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Adding a Dartboard to Your Game Room 0

Adding a dartboard to your game room creates more than just a friendly pub like atmosphere.  A dartboard brings out the competitive spirit of even the closest friends.  There’s just something exciting about standing with a beverage in one hand and a sharp object in the other locked in a friendly competition.  It’s a spark of energy to get the party started.

Are Dartboards Safe?

If you are designing a game room for use by your entire family you may be concerned about safety and hesitant about adding a dartboard.  This is an understandable concern for families.   Dartboards are not designed with children in mind.  With simple precautions, however, a dartboard is appropriate for any game room.

A dartboard can be safely encased in a cabinet.  This cabinet hides the dartboard when not in use and also provides protection to the wall behind the board itself.  Even without a cabinet, mounting a dartboard on a wall protector is a good idea to protect the surrounding wall space from misthrows.  The darts themselves should always be stored in a safe place away from children when not in use.

What Are the Space Requirements for a Dartboard?

Compared to other game room activities, a game of darts requires a small amount of space.  The board itself is mounted on the wall and players throw darts from behind the toe line.  The toe line can be a simple flat mark on the floor but is usually a 1 ½” raised bar approximately two feet long.

The toe bar must be 7’ 9 ½” from the dartboard itself.  It is incorrect to measure from the wall.  The board hangs on the wall and therefore juts out a bit from it.  If your dartboard is mounted inside a cabinet the difference in distance can be significant.

What is the Best Way to Hang a Dartboard?

Dartboards are mounted at a height of 5’ 8” from the ground.  This distance is measured from the center of the board itself to the ground.  Most high quality boards have a ring at the center back of the board to make calculating the distance relatively simple.  Just measure the height and mark the wall.  You are now ready to mount the board.

Most dartboards are mounted using a mounting bracket.  The bracket mounts to the wall at the position of your mark.  The board is then screwed to the bracket.  If your board uses a top wire hanger instead of a mounting bracket, measure the distance from the center of the board to the wire and then add that distance to the required 5’ 8” for proper mounting. 

Dartboard Options

A traditional dartboard is designed for use with steel tipped or sharp darts.  These boards are made with fibers to guide the darts to the board and hold them tight.  These fibers prevent ricocheting darts.  Most boards found in bars and pubs are this type of fiber board.

Some dartboards are electronic and self-scoring.  With an electronic dartboard the score is updated after each shot, increasing the competitive atmosphere.  This increased competition requires an increased investment as electronic dartboards are typical more expensive than traditional fiber boards.

If you are concerned about safety or want your dartboard to be appropriate for even the smaller children in your home, you might want to select a magnetic or soft tip dartboard.  Magnetic boards use magnets in both the darts and the board itself.  The blunt tipped darts cling to the board without risk of damage to walls or individuals.  Soft tipped darts use fibers similar to Velcro and attach softly to the board itself.

Adding a dartboard to your game room is a relatively low cost way to increase the enjoyment of the entire group.  Select the size, style and design that are most appealing to you.  You’ll be pleased with the results.

When to Change a Pool Table Cloth 0

Most pool tables are made of slate, which is a nearly-indestructible material that can last for decades.  The cloth covering the pool table, however, won’t last forever.  While it may last for over a decade under normal home use, it eventually will need replacing.  Just as Astroturf on a football field wears over time, pool table felt wears with use and age.

This wear is the result of friction.  While the pool balls themselves do not damage the felt, they do collect pool chalk that acts as an abrasive, like sandpaper, tearing away at the fibers of the felt.  The felt can also be damaged by falling or bouncing balls. While the damage is unfortunate, it’s considered a normal side-effect of playing pool.

While it might be difficult to see if a cloth needs replacing by sight alone, sliding your fingers along the surface should help you judge.  If the cloth feels bristly, like beard stubble, or if it’s easy to pick pieces of fuzz and lint off the table, then it’s time to consider a replacement.  Also consider a replacement if the felt responds to pressure from your hand with movement or bunching.  When replacing pool table cloth, it’s best to use a high-quality brand such as Strachan, Matrix, Hainsworth or Eddie Charlton.

If the pool table cloth has been damaged by missed shots - i.e., the cue misses the ball and scratches the table, a complete felt replacement may not be necessary.  The first step would be to purchase pool table cleaner from a professional billiard shop, and clean the area to remove any marks.  If there are any small holes in the cloth, patch kits are available to fix them, although any patching will leave seams behind that could hinder play.

The best way to maintain your pool table cloth is to keep it covered when not in use, and keep it clean.  It’s also a good idea to try and avoid making a lot of jump shots or trick shots, as these can crush the felt and it never fully recovers.

What is Shuffleboard Powder? 0

Shuffleboard powder is necessary to let the puck slide smoothly across the board.  It is sometimes misleadingly called shuffleboard wax, despite the fact that it is indeed a powder and not liquid wax (liquid wax is a separate product that is also used in shuffleboard maintenance).  While ages ago shuffleboard powder was made from sawdust, today it is made from dried silicone beads and corn meal.  It usually comes in a round container not unlike a powdered cleaner.  The holes at the top are arranged in such a way that the powder can be spread evenly around the table.  It’s best to store the powder somewhere that is dark and dry.

To ensure that your shuffleboard powder works as advertised, the following maintenance tips are recommended:

Cleaning- Once a month, use shuffleboard cleaner to eliminate any buildup of wax or silicone from regular use.  Wipe down the table and wait fifteen minutes.

Liquid Wax- Over time, the board will develop dry ‘dead spots’.  Therefore, once a week, it’s recommended apply liquid wax to the surface.  Let the wax sit for half an hour before using the table.

Spray and Powder- Before each game, apply shuffleboard silicone spray to reduce the amount of shuffleboard powder that will be necessary.  Then apply your desired shuffleboard powder.

There are a variety of types available, depending on the size of your table and speed preference.  Some players prefer a faster game, however increasing the speed proportionally decreases the amount of control the player has over the puck.  You may need to experiment with different types of shuffleboard powder to find which one is the best for you.

You can check out Legacy's own shuffleboard wax here.

When was Shuffleboard Invented? 0

Shuffleboard Table

In the 1400s, in England, people there played a game called “shove-groat”, which involved sliding a large silver coin, called a ‘groat’, down a table.  As the game evolved, it took on other names such as "shoveboard", “shovelboard","slidegroat" “shovelpenny" or “shove ha’penny” (meaning shove half-penny).  The game also evolved as areas of the table began being marked for the coins to stop, allowing players to increase their score.  The game gained an unsavory reputation, being associated with excessive drinking and gambling on the winners.  As it was keeping men away from their jobs, King Henry VIII decreed that the game could only be legally played by aristrocrats.  The prohibition was not effective in the long-term, however, and by the 1600s, shuffleboardwas again popular in the taverns.

Shuffleboard was also enjoyed by the first colonists of America, as well as the English soldiers.  The first written documented history of shuffleboard in America comes from the play titled “The Crucible”, which notes "In 1692, there was a good supply of ne'er-do-wells who dallied at the shuffleboard in Bridget Bishop's Tavern.”

As the popularity of the game spread, an innkeeper in New Hanover, Pennsylvania named John Bishop was accused of running a gambling game in his establishment, which resulted in an 1848 legal case that asked the question of whether shuffleboard was a game of chance or a game of skill.  The judge deemed that the game was indeed one of skill, and the now-legal game enjoyed newfound popularity.

Approaching the 20th century, table shuffleboard was demanding as much ink in New York City newspapers as boxing and baseball.  Tournaments were popular, drawing a range of interesting competitors such as George Lavender, Ed Gardland, Alex Scott, Dave Wiley, and “Big Ed” Morris.  Not only were tournaments held in New York but also in surrounding areas such as Newark, Hoboken, Bloomfield, and New Jersey.  There were even tournaments as far away as Philadelphia.  Fans came from a variety of age groups as well as socioeconomic backgrounds.  The game spread around the country, and by 1904 it had made its way to California, courtesy of an avid player named Jim Corbett, who had a tavern owner install what was reputed to be the first table in state.

During the war times of the 1940s, shuffleboard provided a sense of release, and its base of players grew.  Some played a highly competitive game, while others played it for fun.  It was also in the 1940s shuffleboard went Hollywood.  While initially used as a source of publicity, when Hollywood stars found themselves actually enjoying the game, and it wasn’t long before prominent celebrities such as Betty Grable and Merv Griffin had their own tables installed in their homes.

By the 1950s, many manufacturers of shuffleboards were sponsoring their own nationwide tournaments.  As a league sport, the game suffered during the 60s and 70s, due to variety of reasons including intense competition by different manufacturers, a lack of standard rules, and a lack of sponsorship.  By the mid-80s, however, shuffleboard began to see a revival.  Currently, established shooters are working with the young shooters to develop their skills, as they are seen as the future of the sport. Shuffleboard is also popular in bars and in homes, as it is seen as a great and fun way to spend time with friends.