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Are you struggling to decide whether you should level your pool table on your own or not? Many people think that it is too difficult and time-consuming, or they think a professional is required.
You’ll be happy to know that this isn’t taxing on your time, your pocket and its easy to perform.
Want to learn how to level a pool table? It’s a skill you need to acquire if you own a table. Maybe the floor or carpet has become slightly uneven with the weight of the table. Maybe you have moved your table to a new location, maybe it was always unlevel.
Learn this and reap these benefits without spending a cent.
Before we get into the details of how to level a pool table with ease, I would love you to note that not all pool tables are the same.
The type of table that you have will influence how you implement the vital tricks.
Worry not, you will soon begin to appreciate that the principles behind leveling your pool table are the same.
Required tools and materials to level a pool table
Before you start doing anything, you should collect all the relevant tools and materials. Many people end up complaining that the task is challenging, yet they ignore this. Obtain them in time, and you will find it much easier to level your pool table.
Figure out which method below is best for you to determine if your table is level. Then find these essential tools and materials that are required.
- Small pieces of window glass
- Cue ball
- Smartphone with the Bubble level app
- Wooden shim
Ways to check if your pool table is even
A few inexperienced players see this as a no-brainer. However, you can be shocked by how they go wrong when they jump into the leveling process before identifying what they need to correct. It is absurd. There are several simple ways you can test whether your table is straight.
Cue Ball technique
If you have no special tool but have your cue ball, you are good to go. Simply roll your ball over any section of your pool table and watch the path that it takes. Does the ball cue move straight? If yes, you can be happy that your table is likely to be leveled.
For you to be entirely sure that everything is okay, repeat this same process on every side and corner of the table.
If you notice the ball is not moving towards the intended direction, you need to move to the leveling stage. One possible solution is that you apply the shim fine-tuning on that side.
Another easy way by which you can evaluate where your table is even or not is using a piece of glass and a marble. To measure the balance, place the piece of glass at the center of your billiards table and put a marble where it can cross it with ease.
If the marble stays on the glass, do not blame your performance on the evenness of your table.
However, if your marble rolled, you have a reason to believe that the table is not even, and that may have had a negative influence on your success.
In this case, my advice is that you learn how to adjust your pool table towards the marbles rolling direction. (Find more on how to do this below).
Better still, if you have a basic carpenter’s level, you can also use it and get great results. It doesn’t matter whether you have analog or digital levels. Both of them deliver exceptional results.
Which of them do you have? If you have an analog carpenter’s level, remember that it has bubbles that can orient between two lines whenever the surface of your table is even.
However, if it is uneven, the level skews on one side.
As you can see, these levels can help you to know not only whether your table is straight but also by how much.
What’s more, you can understand with ease the exact direction of the place where there is a problem. Only be sure to measure all sides of your table.
But note that one leg is usually not leveled as the rest to allow you ball to roll as required.
Analog carpenter’s levels are indeed the easiest ones to get and are the cheapest, but many people still do not have them. Nevertheless, almost everyone in the present age has at least one smartphone. Use this properly and even get the results that you desire with significant ease.
Download any free or cheap app on your smartphone. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do this. In most cases, all you will be required to do is lay your smartphone on the surface of your pool table and check to see the exact level.
How to level a pool table
I trust now you can make an informed decision whether you need to move to the leveling stage or not.
Despite which method you use to measure your table, you will get accurate readings if its surface is even.
Don’t forget that carpeting or flooring can also cause similar issues.
Use this step-by-step guide on how to level a table within a few minutes.
The nature of your leveling problem will determine how many minutes you will take. But it will not be prolonged if you master the following simple tips.
Start with Owner’s Manual
If you carefully read your tables manual, you will find that it provides some indispensable ways to address this issue.
It is highly probable that your table is adjustable. If this is the case, you can make it level regardless of the surface it is on.
If it has metal plates, you can remove the plates if you want to reduce your table’s height. At the same time, you can add them if all you want is to increase the height.
Pool tables with adjustable legs require different treatment. If you want to raise or lower any side of the table, screw the feet either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
If you are unsure if your table legs are adjustable, do not worry. Look at the legs of your pool table, and you will be able to see how they are put together. Confirm whether the components are adjustable or not.
In the case you discover that it does not have adjustable legs, look for shims and other small adjustments that can help you to level it without any difficulty.
Also, look whether the table has legs or screw-in Levelers. If this is the case, remember that you can raise your table by turning them right. At the same time, you can turn the leg to the left and lower your table. By making these adjustments, you will successfully level your table.
Table with adjustable legs: Raise the shortest leg slightly.
But if the problems persist, you should raise the leg of your table by one degree..
This can only work if it is an adjustable table pool. To verify this change, you can leave your carpenter’s level on the table. You can lower it back if you notice this change is too much.
If you deem it necessary, make the next move and adjust the other legs as well.
As you can see, you may have to do many tweaks to be able to achieve your goal.
This is partly a trial-and-error exercise.
Perseverance is the key if you want a perfectly flat playing surface.
Table without adjustable legs: Use shims to level your table
If your table doesn’t have adjustable legs then we have to do it the old fashioned way. You’ll need to get yourself some shims (like the ones in the picture).
Insert them under the legs until you are sure your table is completely level.
The reason I prefer shims is that these small, tapered shards of wood can correctly fill the gaps on your table. This way, you can use them to increase the height without cutting or destroying any part of the legs.
Also, you can find these shards of wood with ease. Almost all hardware sells them in their carpentry sections or home goods store, and of course on Amazon.
When you have made up your mind that you want to use shims, be sure you get a few people to help you. One or two people are enough.
- Determine which leg needs adjusting
- Get help to lift each corner of your table.
- Place a shim underneath the leg.
- Once you are done, they gently lower it.
- Check again to see if your pool table is level.
- Remember that you might need to add more shims until your pool table is well-balanced.
- If it is necessary, move to the other corners and do the same.
It’s important to check if your table is level after every adjustment.
How to avoid a common leveling problem
During the process of leveling your pool table and adjusting your shims, if you are not careful, you will most likely be loosening many slate screws. This can cause the screws to start spinning when you go to tighten. If this happens, you can go for longer slate screws.
If that fails to work, I use the masonry bit to change the angle of the hole to allow me to hit a ‘new’ wood altogether. Other people suggest that you can fill holes with a dowel.
While that is true, I have found that changing the angle is much more useful than this other method. It is less frustrating and does not strip out repeatedly.
I trust that all of us now feel confident now with how to level a pool table, whether they have adjustable legs or not. Remember that sometimes people complain that their billiards tables are crooked when indeed all they need is to fix the height or some other minor issues, which, of course, are enough to throw them off balance.
Its a good idea to check the balance of your table frequently.
This way, you will be able to diagnose problems at the right time when you can solve them with significant ease and without spending too much time.
Use the above methods and consult your owner’s manual whenever necessary,to make sure you always engy a game on a perfectly leveled table.