While owning a slate pool table means endless hours of entertainment, it also means dealing with a massive hassle when you decide to move.
Due to its size and weight, it’s imperative for you to disassemble your slate pool table before moving it. Taking it apart makes it easier to transport, with a lower risk of personal injury or damage to your property. Here are eight simple steps from Turntable Billiards to disassemble your pool table with ease.
Tools to Disassemble a Pool Table
We recommend having the following items on hand when disassembling your pool table:
- Drill with flat-head and Phillip’s head bits
- Socket wrench and ratchet wrenches for drill (14mm and 15mm)
- Staple puller or flat-head screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Moving blankets
- Plastic movers’ wrap
- Box or bag for hardware and accessories
- Plastic Ziploc bags
1. Disconnect the Pocket Liners from the Table
Please keep in mind that you should take safety precautions when disassembling your table. Wearing eye goggles will protect your eyes from potential accidents that could hinder or ruin your vision.
Do you have pocket liners? If so, you should remove them. You can do this by removing the staples or screws that secure the pocket straps to the table. If the pool table has stapled pockets, you can remove them with a flat-head screwdriver if you don’t have a staple remover handy. Once you’ve released the pocket tacks or screws, you squeeze the sides of the pocket and push it down through the apron to remove it from the table. Repeat this process with all six pockets. If the tacks are still attached to the pockets, remove them, so they don’t cause damage during the move. You can place the nails or screws in a Ziploc bag to keep them together.
2. Remove the Table’s Rail Bolts
Once you remove the pocket liners, it’s time to remove the rail bolts. If you lay underneath the table, you can remove the bolts using a socket wrench attachment for your drill. Rails typically have three bolts, so you’ll end up removing a total of 18 rail bolts. Be careful not to remove the smaller apron bolts. Keep all bolt parts in a separate baggie labeled accordingly.
If you have an older slate table, the table rails may be attached in two places with different bolts. If so, you need a forked tool to remove them. You can get a forked tool from a pool table supply store in your area or online.
3. Remove the Corner Miters
Once you’ve removed the rail bolts, lift the rail system off the table with the help of a friend. Flip it over and lay it back on the table. In each corner of the table, you’ll find two corner casting brackets that need to be removed using a flat-head bit. Once you remove the screws and brackets, you can lift the corner pieces out of the rail system. Place all corner parts in a third plastic bag and label.
4. Remove the Aprons
The table has four aprons to detach from the rails. Unscrew the apron bolts. Keep your hand on the apron when removing the final pin, so you maintain control of the piece. Wrap each apron section in the folds of a moving blanket to protect the parts during transit. You can secure the moving blanket around the apron sections by using movers’ wrap on either end of the blanket. The plastic moving wrap doesn’t stick to the surface of furniture, so it won’t cause damage if it encounters any part of the pool table. Then, place apron hardware in a fourth plastic bag, seal, and label.
5. Remove the Pocket Castings and Rails
Using a 14mm ratchet wrench, loosen and remove the bolts on each pocket casting. Remove all 12 nuts and bolts from the pockets and place in a fifth plastic bag, then seal and label. Place the castings in a box.
Once you remove the castings, the rails are free to wrap and pack for moving. Just as you did with the aprons, wrap three rails in each moving blanket, securing the ends shut with a few layers of plastic movers’ wrap.
6. Remove the Felt
Have your staple puller and needle-nose pliers on hand before you start this step. Pro tip: have a magnetic bowl handy to drop the staples into to keep them from ending up on the floor or in someone’s foot. If your felt is stapled, remove each staple slowly. Taking your time can help you avoid damaging your felt. Felt is notorious for tearing easily. With each staple, slide the staple puller under the staple then twist to pop the staple out. If the staples don’t quickly come out, then use the needle-nose pliers to finish the job.
Is your felt glued to the table? If so, carefully pull the edge of the cloth backward. Gradually work your way around the table. Fold the felt neatly after removing it from your pool table. It’s critical that you avoid applying pressure on the fold lines. You don’t want any wrinkles or creases in your felt. Place the felt in a waterproof plastic bag for transport.
7. Remove the Slate Pieces
You will find approximately four slate screws in each piece of slate. Using a drill, remove the screws from each slate piece. Place these in another plastic baggie, label, and seal. Before removing the slate, label each one (1, 2 and 3). It’s essential to know the original order of the slate pieces to reassemble the table correctly. Also, mark the position of the middle section on the table, so you’ll know the exact positioning of this piece during reassembly.
Once all the screws are removed, and you’ve marked each piece of slate, lift the slate and place each one to the side. Please keep in mind that you will need help with this step. Each slate can weigh up to 250 pounds. If one slate gets a scratch or chip, it could ruin the whole table.
8. Disassemble the Frame
Flip the table over and unbolt the legs, making sure to drop the hardware into another plastic bag. Wrap each piece of the frame in a moving blanket, securing the blanket with movers’ wrap. You are now set. Your table is ready to go!
You don’t need to hire a professional to disassemble your slate pool table if you’re relocating to a new area. Breaking down your slate pool table for long-distance moving is a breeze if you follow the eight steps above. Make sure you get help and take your time.