View Full Version : Buying a new or used Pool table

03-24-2005, 09:42 AM
I am gutting the second floor of my house so I can fit a 9footer. I am trying to decide whether to buy a brand new table and maybe have to settle for a little less quaility and maybe not get simonis on it, or go for a used table and get it professonally installed and have it recovered with simonis 860.
Can anyone give me some tips on ensuring a used table is in good shape. How can I tell if the slate is in good condition and what other things should I look out for. My budget is around $1000 to $2000 for the table. I also want a table that is as close to what the pros play on. Any idea how tight the pockets should be to be close to the pro tables(inches?). I know if 2 balls don't fit into a pocket thats pretty tight. My dad's table has really tight pockets(2balls don't fit in a pocket).

03-24-2005, 10:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote christopheradams:</font><hr> ...I know if 2 balls don't fit into a pocket thats pretty tight.... <hr /></blockquote>

That's too tight


03-24-2005, 10:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> That's too tight <hr /></blockquote>You think so until you have a few people over that know how to play pool and watch them run ball after ball after ball. Even the kid! ( /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif ) They're not leaving the table because they missed pocketing their ball (like I do - bobble bobble), but because they missed shape and had to play safe. These guys don't bobble even on tight pockets!

03-24-2005, 05:43 PM
Find a good table mechanic in your area (phonebook or ask around at the bars and pool halls). When you find one that is highly recommended, establish a relationship with him. Let him know what you are doing and that you will need someone to set the table up for you. Then start shopping. When you have narrowed your choices down, have the mechanic check them out and help you with your decision. If the cloth is still on the table, play some on it to see how it rolls. Drop a ball from a couple of inches onto the nose of the rail and watch how the ball rolls. Do this from the sides and ends of the table in a few different spots. Crawl under the table and look at the construction. You want the slate supported at the seams and down the length. You want wood under the slate instead of particle board. Check the cushions to see how they rebound. If they are dead all over, pass. If they are lively but have a couple of dead spots, talk to the mechanic to see what might be causing them and if they can be fixed. You can see most of the slate from underneath, so check for cracks while you're down there. Any chips or voids in the top of the slate should be repairable. When you roll the ball on the table, if the table is solid, you shouldn't be able to hear or feel the ball with your hand on the rail. Also check to see if the legs and bed supports are jointed into the table or held on with metal brackets. Avoid any table using metal brackets to hold it together. You want nice wood joinery that holds the table together solidly. Of course, it needs to meet your standards cosmetically. In the price range you are looking at, I don't think you'll find many new tables that are worth it. $2000 is about where the good new tables start. My choice would be to look for a good used table and then upgrade the components as they wear out/need to be replaced. Rail rubber, pockets, and cloth are all replaceable. Slate is pretty expensive to replace, but can be as well. Sometimes you get a better package with a used table as well (balls, cue sticks, racks, etc.) The ones included when you buy a new table are generally pretty crappy.

03-25-2005, 09:06 PM
Definitely go with the used table and get new cushions and Simonis put on it. For $1500 to $2000 you should be able to get an older Gold Crown II or III. New cushions and cloth would be $300 to $500 more depending on the brand you get.

The pros on the TV tournaments play on brand new tables from whoever the table sponsor is which get sold after the tournament. They have new cloth and cushions, with Simonis 860 being the most common cloth. In the regional tournaments they play on whatever the host location happens to have.

As for pocket size the WPA / BCA rules equipment spec lists 4 7/8ths inches as the smallest allowed although most double shimmed pockets are about 4 1/2 inches which is the size of two balls and will improve your game. The tables at the few pro tournaments I've gotten to test had pockets slightly bigger than two balls.