Moves can get challenging, especially when you have to move heavier stuff like pool tables. Although moving furniture might seem easy, let us tell you that moving a pool table is a different story altogether. You might think ‘sure, it will easily get done in a jiffy once I read the instruction manual!’ But you couldn’t be more wrong!
Disassembling and reassembling a pool table not only involves careful planning, but also some manpower. Don’t forget that pool tables are pretty heavy and extremely large as well. That’s why even moving companies might charge you extra if you ask them to move your pool table. Now, if you still think that you would be able to do it, we certainly recommend going through our article so as to get a general idea of how to disassemble and reassemble a pool table.
Before Disassembling The Pool Table
Always remember that you cannot get up and instantly start disassembling something as complicated as a pool table. Before you get into it, it’s absolutely important for you to keep certain tools handy. Make sure you gather the following tools before you start with the process of disassembling a pool table:
- Screwdriver set (flathead and Phillips)
- A heavy-duty staple remover or needle-nose pliers
- A power drill with screwdriver bit
- Safety goggles
- Labels and marker
- Bubble wrap and moving blankets.
Once you have gathered all your supplies, it is time to chalk out a plan for the entire process. Always remember that it is almost impossible to disassemble and reassemble a pool table all by yourself, especially if you are doing it for the first time. It would be advisable to gather a couple of your buddies who are comfortable with lifting heavy stuff. Working haphazardly will get you nowhere, you need to create a comprehensive plan that will serve as guidance for you as well as for those who are helping you.
Planning ahead essentially involves asking yourself the following three extremely important questions:
How many helpers would you need?
We recommend having at least 2 to 3 helpers with you throughout the process. Helpers will come in handy whenever you have to move your pool table parts from one place to another. You will need about 4-5 to lift a one-piece slate, and about 2-3 helpers to lift a 3-piece slate.
How much time would you require for disassembly and assembly?
It’s absolutely important that you set enough time aside to do everything in an organized manner. It would be advisable to allow yourself about 2-3 hours for disassembly and about 2-3 hours for assembly of your pool table if you are fairly inexperienced and have never done this before in your life.
Do you have a disassembly and reassembly plan mapped out?
All you need to do is write down all the steps of the entire process in an orderly manner so that you and your helpers don’t get confused about what is supposed to be done next. This will ensure that everyone knows exactly what’s happening and things will proceed in a step-by-step fashion.
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Disassembling A Pool Table
Now that you have a comprehensive plan in place, you can begin with the disassembly process. You might have received an owner’s manual when you bought the table. The best way to go ahead would be to follow the instructions given inside that manual that are specific to your pool table. If you can’t find the manual anywhere, breathe! Don’t stress! Follow the instructions given by us, and you are good to go!
You should know that a typical home pool table consists of a wooden frame, a heavy and sturdy slate bed, and some leather drop pockets. As you know, you will need all the appropriate equipment and enough manpower to disassemble a pool table. Once you have all that handy, go through the following steps in order to disassemble a pool table.
Step 1: Removing The Pockets
The very first thing you need to do while disassembling a pool table is to detach all the table’s pockets. Now, remember that these pockets are attached to the table using either staples or some screws. The easiest way to deal with this would be to lie on your back and remove the screws with your flathead screwdriver or the staples with your needle nose pliers/heavy-duty staple remover.
This is where safety goggles come into play. The screws or the staples are basically sharp and small pieces that can easily fall and hurt your eyes when removed from the table. Make sure that you wear safety goggles while loosening staples or the screws that hold the pockets in place.
Now, place the pockets in a packing box, label the box appropriately, and put it aside. Don’t forget to place your screws inside a small plastic bag. Label this bag so that you know that the screws have to be used to fix the pockets during the reassembly. Remember to pack (using moving supplies like bubble wrap) and label every part that you disassemble before moving on to the next step.
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Step 2: Removing The Side Rail Bolts
If you have played enough pool in your life, you will easily be able to identify which end is the head of the pool table. The head of the table is where a player is supposed to stand when he/she breaks at the beginning of the game. Similarly, the object balls are placed near the foot of the table at the beginning of the game.
You will now have to grab a wrench and start off by unscrewing the headrail and then the rest of the side rails around the table. These rails are held in place by bolts, so use the wrench to unscrew these bolts. Each rail generally has about 3 bolts. Your side rails might either come out in one piece or in several pieces and this depends on how exactly your pool table has been set up.
It is advisable to be cautious while unscrewing the very last bolt as you don’t want your rails to just fall off. Hold the rails firmly, unscrew the bolts, and then carefully remove the side rails. Make sure that you place the rails safely in a box. Similarly, place the bolts in a labeled plastic bag in order to avoid misplacing them during the move.
Step 3: Removing The Felt
Removing the felt is the most tedious part of disassembling a pool table. You must ensure that you go through this step very carefully if you wish to preserve your felt for reassembly as even a single mistake can cost you your felt. Removing the felt is absolutely important if you wish to move the pool table without damaging the slate.
Depending on the setup of the pool table, the slate might be in one piece or might have to be broken into a couple of pieces. You will know this only after you remove the felt from the pool table.
The felt surface might have been attached to the pool table using either glue or staples. Remember that you will have to go through this process gently unless you are planning to re-felt your table. You can choose to re-felt your table if the felt is worn out. However, if saving money is what is on your mind, make sure you remove the felt carefully as it can tear very easily.
If the felt has been secured to the table using staples, you can simply use needle-nose pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove the staples. On the other hand, if the felt is secured to the slate with glue, begin by carefully peeling the felt away from the slate in a steady, backward motion from one corner. Be particularly careful while pulling out the felt from around the pockets.
If you wish to use the same felt while reassembling the pool table, fold it properly, wrap it up and place it in a moving box. If you plan to get your pool table refelted after the relocation, you can simply rip off the felt.
Step 4: Removing The Slate
Once you have removed your felt, you should be able to see the slate. Keep in mind that you must have a couple of helpers with you in order to go through this step. That’s because the slate is extremely heavy and cannot be lifted by a single person. If the slate is in one piece, it can easily weigh 450 pounds. On the contrary, if the slate can be broken down into a couple of pieces, each piece might weigh about 170 pounds.
The slate is generally secured to the pool table with the help of some screws. Remove each and every one of the screws using a drill that is equipped with a screwdriver bit. One can usually find one screw in each of the corners of the slate. However, don’t forget that there might be some extra screws near the middle parts of the table.
Some manufacturers of pool tables coat these screws using beeswax. This can make it difficult for you to find and remove these screws. If your pool table has screws covered with beeswax, all you need to do is use your flathead screwdriver to scrape off the beeswax.
After you have removed all the screws, you must lift up and move the slate bed away from the main body of the pool table. Irrespective of whether the slate bed comes off in one piece or multiple pieces, wrap them up with moving blankets or bubble wrap and set them aside for the relocation. Similarly, store all your screws in a separate and labeled plastic bag.
Step 5: Removing The Legs
The final step of dismantling a pool table involves removing the legs of the table. This step of the process does not take up much time as the legs are attached to the table with the help of simple screws. But don’t forget that you might have to remove some of the nuts to detach the legs from the main body of the table. Make sure that these nuts are stored in a labeled plastic bag.
Transporting A Pool Table
Now that you have disassembled your pool table, you need to carry all the parts carefully to your new home. Packing and transporting smaller parts like the felt, screws, legs, etc., can be done with ease. Make sure that everything is wrapped in packing paper and bubble wraps. Place all the components inside well-padded moving boxes and send the boxes over to the new house.
However, when it comes to transporting the slate bed, it’s a different story altogether. The slate tabletop is not only extremely heavy, but it is also very delicate or fragile. If you have a single-piece slate, it would be wise to get at least 4-5 helpers. You do not want to risk the slate falling down and breaking just because you didn’t recruit enough people for lifting it up.
If the slate can be broken down into 2-3 pieces, you can do away with having just 2-3 helpers. Each piece can be easily picked up and moved by 2-3 people at one time. You can also load the slate onto a furniture dolly and use furniture straps to fasten the slate in one place. If you are using a truck to transport the slate, lay the slate flat on the floor and secure the straps that are around the slate onto the truck slats.
To make things easier for yourself, consider using a liftgate to load the slate onto the truck. Remember that propping the slate against the truck wall or any other wall would be a big mistake. That’s because it will crack or break instantly if it ends up toppling over and falling down. Transport all the parts to your new home carefully and safely.
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Reassembling A Pool Table
Once all the parts have been safely transported to your new home, you just have to go through the previous steps in reverse order. However, don’t forget that you might have to do some additional things as well. Go through the following steps for easily reassembling your pool table.
Step 1: Parts And Supplies Come Together
The first step would be to gather all the previously used supplies as they will all come in handy while reassembling your pool table. Note that you might even need a spirit/bubble level for the reassembly process. Apart from the supplies, make sure you have all the parts of the pool table in one place.
Ideally, gather everything in a place where you intend to keep the pool table in the house. Assembling the pool table where it is intended to be kept is better than assembling the table somewhere else and then picking it up and shifting it.
On a similar note, assembling the table upside down and trying to flip it over later is a big no-no. Flipping the table over without damaging it is next to impossible as it is very heavy and you might even end up injuring yourself or your helpers if things go sideways.
Step 2: Reattaching The Legs
You can begin the reassembling process by screwing the legs onto the main body of your pool table. Don’t forget to use the nut (if any) that you set aside while dismantling your table. These nuts will fasten the legs onto the table in a secure manner.
Step 3: Putting The Slate Bed in Place
Once the legs of the table are reattached, you must put the slate bed back into its frame. Whether you have one slate piece or several pieces will determine how you reattach your slate bed.
Now, if you are working with a slate bed that consists of 3 pieces, it is advisable to place the centerpiece first. This will ensure that the frame of the pool table remains balanced. After you placed your entire slate bed into its frame, use your level to check whether everything is placed in a straight manner. Once you check that, you can go ahead and screw the slate onto the table using a drill.
Step 4: Securing the Felt
Remember how you peeled off the felt very carefully while disassembling the table? Now is the time to unfold that felt and secure it onto the slate bed. Before you secure the felt, you must clean the slate with a microfibre cloth in order to make sure that the surface remains spotless and flat. It would be advisable to secure your felt onto the table the same way it was secured before.
If the felt was stapled on the table previously, make sure that you staple it exactly in the same places as before. Don’t forget to smoothen the felt with your hand as you staple it. On the other hand, a felt that was glued onto the table must be stuck back using a specialized pool table felt adhesive like 3M Super 77 Glue.
Keep in mind that you would have to spray on the glue and stick the felt part by part. Allow each part of the felt a couple of minutes to set before moving on to the next part. Similarly, smoothen the felt over with your hands as you go on sticking and ensure that there is no wrinkling at any point. If the felt is bunched up and isn’t flat, you might have to remove it again and work with a new piece of felt.
Step 5: Reattaching the Side Rails
Grab a wrench and ensure that you put all the rails back in their places. You will have to secure the rails using the bolts that you previously unscrewed while dismantling the table.
Step 6: Fixing the Drop Pockets
Finally, you will have to secure the drop pockets onto the side rails. If the pockets were previously attached to the rails using staples, staple the pockets back. But if they were screwed on the rails, make sure you screw them back on. The easiest way to reattach drop pockets would be to lie under the table and work on it from under the table. Again, remember to use protective goggles to keep your eyes safe from any unfortunate injuries. And voila, you are done!
A Quick Summary on How to Disassemble and Reassemble a Pool Table
We know the process might seem complicated and that’s why you might worry about doing it right. Let us tell you that if you go through the following summary on how to disassemble and reassemble a pool table, there will be no room for confusion.
- Gathering Your Supplies And Equipment: Having your supplies and equipment in place in the very beginning ensures that you don’t have to run around to find them during the process.
- Planning It Out: Make sure that you allow enough time for the entire process. It is absolutely crucial to ask at least 2 or 3 people to help you out during the entire process. To add to that, jot down all the things you need to do step by step so that you work in an organized manner.
- Disassembling The Pool Table: Disassembling a pool table involves removing the drop pockets, side rails, felt, slate, and lastly, the legs.
- Moving The Pool Table: This step involves transporting all the parts carefully and safely to your new home. Make sure that none of the parts are misplaced. Packing them using the appropriate moving supplies and labeling the packets will help you to move all the pieces securely without misplacing any of them.
- Reassembling The Pool Table: Reassembling the pool table in the new location involves screwing on the legs, placing the slate bed in place, securing the felt over the slate, and finally, reattaching the side rails and the drop pockets.
How Much Does It Cost To Disassemble A Pool Table?
Getting professional help to disassemble your pool table will certainly cost you a bit of money. You should be prepared to spend anywhere between $150 – $600 when you wish to get professional help to disassemble your pool table.
How Heavy Is A 3-piece Slate Pool Table?
If you own a ¾ inch 3-piece pool table that has a length of 7 feet, you can expect each piece of slate to weigh around 150 pounds. If your 1 inch 3-piece pool table is about 8 feet in length, each slate would weigh around 170 pounds.
Disassembling and reassembling a pool table is fairly easy even if you haven’t done it before. However, you must ensure that you don’t hurry through the process and keep your calm throughout the process. Hurrying will only make things more difficult and you don’t want that to happen. Give yourself enough time and get enough people to help you out as this will make the entire job easy. If you think that you won’t be able to do it by yourself, don’t hesitate to get professional help. However, we are sure that our step-by-step guide will help you to successfully disassemble and reassemble a pool table.
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