Pool Table Repair: Felt, Table Legs & Cue Tip DIY Guide

LAST UPDATED ON August 27th, 2020

Over the years, pool games have consistently remained one of the most popular pastimes among men. Inviting your friends over for a couple of beers and a game of pool is always a fun thing to do. If you play this man cave game often, chances are the felt on your table may become ripped or you may end up with a damaged leather pocket over time. Here are some easy DIY tips and tricks if you want to save on a pool table repair service.

1. Repair Pool Table Felt

Typically, the felt is the first part to wear out on a pool table, especially if people use it inappropriately or if the end of the cue stick hits it too many times. Fortunately, replacing the felt is relatively inexpensive.  

The key is staying organized and methodical – you would want to get this right the first time. First, you have to remove the old felt. Start by detaching the pockets to gain access to the bolts holding the railing down. Carefully lift off the rails, secure the nuts and bolts, and keep them in a safe place so you don’t damage or lose any piece. Here’s a great video to show you the whole process of pool table felt repair.

2. Restore Old Pool Table Legs

Restoring your old pool table legs can easily be accomplished by most people. However, I strongly advise that you allot some time in your schedule before starting, as it is not a project that can be rushed. If you find yourself needing to do other urgent tasks, you can also finish the restoration in 2-3 phases. Either way, here are the five steps for this pool table repair project:

pool table repair
  • Secure the following materials and tools from your local hardware store: fine grit sandpaper, varnish or stain remover, a small paint brush, some clean rags and wood stain
  • Strip the stain or varnish using a stripping gel or remover. Apply a generous amount of the stain remover to the pool table legs using a paint brush and allow the solution to activate for a few minutes. Afterwards, use a rug to scrub away the varnish or stain. Once the table legs have been stripped and wait until they’re fully dried before you start sanding.
  • Using a good quality fine grit sandpaper, sand the surface of the legs to smooth. Make sure to remove any stain or varnish left and smoothen any chips that have appeared over the years.
  • Dust the sanded wood and coating particles off of the table legs, without missing any joint and decorative creases, using a small paint brush. Then, wipe the surface clean using a rug.
  • Finally, apply the wood stain from the top of each table leg and work your way down to the bottom. Take your time and ensure that you spread the stain evenly on the surface. You may also need to wear a disposable face mask and rubber gloves especially if you have sensitive skin and/or lungs.

In case you have off-balanced pool table legs, all you need to install are some leg levelers to make the table sturdy again.

3. Replace Pool Cue Tip by Hand

First, select your new tip. Pool cue tips are available in 11 mm to 15 mm by diameter, the most common size is 13mm. Eyeball your cue tip or use a ruler, and pick the closest size. It is better to err with a tip size that’s larger than smaller. If the tip is too big, you can always use a sharp razor blade to cut the excess after your new tip has dried and before shaping.

Next, carefully remove the old cue tip using your razor blade. Slowly scrape off any leather and excess glue and try to get as close to the ferrule as possible. In some cases, you may have to lightly sand the top of the ferrule to make sure it is clean and as flat as possible – you want a neat and smooth surface on which to attach your new tip.

If you find any of the above instructions too hard to handle, it will probably be better to ask help from a pool table repair service. 

Enjoy playing pool games without worrying about a damaged table. A simple habit of placing a cover in your pool table, when not in use, will prevent the felt from fading or gathering dust. Regular upkeep and maintenance of your pool table and accessories will keep them in tip-top condition. 

Related: 10 Game & Recreation Room Ideas for the Man

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