If you have been playing pool for some time now, you must know that the cushion plays the tricky and important part since the ball’s performance partially depends on the condition of your table’s cushion. This is the long, wedge-shaped rubber that is attached to the sides of the pool table’s rails. Most of the time, standard pool tables have K-66 cushions covered with felt cloth.
If used properly and with care, cushions last for 10-15 years. High-quality cushions will last for more than 25 years. But if you feel like your cushion loses its bounce even before the above mentioned years, we provide you the steps on how to easily replace all by yourself.
You just need a new set of rails, a heavy-duty glue, sharp knife, staple gun, and a straight edge, then you’re good to go!
Follow these simple steps.
Remove the rails. If the rails of your table are screwed, unscrew them and pull it up and out. Make sure to clean out the old glue’s residue and other rubber elements by using gunk-removing products or scrapers.
Apply adhesive. Apply it to both the wood and cushion neatly. Set it aside for several minutes until it gets sticky enough to be bonded together.
Trim. Slice off the cushion according to the size of the table, You may use the original markings from the wood rail as your guide.
Apply rubber facings. Apply enough coating adhesive to each end of the cushion. Let it rest for at least an hour until it becomes tacky to ensure its quality. Make sure to apply the rubber facing in straight lines and is in place with the entire wood.
Trim. Trim the excess rubber and use a sharp razor knife to ensure a clean and consistent cut.
Install the cushion facings. Coat it again with adhesive at each end of the rail and allow enough time to stick.
Trim. Trim excess felt inside of the feather strip for a cleaner look.
Staple. Fold the cloth tightly along the edges of the rail, keep it in contact and staple it.
Your pool table’s cushions age on its own as the years go by especially if it is overused. Checking the cushion from time to time is highly suggested. Here are some ways to test if your cushion needs a replacement:
If your balls don’t bounce or rebound just like the way it should be. If the ball comes to stop at the middle of the table, then probably your rails are worn out.
Listen attentively to the sound of the ball as it hits the rail. It’s time to replace it if it makes a “thudding” noise.
Try shooting a ball towards the rail using a high-speed to moderate spin. If it jumps more than an inch, the rails probably also need to be replaced.
According to the Billiards Congress of America, you would know if the cushions need replacement if:
“Cushions should react so that they conform under controlled conditions to the three cushion angles prescribed in the diamond” (or site) system to ± 1 ball width. The speed of the table cushions should be such that placement of a ball on the head spot, shooting through the foot spot, using center ball english, with a level cue and firm stroke, the ball must travel a minimum of 4 to 4 ½ lengths of the table without jumping.”
Maintenance Tips for Your Pool Table Cushion
Vacuum your table surface from time to time to prevent rusting and molding.
Soft hairbrush is also a big help on the table’s felt not to get damaged while cleaning constantly.
Make sure to wipe out dirt and germs with soft towels to maintain hygiene since a lot of friends are using your pool table.
After using it and when in no use, don’t forget to cover your pool table with a water-proof cloth.