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In buying a pool table, the best recommendation regarding location is to choose a place in the house where you won’t require moving the table at all. Why? It’s not easy to move pool tables around; it exposes tables to the risk and potential damage of vital parts.
However, irrespective of the precautions taken, occasions that will require you to move your pool table may still arise.
Hence, you must know how to move a pool table without breaking the slate.
Moving a pool table is risky, and requires a lot of effort: skill, knowledge, and patience.
Simply put, it is as good as moving a piano. In doing this, you generally have two options. First is hiring professional pool table movers to help you move the table and reassemble it in the new location (new house or next room).
The second option is seeking help from some able-bodied people to work together and get the task done.
While the first option seems smart, it isn’t cheap. In going for the second option, you will need to know how to move a pool table without breaking the slate.
Required steps in moving your pool table without breaking the slate
1. Remove The Table’s Pockets
As expected, your table has two sides’ pockets and four corners pockets (same with every standard billiard table).
These pockets are usually attached to the table in different ways, depending on the table’s design.
Usually, you will find underneath the pocket how it’s attached, either with staples or screws.
Whichever one, your first step is to lie down underneath the table and remove the attachment with either a staple puller or a flat head screwdriver. After that, bring out the pockets and keep aside.
2. Remove the rails
The rails around the table are the next thing to detach.
Your table rail is likely attached with a bolt. In that case, using a socket wrench, you can unscrew these bolts joining the rails.
3. Loosen the table’s felt.
This is one step that you need to be extra careful about when handling the table.
In removing the felt, you risk causing irreparable damage to the felt.
First, find out how it was laid on the table’s base.
If staples were used to hold it in place, then you are advised to use a staple puller to avoid damaging it.
If it were glued, gently remove it by pulling it backwards, not forwards or upwards.
You may intend to use the felt again, in that case, fold the felt to prevent it from getting wrinkles.
4. Remove the Slate
If you didn’t already know, after removing the felt and exposing the slate, you will be able to see how many pieces. most commonly tables that house a slate bed usually consist of 1 or 3 pieces of slate.
Separate the slate from the pool table by unbolting the screws holding together the slate and the frame of the table.
A power drill with the right bit fitted on it is required to do that effectively.
There are cases where beeswax is used on the screws. If you encounter that, a flat head screwdriver can be used to scrape the beeswax off before you unscrew the slate.
5. Detach the legs from the frame
The legs are attached just underneath the base. You can still make use of your power drill with another properly fitted bit to remove the leg.
6. Load the table base
At this point, you have successfully removed every attached part to the frame.
Now, begin to load the pieces into your vehicle just like any other furniture. If your table is made with finished wood, you might need to use a shrink wrap or a furniture pad to protect your table against damage.
7. Organize your accessories
The next thing in your mind now should be to pick up all your accessories and pack them safely.
Place your balls, cue sticks, pockets, chalks and other accessories in a box or anything safe. Arrange them in such a way that movement within the container is minimized.
For the slate, more care should be given in placing it well.
Remember this is the surface upon which your game is played; hence, it must not be rough handled.
In loading the slates, it is better to cover them in a blanket or drop cloth, and then stack them on top of each other.
8. Transport To Your New Location
You should have disassembled every part possible, and loaded them into the vehicle.
Transport the pool table and its accessories to your new location.
On getting to your new location, ensure you check out the proposed new space for your table.
Take the accurate measurement and give adequate space to allow you to play your game comfortably.
Also, clear any possible hitch on your path to the proposed space, as you wouldn’t want to trip over while carrying your slate or any other accessory.
9. In Reverse Order Rebuild Your Table
When all your accessories and table frame has been moved to the new location, you are ready to rebuild your pool table.
In reassembling your table, great care should be taken to ensure proper installation.
The most effective way to go about this is to rebuild it in reverse order.
Begin from placing your frame and leg in place; re-fix the slate and so on.
Tips for moving your pool table
Learning how to move a pool table without breaking the slate is no mean feat, every measure taken to help moving it will aid you in the long run. I have listed some helpful tips to consider while moving your own pool table. Good luck with the move!
It sounds obvious, but ensure you have everything needed before you make the move. screwdrivers, power drills, even a cloth to wrap the slate in cloth to help protect it, get everything needed!
All this sounds obvious, but if you get to a point and you don’t have the correct equipment then you’ll only find yourself making exceptions and this could cause damage to your table
After removing the felt, before taking the slate off, use chalk or a pencil to write on the slate. Make a note on the slate that its the “top”, this will make it easier when piecing it all back together.
Get help! Slate is extremely heavy. even if its a three-piece slate table. Each piece will take a lot of work to move. At minimum two or three people to help move the slate.
Also, consider using a moving dolly to help move the slate to the vehicle or another room. This will help tremendously!
Again, this may sound obvious but I’ve read so many times people not measuring the intended room correctly. Onsight they believe there to be ample space, but when there is a pool table in the middle they suddenly realize there isn’t enough cueing space surrounding the table.
This one usually goes under people’s radar, more so when people try to move the table as a whole rather than in pieces. But it’s worth checking the path to the intended new home of your pool table. Make sure you have enough room through door frames etc.
Your table legs might have been adjusted for its old home and therefore when erected in its new home, you may find the table to be at a slant.
Using a spirit level or even an app on your smartphone, check the floor in your table’s new room and its old room.
This way, at least you will be aware if some work is needed to level your pool table.
I have detailed how to move a pool table without breaking the slate, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it! If you feel more comfortable getting professional movers in to help, then do it.
Yes, it will come at a cost but it will be a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing the slate of your pool table.
A lot of times during relocation, moving of the pool table is given special consideration.
Because, most of its parts are delicate, and slight damage to any of them can negatively affect the play on the table.
Haven learned how to move a pool table without breaking the slate; next thought should be on having the right tools needed during the disassembling.
You are free to leave the disassembling process halfway if you discover you lack any of the vital tools you need.
Also, when you experience any unexpected trouble during this process, you can still halt for a while and seek advice.
Lastly, it isn’t a bad idea to engage the service of a professional pool table mover if you can afford the cost.
It will save you much stress if movers disassemble, transport and assemble your table at your new preferred location.