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Polishing Bearings

Table maintenance time. This week: when should bearings be cleaned, when should they be sanded, and when should they be mocked on the internet and discarded? The worst-of-the-worst photos are at the end of this post.

I’ve experimented a bit, and I’ve come to three conclusions.

1) Clean your bearings whenever they seem at all sticky. If a drop of lube doesn’t help, pull them out and wipe them clean. Clean bearings make a huge difference in play.

2) Check the feel of the interior when you remove the bearings. If the inside collar of the bearings feels smooth after cleaning, reinstall. If the inside isn’t smooth, but is evenly worn, polish them. If there are scratches or pits, they are hopeless and should be thrown away.

3) Do not over-tighten when you reinstall. Over-tightening will destroy the bearings. Use just fingers to tighten at first, and then a slight turn with a bearing wrench to get them snug against the wall so they don’t rattle. This is not the time to prove how strong you are. You can see from the photos below that the worst-of-the-worst bearings were all over-tightened.

Cleaning bearings is easy: pull them out of the table, get some cleaning solvent on a rag, and wipe out all the dust and dirt. Then drop them back in the table and add a drop of lube.

For sanding, the thing to remember is that the collar of the bearing should feel smooth to the touch. If you feel friction, it’s time to sand. Ryan Knapton’s video on NextLevelFoosball has some suggestions on how to refurbish bearings with fine-grit sandpaper:

I had over 100 old bearings, so I decided to record the process of polishing them. Most of them look great. I documented the very worst, though:

The bearing on the left is the worst I’ve seen. The collar of the bearing was completely worn away, and the entire length of the bearing had scratch marks. For comparison, the bearing on the right was in OK shape.

Here’s a side view of the bearings. On the right you can see that the plastic on the badly worn bearing was paper thin. It’s amazing this was still in one piece. I took a moment to appreciate the service this bearing had provided over the years, but it was definitely time to retire.

There is a deep curved scratch in the collar. My guess is someone tightened the bearing and turned the rod while there was a bit of sand between the bearing and the rod. Oops. Note the opposite end of the bearing is also worn: this bearing was too tight. Sanding didn’t help. I threw this one away.

This looks like a severe wear pattern from lateral rod motion. You can see at the bottom of the photo that the opposite end of the bearing was also worn. This is not normal. This bearing was too tight. Sanding didn’t help, and this bearing went in the trash.

Something created many small pits in the bearing collar. Not sure how this happened, since the wear pattern doesn’t make it look like the bearing was too tight. Sanding didn’t help, this bearing was retired from service.

This bearing was in OK shape. Here’s a photo after refurbishing. You can see the wear marks in the collar, but the collar surface is buttery smooth to the touch. This bearing will go back on a table!

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Saturday Double Header, November 16

We’re doing another Saturday Double Header on November 16th, at California Billiards.

Tables open at 1 pm.

Open Singles at 3 pm.

Shake-n-bake at 7 pm. Bring a partner if you’ve got one, draw one if you don’t.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

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New Mini Points Race, and Saturday Double Header

Next Saturday Foosball Double Header is at Cal Billiards, on October 19th. Open Singles at 3 PM, Shake-n-Bake at 7 PM.

Last mini points race was fun, so we’re kicking off another one right away. Same rules: 7 events, over $100 in prizes for three categories.

We’ll be playing at California Billiards, hit us up at SF Foos for details.

Overall Winner: $50 cash

Top Player: Expert: $30 cash

Top Player: Rookie: $30 in free tournament entries

So, how do you win? Show up and play! The better you do the more points you get. Everyone who attends gets one attendance point.

Who is ahead? Check the Current Standings

Event Schedule:

Sep 17: Monster DYP, Doubles Playoffs

Sep 24: Monster DYP, Points Race

Oct 1: Monster DYP, Singles Playoffs

Oct 8: Monster DYP, Doubles Playoffs

Oct 15: Monster DYP, Points Race

Oct 19: Singles

Oct 19: Shake-n-Bake

Bonus points depend on which events we play.

Monster DYP with Doubles Playoffs:

1st place team: 4 points each

2nd place team: 3 points each

3rd place team: 2 points each

4th place team: 1 point each

Open Singles/Handicap Singles/Monster DYP with Singles Playoffs:

1st place: 4 points

2nd place: 3 points

3rd place: 2 points

4th place: 1 point

5th-8th place: 0.5 points

Monster DYP with No Playoffs:

1st place: 4 points

2nd place: 3.5 points

3rd place: 3 points

4th place: 2.5 points

5th place: 2 points

6th place: 1.5 points

7th place: 1 point

8th place: 0.5 points

Players can win at most one prize. If somebody wins multiple categories, that’s amazing, we’ll give them the higher value prize and an extra pat on the back. 2nd place in the category will take the lower value prize.

In case of a tie, the following tie-break rules will apply:

  1. Number of finishing points vs number of attendance points: the player with more finishing points win.
  2. Winning record: the player with more 1st place finishes wins, then with more 2nd place finishes, etc…

We’re using Bayfoos local points for categories. Top prize is open to everyone. Expert prize is open to anyone with under 3000 points. Rookie prize is open to anyone with under 1500 points.

Questions? Hit us up on the SF Foos facebook group.

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Summer Fling Points Race

Summer is almost over, let’s do a mini points race. Over $100 in prizes in three categories. There are 7 events to play, earn a prize if you’re the best in your category. We’ll be playing at California Billiards, hit us up at SF Foos for details.

Overall Winner: $50 cash

Top Player: Expert: $30 cash

Top Player: Rookie: $30 in free tournament entries

So, how do you win? Show up and play! The better you do the more points you get. Everyone who attends gets one attendance point.

Event Schedule:

Aug 13: Monster DYP, Doubles Playoffs

Aug 20: Monster DYP, Singles Playoffs

Aug 27: Monster DYP, Points Race

Sep 3: Monster DYP, Doubles Playoffs

Sep 7: Open Singles

Sep 7: Shake-n-Bake

Sep 10: Monster DYP, Singles Playoffs

Bonus points depend on which events we play.

Monster DYP with Doubles Playoffs:

1st place team: 4 points each

2nd place team: 3 points each

3rd place team: 2 points each

4th place team: 1 point each

Open Singles/Handicap Singles/Monster DYP with Singles Playoffs:

1st place: 4 points

2nd place: 3 points

3rd place: 2 points

4th place: 1 point

5th-8th place: 0.5 points

Monster DYP with No Playoffs:

1st place: 4 points

2nd place: 3.5 points

3rd place: 3 points

4th place: 2.5 points

5th place: 2 points

6th place: 1.5 points

7th place: 1 point

8th place: 0.5 points

Players can win at most one prize. If somebody wins multiple categories, that’s amazing, we’ll give them the higher value prize and an extra pat on the back. 2nd place in the category will take the lower value prize.

In case of a tie, the following tie-break rules will apply:

  1. Number of finishing points vs number of attendance points: the player with more finishing points win.
  2. Winning record: the player with more 1st place finishes wins, then with more 2nd place finishes, etc…

We’re using Bayfoos local points for categories. Top prize is open to everyone. Expert prize is open to anyone with under 3000 points. Rookie prize is open to anyone with under 1500 points.

Questions? Hit us up on the SF Foos facebook group.

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How to build a foosball tumbler

This gallery contains 6 photos.

When you play a lot of foosball, you’ll notice two things about the balls. First, they wear out, becoming slick and difficult to control. Second, buying new ones is expensive, around $4 each. Luckily, it’s not hard to build a … Continue reading

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