Table Maintenance

In this section we will discuss taking care of your table in various ways.


Clean the balls: If your balls get gross, consider washing them in the clothes washer. I like to add some NON-COLORED durable clothes. Do not use stuff that puts lint all over the ball and never jeans or colors as the balls will change colors. Do not use the dryer, just let them air dry. Never scrape the balls clean, they will get slick as snot, unless you have a Garlando type table, where the balls are slick as snot. I do not advise washing cork balls.

Clean the insides of the table: If you clean the insides of the goals and the ball return area, your balls will stay cleaner! Use the same alcohol you clean the entire table with.

Clean the table top: Use rubbing alcohol, 70% by volume for normal cleaning. It evaporates and does not damage any of the components. If you put it in a spray/mister bottle it makes it easy to apply without wasting it. For deep stains, use simple green. We always use alcohol after simple green to remove any residue. Make sure you scrub the ball marks off every week or so. A dirty table sucks and plays poorly. Get into the corners with your towel or rag.

Handle Care: This info is great for wood handles and okay for other handles...

Q. Hi, I just received my new Cyclone table this week and started putting it together (I wish I had read your table maintenance section before I did, but that's another story). Anyway, I am wondering if I should stain the wood handles or put some kind of sealant on them before I start using them, the wood handles appear to be totally natural with no sealant. Would you recommend putting a protective sealant or stain on the handles, is it necessary? I'm also concerned that this might make the handles slippery. You folks seem very knowledgeable about Tornado tables, so I thought I might ask. Any feedback you could provide would be greatly appreciated. 
Thank You, 
Daniel P. - New Hudson, MI.

Answer: We recommend you purchase 8 "Think and Tacky" wraps and put them on your table handles, and leave them there. When you put them on, put them on as thin as possible, don't be afraid to cut some of the extra wrap off, you want to keep the handle feel. Do not put the sticky part of the wrap directly onto the handle, it will stain the handle with the glue. DO NOT PUT any stain or sealer on the handle. Handles get worn, that is a natural part of the handle. You need to learn to play on worn handles because when you play at a club or location, the handles will be worn. You also need to replace your handles before a big tournament, because the handles will be new at the tournament.

Level a table: Assuming your table has adjustable feet or legs. First, set the table where you want it. Make sure the lighting is centers above the table. The table should be on a pad or something that will keep if from sliding around. Concrete is too slick. It is cool if you can use tape or a marker to mark the leg locations on the ground, so it is easy to move the table back to where you leveled it. 1. Lower the table all the way down to start leveling, best place to start. 2. We like to roll a ball slowly on the table using the play figures to see which way the table is tilted, you can use a level if you want. 3. Raise 1 or 2 of the legs at a time, no more. 4. You should NEVER have to adjust all 4 of the legs, 1 of them should stay all the way down (Think about it) 5. As you get closer to level, the ball will roll very straight on the table. When you are done, use the locking nuts to hold the feet in place, if you have them. You may need to purchase a "tapping wrench", this is a thin wrench to get up in there and tighten the nuts.

Lube/Silicone the rods: you can use any kind, spray or drip. Key here is not too much, don't get it on the table, or the ball or handle. Also, clean the rods with a towel weekly or so. Another thing, when you apply silicone, spin the rods slowly as you spread the silicone around. Don't just move them back and forth, it will all scrape off in the bearing. -Moving a table: When you move a table, DO NOT SLIDE it. The legs are weak and will start to get loose then the table gets wobbly. Lift with your legs, not your back. Consider the advise above if you need to put the table in your truck for removing the legs. Remember to remove the score peg if that applies, those things snap off easy and that sucks.

Removing/putting back on the legs: Try to NEVER tilt a table on its legs. The feet and the bolts connecting to the table are very weak. Try this, put the table on some chairs/bar stools which are taller then the legs. Then put on or remove the legs, and tighten them. Then just lift the table up and kick the chairs out of the way. If you break off a leg or a foot, you have really screwed your table up and it could also break a foot or leg on a person, I have seen it happen. Replace a Bumper: Only advise you need here is the holes go outward and use the replace a pin/man and handle information above. Remember, a broken/bad bumper can cause insane damage to your table and rods, do not let them get destroyed.

Replacing a handle: Handles are a bear-kat to work on. They can break and splinter and that sucks. Always use the punch tool to line up the hole then put the pin on the end of the punch tool to guide the pin back through the hole. Use small hammer strokes and keep checking to see if the pin is 'digging' into the wood on the other side or if the handle could crack! GO SLOW!

Replace a man/figure: 1. Drive the pin out from the front to the back using a punch. 2. Take off all the pins you need to get the broken man off. 3. Slide on new men going real slow. (make sure they face forward). 4. Put on the other men and remember to put the bumper back out, holes out. 5. Slide it back into the bearings. 6. Use the punch to line the men/wholes up from the front and drive the pins in from the back with the teeth up.
STORYLINE: Naturally the middle man on the 5 bar is broken. Here is a trick, if you have split bearings you can remove and if the bumper will fit into the hole where the bearing goes, you can loosen the end play figure, slide the rob into the bearing hole and work it out so you can remove the rod/ broken man without removing all the pins. Read replace a pin first. When you slide the men over the holes, go slow to prevent damage, read Rod holes are flared. Make sure the man is solid before you play again. Thump the man down on a ball from the toe position to see if it sounds good, compare it to another man. You may need to use paper, read;Wobbly Man or Handle.

Replace a pin: When you use a pin punch, remember the end gets flared from the hammer, so never pound it all the way through. Replace pins with the teeth facing up towards the head of the man, trust us it's a physics thing. ALWAYS pound from the BACK of the figure, never the front! If the old pin is completely broken and the man is not lined up with the hole, use the punch tool to line it up BEFORE you pound the new pin in, do not damage the rod. 1. Put a towel/rag under the pin as you pound the old/broken one out. 2. Only pound the old one out 1/2 way with the punch tool, then put the new one in and use it to finish driving the old one out. Please read 'replacing a handle' if you are doing that.

Q. Forgive me if you received this already. My session inexplicably timed out the last time I wrote this. I read on your site in the Table Maintenance Question in "Replace a Pin" that the teeth should face upward. Why is that specifically? I have a new Dynamo Silver Medal and installed the pins teeth facing down. Should I change that? I am only a beginner/recreational player;Thanks, Jeff

Answer: Never pull a pin off your table if you can avoid it. Why wear away at your men, handles, pins or rods.

Rod holes are flared: New rods have holes drilled in them. When they drill the holes in China, the sweat shop labor worker does not smooth the ends of the hole off. This creates a flare or burr which chews up men and handles. If you carefully use a file you can smooth that down. You can also use a hammer and pound it down. Don't ruin your rod over this, but it can save your men some wear and tear. Note the ridge around the hole, you can feel it with your finger.

Stiff moving rods: Are your rods stiff to move around? Clean the rods with alcohol, 70% or more. Take the bearings out and clean them. Test sliding the bearings on the rods and put the 'slickest' feeling side down. Do not over tighten the bearings, if they are adjustable. AFTER YOU CLEAN the bearings, use a small amount of silicone. DO NOT OVER LUBRICATE! Test the smoothness of a rod like this: Place the rod/men parallel with the table. Put a ball on the back of the foot, if the rod swings down on its own.

Straighten a rod: Some people push down too hard on the rods when they play. Over time a rod will bend. So just spin it around in your hand slowly when it is extended and try to find the direction of the bend. When you try to straighten it, do it is steps, not hard all at once. Also push the rob back in towards the table a couple inches as you straighten it, this make a more gentle repair of the rod. After a while, the rod will fail at the first man, where the hole has been drilled. Can't Comments in (gold) are done by our staff to remark on the section/sentence preceding it.