I made a brave decision and decided to chisel in my own rail sites. I like rustic, and nothing is more
rustic then rough rail sites. After I chiseled them out, I put a black paint, of some sort, in the holes. If you choose to buy your sites, you simply drill a hole for them, and plug
them in with glue, then sand them down to the height of your rail...very simple.
To find the correct spot for each site you do the following:
For the end rails, you take your playing area total (mine was 44 inches) and divided it by 4. That equals
11 (tough one.) You then find the middle of the rail. One site goes there, then the other two go eleven
inches from each side of that.
The side rails are a touch different. Take the 88" and divide by 8. That equals 11 again. To find your
first spot, you find the middle of the middle pocket and come out 11 inches each way for your first spots.
Then you add a site every 11 inches, three per rail.
Sand and Stain
I took a little more time than usual with the rails for obvious reasons.
I sanded the rails down nicely, stained them then put on three coats of lacquer, lightly sanding between each coat, to make them smooth and shiny.
Make sure to purchase high quality K-66 Rubbers. To attach, buy a can of contact cement, and a two inch roller.
I dipped the roller straight into the can, then used a paint pan to even it out on the roller. As long as you get the roller really wet,
it wont stick to the pan when you touch the pan again on the next rail. Roll two coats on the bumper
and two on the rail. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, then carefully move across the entire rail pushing the bumper on one inch at a time.
I ran my hand over the bumper four or five times to make sure it was firmly attached. Leave the bumper a little
long on each side because we will have to trim them down later.
Trimming Bumpers and Pocket Facings
After letting the bumpers dry for a few hours, I then trimmed them to shape. The rubber really takes a toll
on the razor blade, so be sure to change your blade every few bumpers. To cut the proper angle, simply continue the angle of the
rail into the bumper, so it will look like one piece. I found it easier to pull the bumper away as I cut, this helps to tear the bumper
using the blade, as apposed to just chopping through.
The pocket facings are next. The purpose of the facings is to cover the joint between the rail and the bumper,
which makes a nice clean surface for the cloth.
To install the facings, I glued them each to the bumper and rail (the small ones are for the side
pockets, the big are for the corners.) Use the same contact cement as you did for the bumpers.
Re-press them on several times as they dry, to assure good contact. Let them dry for an hour or two, then
trim them to shape with the razor blade. The proper shape is the shape of the rail and bumper...just
continue the lines outward. These cut a little easier than the bumpers, but be sure to change
your blade often...it really helps.