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When replacing table bumpers what angle should the pocket entry angles be cut at (old bumpers were mutilated by previous recover)?

Hi Joe,

The short answer to this question is to simply use a straight edge and mark a line on the cushion using the existing line from the wooden portion of the rail and trim the cushion along that line. A razor works well and you may want to cut the cushion using several passes of the razor rather than trying to make the cut all at once. Making several passes gives a better chance to match the angle of the rail. You're going to cover the end up with rubber facing so the cut doesn't have to be perfect.

Just for reference, following is a description of pocket dimensions as described for tournament play from the American Pool & Billiard association.

Play well and enjoy,


9. Pocket Openings and Measurements
Only rubber facings of minimum 1/16 [1.5875 mm] to maximum inch [6.35 mm] thick may be used at pocket jaws. The WPA-preferred maximum thickness for facings is 1/8 inch [3.175 mm]. The facings on both sides of the pockets must be of the same thickness. Facings must be of hard re-enforced rubber glued with strong bond to the cushion and the rail, and adequately fastened to the wood rail liner to prevent shifting. The rubber of the facings should be somewhat harder than that of the cushions.

The pocket openings for pool tables are measured between opposing cushion noses where the direction changes into the pocket (from pointed lip to pointed lip). This is called mouth.

Corner Pocket Mouth: between 4.5 [11.43 cm] and 4.625 inches [11.75 cm]
Side Pocket Mouth: between 5 [12.7 cm] and 5.125 inches [13.0175 cm]
*The mouth of the side pocket is traditionally inch [1.27 cm] wider than
the mouth of the corner pocket.

Vertical Pocket Angle (Back Draft): 12 degrees minimum to15 degrees maximum.

Horizontal Pocket Cut Angle: The angle must be the same on both sides of a pocket entrance. The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the corner pocket entrance must be 142 degrees (+1). The cut angles of the rubber cushion and its wood backing (rail liner) for both sides of the side pocket entrance must be 104 degrees (+1).

Shelf: The shelf is measured from the center of the imaginary line that goes from one side of the mouth to the other - where the nose of the cushion changes direction - to the vertical cut of the slate pocket cut. Shelf includes bevel.

Corner Pocket Shelf: between 1 [2.54 cm] and 2 inches [5.715 cm]
Side Pocket Shelf: between 0 and .375 inches [.9525 cm]  


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Bill Newsted


I can answer questions related to shot-making, aiming, position play, strategies, practice, mental preparation and the psychology of the game. Also, rules as they vary from venue to venue and how to become a winning player. I have experience recovering and maintaining tables and will also answer questions related to cues and billiard equipment. However, I prefer not to make brand recommendations. I do not offer information identifying old tables and equipment or estimating their values.


I have played over forty years in every state in the US (except Alaska). My experience is largely in pool rooms but I have also played extensively on bar tables and in league organizations. I have directed numerous tournaments up to the professional level and have played several world champion players. I am a former Billiard Congress of America instructor.


B.S. in Visual Communication M.A. in Education: Career and Technology Education

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