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Even though owning a pool table brings hours of fun to your home, it also brings a problem when moving. Because of the size and weight, it is important to dismantle a pool table first before moving it. By taking your pool table apart, you reduce the risk of hurting your back or neck. Also, there is less chance that you will scratch your wood floor or damage the walls. Of course, you could always hire pool table movers Chicago and have the pros do it for you. However, if you are moving on a budget, you may have to do it yourself. Even if you do it on your own, you need to make sure it is done the right way. To help you on your journey, we prepared a step by step guide to breaking down your table for the move.

You need the right tools to dismantle a pool table

If you want to break down your table before moving it, you can’t just grab a hammer and start breaking parts off. Pool tables are very complex on the inside even though they just look like a big table on the outside. To make this process easier, you will need the right set of tools for the job. Before you do anything, we implore you to be prepared and protected. Wearing gloves and eye protection will keep you safe from any work injury that may happen. Here are some of the pieces of equipment for the task:

tools needed to dismantle a pool table
With the right tools, any job can be done smoothly, so prepare in advance
  • Electric drill with a flat-head and Phillip’s head bits
  • Flat-head screwdriver or a staple puller
  • A set of socket wrenches
  • Pliers are required to help you dismantle a pool table
  • Blankets and towels for padding
  • Bubble wrap
  • Markers
  • Ziplock bags

Start by removing the pocket liners from your table

If your table has pocket liners, this is the best place to start if you plan to dismantle a pool table. This is done by removing the screws or staples that hold the liners down. If the pocket liners are stapled down and you do not have a staple remover on hand, you can carefully remove them with a flat-head screwdriver. Once you finish removing the tacks or screws, squeeze the sides of the pocket and push down on it so it goes through the apron and detaches from the table. Repeat this on all six pockets of the table. In case the screws are still attached to the pockets, remove them so they don’t cause damage during transport. Put the screws in a ziplock back, and the pocket into a separate box. Label the box so you don’t misplace them later on.

Remove the rail bolts from the table next

After you finish removing the pocket liners, the next thing on the list are rail bolts. Lay under the table and remove all of the bolts by using a socket wrench. The rails usually have three bolts, so you will be removing a total of 18 bolts. Take care not to remove the smaller apron bolts instead. Place all the bolts in a separate bag and label them. Even if you do hire Des Plaines movers to relocate you, dismantling your table yourself will save you a bit of money along the way. If you have an older table, it could only be attached in two places with bolts that require a forked tool. Should you need one, they are available in your local pool store or online.

pool table with red and yellow balls on it
The felt of the pool table is very delicate and easy to tear, so be gentle

Continue to dismantle a pool table by removing the aprons and rails

Your table has four aprons which need to be detached from the rails. Unscrew the apron bolts, while keeping your hand on the apron itself to keep control of the piece. Wrap all apron sections into blankets to avoid damage. For added safety, seal off the ends of the blankets with tape, to prevent them from unfolding. Before removing the rails, remove the bolts on the pocket castings. There should be a total of 12 nuts and bolts to remove from the pockets, which you should seal in a bag and label. Once the castings are off, you can pack the rails. Do this the same way you packed the aprons. Wrap three rails in a blanket, and secure it with a bit of tape.

Remove the felt from the table surface

Before you begin, have a staple remover or pliers ready. It would be very good to have a magnetic bowl in which you can drop the staples, so nobody can step on them on accident. You want to do your best to prevent moving injuries, especially since pool tables are heavy and bulky. Start slowly removing the staples from the felt, being careful not to damage the delicate fabric. Slide the staple puller under the staple, and then twist to pop it out. If the staple doesn’t come out quickly, carefully pry it out with pliers. In case the felt is glued to the table, carefully pull the cloth edge backward. Slowly work your way around the table, without applying too much force, as you don’t want wrinkles in the felt. Once the fold is off, place it in a waterproof bag for transport.

Three pool tables lined up
Dismantling a pool table makes it easy to transport, but be careful not to damage the wood surface

Remove the slate pieces

You will find 4 slate screws in each slate piece. Remove each screw with the use of a drill. Same as all the other parts, bag and label them. Before you remove the slates, label each one with a number. This is important to do because they need to be put back in the same order to properly assemble the table. It is also important to mark the middle piece, so you know its position. Once you removed the screws and marked the slates, lift them off and place them on the side. Keep in mind that you will need help with this step, as the weight of the slates is over 200 pounds. If even one of them gets a scratch or a chip, the whole table will be ruined.

Dismantle a pool table frame to finish the job

Flip your pool table over and remove the legs, making sure to put all of the hardware in separate boxes or bags. Wrap each piece of the wooden frame in blankets to prevent scratching the surface, and secure it with tape. Good isolation is very important when moving solid wood furniture. Once this is done, the task is finally complete. You don’t need to hire professional and reliable movers to dismantle a pool table, even if you are doing a long-distance move. If you follow these steps, and be extra careful in the process, breaking down your pool table will be a breeze, and nothing will be damaged.

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