How to Repair Pool Table Rails
The cushioned rails on a pool table are typically made from a flexible foam rubber glued to the wooden rail. The foam is then covered by the same felt used to cover the pool table. When a ball hits the rail, it should rebound at the same angle at which it hit the rail. If the ball doesn't rebound properly, the cushions may need to be replaced. It takes a couple of hours with some basic hand tools to repair pool table rails.
Remove all of the nuts from the rail bolts underneath the perimeter of the table with a socket set.
Lift one of the rails off of the pool table, and take it to a separate work table. Be sure to leave all of the remaining rails in place.
Turn the rail upside down, and remove all of the staples holding the felt to the rail with a flathead screwdriver. Pull out any broken staples with a pair of pliers.
Lift the metal strip out of the top of the rail. Remove and discard the old felt covering.
Measure the length of the existing foam bumper with a tape measure. Peel off the foam bumper from the wooden rail. Sand any glue residue from the rail with some sandpaper.
Cut a new bumper to match the length of the previous bumper. Rough up the back side of the new bumper with some sandpaper to prepare it for adhesive.
Apply some adhesive to the back of the new bumper, and attach it to the wooden rail. The slightly curved side of the new rail bumper should be facing upwards on the rail.
Cut a six-inch wide strip of felt. Tuck the top, long edge into the groove on top of the rail, and insert the metal strip to lock the felt in place.
Turn the rail upside down, and pull the felt slightly taut in the center of the rail. Tack the felt in place with a staple along the bottom of the rail. Avoid pulling so tightly that the felt alters the shape of the bumper.
Work out from the center, pulling and adding a staple every two inches until the felt is secured to the bottom of the rail. Tuck the corners around the ends of the bumper, and staple to the bottom. Trim any excess felt from the bottom of the rail.
Reinstall the rail to its original position, and tighten the nuts onto the rail bolts under the table.
Repeat Steps 2 through 11 with each of the other five rails.
Chris Baylor has been writing about various topics, focusing primarily on woodworking, since 2006. You can see his work in publications such as "Consumer's Digest," where he wrote the 2009 Best Buys for Power Tools and the 2013 Best Buys for Pressure Washers.