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A pool table is a pretty cool thing to own. But when the time comes for moving, it’s not as cool to pack and relocate. Pool tables are very heavy and unwieldy, yet surprisingly easy to damage. So relocating them requires a lot of care, especially if you’re moving somewhere far away. In fact, only the very best international movers even offer the service of relocating your pool table somewhere outside of the US. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! There are certainly ways to pack a pool table for transport that ensure it arrives at its destination safely.
Disassemble the pool table before transport
Have you ever tried to lift a pool table? You probably shouldn’t! It’s surprisingly heavy, even for such a large piece of furniture. This is due to the slate or slates inside it that keep it level and make playing possible. Pool table slates are made of stone. If your table only has one, it likely weighs around 800lbs. If it has three, each individual slate probably weighs between 150lbs and 250 lbs. This is what makes it near impossible to lift and move a pool table as a whole piece.
But moving furniture overseas usually includes disassembling it. So it can’t be that hard to do the same with a pool table, right? Well, not quite. It’s not hard to remove the felt covering or unscrew the legs off the table. But once again, the slates make the process difficult. They’re not just very heavy, although that is certainly a problem. They’re also very brittle and fragile. You could easily scratch them, chip them or even break them altogether. And if you do, you’ll have to replace them (all of them, even if you only damage one of the three). That’s very expensive. So if you choose to disassemble and pack your pool table by yourself, be aware of the risks you’re taking!
DIY pool table disassembly
To make pool table disassembly easier for you, we’ve broken it down into steps that you can easily follow. With the right tools and a few extra pairs of hands (don’t risk injury by trying to lift the slates by yourself), you can do this by yourself. So here’s how:
- remove the balls, triangles, and cues: the easiest place to start is just removing the things that are not actually a part of the table;
- unfasten the pockets: the next step is to get under the table and remove the six ball pockets in the corners and sides of the table; these are fastened either with staples or screws so get your tools ready;
- disengage the rails: loosen the bolts holding them in place, then slide them out carefully and put them away safely;
- remove the felt: depending on the state of the felt, you might want to keep it or replace it; if you’re keeping it, remove it gently from the table (having unfastened the staples holding it in place if there are any); if you’re tossing it, simply rip it off;
- take out the slate or slates: this is the most difficult step; first, you will need to undo the screws holding the slates in place; then, carefully remove the slates from the table and gently place them on a moving blanket; do not remove the slates alone – get someone to help you lift them!
- disassemble the frame: finally, take apart all the remaining removable parts you can find, starting the legs of the table.
And there you have it! If you’ve successfully completed all of the above steps, your pool table is disassembled and ready for packing.
You can’t do it alone – get help!
It is impossible to stress this enough: you physically cannot pack a pool table for transport all by your lonesome. At the very least, you’ll need the help of a few friends just to lift the slates out. Depending on the type of table and how strong you and your friends are, you could only need one or two people or you could need a whole team of helpers. But you will definitely need someone to give you a hand. Trying to do this alone is risking serious injury to yourself, not to mention damage to the crucial element of the table. You don’t want to be dealing with either of those when moving!
If you’re not sure that you and your friends can do this properly, consider hiring international household movers that specialize in pool table moving. That way, your pool table will be disassembled, packed, and transported by professionals. Not only won’t you need to do anything, but you also won’t have to worry about things going wrong.
Using the right tools is the path to success
The right packing materials and tools are the key to packing your pool table for transportation. The good thing about hiring professional movers is that they do packing and crating as well, which means they’re already prepared for this. However, if you want to deal with your pool table yourself, you’ll need to get some tools ready. You will need a staple remover, screwdrivers and wrenches, and a power drill. For your own safety, you should also get goggles. Finally, for packing you’ll need resealable plastic bags, moving blankets bubble pack, tape, boxes or crates, and markers.
Label everything as you pack a pool table for transport or risk losing parts
Once you’ve broken it down into parts, it’s time to pack a pool table for transport. Obviously, you’re packing individual parts here. Be very careful with the slates and frame – wrap them properly and always use moving blankets to move them around. Keep small parts like screws and bolts in resealable plastic bags so you don’t lose them. Some things, like felt coverings, are easy and cheap to replace. But losing a few screws could spell disaster for your table when it’s time to reassemble it. So label everything carefully and accurately. This is the only way to ensure you move all parts and make reassembly easier once you arrive at your new home.