Used Pool Table Buyers Beware of Dead Cushions

Dec 18, 2011

This was pool table move job that could have turned into an ugly situation. The clients who hired us found this eight foot Imperial International pool table on Craigslist. The table was purchased new by the sellers about seven years ago. When we arrived at the pickup location in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to get started on disassembling the pool table. I noticed that the three of the six rails had cushion rubber that had prematurely deteriorated. The sellers of the table hadn’t really been playing too much pool in last couple of years and didn’t realize it. Good quality cushion rubber has a normal life expectancy of 20-25 years, this pool table was only seven years old. This was an unexpected surprise for the new owners of the pool table, luckily the two parties worked everything out amicably.

So we proceeded to dismantle the pool table and move it to it’s new home in Cypress, CA. We’ll be bringing the set of rails to our shop to be re-cushioned. Luckily the previous billiard mechanic had left enough extra rail cloth underneath the rails, so it looks like we’ll be able to re-staple the cloth after we install the new cushion rubbers. If you’re looking around for used pool tables please be sure and test out the bounce of each rail. Normally a ball should make three to four cushion to cushion contacts on the short side, before it comes to rest. A ball leaving the rail should make no sound. If you hear a “thud” after contact, that cushion is probably “dead”.

Now this doesn’t mean that the pool table is a bad pool table, just that the manufacturer tried to reduce their production costs by using lower quality cushion rubber. I’ve seen many well built pool tables and even well known manufacturers who have fallen prey to cheaply made cushion rubber.