As you begin to review your household contents in preparation for moving, this is decision time for certain items: do you take it with you or dispose of these things?
Pool Tables are often part of this consideration process. Due to its weight and dimensions, most pool tables must be properly disassembled and prepared for shipment in order to assure safe handling and transport. If you forget to mention that you are moving a pooltable, this may result in a significantly higher cost of your move.
Pool tables come in a variety of styles, sizes, and configurations. If you are planning a D.I.Y. move, you have the option of handling the disassembly yourself or contracting with a professional company to perform the service.
Be aware that the disassembly and reassembly do require a level of expertise. If you are utilizing a professional moving company they will typically hire a “third party” service company to handle this task. The same applies at the destination after delivery of your goods.
The following basic steps involved in properly servicing a pool table by a professional specialist include:

Evaluation

The first step a technician does upon entering the transferee’s home, and prior to performing any service, is to fully assess the table to determine the condition of it and note any damage that exists. All pool tables, billiard tables, and snooker tables are made in the same manner. They consist of a wooden or metal base upon which the playing surface (or slates) are placed and the rails or bumpers. It should be noted that pool tables that do not have a slate or stone playing surface are called composite tables and, in most cases, do not require disassembly.

Disassembly

After removing the rails (which are felt covered vulcanized rubber) and pockets (often made from leather), the bed of the table is now fully exposed. The felt can now be carefully removed so that it can be rolled and wrapped for the move. (*Note: Felt should never be folded, as the crease can become permanent which would then require replacement at the time of reassembly.)
The bolts, which secure the slates to the frame of the table, are removed and the slates are now ready to be crated. There can be anywhere from 1 to 5 slates, depending on the type, age and style of the table.
The final step is to disassemble the base and the ball return channels located within. All hardware is packed into a box and clearly labeled indicating that it belongs to the pool table.

Crating a Pool table for Moving

Although the slates are heavy (200-300 pounds each), they are delicate and can chip or break easily. It is strongly recommended that they be individually crated for protection and ease of handling. Next, a custom wooden crate for each piece of slate is built (most modern pool tables have three pieces). Since the felt is normally glued to the slate, do not wrap the slate or line the crate with cardboard. This helps to avoid any wrapping material from sticking to the slate which could cause an uneven playing surface.

Pool table Reassembly

Once the table is delivered and parts are placed in the room where the table will reside one is able to begin reassembly. It is not uncommon for it to take a couple of days to empty the room of boxes, leaving appropriate space for the table assembly.
Once the transferee is ready the technician will review the table’s placement within the room to ensure that there is adequate space in order to play on all sides of the table. The table is assembled in reverse of the disassembly starting with the table base and ball return.
The most important factor is to make certain that the table is as level as possible to ensure proper play on the table.
The slates are then uncrated, re-leveled and bolted onto the table, then shimmed to minimize any joints between the pieces of slate. The seams between the slates are filled with beeswax or plaster and the felt can be reattached and stretched onto the table. The tighter the felt is stretched the “faster” the table will play.
Check out our other moving tips to stay prepared on your moving day.