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Replace or Repair a Victor Pool Table Ball Return System

Replace or Repair a Victor Pool Table Ball Return System

My grandfather had a Victor pool table custom build in 1970 and now the table belongs to me.

I'd like to know how to restore or replace the ball return system, which is now in disrepair.

Since the company is defunct does anyone know how I might be able to do this?

Replace or Repair a Victor Pool Table Ball Return System

Replies & Comments

  1. user1504909692O2doc on 1/16/2020 7:11:00 AM

    I just finished resurrecting my Victor Cleveland pool table, circa 1930, after it spent 3 decades in pieces in my basement.

    Like you, I was faced with a deteriorated original (Frank Lanza patented) ball return. After touching base with Ed Lanza, I decided to go rogue, and was able to fabricate a return using 3” PVC for < $ 120 from the box store.

    If you haven’t yet solved your problem, I can provide you additional construction photos, inclusive of one that is effectively a measured drawing.

    As you mentioned 1970 and custom build, the concept might apply but the sizing/measurements likely won't exactly.


  2. user1504909692j3nineball on 3/15/2020 6:27:33 PM

    I just bought a Victor pool table just like the one you posted here.

    Can you provide me with any pictures and/or advice on taking it apart and putting it back together?

  3. user1504909692O2doc on 3/16/2020 6:06:15 AM

    Unfortunately, I didn't take or keep any photos that might be of help as to the general aspects of assembly or disassembly. The pix I compiled were specific to the novel ball return system, and can be found as a PDF link within my 1/18/2020 post to the below thread.

    When doing the overall assembly, I thought that things were reasonably "self-evident," and I guess I was right because my table still stands (as of now!).

    If you've got particular questions regarding particular components, post some photos, and I'll give you the best input I can under the circumstances.

  4. user1504909692billiardsforum on 3/16/2020 7:09:53 AM

    What a great solution you've created to replace a failing ball return.

    I love the use of those black flexible rubber couplings to accommodate the slightly irregular angle needed to run the pipe up to those corner pockets.

    One could solve the noise issue by cutting the PVC in half (since you only really need the bottom half) and lining the bottom of the pipes with a thin rubber or other material.

  5. user1504909692O2doc on 3/16/2020 8:04:53 AM

    I agree that “halving” the PVC would facilitate rubber/felt/other lining placement for noise reduction. It would also facilitate routine cleaning or trapped ball retrieval. (BTW: I’ve played dozens of racks without a stuck ball.) I don’t think it would significantly compromise structural strength, the need for which is modest in the first place.

    An alternate to outright halving perhaps would be to cut PVC “slits” as per blue rectangles in the attached photo, to retain more of the circumference and structural strength, especially at the (non-cemented) joints. It could probably be done without terrible difficulty using standard table saw and/or other saw.


  6. user1504909692user1610333597 on 1/10/2021 6:53:21 PM

    Do you happen to have the PVC measurements for replacing the ball return on a 9-foot Victor pool table?

  7. user1504909692O2doc on 1/11/2021 9:01:43 AM

    Here are the fabrication instructions for my PVC ball return system (and it is about 7 MB so let it load).

    PVC Pipe Ball-Return for Pool Tables (PDF)

    See page two for the PVC measurements.

  8. user1504909692RayMills on 2/6/2021 2:04:22 PM

    @O2doc, I will dare to ask the question that so many of us want to have answered:

    How silent is the new PVC ball return system?

    My ball return quieting project is set for this spring, but I won't be installing any PVC. I probably won't cover any surfaces of the return channels, either, but I wonder how much a full pipe constrains or trumpets noise that a half pipe would release. My loudest bangs are when the balls get some speed up and are turned sideways to fall into the display box. (I'm on a free-play 8-foot coin-op pool table.)

  9. user1504909692O2doc on 2/7/2021 6:27:33 AM

    How loud? That’s a tough one to answer absent attaching a short video/audio file. Attachments to the forum are evidently limited to docs and pics. However, see the attached pic, courtesy of an iOS free app dB meter.

    My pool table sits in an open unfinished basement near a furnace. Via an iPod table-side mic, baseline “silence” registers 31.9 dB. The max noise of a single ball dropping into a pocket is:

    76.5 dB - 31.9 dB = 44.6 dB

    The relative noises of subsequent events can be eyeballed on the waveform. It’s certainly not silent, but I’ve felt no need to attempt post-hoc noise reduction e.g. padding the PVC.

    Whether the closed conduits amplify sound more than if they were open is an interesting question. I don’t have enough acoustics skill or intuition for an educated guess. The experimental method—just cutting away some of the tubing and testing—would provide the answer, but I’m just not that motivated.


  10. user1504909692billiardsforum on 2/7/2021 9:36:44 AM

    It's an awesome DIY ball return system, and great discussion.

    I'd think the prolonged "sounds" of pocketing one or more balls would suit me just fine!

    That extra noise is because you just pocketed a ball. It seems like it would prolongs that inner-victory you feel, and perhaps extends the dopamine hit you feel when a ball rattles into a pocket.

    @O2doc - I sent you an email about the audio file...

  11. user1504909692O2doc on 2/8/2021 5:55:29 AM

    Your “dopamine hit” hypothesis for the sounds of pocketed balls makes sense.

    The darker side: The same thing likely reinforces little old ladies at Atlantic City slots who get “rewarded” by pleasant bleeps and jingles each time they pull the lever --and even more so on a jackpot. At least the pool player relies on skill and the slot player merely luck!

    ... and the pool player at home is expending merely time and not coins!

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Replace or Repair a Victor Pool Table Ball Return System

  • Title: Replace or Repair a Victor Pool Table Ball Return System
  • Author:
  • Published: 9/8/2017 6:28:13 PM
  • Last Updated: 9/9/2017 10:46:43 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)