How to Take Apart a Slate Pool Table

how to take apart a slate pool table

A standard slate pool table is quite heavy, and requires assistance when disassembling and reassembling it. Therefore, several people should assist when dismantling and reassembly occurs.

First, separate the rails from their respective sides, followed by unthreading and uninstalling felt. Be sure to keep resealable bags available to store any bolts or screws you find as you remove them.


If your table features a ball return system, make sure it remains installed during transport to avoid damaging or having to reinstall it once it arrives at its final destination. Doing this on your own can be very time consuming and complex and is best left up to a professional service provider.

Most pool tables feature metal or wooden frames to support and keep in place the slate, so this component should first be disassembled to prepare the surface for new felt installation. Once that step has been taken care of, then you can begin taking steps towards accessing the slate by dismantling rails and apron panels and taking apart railings and apron sections until you reach it.

To safely remove the rails from a pool table, lay on your back underneath it and use a socket wrench attachment to unscrew bolts from each bottom rail with ease. There should usually be three bolts per side; be sure to keep track of these parts for future reassembly! You may also wish to take this opportunity to carefully lift off pocket liners which may weigh considerably.

Once the rails are off, it’s time to remove the old felt. There are two methods available for you when it comes to refelting: glueing or stapleing. Stapling can only be used on slate with wood lining through which staples can pass.

Gluing refelting a slate table is the safer, more reliable approach. To do this, a pool table felt adhesive such as 3M Super 77 Glue can be purchased from most home improvement stores and applied starting from one end of the slate table and progressing toward its other side in small sections at a time – making sure not to bunch or wrinkle the felt which could require you to start again from scratch!

As you work your way around your pool table, ensure you keep a sheet or blanket over its slate to protect it from dust and debris during transportation. Use furniture straps to secure its position during this process as well.


Before removing the felt from its backing, ensure it is clean. Look at its backside and shake it to check for strings, threads, or any other particles; dampening cloth also helps stretch it more easily. Once this process has been completed, mark which side of the felt should face upward so when reassembling your table you are assembling with its right side up.

Carefully and slowly unpin the staples that hold the felt onto the slate before carefully pulling it away from it. Be patient as working slowly is recommended to avoid damaging either material; for glued tables, pull on one corner at a time while moving your way around – be wary not to damage or misalign any pieces! For screwed in slates, use a drill with an appropriate screwdriver bit to unscrew screws that secure it to its support frame before lifting and setting aside this heavy piece if any damage occurs – its destruction would render an entire table unusable!

Once the felt and slate have been removed, you can start disassembling the rest of the table. An extra pair of hands would come in handy here as it will be hard to manage by yourself; leg are extremely heavy. Once off, they should be unbolted before dropping them into a plastic bag along with any hardware left on the table.

After disassembling, it should be disassembled by loosening any nuts and bolts connecting the top to the frame and placing them in a plastic bag for safekeeping. Once complete, it should be wrapped with moving blankets or sheets to protect its surface during transport and prevent scratches or other forms of damage to slate pieces.


Moving a slate pool table without disassembling it is extremely hazardous, as any damage sustained during transport or play sessions afterward could be devastating. Furthermore, any rails and pockets must be detached from its frame so that it can be turned on its side when necessary.

Taken apart with care, taking apart a slate table can be time consuming. Best done with help, each piece weighs 150-200 pounds! Begin by removing the side pockets at each end, before flipping over each rail section – this may involve flipping an entire section over! Be careful not to tear or stretch the felt; use slow downward strokes if glued, remove staples one at a time with a staple remover, then pull carefully away from slate surface before taking it apart completely and carefully pull felt off from slate before carefully unfurling it onto slate when transport. If saving this felt is worth keeping for any future projects be sure that neat folding it will protect during transport!

Once the felt has been removed, you must locate and unscrew any screws holding the slate together and take steps to remove them. Certain slates have screws in each corner; others only feature one across the middle. New slates should clearly display these screws; otherwise they could be covered in beeswax to protect it and make them easier to spot; use a flathead screwdriver to scrape away this beeswax before drilling out your screws if in doubt.

Once all the screws have been taken out, you’ll be able to lift up each slate piece and set it aside. At this point, mark each slate piece with a number so it can be assembled correctly upon its return; additionally label each pocket liner. After cleaning your slate thoroughly with damp cloths and then wipe down with cleaner, make sure it gets thoroughly dried off to ensure no dust or dirt remains behind.


Pool tables contain various pieces of hardware. Some may be attached with glue and should be carefully removed, while other parts like pocket liners could have staples attached that pose the threat of falling on you while you work – to protect your eyes, be sure to wear eye protection while doing this job!

If the pockets are stapled together, use a flathead screwdriver and needle-nose pliers to unstaple them. Fold and place folded felt into plastic bag for long term storage if you plan on leaving your table there for a prolonged time period; for maximum protection choose climate controlled storage facilities with minimal variations in temperature and humidity; tape plastic sheeting over slate and all components to shield from scratches and dents.

Next, it’s important to get down to business with your slate panels. Having another person help can be very helpful when lifting heavy slate panels from their frames. But first, remove all rails and pockets. Be wary if any rail bolts are covered by putty or beeswax, which makes removing them more challenging; scrape away excess putty with a screwdriver before trying to unscrew them from their positions.

Rail bolts on most pool tables are secured using one of two types of screws; older tables might use special bolts which require special tools to unbolt. If this is the case for you, consider ordering it online or from a pool table supply store in your area.

Once the rails and pockets have been taken care of, it’s time to get down to business. Depending on how your table is set up, unscrewing or pulling apart side rails to reach the slate bed beneath may be necessary – just be careful not to damage any frame slats that hold them together in doing so!

Once the side rails have been removed, it is time to access and remove the ball pockets and tops of slate pieces. This step is critical since misplaced pieces could lead to unevenness when reassembling your table if pieces of slate don’t line up correctly during assembly.

June 14, 2023 1:13 am