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Is There Such A Thing As A "Lemon" Pool Table?


Is There Such A Thing As A "Lemon" Pool Table?

New guy here. I just wanted to ask, Is there such thing as a Lemon pool table?

A buddy of mine bought a pool table off Craigslist in near brand new condition, but something just seems fishy while playing on it. A lot of times if you take a basic long shot and hit the cue with medium or hard speed, the ball just bounces in between the pocket, like a pinball machine. I'm thinking maybe the rails are just too stiff, but I've never seen other tables do this.

Is There Such A Thing As A "Lemon" Pool Table?

Replies & Comments

  1. King_Of_ScratchMitch Alsup on 7/9/2009 11:29:07 AM

    Lots of pockets are set up so that anything other than a near perfect shot will rattle in the pocket. On mine, for example, a shot down the rail that just grazes the side rail before arriving at the corner pocket will rattle about and not drop. A pocket SHOUD NOT allow anthing that reaches its mouth to drop--but should distinguish between well struck shots and slot that happens to show up near the mouth. Hitting the object ball at "pocket speed" (i.e. near dead slow) will help pot the balls. Banging balls (hitting hard and hoping) towards the pocket is not condictive to attaining a great game anyways.

    Now, with a little mechanical skill and a set of wrenches, you can adjust 'some' of this away, making the pockets more shooter friendly.

    A natural property of slate is that if you hit down on the cue ball, it will rise up off the table and arc down the table, typically bouncing 3 tiems. Depending on the height of the butt of the cue when the cue ball is struck, this may be more or less apparent. When you see and understand, you will call these jump shots. If the cue ball is bouncing off the slate and impacts a ball, that ball will also bounce off the slate and take a 3D trajectory towards the pocket. These 3D trajectories are not conductive to potting the object ball.

    This is not to say that the rubber in the cushions are not in need of replacement. Just can't tell from your statements about how your table plays.

  2. King_Of_ScratchBev Stayart on 8/20/2009 9:53:17 AM

    In my experience, I have never heard of a "lemon" pool table.

  3. King_Of_ScratchFenwick on 8/20/2009 11:44:57 AM

    Yes. Cheap is bad and IMHO made in China is bad. Has to do with the slate and the bumpers and the bed the slat lays on. The foundation of the table. And or it can be set up wrong. Every brand of table plays a little different. Even well made tables vary. FWIW there are people out there that can fix a table but how much are you're willing to pay. "the ball just bounces in between the pocket, like a pinball machine." That happens for a lot of different reasons IMHO. I've seen or had it happen more times then I care to admit.

  4. King_Of_ScratchMitch Alsup on 8/20/2009 3:09:32 PM

    "A lot of times if you take a basic long shot and hit the cue with medium or hard speed, the ball just bounces in between the pocket, like a pinball machine."

    Have you tried hitting the object ball (and by necessity cue-ball) softer? So that the OB just barely dropps into the pocket.

    Many beginners see the pros on TV banging the balls into pockets at horrifying speeds. What you don't see, is the extreme delicacy that they do this. When you have proper skill in the delicacy department, you should be able to place an OB 2 ball width from a corner pocket and with the CB in the jaws of the opposite corner pocket, roll the CB down the table, contact the OB, drive the OB towards the pocket but so delicately that it stops before it drops. Practice this for 2 weeks (50-100 shots per day) and a whole new world of shotmaking will show up at your doorstep. Because, now, you will have the skill to place the CB wherever on the table you need it for the next shot.

  5. King_Of_ScratchFenwick on 8/28/2009 5:15:07 AM

    Mitch,

    "Have you tried hitting the object ball (and by necessity cue-ball) softer? So that the OB just barely drops into the pocket."

    Sure but on break shots I have to put a little power into the shot. Those shots require dead on accuracy center pocket hits.

    The cut of the pocket has some effect on pocket rattle also correct? The tables I play on are cut so if you touch the rail or the tit of the pocket there's no way the O.B. will go in.

    I played nothing but pocket speed for 2 months during practice. It can become a bad habit IMHO if over done. Before that I was known for my slow rolling the length of the table, 9 feet.

    Being that I play mostly straight pool it tends to be mostly stop, stun and follow shots 90% of the time. Draw shots are used sparingly.

  6. King_Of_ScratchMitch Alsup on 8/28/2009 10:33:32 AM

    Originally posted by Fenwick
    Mitch,

    "Have you tried hitting the object ball (and by necessity cue-ball) softer? So that the OB just barely drops into the pocket."

    Sure but on break shots {in 14.1} I have to put a little power into the shot. Those shots require dead on accuracy center pocket hits.

    Just make sure you are choosing the best OB as the 15th ball on the table when the next rack comes around. Then make darned sure to position the CB for a rather straight powerful break shot the also whacks the rack (preferable on the center of a OB in the rack).

    The cut of the pocket has some effect on pocket rattle also correct? The tables I play on are cut so if you touch the rail or the tit of the pocket there's no way the O.B. will go in.

    The cut of the pocket edges and the depth of the shelf inside those cuts determines how hard the pocket is. On my table (Olhausen) an OB glancing off the rail at a very gentle angle will not drop (95% of the time). With any speed involved, it will rattle around and get spit back out on the table.

    I played nothing but pocket speed for 2 months during practice. It can become a bad habit IMHO if over done. Before that I was known for my slow rolling the length of the table, 9 feet.

    Being that I play mostly straight pool it tends to be mostly stop, stun and follow shots 90% of the time. Draw shots are used sparingly.

    Most of the people I coach, teach, and play against; hit the ball too hard too often. My old pappy used to say, "you don't have to hit them any harder than to get them over the edge in the pocket.". In fact, one of my daily drills is to set OBs 3 ball widths from the corner pocket, and from the opposite corner pocket, slow roll the CB, hit the OB towards the pocket but so gently that the ball does not drop. This really helps on those situations where you need to play a long safety shot, and play it well, or you a$$ will get ripped.

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Is There Such A Thing As A "Lemon" Pool Table?

  • Title: Is There Such A Thing As A "Lemon" Pool Table?
  • Author:
  • Published: 7/9/2009 2:36:28 AM