How to replace pool table slate

Written by keith allen
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How to replace pool table slate
Replacing the slate can give new life to a damaged pool table. (Darrenwise/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Breaking the slate of your pool table will create an irregular surface which must be fixed. Slate, a natural stone material, usually breaks when the table is moved or a heavy object is dropped on the table. The three-piece slate bed is heavy and typically requires two or three people to move it. Replacing the slate is usually the final option if it can't be repaired.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pool table
  • Replacement slate
  • Slate screws
  • Auto body putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Felt

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  1. 1

    Remove the trim, pockets and rails of the pool table. Actual removal processes vary depending on the model and manufacturer of the table. Set these items aside for reuse later.

  2. 2

    Remove the felt from the slate. If the felt is in good shape and stapled into the slate's wood backing, it might be salvageable. If it's glued down salvage is not likely.

  3. 3

    Remove the slate screws that run through the slate into the frame. Chip the putty used to fill the top of the screw hole away to access the screw head.

  4. 4

    Remove the broken slate bed. It will take two to three people to carry each of the tree segments away from the table location. Relocating the pool table, if necessary, is easiest to accomplish once the slate has been removed.

  5. 5

    Place the centre section of the new slate bed on the table frame. Use a tape measure to centre the section leaving equal space for the end sections of the bed before placing the end pieces of the slate bed in place.

  6. 6

    Level the slate using wood wedges between the frame and underside of the slate. Use a 4-foot carpenter's level to verify the levelness of the slate. Move the level up and down the table to confirm the level at all points and in both directions.

  7. 7

    Fasten the slate to the frame using slate screws through predrilled holes in the slate into the frame. Fill the space above the screw heads with putty. Also fill the seams between the segments of the slate bed with putty. Sand the putty down to a perfect level and smooth transition with the surrounding slate.

  8. 8

    Cover the slate with felt. Stretch the felt in place and staple to the wood backing under the slate.

  9. 9

    Reinstall the rails, pockets and trim removed earlier.

Tips and warnings

  • Repair small crack or chips to the slate with auto body putty. This may offer a cheaper repair, requiring less strenuous lifting, than replacing the entire slate.

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