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Restoring My Old 8' Pool Table

Restoring My Old 8' Pool Table

I am starting to restore my old 8 foot pool table I just bought and put together. This new thread here is where I will keep track of the progress. I am still looking for a job, so I have all the time in the world now to do some actual work to it. I don't know what brand it is since it came with hand drawn blueprints.

The rubber on the bumpers are in surprisingly good shape for the age of the pool table. Check this wicked shot. Cue ball has to hop the 5 ball to hit the nine ball and it bounced and landed on the rail and rolled right in.

I'm thinking of using automotive fabric paint to freshen up my felt. You may ask "Why?" Because, like I said I don't know what's gonna go down in a few months so I'd hate to rip up brand new felt if I have to move. I think it will work out fine for a temporary solution. My buddies want black but I think it might look bad considering it's surroundings. We'll see. More on that after I secure another job.

Also, I just bought myself a brand spanking new 4' level so that I can get the pool table leveled properly. Right now it has a mean curve.

For the seams and screw holes I'm going to use the car bondo. I have to fill it and smooth it out after it's level. Also thinking of updating the hardware for it as well. Since the pool table is so old it has those square-headed bolts and nuts.

I also still need new pool table pockets, and I think I am going to do black ones.

I have all the sandpaper I'd ever need for this project and while at Lowe's, I got a new putty knife and a can of medium contact cement. Since it's gotten warmer, we've left the sliding door open. This apparently makes the felt expand a little bit, which leaves waves in the felt, which is bad enough that I don't think Tiger Woods would even putt on it.

We're throwing a huge party on the 8th so I hope to have a new job and all this done before then. I'll be posting pics of the felt coloring and other work I'm doing.

Restoring My Old 8' Pool Table

Replies & Comments

  1. sir silviasir silvia on 4/27/2010 11:20:40 PM

    Preparing the Pool Table and Slate

    Time to prepare the pool table slate. I have to strip off the old contact glue and putty from the pool table slate that the previous owner used. Here is an outline of what I did:

    • I've removed the bumpers and pockets, lifted off the felt (I just had it laying on top of the slate).
    • Removed the screws and separated the slate slabs.
    • Tapped the inside seams with a flat head screw driver and utility knife to get rid of the old crap.
    • Took a few days to strip and sand the huge amounts of putty.
    • Made sure everything was smooth and didn't let the sander dig in too far to ruin the table.
    • Finer and thinner areas finished up by hand
    • Used rubbing alcohol and a piece of sandpaper to try to remove the strange oily stain in the one corner. Actually worked pretty well.
    • Lined up the slate again and put the screws in half way to allow movement
    • Leveled the table with 2 shims at each corner of all 3 slabs. Leveling the middle one first.
    • Used a cue ball to help show the dip of the slabs.
    • Tightened the screws down double and triple checking the level each time.

    Other than the slight cutover at the slate seams, the ball rolls straight at a constant speed instead of before it would speed up or change direction. Now to fill the holes and seams.

    Supplies used:

    • Plastic mixing mat
    • Bondo
    • Hardener
    • Various straightedge spreaders
    • Razor scraper
    • Rubbing alcohol to clean areas

    I am probably going to switch from using bondo (for auto body work) and use something else. I'm not sure yet. What is the best filler for pool table slate screw holes and seams? drywall plaster, something else, or keep using bondo?

  2. sir silviasir silvia on 4/28/2010 3:11:15 AM

    Choosing the New Pool Table Cloth

    Today I am working on choosing a felt, for when I have money to blow, even though for now I will be trying to restore the pool table cloth that is on there now in order to save money.

    I definitely want a Teflon treated pool table felt. With 4 bachelors living here and regular parties, it's pretty much a requirement.

    I found eBay is usually cheaper and 21-22oz felt looks to be the standard. I am still considering black felt since the pockets I'm looking for are going to be black.

    Other sites:

    • premiumbilliards.net/invitational-teflon-14.html
    • robbiesbilliards.com/shop/championship-invitational-teflon-waterproof-pool-table-cloth-felt.html
  3. sir silviasir silvia on 5/4/2010 3:32:57 AM

    Cleaning the Old Pool Table Cloth

    Well, damn it. I took the felt outside to scrub the old soggy ashtray smell out of it and let it dry. I brought it back in and now it is not even close to being able to fit the slate. It shrunk quite a bit. I did not know it would do that.

    At this point I doubt I'm going to be able to stretch it.

    On top of this, I still have a deadline of this Saturday the May, 8 2010 to get the table back to a usable condition. Since I got a sweet sweet retirement check, I could finally buy new felt. Shipping would need to be fast or else I'm going to tack-glue the old stuff down the best I can until then.

    So to recap, at this point I have the table leveled, slate fastened, putty done, and pool table sanded and cleaned.

  4. sir silviaMitch Alsup on 5/4/2010 4:29:39 PM

    You can stretch the shrunken cloth out but you have to re-wet it. Once it is wet, use at least 24 hooks, and a bunch of 2-3 pound weights on the end of each hook. It might take a couple of days and a couple of sprays with water but it will stretch back out. The only practical place to do this is on the slates.

    On the other hand, not knowing what that cloth is, and knowing that Simonis 860 is the THE preferred cloth by pros for 8 foot pool tables... Well you know where I'm heading. But if you want to develop delicacy in your game, Simonis 760 is what you want. Just saying...

    Yeah. Don't tack the old cloth back on. You will thank me later.

  5. sir silviasir silvia on 5/4/2010 5:40:43 PM

    At this point I am in a bind and I don't know what I am going to do. People will be jacked if they don't have a pool table to play on this Saturday. I have no idea what felt it is, but it's felt with some sort of canvas backing. I have been thinking Teflon treated felt. I am not sure if I can get it ordered and shipped here by Friday for assembly.

    What do you guys think of getting some crap fabric for the pool table as a temporary pool table cloth until the actual cloth arrives? I can go to a craft store and get some cheap stuff till I have the time and supplies to get it done correctly.

  6. sir silviabilliardsforum on 5/5/2010 3:41:34 PM

    I guess the bottom line is that if you have a deadline to have it game-ready, then I guess you already have your answer. When it comes down to having "good" cloth or not playing at all, I'll take the crap fabric. Let us know how it goes...

  7. sir silviasir silvia on 5/5/2010 5:03:54 PM

    I just got back from West Penn Billiards. I was looking to see how much the pool table cloth was. I ended up buying black 19 oz felt with rail felt for $100. It's not Teflon like I wanted, but with the time frame issue, I just bought it there.

    The stuff on eBay was $60 for Teflon treated stuff plus $15 shipping. If I expedited it it would end up being about $100 anyway. The only downside is it's not Teflon, glad I went with black, it will hide any stains a lot better than another color.

    Also, the pockets I ordered Yesterday are already shipped, which is sweet. They're coming via UPS from Massachusetts so I am hoping that they'll be here by Saturday afternoon at the latest.

  8. sir silviaRunamuck on 12/31/2010 9:31:03 AM

    How did this ever turn out? I need to do this also. Any more pics?

  9. sir silviasir silvia on 12/31/2010 2:05:49 PM

    It actually turned out half decent. I lost my job then my car broke down so I ran out of extra cash to completely finish it.

    But I have it all back together, still using the old pockets. The table is level, smooth, and the black felt looks awesome. I still need to put the new felt on the rails. One of them needs to be fixed first so I'm waiting to do that.

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Restoring My Old 8' Pool Table

  • Title: Restoring My Old 8' Pool Table
  • Author: (Dj Johnson)
  • Published: 4/27/2010 10:44:15 PM