Consumer Guide To Buying A Pool Table


Top Rail: The top part of the table; the cushions and pockets are attached to the top rails and the rails are fastened to the playing surface.
Blind Rail or Blind Apron: Attached to the side of the top rail. The blind apron finishes off the top of the table and it covers the edge of the slate, cloth and slate support pad providing a finished look.
Cushion, Cushion Rubber: The pliable rubber cushion bumper that is attached to the top rail. The cushion is what the ball makes contact with when playing pool.

K-66: A triangular profile cushion rubber (B.C.A. approved for over 35 years).
Facing: A hard rubber lining attached to the top rail at the pocket cut. This rubber lining finishes the top rail covering exposed wood that could damage the pool balls.
Sights: Markers inlayed into the top rail. The markers dissect the playing surface assigning numeric values to each sight allowing players to plan their shot commonly known as "the diamond system".
Playing Surface: The flat area between the top rails and the cushions where the game is played.
Synthetic Playing Surface: Man made artificial materials used to create a playing surface commonly called "perma slate" or "honey comb".
Genuine Slate: A deep mined metamorphic rock, millions of years old, extremely stable and durable. Resists temperature and humidity changes, precision honed and surfaced. Can be leveled to a dead flat surface. The only surface approved by the B.C.A. for tournament play.
Cloth: A blended wool and nylon fabric used to cover the rail/cushions and playing surface. An assortment of colors are now available to fit any décor.
Frame Liner and Slate Support Pad: The slate rests on the top of the table cabinet assists in fusing the frame together and supports the playing surface. The frame liner is critical when anchoring the slate surface to the frame cabinet.
Frame Cabinet, Frame: The large wood cabinet between the playing surface and the legs.
Cross Bracing: Support beams that run across the width of the interior frame cabinet.
Center Bracing: Support beam(s) that run down the center of the interior frame cabinet.
Leg Gusset, Leg Mount: The interior frame support system for the table leg.
KD or Knock Down Design: A frame cabinet design that can be dis-assembled and re-assembled.
Unibody, Assembled or Fused Design: A frame cabinet design that cannot be dis-assembled.
Leg or Pedestal: Positioned under the frame cabinet. Supports the entire playing area and frame cabinetry.
Hardware/Fasteners: Nuts, bolts, screws and staples used to construct the components of the pool table.
Pocket: Attached to the top rails. Assists in unitizing the top rails for play. Stores or holds the ball(s) when a shot is made.
Finish: Type of coating applied to the outside components to give color, seal and final finished appearance.
Seal Coat: A coating used to seal internal frame cabinet components.
Particle Board, Pressed Wood: A combination of soft wood flakes, chips and sawdust bonded together with a synthetic adhesive to create a sheet of material.
Plywood, Veneer Core: layered wood material cross-laminated from thin sheets of plies of veneer to create a sheet of material.
Hard Board, Density Board, Fiber Board: Hardwood chips processed into individual fibers blended with resins and pressed together under intense heat and pressure creating a sheet of material; harder, heavier and denser sheet with smooth surfaces and consistent thickness.
Hardwood: A slow growing material that is very stable and strong. Typically has beautiful grain patterns and is much more expensive than softwoods.
Soft Wood: A fast growing material that is very soft, it typically has a large grain pattern because of its rapid growth.
Kiln Dried: This term is used in the lumber industry when referring to lumber that has been placed into a large kiln and dried to a certain moisture content. Kiln dried wood is more stable than air-dried wood, reducing the possibility of warping or cracking.
Solid Hardwood: Denotes the part is made of solid hardwood lumber.
Solid Wood: The table will be constructed of a combination of solid hardwood and softwood lumber.
All Wood: A variety of materials derived from wood will be used.
B.C.A. AKA Billiard Congress of America: Governing body of billiards.

1) Be aware of sales gimmicks that may mislead you. Ask direct questions:
"Is this solid cherry wood or a cherry finish?"
It is common for consumers to think they are getting an expensive hardwood, but in reality, they are buying a lesser grade material finished to match a particular species of hardwood.
2) As in most everything we buy, there are different levels of hardwoods. The highest quality hardwoods available are known as "FAS" grade. Material is graded at the lumber mills and sorted for clarity and color; "FAS" is the "premier" grade.


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