Billiard table cushion problem solved (metal related)

SHORT STORY: Took one of my rails to Golden West Billiards (only major 'made in America' table manufacturer aside from Olhausen) and complained about
lack of rebound. Was immediately told that my rails are too high and suggested I simply slide either a penny or a nickel (metal related) underneath the outside edge of the rails in order to tip the nose of the rails a little lower. SOLVED MY PROBLEM!
LONG STORY: Live in the Portland Oregon region. Brought my table with me from S.F. Bay area about 7 years ago. Left it unassembled (properly wrapped) in my unheated shop for over a year. Finally had one of the local table mechanics set my level my slates and recover the table. On a medium stroke shot the ball would simply 'thud' into the cushion and rebound a mere 6 to 8 inches. This was happening on four of the six cushions, almost the full length of the cushion. In frustration, I ripped off the cushion cloth and noticed that the rubber was visibly cracked and hard as a rock. Called the idiot (he is the one that removed the old cloth from the stored cushions) and asked him why he would re-cover a table that was obviously defective. Said he was sorry and would make it up to me by installing new rubbers at a good price. Did so, re-covered the table again (faster cloth) and I was still unsatisfied. Made myself a 24" metal ramp (metal related) that had a 3/4" rise at one end. Would let a ball roll down and measured the rebound. I would also go to pool halls and repeat the same measurement. On the WORST tables at the pool halls the rebound distance was almost twice the distance as upon mine. Waited a year, found an old mechanic with 40 years of experience, said he would re-cushion with the best German rubber having a K-6 profile. I delivered my six rails to his shop. Calls me 2 weeks later and tells me that my rails are too high. Wants permission to run them through the jointer, or table saw, to get them down to the right height. "Sure, go ahead"! Three weeks later he comes out and installs the rails and re-covers the table with Simonis cloth. I get out my little 'ramp gage' and he laughs at me. "That's not how we check rebound. We shoot a ball the full length of the table (into a corner) and the ball should hit at least 8 rails". He starts shooting and after a while he's almost 'throwing' the ball by hand and the best he can do is about 5 rails. Once in a while 6. Because of my nature I pay him in full and tell him to get lost.
Now, two years later, thinking that Golden West (the manufacturer of my 20 yr. old table) will probably mount new rubbers, or confess that my thin rails don't have enough mass for proper rebound, I was expecting that they will cut new rails for me that are wider and more massive than my 4" rails. No, we walk into the showroom, they immediately take the rail out of my hand, place it on a showroom table opposite their rail and show me that it's too high. They say take it home, try sliding a penny under and if that does not work try a nickel. Pennies are cheaper but I went with the nickel. Using my ramp (metal related) I went from a 16"-17" rebound to a consistent 23" rebound.
BTW, while this doesn't sound like much, this is extremely slow velocity ramp. It would be difficult to even shoot a ball at this slow velocity. My point being is that at a medium speed shot the percent improvement in rebound is much more than indicated by the percentage improvement above. The force increases with the square of the velocity. In fact, at these very slow speeds, I was able to pick up an extra inch of rebound simply by polishing the balls. Proved it with 5 different balls. While I saw no visible grit or lint on the cloth, a good brushing also added about on half of an inch. Of course all you players know that cleanliness is very critical at very slow speeds.
Sorry about the long rant. I'm just elated that after 4 years of putting up with this (tired of spending money) Golden West solved my problem, did not try to sell me a new table, did not try to sell me new rubber etc., but simply told me to lower my cushions.
While using a nickel works, I am fully capable of putting the rails either through my table saw or the jointer for a more permanent fix.
WHAT COULD HAVE GONE WRONG: Three possibilities: While the last tech new my rails were high and asked permission to run them through the table saw, he either forgot (had them for four weeks) or his new apprentice forgot. Another possibility is that he ran them through the saw BEFORE installing the new rubber. The new rubber, having a different profile (K6) is possibly higher than the old. Golden West tells me that all the rubber with different profiles have different heights and must be compensated for.
Comments appreciated. Have fun playing!!!
Ivan Vegvary
(cross posted to rec.sport.billiards)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ivan Vegvary wrote: ...

...
If it was too _high_, how does putting shims _under_ it help? Wouldn't they just make it _higher_?
Thanks, Rich
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 02 Dec 2010 02:15:33 -0800, Rich Grise

Silly wabbit. Shims under the OUTER edge drop the INNER edge so the radii are more closely matched between nose and ball. Too high and it stops the rebound, too low and the ball jumps off the table.
Kudos to Golden Showers, er, West for doing the right thing and having the knowledge to pass along to Ivan. Excellent customer service, and superb advertising you cannot buy at any price.
-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It must be tough to be stupid.
HE PUT THE SHIM ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RAIL, MAKING THE INSIDE COME DOWN.
Sheesh..
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ivan, A very interesting story. So as a result, I assume you now know the correct point of intersection of the cushion on the ball's hemisphere. I assume that point to be just above center, but I really don't know. Could you please tell us? Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Regulation balls are 2-1/4" high. Regulation rails should be set at 62-1/2% 1% of ball hight. That translates to approximately 1-3/8 inches. Obviously, a center-ball rail height would give the optimum rebound. Below center would send balls flying off the table. Above center captures the balls (they get wedged under) for an instant before rebound. Since I play more of a 'finesse' game (14-1, or straight billiards) I rarely have occasion to slam the ball and send it off the table. In fact, since the rebound is better, all my shots can be made with a softer stroke.
Happy holidays!! Ivan Vegvary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Regulation balls are 2-1/4" high. Regulation rails should be set at 62-1/2% 1% of ball hight. That translates to approximately 1-3/8 inches. Obviously, a center-ball rail height would give the optimum rebound. Below center would send balls flying off the table. Above center captures the balls (they get wedged under) for an instant before rebound. Since I play more of a 'finesse' game (14-1, or straight billiards) I rarely have occasion to slam the ball and send it off the table. In fact, since the rebound is better, all my shots can be made with a softer stroke.
Happy holidays!! Ivan Vegvary
Thanks for the info. I have wondered if mine was right, and now I know how to check. I moved it once, and it was not that difficult. But I've been wondering about the cushions and how bouncy they are compared to others. I need to make a ramp, like you did, and compare some tables. I also need to recover it soon. I used to think green was the only color for felt, but the burgundy goes better with our color scheme, so may go burgundy again. Going to select a high quality felt, too.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My book comes out in January. If it does good, I'll buy it, and come down and shop your yard, too. Man, do I want a snooker table, and that one would be a peach. Is it one piece one inch slate? All I gotta do is make that first million.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used to play snooker a lot. When I was a kid, the youth center had three pool tables, one snooker and one billiard. You had to work your way up to the snooker table. You had to be tall as a cue stick to play. If you knocked a ball off a regular table, you had a one hour penalty. If you knocked a second one off, you had a one day penalty from that time of day. If you knocked a snooker ball off, you had an immediate one day penalty. Period.
I used to play "golf" and "insurance" on a snooker table for money when I used to play a lot, and I liked to just go in and practice with a set of 2 1/8" regular set of balls (yellow one, black eight, etc), and would play for hours by myself, kind of a Zen thing. Slows your stroke down.
We did an old HOA last month, and their pool room had three snooker, one billiard, and six regulation pool tables, all Brunswick. Whoever put it together was a pool player. The place was "manufactured homes", but was the nicest I have ever seen in Las Vegas. HUGE HUGE rec area and pool and interior rooms. Those old Brunswicks are about $3500 each now.
I am going to have to work on the wife, and perhaps even build a room for the snooker table, but if I make a million on the book, I'll just add it on to the shop.
I'm serious. I'll keep it filed in my brain. And I need a couple of other items that I will be contacting you about soon.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.