My quest to build a High End Pooltable

My gift to the Billiards Community

Building the rails, Drilling the Pocket Ear Holes, Measuring and cutting the rails







12/13/2000- Here comes the most critical part of the table... Building the rails. Hang on to your shorts cuz this is going to be a wild ride.... This is one of the reasons that the site has not been updated in a while.

I had to calculate the exact length of the rails so there would be no gaps in the pockets where they meet the rail. The first way I tried to calculate it was by the pocket ear holes... Bad move. The second way was by the front of the blank for the subrail.. Oops another bad move. So I finally came up with a way that is a set value all the way around the table. I went by the inside line of where the mahogany matches up with the subrail in the feather strip grove. The reason I went to this point is because that is where the point of the pocket lines up with the rail. It is also the point where the angles start for the pocket opening. So here goes. First you measure the pocket and find that the point of the pocket opening to the opposite side is 3 inches. Then you measure from the back of the feather strip to the nose of the cushion (yes you will need your cushions now). That measurement comes to 2 inches. Now take the playing area, 50 width and add 4 inches (this is the measurement from feather strip to nose of cushion x 2 because you have 2 rails). So now you have to subtract the pocket measurement of 3 inches from the 54 inches to come up with the end rail size. I.E. 48 inches. Now do the same for the side rails. 100 inch playing area + 4 for the cushion to feather strip measurement - 6 for the pocket measurement. You come up with 98 inches. Now don't forget your side pocket. They typically are 5 inches across. So you subtract the 5 from the 98 and come up with 93. Now you devide that by 2 because you have 2 side rails. 46 1/2 inches is the size of the side rail. DON'T CUT THEM YET!!! You want to cut them a little long because we have to do something first. So straight cut them around an 1/8th of an inch larger than the calculated measurement. The reason for this is it is much easier to drill into a straight piece of wood than an angled one (I will get to that).

Now to find the center of the pocket ear holes. Line your pocket up so the point on the pocket is lined up with the back edge of the feather strip. then measure back from the feather strip grove to the center of the post. That is how far back from the feather strip the hole will be. Now measure from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket ear (that is actually the part that will be contacting the rail when you have them bolted in) and subtract 1/6 - 1/8 of an inch from that measurement (because you want the pocket to sit above the rail a little. Now subtract 11/32 (the center of 11/16) from that measurement. You now have how far from the top of the rail you have drill. My two measurements came out 2 1/2 inches from the front of the subrail by 7/8ths of an inch from the top of the rail. Now Take your #10 counter sinking drill bit and predrill holes at those locations. Go ahead and drive the counter sink into the rail. Be sure to keep the drill bit square with the rail both vertically and horizontally so you do not end up drilling the hole crooked. After you predrill the rail. Run a 11/16th drill bit into the predrilled hole. Mark the drill bit with a piece of tape so you know how deep you have drilled. I drilled mine 1 3/4 inches deep so I would have some left over after I cut the rail to its proper dimension. After drilling all the holes in the end of the rails, now you can cut your rails to the proper length. You want to set your miter saw blade (or table saw blade) at a 5 degree angle. You will cut the rail end angled out from bottom to top. The reason for this is the angle will allow room for the leather on the pocket and give you a tight fit between the rail and pocket. Now you know why we waited on cutting these angles. Imagine trying to keep the drill level and square trying to drill into an angled end, NO THANK YOU.

Now that you have all the proper lengths. Go ahead and put them on your table with the pockets installed. Now I want you to try something... TRY AND STOP STARING AT IT!!!. Beautiful ain't she!

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