DIY (Do It Yourself) is a popular concept that modern generation seem to be fascinated with. However, they need to understand that the same formula is not effective in every aspect especially when you are trying to construct a pool table back at home. Surely you will get different magazines or online resources to advice you on the popular mechanics of pool table construction- but the fact is that those are not always effective.
A pool table is not just another piece of furniture; it is a fine tuned piece that requires accurate assembling and leveling. The cost of building the table on your own can exceed the cost of a new table available in the market. Therefore, there is no scope to fumble about which way to proceed. Invest in a pool table that is readily available in the market.
What you should look for while buying a pool table?
Slate is the component of pivotal importance
What to buy- 3-piece slate table, 1-piece slate table or no slate table? A pool table without the slate surface is good for kids. There is a common misconception that a 1-piece slate surface is better than 3-piece slate surface as there are no layers. In reality, it is exactly the opposite.
The single piece slate table consists of standard frame. The legs are the only adjustment point for leveling. It depends on the type of legs, how the pool tables have to be leveled either with turn feet or placing the shims under the legs. The one piece slate table is usually found in clubs or pubs and most of the time is coin operated. Over the time, the one piece slate table sags in the middle due to weight and it cannot be mended.
Far better accuracy can be achieved in 3-piece slate table than 1-piece slate pool table. While there are different styles in these three pieces slate pool tables but usually the table consists three different pieces that are attached on a frame. Each piece can be adjusted by driving hardwood wedges between the slate and frame. This way the installer can achieve accurate level at every point on the table. When the assembly is done the three pieces will be on the same plane. If there is any seam it has to be closed with the bee wax for a smooth play.
Plywood, particle board or MDF is attached to the slate with screws or glue. It will allow you to staple the cloth to the frame. The frames also provide ample support to the slate.
Slates can be unframed as well. Such a slate is 1” or less thick. The felt is attached to the slate with adhesive. However, if the adhesive is not applied properly there will be obstructions on the surface that will make the balls to roll off.
There is another variety called slate liner but that sag over time. Framed slate is always preferred style for all the advantages.
Finish and wood
Every manufacturers offer a variety of finishes. Among those thousands of combinations it is always safer to select mahogany or oak as these are fairly hardwood which can prevent gouges and scratches. Formica finish, usually found on commercial table, is undoubtedly most durable. Formica offers a beautiful wood grain look.
Standard billiard grade felt is used in most tables. Wool blended billiard felts are available in many different colors and if proper care is taken it can lasts for 10 years or longer.
The choice of table will also depend on the time you are going to spend on the pool table. If you are going to enjoy the game occasionally laminated, MDF or lesser grade wood frame will be just fine. Even this kind of tables may sustain for years if proper care is taken.
If you are looking for a robust and aesthetically appealing table for commercial purpose premium quality that are well finished will be definitely good. The experts of the game can go for customized models. It is possible to avail customization in table designs, types of finishes and color of the cloth covering the table. Investing in billiard table is worthwhile, as the tables can be resold without much depreciation of the value. Needless to mention better condition of the table more price it can fetch, when resold.
If you still have confusions, talk with an advisor about what you need in details. The experienced advisors can give you knowledgeable and friendly advices.