Saturday, January 30, 2016

Carrom Striker Tune-up: Making the Striker Faster

There are two surfaces that really get a work out in Carrom: the board's playing surface and the side of the Striker that is gliding across the board's playing surface.

After awhile the bottom of the Striker starts to get roughed up from the constant friction. The rougher the sliding surface the more surface area made and therefore the slower the striker will go.

There is a quick tune-up technique that will get your prized pusher back up to fighting speed. The way I am about to show is designed to be a "fast fix" to a slowing striker. This is also what i do to brand new strikers I get. I have found that although they are ready to go right out of the storage case a quick tune-up will take of any minute milling marks and really makes a nice small difference.

Below is a new cue ball striker that is going out as a gift to a friend. I will use this as my example.

Carrom Striker tune-up: make your striker go faster

There are two areas of interest when tuning-up the striker: first you will want to make sure that the bottom remains perfectly flat while smoothing and second is to slightly take away the sharp edge that transitions the bottom to the sides of the striker.

your striker
wet/dry sandpaper in 400#, 800#, 1000# and 1200+ grit (if you desire)
a perfectly flat surface (like a piece of plate glass)
silicon spray

Let's start this tune up!

Below I have the 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper sitting on a small sheet of 1/4" plate glass. This will     keep my abrasive perfectly flat so as I sand the bottom of the striker will remain as flat as possible.

 Water or no water? when sanding use a bit of water or spit to create a nice cutting slurry. 
Wet is always better than dry here.

Linear or circular movement?  When sanding use a figure 8 movement or a circular movement. 
This will vary the contact points and greatly reduce the chance of tracks developing in your sanding surface.

After removing any grooves at this grit, lightly rotate the striker along its edges to softly round that sharp edge between the sides and the bottom. This will help the striker from digging into any heavier powder spots on the board or sticky spots (or for older boards that are starting to warp so the have slight inclines).

Carrom Striker tune-up: make your striker go faster.
wet/dry sandpaper and figure 8 circular motions.

After the 400# move your way up into more finer grits. 
Another trick is to start with more pressure and slowly decrease the pressure applied to the striker as you sand.
Continue using water/spit and continue in a figure 8 or circular motion.
Continue to lightly soften that hard corner edge.

Carrom Striker tune-up: make your striker go faster
wet/dry sandpaper and figure 8 circular motions.
After sanding, wipe off any left over slurry and then apply some silicon spray.

Below is an image of the bottom of the striker after the silicon spray application.

Carrom Striker tune-up: make your striker go faster

Once again this is a fast and furious way to get your striker back into the game.

if you wanted a more involved project you could add a high gloss ultra hard epoxy finish to the bottom. Then apply some silicon spray to it. The epoxy would last longer however it will still wear and you will need to refinish. Epoxy finished are two parts and take more time to prepare, clean up and cure. 

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