New pool tables sometimes fetch a price of over $10,000. For an amateur player, this investment is too steep. Don’t be fooled into thinking your only option is buying a used pool table, as there are still plenty of billiard tables at affordable prices.
Because of their size, many people decide to sell pool tables before a move or renovation. Similarly, some families pass their billiards equipment down from generation-to-generation. Along the line, someone might decide it’s not for him or her.
If you’ve decided to skim the classifieds for a used table, there are a few things to note. For example, by not buying new, you lose potential warranties and free installations.
Consider the cost of moving and assembling before agreeing to buy. Beware of knock-offs and cheap imports, too. Most reputable manufacturers engrave nameplates somewhere visible. Research reliable brands ahead of time and look for the seal of authenticity.
Assessing a Table’s Integrity
Check the underside of the table and measure the thickness of the slate. Target a ¾ to 1-inch sectional slate foundation. These are sturdier and easier to disassemble. Inquire about the slate’s composition, too. Seek pure concrete in a used table.
The frame, otherwise known as the cabinet, comprises the wooden casing and legs. Get down to ground level and examine the frame closely. Search for cracks, water damage, mold, and warping.
Ideally, the frame should follow an “H” pattern and be at least twice the thickness of the slate. How each piece comes together also affects its durability. Like most screw-fastened furniture, the frame can loosen each time it’s deconstructed.
Vinyl pockets are becoming more popular because of their longevity. Unlike leather, they do not split or wear easily. Although you can replace pockets, they usually indicate the stress placed on other aspects like the rails.
The rails between pockets should last more than 25 years. However, if the owner leaned or sat on the table, then the life expectancy will be less. If the pockets show moisture damage, then the rubber inside the rails might need replacing.
Changing the cloth on a used table costs anywhere between $100 and $1000 dollars. It should not determine if you purchase or not. Instead, consider the age of the table: if only a year or two old, worn felt might signal misuse or poor storage.