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Billiard Table Repair

You can fix the problems with your billiards table within a matter of few hours and bring it back to its old glory.

But before you start the repair work, you need to get a few tools to work with. Here they are:

  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Wood stain/varnish
  • Utility knife
  • Bees wax or billiard table repair glue
  • Wrench
  • Billiard cloth
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Felt
  • Staple gun


The first step is to dismantle the table.  This can be done by taking the following steps:

  • Remove the rails by unbolting them from under the table.
  • Remove the pockets by unbolting them.
  • Peel off the cloth by removing the staples, if there are any. Or, you can peel off the cloth if it is fixed upon a slate bed.
  • Undo the screws attached to the slate.
  • Disconnect the legs of the table by removing their screws and bolts.


The most common problem with the billiards table is its surface cloth. You should go for a new cloth rather than patching its torn portion as the patchwork may create uneven surface. The ball will not roll freely on uneven surface.

Replace the felt

Billiards table felt can be bought from a craft or fabric store or the billiards and gaming store. It is available in a variety of colors and sold by square yard. If you are a professional player, better buy the felt from specialty gaming shops that offer better quality felts for increased speed and smoother surfaces.

The felt can be fixed in two ways depending upon whether the table has a wooden or slate backing.

But before that, you have to remove the rails.

Wood backed table

Stretch the felt along the length on the surface of the table. Start from the middle and staple the first quarter of the surface using the staple gun and stop at the middle point from the neighboring pocket.

Fix one staple every 2-4 inches. After finishing the first corner, start from the adjacent corner. Do it from the middle to the midpoint from the next pocket. Pull the cloth as tightly as possible before applying the staple. This will ensure a smooth surface and enable the ball to roll freely. 

Slate-backed table

One reason why the ball does not run freely across the table may be the cracks in the slate giving it an uneven surface. For this, you have to peel off the old felt and fill the cracks with bees wax or special glue for billiards table. Make sure that the surface becomes smooth before replacing the felt.

Place a new slate bed

If the old slate bed has several cracks or is badly damaged, you should buy a new slate bed according to the size of the table.  First re-attach the legs and fix the slate bed with screws.

Spray the adhesive about five inches inside the edge of the table. Wait around 30 seconds before sticking the felt on the table to allow the glue to become tacky. Press the felt on the slate taking care to secure only one side of the table at a time. Keep pulling the felt to give it an even surface.

Cutting holes and pockets

Take a sharp blade to cut holes in the felt for fixing bolts in the rails. Insert your finger to the bottom to locate the three holes for rail bolts. Now cut the holes from the backside of the cloth to the surface.

Make at least three cuts for a corner pocket and four cuts for the middle pockets keeping them not less than half an inch from the edge of the wood or the slate bed. Ensure that the cuts are not close to the playing surface. Secure the fabric flaps below the table using glue or staples.
Lastly, use half an inch strip of felt to line the inside of the pocket to give it a perfect look.

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