probably have not surfaced yet at this early stage in the table's life, the pool playing accessories almost immediately show signs of wear. These billiard accessories receive the greatest and hardest use and must be maintained, inspected and replaced as the need arises. There is a direct correlation between the quality and condition of the pool table playing accessories and the amount of satisfaction received from its game play.
Pool cues are the most essential accessories in the game of pool and require the most attention to their condition. With hit after hit between the cue stick and the pool balls, cue tips wear down or break off, cue ferrules break or crack and cue shafts become dirty, rough and no longer easily slide within the players hand while shooting. These hard cue to ball strikes require close attention to the condition of your pool cue. We carry a complete line of pool cue accessories including cue tips, cue tip tools, cue shaft products and more. Each is designed to make maintaining a cue fun and easy to perform.
Not only do pool cues require attention but all pool playing accessories including pool balls and ball racks should be inspected for chips, breaks and wear. As time passes, pool table maintenance will become more important. In particular, pool table felt becomes dirty from dust, cue chalk, dirt and oil that is transferred from balls and players hands. This dirt creates rapid wear on the felt cloth and all tables should be regularly brushed, spots cleaned and a pool table cover used between use to reduce this to a minimal. Felt replacement is required when these cloth maintenance procedures no long restore the cloth to its proper appearance and playing quality. As billiard tables age even more, pool table pockets show signs of wear and other table parts need to be replaced.
Proper and regular maintenance of your pool table and playing accessories will guarantee you quality and enjoyable playing performance while extending the life of your table and playing accessories.
Purchasing a pool table accessory kit allows you to get all the billiard playing accessories you need to play the game of pool in one complete and convenient kit. These billiard accessory sets generally come in three types including a basic set, deluxe set and a premium quality set.
Most basic pool table accessory kits contain all the basic accessories needed to get you started in playing pool and are a good first choice when you are on a budget. These basic sets provide everything you need to start playing pool on a new table and allow you to slowly upgrade to better balls, cues and other premium quality accessories later. All basic pool accessory sets contain pool cues, pool ball set, ball triangle rack, 9 ball rack, pool table cover, bed brush, rail brush and cue chalk.
Deluxe pool table accessory kits usually contain everything the basic sets do but also include a bridge stick with bridge head, kelly pool peas and shaker bottle and a pool cue wall rack. These deluxe kits provide players more and better quality playing accessories and are a good combination of quality products and economical price.
Premium pool table accessory kits contain everything deluxe kits do but usually come in several finish colors for the included accessories allowing you to match them to your pool table and home decor. Many of these top of the line kits contain more and better quality pool cues containing up to six in each kit. Many of these higher price billiard accessory kits allow the purchaser to select the type and style ball set they want to include in these kits. Rather than having to have a standard ball set in their combo kit, purchasers can choose a marble ball set or a top of the line Aramith ball set. Whether you are acquiring accessories for a new pool table or are replacing your old ones, pool table accessory kits can provide you with quality billiard accessories in a convenient package and at a price you can afford.
Scott Cannon Author
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