How to Disassemble and Reassemble a Pool Table
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Moving with a pool table? There’s a good chance that you’re going to need to take it apart and put it back together. Standard pool tables are incredibly large and heavy, making it pretty difficult to move them in one piece—even for a professional moving company. So how do you do it? In this post, we’ll cover all of the general advice you need to know in order to disassemble and reassemble a pool table so that you’ll be ready to go on moving day.

Note: Keep in mind that these directions apply to a standard, wood-framed pool table with drop pockets and a slate bed. If you’re trying to disassemble and reassemble a pool table of a different variety, you’ll need to find a guide for that specific type.

Important Safety Tips Before You Disassemble and Reassemble a Pool Table

Safety is important when taking apart any piece of furniture, and that goes double for something with as many heavy parts as a pool table. To make sure that you are properly protected, wear eye protection during the disassembly and reassembly process and have a helper on hand to assist with any heavy lifting.

How to Disassemble a Pool Table

It’s actually not that hard to dissemble a pool table if you go into it knowing what to expect.  Follow the steps below to do it right.

Gather your supplies

Here’s what you’ll need in order to disassemble a pool table:

  • Flathead screwdriver or needle nose pliers
  • Wrench
  • Drill with a screwdriver bit

And don’t forget your eye protection, too!

Take out the staples that are securing the pockets

Lying on your back, use your flathead screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers to carefully remove the staples that are used to hold the drop pockets in place. This is when your eye protections is really important, since these staples can easily fall once you dislodge them.

After all of the staples are removed and the pockets are off, stick the pockets in a packing box and set aside.

Unscrew (and bag) the side rail bolts

Your next step is going to be to remove the side rails. Take your wrench and remove the bolts that are keeping it in place. There are usually three bolts per rail. Depending on how your pool table is set up, your side rail may be in one piece or multiple pieces. Be careful as you unscrew the last of the bolts so that you can gently remove the side rail or rails from the table. Then bag the screws so you will be able to locate them easily later on when you go to reassemble the pool table, and set the side rails aside somewhere safe.

Remove the felt

One of the more time intensive steps of disassembling a pool table is removing the felt, but you’ll have to do it in order to get to the slate bed underneath (which, depending on your pool table’s set up, may need to be taken apart into separate pieces—you won’t know until you take off the felt).

The felt surface of a pool table is secured to the slate bed in one of two ways: glue or staples. Work slowly as you remove it to make sure nothing tears, unless your felt is worn out and you intend on replacing it after your move anyway.

If the felt is glued on — Start at one corner and very gently start pulling the felt off of the slate in a slow, backward motion. Use extra care when pulling the felt up around the pockets.

If the felt is stapled on — Use your flathead screwdriver or needle nose pliers to remove the staples holding the felt in place.

Once the felt is removed, fold it as neatly as possible and set aside.

Remove the slate

This step is when it’s extra important to have a helper, since the slate bed on your pool table can weigh as much as 450 pounds if it’s all in one piece, or be composed of separate pieces weighing anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds each. That’s a lot to lift on your own.

Of course, before you lift the slate you need to remove the screws. Using your drill fitted with a screwdriver bit, take out each screw holding it in place. Generally, you’ll find one screw in each corner of the slate, though there may be additional screws running down its center. Note that some manufacturers cover these screws in a beeswax coating, which can make them a bit tricky to spot and remove. If you do find that to be the case, scrape off the beeswax with your flathead screwdriver before removing them.

After all the screws are out, lift the slate bed off the main body of the pool table and set aside. Bag up the screws so you can find them later.

Remove the legs

Your last step in disassembling a pool table is to remove the legs. This should be a simple task, since they’re usually just screwed into the body, though you may need to remove a couple nuts to unsecure them. If there are nuts, bag them up.

How to Reassemble a Pool Table

After your move it’s time to put your pool table back together. You’ll mostly just work backwards from the steps above. Here’s how.

Gather your supplies—and your parts

Start with the basics again: a wrench, a screwdriver, a drill with a screwdriver bit, eye protection, and a friendly extra set of hands. You’ll want a level, too. In addition to getting your supplies together, also gather all of the component parts of your pool table and place them in the room where you intend to assemble the piece. Assemble it in the room where it will be living so that you don’t have to attempt to lift the whole thing after it’s complete.

Screw the legs on

Reattach the legs to the body by screwing them in and, if necessary, securing them in place with the nuts you removed in the disassembly process.

Reattach the slate bed

After the legs are back on the main body it’s time to place the slate bed back inside its frame. How exactly you do this depends on if you have one slate piece or a few. If you have three pieces, place the center one on first to ensure that the frame maintains its balance. After your slate is down, use your level to make sure that everything is straight, then take your drill and screw the slate back down.

Reattach the felt

If you saved your felt, now is the time to unfold it, align it, and secure it in place. How you secure it once again depends on how it was secured before, but regardless of which way you go, take a clean microfiber cloth first and wipe down the slate to ensure you’re working with a clean and flat surface.

If it was glued — Use designated pool table felt adhesive (such as 3M Super 77 Glue) and go portion by portion spraying the glue on and securing the felt down to the slate. Wait a couple minutes between each portion to give it time to set, and be sure to keep the felt as smooth as possible as you go, since any bunching or wrinkling will require you to start over (and may require a new piece of felt).

It was stapled on — Re-staple the felt in the same places that it was stapled before. Again, check for smoothness as you go.

Re-secure the side rails

Put the rails back in place and use your wrench to re-secure the bolts.

Reaffix the drop pockets

Your last step is going to be to re-staple to drop pockets in on the side rails. As you did when you took them out, do this from the underside of the table and be sure to wear proper eye protection.

And there you go! Take your time when reassembling your pool table so that it’s all done correctly—you’ll probably need about two to three hours. And if you need any help when it comes to how to disassemble and reassemble a pool table—especially if you don’t think you’re up to the task of doing it yourself—bring on a professional for the job. You want to be sure it’s someone who has experience, so look for local pool table installers and get a couple quotes so you can be sure to get a good deal.




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