A pool table is one of the most difficult pieces of furniture to move. If yours is worthy of professional play, it has three or five pieces of slate attached to the frame. You must remove these, and each piece can weigh between 250 and 350 pounds. You're also in for some heavy lifting if your table has a single sheet of slate. All slate pool tables require a certain amount of disassembly, as well as reassembly and re-leveling at the new location. A three- or five-piece slate table may need professional adjustment before it's ready to use.
Things You'll Need
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Screw container
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Moving blankets
Three- and Five-Piece Slate Tables
Disassemble the rails and the pockets. Look for the screws holding them on the underside of the table and remove the screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Store the screws in a container; label each part of the rail as you remove it. Wrap each part in newspaper to protect it.
Remove the felt. If the slate is attached to a plywood or MDF frame, the felt is usually stapled to the frame. Pull out all the staples carefully, using a flat-head screwdriver and a hammer. If the slate is unframed, the felt is usually glued. Pull it off carefully, but don't be surprised if it tears. It's best to replace it anyway.
Unscrew the slate screws holding each section of slate to the table frame -- also called the cabinet -- using a screwdriver. Lift each section off the table and wrap it in in a moving blanket before transferring it to the moving vehicle and laying it flat. It will take several people to lift each section.
Separate the legs from the cabinet by unscrewing the bolts with a wrench. Disassemble the cabinet, if it comes apart. If it doesn't, move it as a unit.
Reassemble the cabinet in the new location, attach the legs and level the cabinet, adjusting the lengths of the legs or placing shims under them, as needed.
Set the slate sections in place and level them with shims. This is a precision job for which you should hire a professional. The levels of the sections must match within a tolerance of .005 inch per square foot, and the seams in between must be sealed with beeswax to ensure a level playing surface.
Reattach the felt, stapling it to the slate frame with a staple gun. If the slate has no frame, attach the felt with adhesive -- probably another job for a pro.
Attach the bumpers and pockets in the order you removed them to complete the reassembly.
Single-Piece Slate Tables
Remove rails and pockets, label them and store the fasteners in a safe place. Take off the felt by removing staples. If it's glued, you may want to leave it attached. If not, tear it off.
Lift the slate, wrap a blanket around it and transport it to your vehicle. The slate of a single-piece table is heavier than one section of a three-piece table. You will need several strong individuals to lift and carry it.
Disassemble the cabinet or move it as a unit.
Set up the cabinet in the new location and set the slate on top. Level the table as a unit by adjusting the legs or putting shims under them. You can also place shims between the slate and cabinet as necessary.
Reattach the felt or install new felt, then attach the rails and pockets.
Tips & Warnings
- If your table doesn't have a slate top, you can move it as a unit. The main reason for disassembling a slate table is to prevent the slate from breaking in transit.
- Wear gripping gloves and use safe lifting techniques to protect your back when moving the slate. The slate can easily break if you lose your grip. If the job seems beyond your ability, don't hesitate to call in professional movers.
- Photo Credit robinimages/iStock/Getty Images
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