Pool Table Repair: Basic Guide to billiard table maintenance
If you’re a billiards enthusiast, you understand the importance of a well-maintained pool table. It’s the centerpiece of your game room, providing hours of entertainment and a source of friendly competition. However, even the highest quality pool tables can experience wear and tear over time, and that’s where pool table repair comes into play. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of pool table repair to keep your billiard table in top shape.
The Basics of Pool Table Repair
Pool Table Types: Before diving into pool table repair, it’s essential to understand the type of pool table you own. There are various types, including coin operated, American Made pool tables, imported pool tables, antique pool tables and non-slate pool tables. Some pool table companies may only service the vending type pool tables services, while others only work on 3 piece slate. Pool has historic roots and therefore there are many different types of pool tables in use around the country. Each type may require specific repair service person, techniques, and materials.
Common Issues: Billiard tables can face a range of issues over time. Some of the most common problems include worn-out pool tablecloth or felt, dead bumpers, misaligned or worn-out pockets, and even structural issues. The most common maintenance you can expect on your pool table is needing new felt and new cushions after 10-20 years for most American Made pool tables. These services are usually performed at the same time this is due to when the felt is removed from the rails you cannot stretch it back on due to the length of the cloth.
The Role of Re felting: One of the most critical aspects of pool table repair is refelting. The pool table cloth, also known as felt, is a vital component as it provides the playing surface. Over years of use, it can become worn, torn, or stained, affecting the game’s quality. Pool table refelting involves removing the old cloth and replacing it with a new one, giving your pool table a fresh start. Most pool table felts can be moved 2-3 times without having to replace it, each time the move is performed the cloth is cut a little shorter. After 2-3 times, a new piece of bed cloth is required to be able to properly stretch over the slate. If a billiard cloth has holes or tears in it, that cloth will need to be replaced the next time it is moved, as the stretching of the cloth will only exasperate the hole further. You can choose to only refelt the bed cloth but most billiard owners will opt to recover the rails cloths as well, ensuring the colors match.
Bumper Replacement: Bumpers or cushions are another vital component of a billiard table. They control the rebound of the cue ball, ensuring a fair game. Damaged or worn-out bumpers can lead to inconsistent play, making bumper replacement a necessary repair. Tell-tale signs your cushion has gone bad, either the rubber is hard as rocks and cannot get any squeeze off it or is too soft and more consistent with putty.
Pool Table Pockets: Over time, the pockets on your pool table may start to sag or become damaged. This not only affects the aesthetics but also the functionality of the table. Repairing or replacing pockets is essential to maintain the overall quality of your pool table.
Antique Pool Tables: We consider any pool table over 50 years old an antique pool table. These tables often need more repair work than new cushions, pockets, and felt. Many quality antiques require full pool table restoration, which can be a lengthy and expensive process as many of those parts are no longer in production and need to be replicated. List of items you might find on a typical antique restoration are
- Sanding wood down and refinishing
- Removing and Replacing Slate Frames
- Repairing Pocket Hole Blowouts
- Replacing or Repairing Rail Sights
- Replacing or Repairing Pocket Blocks
Another important fact to remember about antique pool tables is the pockets are quite different to the modern pockets of today’s time, those pockets cannot be repurchased and replaced. Antique pockets need to be stripped to the irons and then have new leather sewn onto them, making it very important to hold onto those irons! Bankshot Pockets accepts antique pool table irons and provides custom leather work to refurbish antique pockets.
Finally, just because it is old, doesn’t mean it is good! There are antique pool table on the market that were sold to hit a certain price point, typically the cost of refurbishing them is going to be more than what it sold new. Most reputable billiard service repair companies will be able to offer an opinion on if refurbishing makes sense for you.
The Pool Table Repair Process
1. Inspection and Assessment
The first step in pool table repair is a thorough inspection and assessment. This involves identifying all the issues, from the condition of the felt to the state of the bumpers and pockets. Experienced pool table repair professionals have years of experience in identifying these issues quickly and accurately. Some companies prefer to inspect on site while others are happy to accept photos.
2. Disassembly and Pool Table Moving Services
In some cases, pool table repair may require disassembling the table. This service happens often when a customer wants to replace the flooring in their home or perhaps is moving to a new location. Professional pool table movers are trained to disassemble and reassemble tables, ensuring they are transported safely to the repair shop or a new location if necessary.
3. Refelting and Cloth Replacement
Refelting is a meticulous process that involves removing the old felt, releveling the slate(s), and applying a new pool table cloth. Pool Tables can either be a glue top or have wooden slate frames where the cloth is stapled on. Most pool table service companies will have two services available a complete recover where they professionals will refelt both the bed cloth and rail cloth or a service to refelt the bed cloth only. Quality pool table cloth brands like Simonis are often used to provide the best playing experience. This step alone can significantly enhance the performance of your pool table.
4. Bumper and Pocket Repair/Replacement
Bumper replacement and pocket repair or replacement are essential for maintaining the integrity of your pool table. These components affect the ball’s trajectory and the overall game experience. Professional pool table repair services have the expertise to address these issues effectively.
5. Pool Table Assembly and Installation
This final step ensures that your pool table is ready for countless hours of gameplay. Pool table Installation can happen after a customer’s flooring has been replaced, if a structural issue on the pool table has been repaired, or a customer simply moving the pool table to new home or room.
Choosing the Right Pool Table Repair Service
When it comes to pool table repair, quality matters. Here are some tips for selecting the right pool table repair service:
- Years of Experience: Look for a pool table repair service with years of experience in the industry. Experience often equates to expertise.
- References and Reviews: Check for customer reviews and ask for references. A reputable service should have a track record of satisfied customers.
- Billiard Table Specialization: Some companies specialize in billiard tables and have in-depth knowledge of various pool table types and brands. Retail pool table companies are a good place to start, as they are experienced & knowledgeable in all aspects of pool table sales.
- Service Range: Ensure that the service offers a comprehensive range of repairs, from refelting to structural repairs.
- Professionalism: Professional pool table repair services should have a team of skilled technicians and use high-quality materials.
- Warranty: Good repair and moving companies should offer a warranty on the work of the game tables. Be sure to ask before scheduling!
Maintaining and repairing your pool table is essential to keep it in top condition and ensure a high-quality game. Finding a professional pool table repair service can make all the difference. With their years of experience and commitment to quality, you can trust them to restore your beloved billiard table to perfection. Don’t let common pool table issues dampen your game room experience – invest in pool table repair and enjoy countless hours of fun for years to come.