Problems with Pool Table Rails and How to Repair Them

Lower-quality rails may only last ten years, and higher-quality rails may last at least twenty-five years if properly maintained. This, of course, is contingent on whether or not there is any misuse. When shopping for new pool table rails, this should be kept in mind as a major problem on the list of priorities. When it comes to replacements, spending more money upfront on high-quality alternatives will save you money in the long term when you utilize them.

It is also important to remember that the lifetime of the rubber that covers the table’s surface is directly related to how frequently it is utilized (the cloth – not so much). Because extended exposure to hot and dry conditions accelerates the aging process of rubber, rails on a billiard table kept in full sunlight are more likely to wear out sooner than rails stored in a darker and more damper location, such as a basement. This is because extended exposure to hot and dry conditions can increase the aging process of rubber.

Other issues that may emerge with rails include incorrect cushion rubber connection to the rail wood, rail fabric, or loose rail bolts. Other possible difficulties are as follows: Other concerns that may arise with rails include poor cushion rubber connection to the rail wood, degradation of the rail fabric, and loose rail bolts.

The Warning Signs That It’s Time to Replace the Rails

It is possible to establish whether or not the rails on your pool table have seen better days and need to be changed in a variety of ways, including those outlined in the following paragraphs.

You may apply pressure to the cushions by repeatedly pressing down on them with your fingertips. They should be able to pierce the material by at least one-eighth of an inch at the very least. If this does not happen, the cushions will have an uncomfortable density and will be unable to be utilized.

However, this is not the most important point: once the pressure is released, the cushion should return to its former shape. While you’re doing it, run your fingers over the bottom of the chair’s railings and all the way around it. Run your fingertips below the cushion on the playing surface to check for any worn tracks or grooves in the cloth. If you come across any worn tracks or grooves, you may make use of them.

Rolling a ball along the table’s shorter side can be used to assess the table’s capacity to bounce the ball back into play. This is an excellent method for testing the table. It is advised that the ball be given three to four bounces before being allowed to come to a halt. If the ball does not make this many bounces on the pool table, you may need to purchase new rails for the table (presuming the table is adequately built and the nose of the cushion is at the appropriate height).

If you’re searching for a reference point, try playing the same hand at a different table in a nearby pub or pool club to see if the bounce at the other table is better than the bounce at the table where you’re presently sitting.

Pay close attention to the sounds that the ball makes as it goes back and forth between the two spots. If at all feasible, compare the results of this table to those of others. Do the other tables appear to have a more “springy” sound or mood than this one? If it creates a constant pounding sound, the rails may need to be fixed.

A pounding sound might indicate that the rubber has come away from the backing board, the cloth is hanging loose, or the bolts are loose.

What Are Some of the Most Important Reasons to Replace Your Rails?

When it comes to selecting new rails for your pool table, there are a few more variables to consider before making your purchase. For the majority of pool table rails, vulcanized rubber is the material of choice. This implies that the rubber has been strengthened while retaining part of its suppleness. Think about the form of a tire or a hockey puck. Both are made of rubber and have a high level of durability.

Because synthetic rubber can also be vulcanized, the quality of the rubber might vary from one brand to the next. However, the material might differ from one manufacturer to the next, which is why doing some research before making a purchase is essential.

There are various other profiles that are often used for rubber, such as K55, K66, and U23, and each of these profiles has its own set of pros and disadvantages. The rubber’s nose should make contact with the ball at the right height for the rubber’s shape. However, this is not the most important part of the rubber’s design.

It is critical to choose replacement rails that are proportionate to the size of the table you will be utilizing them on. Before you buy the table, you should make certain that you have the correct measurements. This is required in order to purchase the table.

What is the Purpose of the Pool Table Rails?

The path that the ball takes will be determined by your railings. When the balls make contact with the pool rails, the quality and hardness of the rails determine how and at what angle the balls travel. The distance traveled by the balls after colliding with the rails is the same. This is crucial because the amount of quality and toughness affects not just the motion of the balls when they contact the rails but also the total motion of the balls. If the rails of a pool table are carefully built, the ball’s bounce will remain consistent no matter where it hits on the table, even if it’s in a different portion of the table.

The game’s tempo is also regulated by the rails. If the rails are either too high or too low, some of the energy obtained from the bounce will be used in an unexpected way. As a result of this, a ball will travel a lesser distance after it has bounced since it will waste its energy in an erratic manner. This is because the energy obtained from a bounce is best used when it is used to go in a linear direction.

The balls may “jump” as they bounce off the rails if the rails are not exactly aligned by as little as an eighth of an inch. This is something that may be seen when the rails are not properly aligned. This is caused by the balls striking the rails with too much force.


When we first opened our doors in 1986, we were a repair business for arcade games and pinball machines. Since then, we’ve gained expertise in the provision of replacement pool table rails, as well as other items and services related to this industry. Please visit our website at penguin-brand.com for more information.