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  • When to Change a Pool Table Cloth

    Most pool tables are made of slate, which is a nearly-indestructible material that can last for decades.  The cloth covering the pool table, however, won’t last forever.  While it may last for over a decade under normal home use, it eventually will need replacing.  Just as Astroturf on a football field wears over time, pool table felt wears with use and age.

    This wear is the result of friction.  While the pool balls themselves do not damage the felt, they do collect pool chalk that acts as an abrasive, like sandpaper, tearing away at the fibers of the felt.  The felt can also be damaged by falling or bouncing balls. While the damage is unfortunate, it’s considered a normal side-effect of playing pool.

    While it might be difficult to see if a cloth needs replacing by sight alone, sliding your fingers along the surface should help you judge.  If the cloth feels bristly, like beard stubble, or if it’s easy to pick pieces of fuzz and lint off the table, then it’s time to consider a replacement.  Also consider a replacement if the felt responds to pressure from your hand with movement or bunching.  When replacing pool table cloth, it’s best to use a high-quality brand such as Strachan, Matrix, Hainsworth or Eddie Charlton.

    If the pool table cloth has been damaged by missed shots - i.e., the cue misses the ball and scratches the table, a complete felt replacement may not be necessary.  The first step would be to purchase pool table cleaner from a professional billiard shop, and clean the area to remove any marks.  If there are any small holes in the cloth, patch kits are available to fix them, although any patching will leave seams behind that could hinder play.

    The best way to maintain your pool table cloth is to keep it covered when not in use, and keep it clean.  It’s also a good idea to try and avoid making a lot of jump shots or trick shots, as these can crush the felt and it never fully recovers.

  • Introduction: A Guide to Buying a Better Billiard Table

    Transcription:
    Hello. I'm Cris Gould with Legacy Billiards.
    We realize that selecting the proper billiard table game room product can be a very difficult decision.
    We've offered a series of videos that will help to explain the benefits and features of our products that will help make this decision much easier.
    We hope that you will find it very helpful, and hope that it will bring enjoyment for years to come.

  • What’s the Best Deal on a Pool Table?

    You’ve decided to purchase a pool table for your game room at home.  Great idea!  Investing in a game room that includes a pool table is an excellent way to encourage quality time with family and friends.  With thought and planning, you can select a table that meets your needs both now and in the future.

    The best deal on a pool table is about more than just price.   It is about purchasing the right table for your needs.  The size, quality, and appearance of the table must be right for your home and your purpose.  The least expensive table available may appear to be a good value, but only if the table is durable enough to require little maintenance and give you the type of enjoyment you want.

    Avoid a Toy Table

    Be careful when shopping to understand what you are purchasing.  Department stores will often offer pool tables at a low price, presenting them as the ideal solution for your game room.  In fact, these tables are considered toy tables.

    They are lightly constructed using poor quality slate or even a slate alternative as a playing surface.  Designed to last a few years at most, tables like these are easily damaged by players who are just enjoying a good time with friends.  People sitting on the rails or spilling a beverage on the table can cause damage that impacts the quality of play.  While these tables appear to be a good value, replacement costs make them unsuitable for more than occasional play by children in a kid’s rec room.

    Essential Components of a Basic Table

    A basic table is a sound investment, ensuring reliable play for years.  A sturdy, basic table begins at around $1,500 with design finishes and other details adding to the cost.  There are some basic components that you should look for as you select a basic table.

    • Slate not Wood – Slate is the preferred playing surface for a pool table.  Wood can warp and deform over time and are subject to humidity and weather conditions.  Slate will stay true over time and provide the best surface for play.  A one inch slate surface in three sections rather than one large piece is ideal and provides consistent play over time.
    • Frame and Cabinet – The frame supports the weight of the slate playing surface and must be strong enough to hold up without warping or allowing the slate to shift.  While solid wood is the best, there are other materials that can provide strength as well.  Make sure the slate is screwed into the cross pieces of the frame to provide the most strength and stability.  It’s best to purchase a table that is assembled in the warehouse.  This allows the manufacturer to correct errors before the table arrives in your home.
    • Cloth – A basic table has at least recreational quality (18-ounce) cloth.  This cloth, often known as felt, is relatively durable although it will wear over time.  For home use, select a table with 80/20 wool to nylon fabric and at least an 18-ounce weight.
    • Cushions – Look for rubber cushions backed with canvas.  Make sure the cushions are parallel with the table and free from warping.
    • Rails - Stable rails are crucial to playing pool.  Solid hardwood rails are preferred and are worth the additional expense.
    • Legs – Much of the visual design of a pool table comes from the legs.  Appearance is less important than stability, though.  Before selecting a table, bump up against it.  A good table should never be wobbly or unstable, no matter how pretty it is.

     

    Basic or Heirloom – It’s up To You

    A basic table will provide years of quality play with minimal maintenance.  When you design your game room, a basic table is the minimum investment you should consider.  If you want a pool table that is a piece of furniture and a centerpiece of the room, an heirloom table may be a better selection for you and your family.

    An heirloom table is typically made of solid wood with a beautiful finish and lovely legs.  A table like this has the best quality materials including high grade cloth and lively rubber cushions to ensure a high quality game.  A table like this can cost thousands of dollars but is designed to last for generations.

    Basic or heirloom quality, to get the best deal on a pool table you must understand your purpose for the table itself.  Selecting the appropriate table for your needs and desired play guarantees the best value and years of enjoyment for your entire family.

  • Can I Afford a Pool Table for My Home?

    A pool table is a wonderful investment for your family, providing hours of enjoyment.  It is a much needed alternative to television, video games and electronic entertainment.  Imagine the quality time spent with family and friends around a pool table and the conversations, laughter, and healthy competition that can be a part of your home. 

    When you think of purchasing a pool table, you may feel you have only two options.  Most people think of the expensive and ornate heirloom quality tables or the relatively inexpensive toy tables offered at discount or department stores.  Many don’t realize there is a basic table option that provides similar quality as an heirloom table for a lower investment.

    The Basic Table – Quality You Can Afford

    A basic table is built to last for years in your home.  Using a solid wood construction with a sturdy frame and slate playing surface, a basic table is available typically for under $2,000.  The slate playing surface will not warp or deteriorate like plywood, making this table a quality investment for your family. 

    Basic tables are plain and simple, without the detailed carving and fine finishes of an heirloom table.  Designed for durability and quality play rather than as a piece of furniture, these tables are still attractive additions to any home.  The simple lines save money without compromising function.

    New versus Used

    A new table offers your family the best possible value.  Pool tables tend to hold their value so a used table is often nearly as expensive as a new table but does not have the same guarantees as new.  A pool table is often damaged when moved making a used table more likely to have an uneven playing surface or other structural issues.  The small amount of money you save can be quickly used in repairs or maintenance.

    Purchase a Basic Table from a Reputable Dealer

    All things are not equal when purchasing a pool table.  It’s important to understand exactly the details of your purchase.  A reputable dealer will provide complete pricing.  Other dealers may not include the cloth, table installation or a warranty in the original purchase price.  These hidden costs can quickly multiply and eliminate any cost savings you anticipated.  Here are things to look for when purchasing your pool table:

    • Assembled at the Factory:  Select a pool table that is assembled at the factory.  This means that the slate is attached to the frame in a factory setting.  Why is this important?  When the slate is attached the manufacturer can ensure the playing surface is level and solid and that there are no structural defects or issues with the table itself.
    • Installation and Delivery:  Some dealers charge a separate installation and delivery fee above the price of the table.  Be sure to consider the cost of this service when buying your table and compare prices accordingly.
    • Cloth:  The cloth, known as felt, that covers the playing surface is essential to play.  You would naturally assume cloth is included in the table price, right?  Be careful.  Some dealers add the price of cloth to the quoted table price. 
    • Accessories:  Basic accessories like billiard balls, cue sticks and a rack should be included in the purchase price of your table.  Ask, and make sure you factor these items into the total pricing.
    • Warranty:  Purchasing a basic table is cost effective because of the lifetime warranty.  Rather than replacing the table after a few years, your investment will serve your family for a long time.  Make sure you purchase a basic table with this type of warranty. 

     

    A Pool Table is Affordable for Your Family

    By shopping around and making a wise and informed selection, you can afford a pool table for your home.  A basic table is a sound investment that pays off in hours of enjoyment for your friends and family.  When you consider the costs associated with other, more electronic forms of entertainment a pool table is a wise choice.

  • Billiard Table Legs

    The components the make up a billiard table should make up a large part of the considerations you make when shopping for a billiard pool table.

    Legs of a billiard table, whether they're post legs which are floor to slate, tapered leg or carved legs which have no bearing on the quality of the table as they are strictly for aesthetics and looks.

    It's up to the eye and preference of the purchaser as to which style they may like. Other components of the table such as the corners and the cabinetry being solid wood are important because that lends more value to the product. The hardware that's used, the rails and cushions, as well as the slate really promote better playability.

    With high quality components, your table will play better now and for as long as you own it. For more information on billiard table leg options, check our our video buyer's guide...

     

  • How to Cover a Pool Table

    Another feature that will extend the life of your billiard cloth is using a proper fitted cover and always keeping your table covered when not in use. Not using the cover will allow sunlight to tear down the fiber of the cloth over time. Keeping a fitted cover on the cloth will help prolong the life of your billiard cloth by blocking light from damaging the surface.
    In order to get the right fit from your pool table cover, you’ll first need to measure the dimensions of your table. Dimensions listed in advertisements are usually for the play surface and not for the exterior parts of the table. Keep this in mind when measuring for a billiard table cover.
    When selecting a pool table cover, keep in mind your measurements and, if you’re table is in a game room, pick one that will go along with the room’s décor.
    Legacy offers table covers in both fitted and drape options that fit seven, eight and nine-foot table sizes. For more information on billiard table covers, check out our video buyer’s guide.
  • Guide to Billiard Cloth: Napped vs. Worsted.

    billiard clothThere are several different brands of billiard cloth, but basically only two types: Napped and Worsted. Napped billiard cloth is considered standard and is generally included with most tables purchased by consumers. Worsted billiard cloth is a higher quality and is noted for its enhanced playability and durability.

    Napped cloth is a loop weave, and has a “nap” to it as the name describes. It requires more brushing, a little more maintenance, and may slow the ball down a bit in standard play. If you’re an average player and want to save a little bit of money on your table purchase, napped cloth may be right for you.

    Worsted cloth is a flatter weave and is more expensive, but it promotes a faster play of ball and prolongs the life of the cloth. If you want professional-grade playability from your table, and want to ensure the quality of your cloth doesn’t deteriorate in the future, worsted is your best choice.

    A great option for both napped and worsted cloth is called Teflon Treatment. Teflon helps to cloth resist moisture and guards the cloth from staining. For a demonstration of what Teflon Treatment can do for you billiard cloth, check out our Billiard Cloth Video Guide.

  • Regulation Size Billiard Tables: What is Regulation?

    Many people ask: "What is a Regulation size billiard table?" Simply put, "Regulation" refers to the geometry of the play field, (cusion nose to cushion nose,) being exactly twice and long as it is wide. The length of a "Regulation Standard 8ft" table should be 88 inches long and 44 inches wide. A 9ft Regulation table play field measures 100 inches long and 50 inches wide.
    Any size table can be considered as "Regulation" if the table is length and width ratio is consistant with these measurements.
    The most common sized regulation tables are as follows:
    Bar Size 7ft - (Playfield: 39" X 78") commonly called (Bar Size) as this is common to most coin-operated tables played in pubs and bars.
    Standard 8ft - (Playfield: 44" X 88")  This is the most common size sold in the USA for homes and private residences.
    Tournament 9ft - (Playfield: 50" X 100") This is the full size the game of Billiards was invented on. It is still used in professional tournaments today.
  • Cleaning The Billiard Cloth

    A well enjoyed Pool Table is going to get dirty. It's a fact you can't deny. You've got the normal "dust" and fuzz ball issue, pet hair if you have a pet in the home, chalk trails, accidental spills and sometimes things you can't quite identify.

    The main thing to remember when taking care of the cloth on your table is never, ever, ever use a vacuum on it. This is going to pull and stretch the cloth which dramatically decreases its' durability, not to mention affect the play of the table. Not much is more frustrating than having a shot lined up perfectly, only to have a wrinkle in the loose felt send your shot off in a completely different direction.

    When you clean your felt, it's a good time to clean the balls too. For the balls, warm water with a little bit of detergent works well and rinses clean. Wet a towel, wring it out, clean each ball and set aside to air dry while you tend to the cloth.

    For cleaning the cloth, begin by using a special brush to sweep the bumper railings debris on to the table and then sweep any debris or lint from the edges and around the pockets, towards the center of the table. Use straight motion with your sweep, don't go circular. You want to keep your motion going with the weave of the felt so it doesn't "pucker" or shift.
    Once you've swept the bumper railings and edges and are ready to begin the full table sweep, begin in the middle and work towards each end. Remember to keep straight motions, no side to side or circular.

    At each end of the table, lightly sweep the debris on to a piece of thin cardboard or dust pan. Make sure your dust pan doesn't have hard plastic edges or metal along the bottom that can accidentally snag or tear the felt. The ones with a soft, pliable rubber edge work great.

    Some people use a vacuum attachment to clean the inside of the pockets. We recommend using a clean, damp towel to wipe them out. Don't even bring the vacuum out and you won't be tempted to use it on the felt.

    If there is a spill on the table, it's best to clean it immediately with a dry, white, cotton absorbent cloth. If the spill is not recent, use a slightly wet, warm, absorbent cotton cloth. Water only. Soaps will leave a mark and some residue. Place the cloth over the area and let it do the work. Don't over-saturate the felt and don't rub- this will stretch the felt and weaken that area. Pat over the area until the spot is removed.

    There are some commercial cleaners labeled for table top cleaning. They have been formulated to offer a "dry clean". Talk with a specially trained representative at your local Pool Table retailer to see if they have a product you would like to try.

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