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Have you ever been playing air hockey and noticed that the table had a crack in it? Maybe you recently purchased a table that has a crack and you want to know how to fix it. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about fixing a cracked air hockey table.
So how do you fix a cracked air hockey table?
There are many different ways to fix a cracked table. They include plastic patches, plastic welding, and using glue. You can easily use any of these options to fix a cracked air hockey table.
If you want to know more about fixing a cracked air hockey table, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also check out this video to learn how to weld plastic.
If you want to see the current prices for a variety of different air hockey tables you can find them by clicking here.
What is air hockey?
Air hockey is a sport in which two players play against each other on a low-friction air hockey table. They try to score more by directing the puck in the opposite goal. This is a fast pace and entertaining game having a huge smooth surface that works on the principle of airflow that lets the puck move with minimum friction.
Employees of Brunswick Billiards invented it from 1969 to 1972. Its main feature is its smooth table, which uses a layer of an air cushion on it. The puck uses this air flow to fly on this cushion. The table is generally made up of plastic or a similar compound. It is the main component of this game, so it becomes important to take care of it. One should safeguard it from damage and maintain its smoothness.
How to repair an air hockey table
As discussed above, the table surface comprises a plastic material and with any crack on any plastic surface, we advise to replace it rather than repair. Because the table is the main component of air hockey and it provides the required smoothness to the puck. If there is any crack in the surface, it can lead to disturbance in airflow, which ultimately affects the game. It can become nearly impossible to play on this table, but if you don’t want to replace the damaged part, you can try the following alternatives to repair it.
Plastic surface welding
In this method, we apply heat to the edges of the crack until the plastic at edges melt down into liquid state and then blend. While performing this method, we should take care to avoid covering the holes on the surface. There are special tools for plastic welding which can perform minor tasks with perfection, but if you don’t have them, then you can use a soldering iron, it will be sufficient for this task. You can also use any other plastic piece by melting it and filling in between the crack.
Plastic patch refers to any plastic pieces which can fill a hollow space. Similarly, with any large crack of millimeters, one can use plastic patches to fill the space. Once the space is filled, you can then with the help of a heat source, melt it down and fill the crack. Be careful with the melted plastic and wear gloves while performing anything. Once the patch is placed, you can use any spoon or another object to smoothen the surface.
One of the common methods of filing crack is using glue. For plastics, we use super glue which is Cyanoacrylate, or plastic model glue can also work. Apply this glue directly to any small crack and fill them with it. Let it dry and take its place in the crack. Be sure to make the surface smooth once the crack is dry.
These were some alternatives that can fix small cracks on any air hockey table. We do not advise these on a large scale, as it is difficult to take care of other aspects of the table. If there is only a small crack though, it is very easy to fix, and not a reason to replace the table or parts of the table.
The air hockey table is well structured to provide durability and airflow on the surface. They fit a blower below the surface which provides airflow, and this air flows from the holes made on the surface of the table. These holes are tiny but large in number. This is the main reason because of which repair is not advised. In most of the methods of repair, these holes can get blocked and airflow is restricted. If airflow is restricted then the puck will not be able to move as easily, as it will get stuck on the table. That is why replacement is advised over the repair.
Should I do preventative maintenance on my air hockey table?
Taking this into consideration, you can understand why it is important to take proper care of the air hockey table as it is the base. So here are some steps which can help you during the proper cleaning of your table.
Keeping the table clean
You can use a dampened cloth to wipe down the surface. Use only water to clean the surface, avoid using heavy chemicals and soap on the surface as they can clog the holes for the flow of air on the table. With water also, don’t over saturate the cloth so you can dry the table quickly.
Using a vacuum
Vacuum cleaners are one of the best tools to clean an air hockey table. Because of tiny holes, it becomes favorable for dust and debris to stay within them. With the use of a vacuum, you can switch on the airflow of the table and this will create more suction towards vacuum and result in a neat and clean surface with clear holes. Be careful to avoid contact between the surface and mouth of the vacuum as it can scratch the surface.
Work on holes
Holes on the surface are the focal point of the cleaning process. To make sure they are free from any dust or debris, pick a toothpick or any similar object and use it to clear out the holes. While doing this, switch on the airflow of the table, this will avoid dust to settle inside the table and help to move out. This method is time-consuming but is not required frequently.
Cleaning the blower
Air hockey depends upon its blower. It is the heart of the table and performs the most important function of providing a smooth surface of air for the movement of the puck. It should work properly to maintain the good working of the table. The best way to keep it neat and clean is by using an air blower or vacuum cleaner. It is advised to unscrew the blower and clean it thoroughly for best results.
Air Hockey is a great sport and with the presence of proper airflow on the surface, it becomes a smooth and fast pace game. This type of play increases the excitement. It is advised to take proper care of the table and in the case of any major crack, it is advised to replace the table rather than repairing it as repairing can cause irregularity and holes blockage. But if the replacement is not possible, then one can try the methods mentioned above to repair it. If you are looking for your first air hockey table, this is the best place to get one.
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