The Pool Table Cushions, Banks, or Bumpers
Whether you call them pool table cushions, banks, or bumpers, they all do the same thing. They line the rails of the pool table and provide a surface to bounce the pool balls off of for bank and kick shots.
The cushions in modern pool table construction are usually made of vulcanized rubber. This material permits the balls to rebound accurately off the rails without losing much kinetic energy. These cushions are glue bonded to the wooden rails.
The cushions are made in a triangular shape so that only a small point of rubber actually contacts the pool ball as it bounces off the rail. This contact point is called the nose, and the height of the nose above the bed of the table is called the nose height. The optimum nose height is 64% of the diameter of a 2 1/4 inch ball.
The bumpers are usually covered in the same color cloth as the bed of the pool table. The cushions on a good quality pool table will provide a consistent degree of bounce no matter where on the table a pool ball contacts them.
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