(FAQ) What do you consider in buying a used pool table?

(About the Author)

The reasons for buying a table are many. If you are buying it for personal use the room size limits the table size. You might be interested in getting a table (purchase or donation) for a non-profit location (local lodge/legion hall, neighborhood youth center, etc.).

You may have found out about it through your personal network (friends, business associates, etc.), a newspaper ad, or just a call received out of the blue. Regardless of your reason for looking at used tables, you are looking at a pool table.

STEP ONE of THREE: Taking a look:

  • A good rule of thumb on used tables is to consider only name brands, such as Diamond, Olhauser, Brunswick, and other companies known to build high quality tables. Don't buy no-name used tables.
  • While considering it, see if you can find out more about the background history of this table. What is its age? Who owned it and where was it set up? How much of the information can be confirmed?
  • ALWAYS have a friend along who has decades of playing experience. During his evaluation of the table, pay attention. He can show you and explain what is important about a table.
  • If the table is set up, test the ball roll and cushions action. Use the same procedure as you would when competing on a different table.
  • If the table is disassembled, come back with a table mechanic to inspect it.
  • Even if the table meets all other requirements, provisionally accept the table. Let the owner know that if the table mover/mechanic determines there is more damage than can reasonably be accepted, you will back out.

STEP TWO OF THREE: Preparing for the move:

  • Work out a schedule when the owner, the mechanic, and you can move the table.
  • Prepare the room where the table will be setup. This includes picking the specific spot where the table will be placed. If the floor is wood or tile, vacuum and wash the floor. If carpet, vacuum and clean the carpet on the entire room. If setting on a rug, clean it thoroughly.
  • Regardless of what type of floor, get some of those furniture floor coasters for the table legs to set on. This helps spread the weight of the table to not damage the floor covering.
  • Ensure there is a clear pathway to move the table parts from the mechanic's truck to the room where the table will be set up.

STEP THREE OF THREE: The actual move:

  • Arrive a little early with the agreed upon acquisition cost (payment, barter, tax deductible receipt, etc.).
  • When the mechanic begins the disassembly, do not "assist" unless directly asked.
  • Once the rails and slate is revealed, the mechanic should check them over, and evaluate their condition and quality. He can then give you a go/no go. (If it's a go, hand over the agreed arrangements.)
  • Stay out of the mechanic's way, but do ask questions during the process.
  • Watch everything closely so that you will gain the best knowledge.
  • At the new location, help only if directly asked by the mechanic.
  • Watch closely as the table is assembled so that you can gain an understanding of the process. (If needed, this is when new cloth and rubber would be installed.)
  • On completion of the setup, bring your balls out, play for a few minutes, concentrating on slow roll shots so you can verify the levelness.
  • Thank the mechanic and make your final payment arrangements.

After the immediate setup, the table will tend to settle a little bit over the next several weeks. The mechanic should be available to make minor readjustments. Two checks are recommended - the first should be in three months. Another check should be made six to eight months after installation. Some mechanics will provide this follow-up service at no charge; others will charge a small fee. Regardless, have it done just for peace of mind.

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