ODE joint anchors

I searched for a solution for this, both online (Panda, PyODE, ODE etc.) and through code testing. So, I apologize if it has been covered here and my search powers have failed me.

with the setAnchor method for a OdeHingeJoint only one parameter is passed. If you are connecting objects that do not meet at there centers, how do you properly set the hinge location?

I am simulating a 1-DOF (for now) robotic arm that plays one side of a an air-hockey table.
The joint is to allow the arm to pivot.
I have the joint attaching the arm to the table.
One anchor point is at the proper place on the arm, but the other is at the center of the table.
Setting the axis allows it to pivot appropriately, however it seems that the extreme angle of the joint makes the system require significantly more force to pivot the arm.
I noticed quite a difference between having the arm (and therefore the joint) placed at the center of the table, and as it is now at the extreme end of the table.
In the first case (center of the table) addTorque(100) is a good speed, in the second case (end of the table) addTorque(10000) is required.

So, does anyone know how to move both anchor points to a sane location? Do I just have to put a dummy object there?

as far as i know:
anchor positions are global in the ode world. and not relative to any object. So setting the anchor to a given position should just do the work.