July 30, 2019 at 2:12 pm #139659
Part of our family vacation this year was spent in northern Wisconsin. Among the highlights was time spent with my parents, who live and work at my dad’s display gardens/perennial nursery (pm me if you ever want to visit).
Lurking in their basement are some childhood memories, including a vintage bumper pool table from circa 1950. This was a favorite game of mine growing up but has since fallen into disuse and disrepair.
Having three kids of my own, all of which love watching the Rescue & Restore channel on YouTube, I thought it would be fun to start picking away at this thing and getting it functional again.
The first order of business was vacuuming the entire thing from top to bottom and cleaning out years of internal detritus.
The next job was getting the 20 cent coin mech working again. The workings of this thing were a wonder to me as a kid and it is interesting to see how my boys share the same fascination.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 2:33 pm #139663
With internal clean up done and basic mechanical functionality restored it was time to assess the playing surface.
The felt shows a lot of wear and areas where it has been torn. Clearly this was done by my younger siblings as a person as upstanding and responsible as me would have never denigrated such a cool toy.
The biggest barrier toward playing a game on this table is the bumpers. All but two are cracked or have stripped threading which keeps them from staying in place. Nothing $40 and an amazon.com order won’t fix, right?
So while waiting for new bumpers to arrive I decided to bust out some magic erasers and get the exterior of the table looking good. I doubt this had been cleaned since it moved into my parents basement 40 plus years ago.
Lurking beneath the grime was a still vibrant and very attractive atomic-era paint spatter pattern.
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1 user thanked author for this post.July 30, 2019 at 2:34 pm #139664ThalamusModerator@thalamus
That looks very fun. When you mentioned bumper pool table, I was at first not sure what you where talking about. Then I remember some pictures from a old Sears catalogue we had at our home when I was I young lad. I’ve never seen such a game over here in Europe, but, when I now searched it on youtube I can understand why it was a favorite. Here, pool is synonymous with 8 ball only.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm #139666
Rare here, too. Although it seems to have been more popular around the mid-century mark. I thought it was the most normal thing in the world growing up because we had one in our basement but never knew anyone else that had one or had even played one.
It’s a fun game and a lot more beginner-friendly than 8 Ball.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm #139669
We had very similar one when we were kids. Very cool
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 3:42 pm #139672
Man, I’d forgotten about these things. Buddy of mine had one when we were kids. Having a full size pool table at home, I was not too impressed first time I saw it. But wow, they are a LOT of fun. Thing ended up in our house off-campus at college years later along with a foosball table – not a lot of work got done in that house – and the bumper pool was a huge hit! Might have to keep an eye out for one.
Very cool Bord! And what a great way for the kids to learn about shooting pool.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm #139682DarkModerator@dark
A nice little story, thanks for sharing.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 5:34 pm #139684BorgDogParticipant@borgdog
Cool, stuff @bord.
My cousins had one growing up that we used to play when we visited, although I believe it was octagon shaped, plus had a top for it to be a regular table or a poker table. played lots of cards there too, Hearts mostly. They also has one of the “home” pinball machines as well, not sure which one though. They were a fun place to visit. Thanks for the memories.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 9:00 pm #139696TomParticipant@armyaviation
Gotta love a family coin op restore. Wish my parents had those gems in their basement. My first coin op restore was a jukebox and my kids absolutely loved watching it and listening to it so it’s gonna be with us for a long time.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm #139706
Zoiks. This is weird. https://cleveland.craigslist.org/spo/d/cleveland-slate-bumper-pool-table/6918807087.html
Very bizarre. This seller is maybe 1/2 mile from where I work. Slate? Yep, just contacted the guy and going to look at it tomorrow. My gf is going to love having this in her basement. slate bumper table?
Love this website. My gf? not so much
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 10:38 pm #139709
Gosh I sure remember ours being bigger lol! But probably I was just a kid. @bord has a coinop machine which is very very cool.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 30, 2019 at 11:00 pm #139711JesperparkParticipant@jesperparkJuly 30, 2019 at 11:54 pm #139716
So today the sad trombone played loud and clear for this project. Despite taking diligent measurements, the replacement bumpers I ordered were too large. womp womp
They fit the holes just fine but the diameter is much larger, making the game extremely difficult and, if you are playing with a center hole, also impossible.
Unfortunately, these are also the only replacement bumpers I can find anywhere. I’ve seen other people online inquiring about where to get the ones I need but with no good leads. I suspect they are unobtainium. So for now that is where this project stalls out.
The good news is we were able to put the large bumpers on the table and get my seven-year-old son some experience playing and learning to bank shots properly. He has been the biggest cheerleader for this project so I’m glad he was able to play a bit after the bumper disappointment.
I also got to play against my dad for the first time in more than 20 years (he can still beat me), which I’m sure many of you can appreciate the personal value of.
I will take one of the old bumpers home with me when our vacation is over and work on modeling it to scale with an eye toward 3D printing a full set. Maybe when we visit again over Christmas we will have properly sized bumpers to play with.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 12:52 am #139718July 31, 2019 at 4:53 am #139737OnevoxParticipant@rooster
Great read. I always thought bumper pool was an invention for homes that didn’t have room for a full size pool table. I’ve never seen a coin op version. Does the ball dispenser still work? I was trying to see how the coin mech triggered it.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 8:26 am #139747TomParticipant@armyaviation
Are those posts made of plastic, that would be interesting to see them 3d printed. Do you have a printer Bord
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 11:41 am #139769
@rooster, here is a video of the ball dispenser in action. It is easy to disable for free play. The video is hosted by my son (of Farm Time fame). Excuse the mess, the basement is only used when we visit.
@armyaviation, no 3d printer at home but I’ve used print on demand services with great results, though somewhat pricey. Depending on the project cost I may consider getting a small printer and selling a few sets of the hard to find bumpers to offset the cost.
The bumpers are a good example of the Blender skills I picked up for VP extending their worth into other arenas.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 11:50 am #139770OnevoxParticipant@rooster
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Mechanical solutions are fascinating. And your son is a natural tour guide. Tell him thanks!</p>
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 11:54 am #139771
Kids are always surprising. I asked him if he was interested in giving a quick overview. Had no idea that he had staged two dimes in his pocket to prep for the performance.
You need to login in order to like this post: click hereJuly 31, 2019 at 11:58 am #139773
Video is not playing for me :(
edit: I’m in St. Cloud no cell coverage ignore
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