If you’ve played before, you’d know that the cushion can make or break a game. Your performance depends largely on the state of the cushion at your table.
This is the long, wedge-shaped rubber that is attached to the sides of the rails of the pool table.
Mostly standard pool tables have K-66 cushions enclosed with a felt cloth.
The pool table cushions and rails can be changed quickly. All you require is a set of new rails, glue, a sharp knife, a staple gun, and a straight edge!
Here, we’ll outline how to replace pool table cushion rails.
Ways to Test If You Need to Replace Pool Table Cushions
The cushions of your pool table age by themselves over the years, mainly if they’re worn-out. Hence, it’s strongly recommended to check the cushion once in a while.
These are a few methods to check if your cushion needs to be replaced:
- If your balls doesn’t bounce as they should and stop at the center of the table, your rails are probably worn out.
- Carefully listen to the sound of the ball when it hits the cushion rail. If it makes a “thud” sound, it’s time to change it.
- Try to shoot a ball with fast to moderate spin at the rail using. If it bounces more than a centimeter, the rails will probably need to be replaced as well.
How to Replace the Cushions of the Pool Table
To change worn out pool table rails, you must remove the feather stick, felt cloth, stapes, and remove excess glue with a scraper.
When installing new rails, new rubber rails are glued on, the rail is cut to length, the rubber ends are attached, and new cloth is stapled over the rail.
Before installation, don’t cut the rubber. There ought to be some overhang at the end of each rail.
Ensure you check the top of the rubber so that you don’t end up installing it wrong side up.
When viewed from the side, the top of the triangular-shaped cushion has a small curve, while the boom side is on the level.
Before inserting the new upholstery rubber, sand the side of the rubber to be glued lightly to remove all residues mold release agent.
Wipe the surface of the wooden bottom rail onto which the cushion is to be bonded and get rid of any old adhesive residue.
Laquer thinner or ketone is well tolerated. Gently sand the entire wood sub-rail (grain size 400 or higher on a sanding block) to ensure an even and spotless surface.
Measurement — assess the new pillow by setting it on the rail and take a measure of the distance starting from the cushion’s nose to the slate if you’re using a regulation ball set (2.25″ dia).
The best performance is obtained when the distance from nose to slate is 1 7/16 inches.
If the ball set isn’t regulated, then you multiply 63% gage the diameter of the ball, and you will get the appropriate nose height for the cushions.
Smear a layer of contact bonding agent (3M-10 Scotchgrip recommended) to the rubber & wooden surfaces to be glued. Obey the instructions of the manufacturer on the can.
It’s essential to place the rubber in a straight line so that the top edge of the rubber is in-line with the top side of the bottom rail.
When installing, don’t stretch the rubber but ensure it’s in contact with the wood over the whole rail’s length.
As soon as the rubber is put on, look at it along the length to make sure it’s straight without ripples.
Allow enough glue dry. While you can work faster, it’s recommended to let the rails to rest overnight to ensure that the adhesive is sufficiently cured.
Cut off the excess rubber to ensure that it’s flushed with the mitered and at ends of the rail.
You can use a sharp razor, linoleum knife or a fine hacksaw.
Immersing the blade in soapy water facilitates cutting and stop the blade from becoming stuck in the rubber.
As soon as the excess cushion is eliminated, attach the cushion covers. Again, use contact adhesive to coat the facing and the end of the rail/rubber.
Let enough glue dry and then cut the excess facing rubber to match the rail’s contour and cushion rubber.
Walk along the railing length, pull the cloth taut and staple it in place. You want the felt to be close-fitting but not so tight that it interferes with the shape of your rails.
You can decide to insert 1 or 2 staples/tacks through the facing and into the wooden part of the rail to ensure that the facing doesn’t move during trimming. These can remain in place.
Lastly, fold and pin to the rail the other end of the felt, and you have effectively replaced your pool table cushions.
Care Tips for Your Pool Table Cushion
- Vacuum the surface of your table once in a while to avoid rust and mold formation.
- A soft hairbrush is also a great help on the felt of the table to avoid being damaged by constant brushing.
- Be sure to wipe off dirt and germs with soft towels to maintain hygiene as a lot of people make use of your pool table.
- Remember to cover your pool table with a water-resistant cloth after use and when not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Time To Replace the Cushion on the Pool Table?
Does your pool table no longer have a spring in its step? If so, this can happen over time.
Years of use will undoubtedly bring back many fond memories, but you also have to maintain with the upkeep. This will make sure that the table looks good, enabling it to provide top performance for years to come.
How Long Do the Cushions on the Pool Table Last?
If used appropriately and carefully, the cushions will last for 10–15 years. High-quality pillows will last for more than 25 years.
That’s everything you need to know about how to replace pool table cushion rails.