It is easy to take the components of your pool table for granted. However, if you find that the balls aren't maintaining energy as they bounce off the sides, you may need pool table replacement rails.
What Causes Problems With Pool Table Rails?
High-quality rails can last 25 years or more, while lower-quality ones may only last 10 years - and if they are mistreated, all bets are off. This is something to keep in mind when you are considering pool table replacement rails. Buying high-quality replacements can save you money in the long term.
It may surprise you to know, that the more you use your table, you can actually prolong the life of the rubber (the cloth - not so much). Exposure to hot and dry conditions can cause the rubber to age more quickly, so the rails of a pool table that is stored in direct sunlight are likely to wear out more quickly than one stored in a darker area and damper, such as a basement.
Other problems with rails include incorrect installation of the cushion rubber to the rail wood, the rail cloth, or loose rail bolts.
How Do You Know When You Need Pool Table Replacement Rails?
There are several ways to check if the rails of your pool table are worn out and need replacing:
- Use your fingers to apply pressure to the cushions. They should sink into the material at least one-eighth of an inch. If they do not, the cushions are too hard. But most importantly - the cushion should immediately return to its normal shape when you release the pressure.
- While squeezing the cushions, run your fingers around and under the rails. Feel for worn tracks or grooves in the cloth underneath the cushion, on the playing surface.
- Test the rebound action by rolling a ball across the short side of the table. Before the ball comes to a stop, it should rebound three to four times (roll the ball pretty hard). If the ball does not bounce this many times (assuming the table is well constructed and the nose of the cushion is at the correct height), you may require pool table replacement rails. If in doubt - try the same on another table at a local bar or pool hall - is their bounce better?
- Listen to the sound of the ball as it rebounds. If it makes a dull thudding noise, you may need to replace the rails - again - compare this to other tables if possible, do they sound/feel more ‘springy’? If the thud sound is heard, you could have loose cloth, loose bolts or the rubber has come away from the backing wood.
What Should You Consider When Purchasing Pool Table Replacement Rails?
Once you have determined that you need pool table replacement rails, there are other things you need to take into consideration when choosing them.
There are several common rubber profiles (K55, K66, U23, etc) and there are reasons for choosing each - but the most important thing about the rubber profile is that the ‘nose’ of the rubber contacts the ball at the correct height (slightly above the middle of the ball). To get this right, check out the Penguin FAQ page and look at how to determine which table you have.
It is important to choose replacement rails that fit the size of your table. Be sure to measure the table carefully before purchasing.
Purchase Pool Table Replacement Rails From Penguin Amusements
We started in 1986 as an arcade game and pinball repair business. Since then, we have specialized in pool table replacement rails and related products and services. Contact us for more information.