How to Felt Pool Table Pockets

Written by chris baylor
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How to Felt Pool Table Pockets
A pool table needs to have smooth felt pool table pockets. (pool image by Horticulture from

A pool table top is built from slate or similar synthetic materials to create a flat, smooth playing surface. The table is then covered with felt fabric so the balls will roll smoothly and evenly. The most difficult part of applying the felt fabric to a pool table is in the four corner and two side pockets. Improper installation of the felt pool table pockets can affect the quality of play on the pool table.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket set
  • Utility knife
  • Flathead screwdriver or staple puller
  • Pool table felt
  • Staple gun
  • Felt cement

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  1. 1

    Loosen and remove the nuts on the underside of the table from the bolts that hold the six rails. Remove the six rails but keep track of their original positions so they can be replaced after the felt is put in.

  2. 2

    Pull the staples from the felt fabric around the perimeter of the table with a screwdriver or staple puller and a pair of pliers. Discard the old fabric.

  3. 3

    Attach the new fabric to one end of the table with a staple every 2 inches before moving to the opposite side of the table. Pull the fabric taut in the centre, and secure the fabric with a staple. Work outwards from the centre, pulling the fabric and stapling every 2 inches.

  4. 4

    Repeat the previous step with the two sides of the table. There should be no wrinkles or bunches in the cloth as it is secured to the table.

  5. 5

    Tuck the felt gently into one of the corner pockets. Feel for the bottom of the slate through the felt, and make three evenly spaced vertical cuts in the felt, starting 1/2-inch below the bottom of the slate.

  6. 6

    Tuck the slits under the slate in the pocket, pulling and removing any wrinkles or imperfections in the corner pocket. Secure the fabric to the bottom of the slate with felt cement. Repeat with the other five pockets.

  7. 7

    Poke a hole with a screwdriver through the fabric at each of the bolt holes. Replace the six rails. Tighten the nuts on the bottom of the rail bolts to secure them to the table.

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