Pool is a classic game that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a game that requires skill and precision, and it is enjoyed by players of all ages. However, one common issue that arises when playing pool is that the bumpers or tails on the table can become hard over time, making it difficult to achieve the perfect shot. We will explore why pool or billiard table bumpers get hard, how to protect your pool table, how often you should replace the bumpers, and, most importantly, how to soften pool table bumpers.
Why Do Pool Table Bumpers Get Hard?
Pool table bumpers are typically made of a type of rubber called K-66 rubber, which is a durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, over time, the rubber can become hard and lose its elasticity. This can be due to a number of factors.
One factor that can cause pool table bumpers to harden is exposure to sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the rubber to dry out and crack, which can reduce its ability to absorb the impact of the pool balls. Therefore, it is important to keep your pool table away from windows and other sources of direct sunlight to prevent damage to the bumpers.
Another factor that can cause pool table bumpers to harden is changes in temperature and humidity. When the temperature fluctuates, the rubber can expand and contract, which can cause it to lose its elasticity over time. Similarly, changes in humidity can affect the bumpers, causing them to dry out and become brittle. Therefore, it is important to keep the room where the pool table is located at a consistent temperature and humidity level to prevent damage to the bumpers.
In addition, the type and quality of the rubber used in the bumpers can also affect their lifespan. Low-quality rubber or rubber that has been exposed to chemicals or other harsh substances may degrade more quickly than high-quality rubber, causing the bumpers to harden and lose their elasticity.
Pool Table Protection
The key to maintaining your pool table’s bumpers is to protect it from the elements. Direct sunlight can cause the rubber to dry out and crack, so it is important to keep your pool table away from windows and other sources of direct sunlight. Humidity can also affect the bumpers, so it is a good idea to keep the room where the pool table is located at a consistent temperature and humidity level. Using a pool table cover can also help to protect the bumpers from dust and other debris.
How Often Should Pool Table Bumpers be Replaced?
The lifespan of pool table bumpers varies depending on how often the table is used and how well it is maintained. Generally, you should expect to replace the bumpers every 10-15 years. However, if you notice that the bumpers have become hard and are no longer providing the necessary cushioning, it may be time to replace them sooner.
How to Soften Pool Table Bumpers
If you find that your pool table bumpers have become hard and are affecting your game, there are several methods you can use to soften them.
- Heat Method: One way to soften pool table bumpers is to use heat. You can do this by using a hairdryer to heat up the rubber. Start by heating up one section of the bumper at a time, moving the hairdryer back and forth over the area until it becomes warm to the touch. Then, use your hands to press and mold the rubber back into shape. Repeat this process for each section of the bumper until it is soft and pliable.
- Moisture Method: Another way to soften pool table bumpers is to use moisture. You can do this by using a damp cloth to wet the bumpers. Be sure to wring out the cloth so that it is not too wet, as too much moisture can damage the felt on the table. Once the bumpers are damp, use your hands to press and mold the rubber back into shape. Repeat this process as necessary until the bumpers are soft and pliable.
- Rubber Conditioner: There are also rubber conditioners available that are specifically designed to soften pool table bumpers. These products are typically applied to the bumpers and left to soak in for a period of time before being wiped away. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using any rubber conditioner, as some products may be more effective than others.
Maintaining your pool table bumpers is an important part of ensuring that your game is enjoyable and competitive. By protecting your table from the elements, replacing the bumpers when necessary, and using one of the methods above to soften them, you can extend