Pool tables come in a variety of styles, sizes, and configurations. The basic steps involved in professionally servicing a pool table include:
The first step a technician does upon entering the transferee’s home, and prior to performing any service, is to fully assess the table to determine the condition of it and note any damage that exists. This documentation protects both the technician and also the mover from a possible false claim. All pool tables, billiard tables and snooker tables are made in the same manner. They consist of a wooden or metal base upon which the playing surface (or slates) are placed and the rails or bumpers. It should be noted that pool tables that do not have a slate or stone playing surface are called composite tables and, in most cases, do not require disassembly.
After removing the rails (which are felt covered vulcanized rubber) and pockets (often made from leather), the bed of the table is now fully exposed. The felt can now be carefully removed so that it can be rolled and wrapped for the move. (*Note: Felt should never be folded, as the crease can become permanent which would then require replacement at the time of reassembly.) The bolts, which secure the slates to the frame of the table, are removed and the slates are now ready to be crated. There can be anywhere from 1 to 5 slates, depending on the type, age and style of the table.
The final step is to disassemble the base and the ball return channels located within. All hardware is packed into a box and clearly labeled indicating that it belongs to the pool table.
AE Worldwide builds a custom wooden crate for each piece of slate (most modern pool tables have three pieces). Since the felt is normally glued to the slate, we do not wrap the slate or line the crate with cardboard. This helps to avoid any wrapping material from sticking to the slate which could cause an uneven playing surface.
Once the table is delivered and parts are placed in the room where the table will reside we are able to begin our reassembly. Often the table is to be located in the basement or some other large room that is now filled with boxes. It is not uncommon for it to take the transferee a couple of days to empty the room of boxes, leaving appropriate space for the table assembly.
Once the transferee is ready the technician will review the table’s placement within the room in to ensure that there is adequate space in order to play on all sides of the table. The table is assembled in reverse of the disassembly starting with the table base and ball return. The most important factor is to make certain that the table is as level as possible to ensure proper play on the table. The slates are then uncrated, re-leveled and bolted onto the table, then shimmed to minimize any joints between the pieces of slate. The seams between the slates are filled with beeswax or plaster and the felt can be reattached and stretched onto the table. The tighter the felt is stretched the “faster” the table will play. Since the table speed is a matter of personal preference, it is important to have the transferee present to get their input during assembly process. The final step is the attachment of the rails and the installation of the spots on the felt.
The table is now ready for many years of playing enjoyment!