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Rolling Shelter for an Outdoor Pool Table

Rolling Shelter for an Outdoor Pool Table

Unique Circumstance: Outdoor pool table under a "rolling shelter".

Here near Seattle, I have an 8-foot coin-op on my dis-used tennis court, and I tired of being required to lift off the $50 20'x16' tarp every time I played and then tie or weigh it down on oh-so-many sundowns. (During bright sunlight and light wind I can easily shoot racks in 45-degrees.)

Especially during the Covid-19 shutdown, I spent many idle hours perfecting a wood-and-tarps shed to confidently keep my pool table dry, including during 50-mph winds. I used all rescued materials, including an RV awning, wood planks, and a walker's wheels.

I realize that not many readers would be in my situation (and have the double space), but I'm putting out my experience in case anyone wants to know that they wouldn't be the first to obtain an inside pool table to situate outdoors because there's not enough room inside the house. There are so-o-o many free and cheap tables to choose from on Craigslist, for example; my Global cost me $125 and plays perfectly!

Anyway, I built a frame around the two long sides and one short and left the other short end open and a foot higher with reinforcement on the top. Because I had plenty of time, I even attached a small awning out from the open end so that the tarps could be held off the concrete when no rain was forecast, or lowered when I needed full protection. When playtime begins or ends I just roll my frame the 13-feet necessary, and if I'm in a dry spell no tarp wrangling is needed.

During the pandemic (alone) and all summer, I'll easily be indulging in my pastime a few hours every day.

Shelter and Pool Table

(Balls and rack situated on “wrong“ end to “rotate” felt.)


Rolling off the Shelter to Play Pool


Interior View


Fair-Weather Overhang


Rolling Shelter for an Outdoor Pool Table

Replies & Comments

  1. RayMillsbilliardsforum on 6/11/2020 9:03:19 AM

    What a cool setup Ray.

    I'd love to be able to have an outdoor pool table like this, and to not have to worry about it getting wet.

    Doesn't humidity still pose a problem for the cloth and pool table laminate/wood parts... or is that why you used drywall on the inside walls? :)

  2. RayMillsRayMills on 6/11/2020 9:42:10 AM

    I've never noticed much moisture even after a rain, so I've assumed that a concrete surface doesn't store as much humidity as a lawn would to later transmit to the pool table.

    I'm probably lucky that the bar box pool table has a bottom "wall" to protect the slate! And frankly, if this experiment were to go bad all I would lose is a $125 pool table.

    I installed the drywall mostly because it, too, was free, rescued material and I didn't want any wind or rain attacking from the sides.

  3. RayMillsbilliardsforum on 6/17/2020 3:17:05 AM

    That's great.

    I had been seriously considering buying a proper outdoor pool pool table for my cottage.

    But now, instead of shelling out the big bucks for a proper outdoor-grade pool table, I like the idea of buying a cheap used bar-box pool table like yours, with a mindset of not worrying too much if anything bad happens to it.

    But our cottage is right on the Atlantic Ocean, and the weather here runs the gamut - high humidity, low humidity, high temperatures, low temperatures (and this can all be within the same day). I'd still be worried about the huge, swift, swings in humidity levels in a very short period of time. Also, the air is FULL of salt from off the water. (We're on the Northumberland Strait, on the Atlantic Ocean, between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, in Canada).

    But gosh just seeing your table outdoors is making me still want to do it more and more.

    And having a unit like yours that I can quickly put over it when the weather changes from sun to pouring rain and high winds within 15 minutes would be perfect.


    How SWEET would an outdoor pool table be here?


  4. RayMillsRayMills on 6/17/2020 5:23:28 AM

    I'd guess that if the air is laden with abrasive or otherwise unwanted elements it might be more airtight to permanently position the tarp to cover the floor (held down by the pool table's legs) and then just walk on it while you play.

    During dry spells I pull out 6' x 8' throw rugs; maybe these would prevent the tarp from being slippery.

    My first tarp was big enough to wrap the pool table like a Christmas gift, but then it has to go up-and-over far enough to make sure water doesn't collect above the pool table.

    Before this shelter I had two PVC pipes stuck into the corner pockets at just the right lengths to form an X arch to support the tarp, but then I was always finding basketballs or big party pots to make sure the water didn't pool over the playing surface. It worked, but I tired of the routine.

  5. RayMillsRayMills on 1/11/2021 6:49:33 AM


    The walker wheels' simple attachments didn't hold up, so I replaced them with a couple that were once on the bottom of a mechanic's tool chest.

    I became even lazier and didn't want to ever have to lift the awning up and down, so now I have installed a couple "rafter extensions" to make the awning permanent. It sticks out about 6 feet so that rain would have a hard time blowing sideways that far into the table. I'll probably weigh it down somehow if high winds are expected.

    The other day I discovered that squirrels were also ignoring Gov. Inslee's no-indoor-dining order and using my large cue ball presentation shelf as a pine cone buffet. Can't wait to have a spring cleaning and see what else might have squatted inside the "box". Still no sign of moisture or mold; I guess I've lucked-out that I have an airy design above that concrete floor. The aluminum (?) feet/levelers might be oxidizing, though, showing a white powdery accumulation.

  6. RayMillsRayMills on 1/4/2022 1:09:18 PM

    Another January Update:

    The biggest change since last January's update is my semi-retirement due mostly to the Covid pandemic. Within the next couple of weeks I plan on erecting some sort of gazebo to keep the wind off of us while we play in temperatures above 45 degrees. My rolling shelter is still the foundation of keeping the table dry, however, so I have to have something which I will probably tip 5' feet off the ground to insert it.

    I am seeking ideas from Forum readers on how best to design this wind shelter, and I'd like to keep expenses below $100. My favorite method, which would allow me to use existing and/or free resources (wood, tarps, sunlight, etc.), is a "cattle panel" tunnel greenhouse. This simply employs three 5'x20' welded 5-gauge wire mesh screens held into a bow by a wooden (or recycled trampoline) frame with their 20' arches forming the "roof" (3 panels would create a 15' structure). Might be hard to tip, but naturally more rain-proof. Cost: $100

    A second path would try to utilize the common popup ("EZup") frame I already have, possibly extending its 10'x10' coverage all around (13'x17'?) if I can't adjust it daily for conditions. It looks like I'd create at least two wall frames which simply hang down (with cue clearance) on the windiest sides of the popup, with a roof being optional if it looks like I can design it to be rain-proof during a game. This design might be more compatible with the rolling shelter. Cost: $40, if any.

    A third option is to build a 1v geodesic dome, possibly using the Starplate system. This uses twenty-five 10' 2x4's to create triangles all-around and is most permanent, but it has an inherent pentagonal floor that might constrict the cues. Cost: Dependent on finding cheap lumber, plus $60.

    All of this work is part of my enjoyment of the game, and I have seen no damage to my 8' Global barbox over the last two years here north of Seattle. I heartily encourage other enthusiasts to set up an outdoor table if you're squeezed and isolated like I am!

  7. RayMillsRayMills on 1/15/2022 7:21:45 AM

    Still-January Update:

    After my last update I found 3 items on Craigslist: someone giving away a 14'x14' trampoline, another offering an 8' pallet (made of hardwood and 3 long 2x4's), and I bought $40 worth of 3/4" PVC pipe.

    I've removed the fabric and springs and reassembled it upside-down around my pool table.

    Now I'm deciding how to mount the 2x4's on two or three sides of the frame, and I have to invent a way to get an extra 2 or 3 feet of cueing space on one side. The pipes need to start vertical before they arch over the table.

    Weatherproofing will come last...

  8. RayMillsbilliardsforum on 1/16/2022 8:06:12 AM

    That's awesome!

    Pretty soon you'll have a full-on rolling car-port-style structure that you can play under, rain or shine!

    You'll have to send some photos along once you get the latest adjustments made to the rolling outdoor pool table cover structure.

  9. RayMillsRayMills on 4/1/2022 5:33:23 AM

    I experimented for two months and proudly announce the "puberty" of my latest outdoor pool table shelter. I recovered my pool table with my favorite $15 royal blue Walmart craft-cloth today, so I guess it's a "boy". This 4% spandex cloth is fast and is forgiving for installation. It doesn't look like a smooth-edged man cave, but now I can play all night.

    Photographs will be included this week.

    Two sides of the inverted 14' x 14' trampoline frame were extended to 20'; a 30' x 15' tarp roof (on PVC pipes) had to be augmented with a couple more smaller ones; and more free stuff from Craigslist including lights with 4 flood lamps.

    The original rolling shelter was dismantled once I decided to trust the new outfit's rain-avoidance capability and once again use the RV tarp. This shelter doesn't roll, but I could slowly shift its position if necessary, and the wind moved it 2' twice. I didn't have to use much wood.

    I bought a $3 clock-radio at the thrift store, and I have to pick up the rugs when rain's a-coming because the water still seeps a tad over the concrete and under the frame. The biggest disappointment is that the rain-proofing also seems to be a sun-proofing, but it's still better for the wind-proofing. It might turn out to be nicely cool on those 4 days a summer when we get over 90°.


  10. RayMillsbilliardsforum on 4/6/2022 2:16:13 AM

    Looking forward to the new photos Ray!

  11. RayMillsRayMills on 4/6/2022 4:09:24 AM

    For all of you who are hanging on my every written word, etc., the photos will be delayed. I guess the good news is that you'll get before-and-afters!

    Two days after applying my new cloth, we were hit with 60-mph winds during the 7 hours per week that I leave home to play APA. My basic tarp design held-up, but the wind separated the base frame and pushed it about 5' into the lawn. Fortunately I had waterproofed the pool table itself—mostly to keep the rugs off the floor—but the roof collapsed almost to table level.

    Now I have to better-reinforce the shelter's frame and add more weight to it. I'm also thinking of finding a way to lower the PVC frame's profile during high winds.

    Do I love pool or what?

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Rolling Shelter for an Outdoor Pool Table

  • Title: Rolling Shelter for an Outdoor Pool Table
  • Author: (Ray Mills)
  • Published: 4/13/2020 6:00:33 AM
  • Last Updated: 6/11/2020 8:56:18 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)