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Pool Table Assembly
How to assemble/install a pool table-
Let me start off by telling you that assembling a pool table is a very difficult task and should be performed by professionals. There are a few people out there that would still like to try it themselves no matter what the outcome is. This is for those people.
There are many different styles of pool tables out there. We will only discuss the most common and popular style today.
As shown in the picture, a furniture style pool table has four legs and a wood cabinet or frame. Most table come with the frame already assembled. If it is not, it will come with instructions on how to construct the frame. Once the frame is constructed, the first thing that you should do is put the cabinet upside down on the floor where you plan on putting the table. You now can put the legs on the brackets on each of the four corners of the cabinet. You only need to put the nuts or bolts on the legs with washers enough to where you can flip the table and the legs will be underneath it. After you flip the table, you can put the legs in the position that they look the best and then tighten the nuts or bolts. Now you need to measure the table off of the wall and make sure it is in the position that you desire. You should either center the table in the room, or measure from the wall that you want to get closest to and make sure you have about 59 or 60 inches to the playing surface (usually about 2 or 3 inches inside the outermost part of the frame). You should also measure at two points on the length of the table to be sure that the table is square off of the wall. You should put your level on each of the four sides of the frame and try to get the frame level by using shims. This will make your job easier in the later stages of the pool table installation.
Now that you have the cabinet and legs in position, you can put the slate on the table. Assuming that you are putting together a three piece slate table, you should be able to tell by looking at the slate, which one goes where. The pockets will be on all four corners, and two in the center of the middle piece of slate. You should put the middle place in position first and leave a the two other pieces about two inches away, so that you can see what you are doing. You should try to center the center piece of slate by visually looking at the side of the cabinet. Many times the cabinet has grooves on the frame that has semicircles cut out in the center of the cabinet. Once you have the piece visually close, you should take a tape measure and measure all four corners of the edge of the slate to the edge of the frame of the table. If the piece is truly centered, all four of those measurements should be the same. Now that you have the center piece of slate centered on the pool table, you can slide the other two piece into their final positions.
The next step is leveling the slate of the pool table. Using a machinists level, you need to first determine which side of the pool table is the highest. This is important because if you start at the lowest end, when you get to the highest end, you wont be able to make it go down. Start by standing on one of the ends of the pool table. Put the level on the edge facing left and right on the outer edge of the slate just in front of you. Put the shim on the lower side so that you can get the bubble even. You can generally tap the shim with a hammer or mallet once is between the frame and slate. Once you have the bubble even, you can move the level to the other end of the slate on the opposite edge of that same piece of slate that is on one end of the table. You will put shims on both corners of the edge of the slate as close to the screw holes as you can. These are on the outer edges of the pool table and be careful to not let the shim go under the screw hole (If you screw the shim in place, you wont be able to adjust it later). You will have to move the level back and forth between this position and a perpendicular one that will help you level the slate in the other direction. While leveling this first piece of slate, there are three positions that you will place the level. From left to right while you are standing at one end of the table. Once on the edge closest to you, and again on the other edge of that same piece of slate. You will also place the level in the center of that same piece of slate, perpendicular from the other direction. Once you are able to get the bubble level at all of these locations you should put the screws in all of the screw holes. The best way to do it is screw them all the way tight and then back them out about a ¼ turn. This will ensure that they have the same pressure. You will now need to level that piece of slate again in the same manner using the screws and the shims. The entire time you need to make sure the screws have an equal amount of pressure on them as you tighten or loosen the screws. I know a lot of this information is hard to handle, but installing a pool table is a difficult task, as I had mentioned earlier. This first piece of slate was the hardest one to level. From now on you only need to put the level on the opposite end of the piece that is already level, and in the centered perpendicular position. The edge of the slate that butts up the piece of slate that is level, needs to be flush with the leveled slate. You can make it flush by using your hands and try to make it feel as smooth as possible. You will also repeat the leveling after you put on the screws, just like before.
After you have the pool table level, you need to wax the seams of the slate. The seams are the points that the pieces of slate come together. You can do this using beeswax, a propane torch, and a metal paint scrapper. Use the torch to melt the beeswax and let it drip along the seem. Leave enough so that you can get the dried wax line a few inches wide. You can go side to side with the torch to spread the wax out along the seam. Once the wax has dried you can scrape it with the paint scrapper. You should also fill any screw holes with the wax. The screw holes take a little longer to dry. You can then scrape them flat as well. You can reuse the beeswax throughout this process. Once everything seems flat the pool table slates surface, run your bare hand across the entire surface and make sure that there are no pieces of beeswax left and that there are no small holes in the slate.
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