Pool tables are large and expensive, but definitely fun to have around. One of the ways to add a little character to the room and cut back on costs is to purchase an older pool table and then restore it. This could involve several steps such as re-felting the table, balancing it, or refinishing the wood. While all of this may sound daunting, it really is not. All owners have to do is follow some simple instructions and they can easily learn how to restore a pool table. It may be advisable to learn the steps first before shopping for a used pool table so that owners have a better idea of how much work they have to do.
Usually the first part of a pool table to wear out is the felt. Luckily, felt is also fairly inexpensive and easy to replace. Alternatively people can hire someone to do it. The first step of the project is to disassemble the table. Begin by removing the pockets and continue by taking all bolts that hold the rails in place. When finished, lift the rails off the table and set the frame somewhere safe.
Now that the rails are gone, remove the old felt by peeling it off. Underneath are three large slates. Inspect the seams carefully between the slates to see if the surface is completely smooth. If there are any dents or uneven parts, fill them in by melting beeswax and pouring it over the areas. Once the wax dries, scrape off the excess. Even if the surface is already smooth, it may be advisable to dig out the old wax and replace it anyway to ensure that it lasts longer.
There are a few ways to get the supplies needed for this step. The first method is to purchase a replacement kit which comes with the felt, tacks, and sometimes new rails. However, those who want to keep costs down can just purchase replacement felt and use staples as well as their existing rails to anchor it into place. In general, the felt should be 20 - 22 oz weight and consist of about 75 percent wool and 25 percent nylon. Lay the felt over the slates and staple one side down at the edges of the table. Next, stretch out the felt so that it is tight with no wrinkles and finish stapling it in place. Cut out the holes for the pockets and then reattach the rails and pockets.
As pool tables age and people move them around, there is a good chance that the table may end up unbalanced. If the slates are not level, it is impossible to play the game because the balls roll when they are not supposed to. Use two levels to find out whether the table is balanced. Place them in the centre of the table in opposite directions. This shows owners which sides of the table are sagging.
Usually, pool tables have a screw at the bottom of each leg to adjust height with. If this is the case, gradually lengthen the screw on the short leg until the table is level. If the table does not have screws, get pieces of thin plywood and stack them under the leg until it is high enough. When done, screw the wood to the bottom of the leg to keep it in place.
Often the rails on a pool table have dents in them or just look worn down. If they are plastic rails, the only restoration solution is to purchase new ones. However, if the rails are wooden then owners can most likely restore them to their former glory.
Smooth wooden rails with no fancy ridges are easiest to sand down because owners can use a power sander. However, if there are carvings in the wood, owners must do the job by hand. Use afine sandpaper that is at least 400 grit to remove any old varnish or paint. Next, apply several layers of stain by rubbing it in with a rag. Lastly, apply a lacquer over the top of the stain to protect it and give it an appealing shine.
Restoring a pool table can be a fun and rewarding project. It gives owners the opportunity to take pride in their hobby as well as save money by purchasing a used pool table rather than a new one. The supplies as well as used pool tables are easy to find on eBay. Shoppers can even look for pool tables for sale near them so that they do not have to pay any shipping fees.
Either use the eBay search bar to locate what you are looking for, or visit the eBay Deals page to see what sales there are for the day.