GOLD STANDARD AIR HOCKEY MAINTENANCE TIPS
Congratulations on purchasing a Gold Standard Games Air Hockey table – our tables are the very best quality tables on the market today. Here are some maintenance tips to ensure your table’s optimum player appeal and durability over the years to come:
PUCKS AND MALLETS: The pucks and mallets which come with your table are of superior quality, and are crucially important to getting the best performance out of your table.
The yellow fiberglass-filled Lexan puck which comes with your table is specifically designed for high air-flow, tournament-quality tables like the Gold Standard Games tables. The yellow puck we manufacture is sanctioned by the U.S. Air Hockey Association, and in fact, is the default puck for all sanctioned state, National, and World Championships. It provides superior speed, bounce, visibility, durability, and stability on the table. Under black light,
it is unsurpassed in providing maximum glow.
Use of cheaper-quality pucks will significantly reduce the performance of your table. They will fly off more easily, causing possible danger to players and spectators. Coin-operated tables may see a considerable reduction in coin drop due to inferior pucks which play poorly and fly off the table often. Saving a few pennies by purchasing cheap pucks can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in game earnings.
The nylon mallets which come with your table are the highest quality available. They are designed for speed, durability, and quiet performance. The cheaply-made imported mallets (usually yellow, and slightly smaller) are lightweight and will not hit the puck with enough force to provide the speed that makes air hockey so exciting. Further, the lightweight mallets will hurt the player’s hand when the puck strikes the mallet, thus further discouraging play.
SANDPAPER: Your table includes a piece of adhesive-backed sandpaper which should be attached to the table (we recommend sticking it on one or other end of the table. Affix the sandpaper on either side of the metal goal plate, but NOT to the goal itself). The sandpaper is used to sand the puck when it stops floating due to small nicks or abrasions. Replacement sandpaper pieces can be purchased through Gold Standard Games, parts distributors, or at hardware stores. We recommend fine or extra-fine (at least 150 grit).
CLEANING THE TABLE: We recommend rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) for cleaning the laminate surface. Non-ammoniated window cleaners are also acceptable. Turn the table and blower ON so that liquid and dirt do not go back into the air holes. Clean the table once a week or as necessary, using the alcohol on a clean cloth or paper towel to remove dust and dirt which will slow the puck. DO NOT USE silicone, wax, or anything similar which coats the surface and may plug up the holes. When cleaning the surface, do NOT clean the side rails where the puck hits. Believe it or not, the thin layer of dirt actually makes the puck bank properly and keeps it on the table. Once every year, or more often as needed, check the air holes for blockages which will keep the puck from floating properly. Turn the table ON and use a stickpin to pull the dirt UP and out of the air holes. Or you can use a 1/32” drill bit or Dremel bit for cleaning out the holes, lifting the dirt OUT of the air hole as the bit rotates.
GOOD LIGHTING: Just as with pool or foosball, good overhead lighting is crucial if you want your table to attract players and make money. If you have one of our models with overhead lights and scoring, then you won’t have a problem. If you have a table with side score, then make sure to provide good lighting for your table. Overhead drop lighting is excellent – just make sure it’s mounted high enough so that tall players won’t bump their heads when they lean forward.
NO DRINKS ON TABLE! – Large amounts of beer, soft drinks or other liquid can seep down the holes and into the wood, possibly warping the top. Any liquid spilled on the table should be wiped up immediately. Make sure to activate the table so the air is ON; this will push the liquid out of the air holes and channels and onto the surface, where it can be wiped up. We recommend that you prohibit drinks from being place on the table at any time.
SIDE SHIELDS: Protective side shields are available from Gold Standard Games and/or our distributors. These clear plastic shields not only help to keep the puck from coming off the table, they also discourage customers from placing drinks on the table.
TABLE SURFACE REPAIR: Our laminate surface is the most durable on the market, but it still may be susceptible to damage over the air channels. A hard, sharp object (bottle, glass, mallet) smashed onto the surface over the air channel may cause a dent. However, dents in the laminate surface are easily repaired. Use clear epoxy to fill a dent in the surface. Allow the epoxy to set up slightly so it won’t run down into the air channel. If necessary, use putty underneath to keep the epoxy from running down. Fill to the surface level and allow to harden. Then use fine or extrafine sandpaper to sand the patched area so it is level with the surrounding surface. If you want, you can re-drill any air hole that had to be filled with epoxy.
For large dents or holes in the surface that go down into the air channel, insert a section of drinking straw into the air channel to keep the epoxy from blocking the entire channel.
ADJUSTABLE TIMER: Your table has an adjustable timer which will shut the game off after a certain time period even though neither player has scored 7 points. The timer is pre-set at the factory for 7 minutes. We recommend leaving it at this setting; the average game ends within 3 to 4 minutes, far short of the timer shut-off. Air hockey is a game to 7 points, not a time game, so players are not happy if the game shuts off quickly, before either player can win! To re-set the timer, or eliminate it entirely for tournament play, consult the Dip Switch Settings section of this manual.
CLEARING MATERIAL FROM THE GOAL: If it becomes necessary to remove material that has been pushed into the goal openings you can remove both the upper and lower puck housings or each one independently from each other. See the below photos.
PROMOTIONAL INFORMATION: For updates on rules, leagues, tournaments, rankings, videos and other promotional information, you and / or your players can go to http://www.goldstandardairhockey.com.