How to Install Pool Table Pockets

Some billiards tables do not come equipped with pockets. You can install the pockets to convert the table to standard pool use. All you need is the right tools and an hour or two.

Things You'll Need

  • Marking tape
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Strong adhesive
  • X-Acto knife or razor
  • Measuring tape
  • Pocket sleeves (usually leather or canvas)
  • 1/4-inch screws
  • Protractor
  • 2 9-inch strips of hard rubber, 1 inch wide
  • 4 11-inch strips of hard rubber, 1 inch wide

Instructions

    • 1

      Measure the length of the table and mark the halfway point along each cushion with tape. This will be the center of the side pockets.

    • 2

      Cut the felt away from the center pocket site on the cushion, making one incision from the center point at the base of the cushion over the cushion and one cut at the top of the cushion, so that the two intersect in a "T" where the cushion meets the frame. The cut along the top of the bumper should be 5 inches long (extending 2.5 inches in each direction from the center mark).

    • 3

      Use the jigsaw to cut the cushion. The side-pocket openings in the cushion should be 5 inches wide at the front of the cushion, and slant inward at 14 degrees. Use a protractor to draw the proper angle on the cushion to serve as a guide while you cut. Cut an arc into the framing from the points where the cushion now ends to an apex 2 inches deep.

    • 4

      Measure 2 inches toward the rail from the original marking point (along the line of the cushion at its center). This point, two inches in from the cushion line, will be the center of the pocket. Trace a circle 4 inches in diameter (2 inches in radius) from this center point.

    • 5

      Cut out the pocket with the jigsaw. To start the cut, drill a hole in the table along the perimeter line, then insert the saw blade to continue the cut.

    • 6

      Fasten a 9-inch rubber strip around the border of the new pocket, covering the newly sawed-off cushions and the newly cut arc in the rail. Use adhesive to secure the rubber padding. Refold the loose felt to cover the rubber padding on the cushions and glue it into place.

    • 7

      Repeat on the opposite side to make the other side pocket.

    • 8

      Measure, at the corner of the table, two points equidistant from the corner that are 4.5 inches apart. Each point will be about 2.83 inches from the corner. Cut back the felt from the bumpers by making an incision along the top edge.

    • 9

      Cut the cushions at a 14-degree angle after measuring with the protractor.

    • 10

      Use tape to mark a straight line from the two corners of the newly cut cushions. Measure 3.5 inches from this line directly toward the corner and mark the spot. This will be the center of the corner pocket.

    • 11

      Measure a circle 2.5 inches in radius around this point and use the jigsaw to cut away the framing along this line. Do not cut the surface of the table at these dimensions; cut only the framing that forms the perimeter of the table.

    • 12

      Measure a circle 2 inches in radius around this point and cut through the table surface along it. Again, use the drill to start the cut for the jigsaw if necessary. The hole through the table should be half an inch smaller in radius than the cut in the framing.

    • 13

      Line the cut cushion surfaces and the rail forming the back edge of the pocket with 11-inch rubber strips, securing with adhesive. Refold the felt to cover the cushion ends and secure with adhesive.

    • 14

      Repeat the corner-pocket procedure with the other corners.

    • 15

      Secure the pocket sleeves to the bottom of the table surface below each pocket, using the drill and quarter-inch screws to avoid piercing the table surface.

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