Valley Cushion Rail Information

Valley Cushion Rail Information
Cushion Rail Information
Valley-Dynamo has used three different profiles of cushion rail rubber: U-23, K-55
and the current spec – K-66. When changing your rail sets it is critical that the profile is consistent. Valley switched from U-23 to K-55 in 1989 and from K-55 to K-66
in 1999. Dynamo switched between K-55 and K-66 several times, based on player
and Operator preference.
U-23—prior to 1989
K-66—current use
Our Dual Density K-66 rubber is optimized for shot accuracy, but may not
play as fast as other rubber profiles. Based primarily on feedback received
from Tournament play, this is our rubber of choice for new production tables
and replacement cushion rails.
All rail rubber is date coded. Valley also began stamping the
profile and date on the wood rail in 2002 to make it easier for
Operators to keep sets matched. Sets from 2009 now have a
Richland Hills TX stamp.
Playing with mismatched rails is like hitting the Basketball court with one Air Jordan
and one Converse All-Star. Someone watching may or may not notice, but if you’re
the one playing, you will notice... big-time!
WHAT REALLY IS THE PROPER CUSHION RAIL HEIGHT? – A frequently-askedquestion if ever there was one. BCA Specifications are 60% - 64% of the height of the object ball, or more simply measured: 1 7/16‖ above the bed of the table. Many people
align the cushion rail even with the top rail laminate—which should put the rails at the
bottom-end of the specification. Valley-Dynamo sets rails at the top-end of the specification from the factory. This allows an operator to use unbacked bed cloth on the slate
but still keeps the nose of the cushion within specifications and above the top rail laminate. In our years of experience, a higher setting keeps balls from ―jumping‖ off of the
table just as easy as the lower setting. (Flying pool balls are usually not appreciated in
your local tavern). If you prefer to increase the speed or bounce of your rails, set them
lower… at your own risk.
… BUT THEY STILL LOOK A LITTLE HIGH TO ME: Sometimes, the cushions
may be as much as 1/16‖ higher than the rail laminate. Not a problem. Rail height
is measured from the slate surface up. If you set the cushions so they are flush with
the rail laminate and ignore the crucial measurement from the slate surface, you
increase the chance of balls bouncing over the cushions— and onto your players!
HOW TIGHT IS NOT TIGHT ENOUGH? Players’ complaints about ―dead rails‖
may be easily solved with simple tightening of the rail bolts. We are frequently asked how tight the rails should be. Experience has found that 65
inch-pounds of torque provides the optimum tightness for cushion rails. This
setting assures the rails can stay set at the recommended height and maintain
the expected rebound properties (although proper mounting is a bigger factor in play quality than tightening the rail bolts to specifications). To avoid
cross-threading your rail bolts, MAKE SURE YOU START THE BOLTS BEFORE
FULLY TIGHTENING to torque specs. Cross-threaded bolts are not a covered
warranty failure.
Also, check your rail height as shown on page 2. Rails mounted too high can
also result in dead action. Finally, rails that may seem dead could have experienced separation in the glue bond attaching the rail and wood. Strip the rubber away from the wood, clean the old glue residue from both surfaces, and reglue to solve the problem. The cushion rails on a table in heavy use for more than
18 months will begin to lose their bounce. Consider restoring the table’s play with
a new set of Genuine Valley-Dynamo rails—they are available pre-covered, or uncovered (most sizes) so you may use your choice of cloth.
We’ve heard this one and while the occasional rail set reaches a customer with a
problem, many times this is caused by…
Possibly Overtightening this set of rails. Strip the rubber away from the wood,
clean the old glue residue from both surfaces, and re-glue to solve the problem,
and next time go easier on them.
Uusually Overtightening rails repeatedly in the past. The tightened rail bolts
gradually dug into the wood, so now a rail tightened to normal specs will be a little
too deep. If this is the problem, repair as noted above, and simply add a few more
washers before tightening the rail bolt to allow for proper spacing.
Always be mindful, rails should be snug— but not Ironman tight.
The most important factor in quality play is proper alignment.
INSTALLING REPLACEMENT RAILS ON OLDER-MODEL VALLEY TABLES— The current Valley rails will only fit tables using rail bolts to attach the rails (beginning with
the model 510 series: from late 1969-present). If the rails are attached with wood
screws, the best option will be to have the rubber replaced on the current rails,
and have them covered in new felt. If your Valley table is of 1970-1995 vintage,
your table will require this minor modification for the current-model rails to fit.
Drill the end mounting holes on the
side rail using a ⅜‖ diameter drill
bit. From the cushion side,
drill no deeper than 1 3/64‖.
This will allow just enough
movement of the rail bolt so
it can be angled to attach to
the current-model cushion rails.
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