View Full Version : levleing slates

06-18-2003, 07:39 AM

I would like to know if anyone can provide information on how to level the frame and slates for a GC3. I have to move my table and I would like to do the set up myself. I can assemble the table easily, but the leveling process (slate to slate) is in question. Also, what type of wax is used to fill the seams between the slates? And, one more question, the cloth I have is Simonis 860, I removed it very carefully and it is intact without any rips, it is only 1 yr. old, can I use it again?

I thank any responders in advance.

06-18-2003, 09:05 AM
Well I'm no expert, but I have moved and setup 3 or 4 tables over the years,so I'll tell you how I did it.
First level the baseframe to the floor.Next put the 3 pieces of slate in position. The slate gets shimmed from underneath, where needed, on the cross members.You can buy a pack of wooden shims from any hardware store, if you don't want to use the old shims, if there were any?Next take a ball,and slide it across the seams and shim from underneath until you don't feel any seam when sliding the ball across the seam.I've never used beeswax for the seams, only plaster of paris or joint compound.Let the seam compound dry and and sand it, by hand, with a flat sanding block, until it feels perfectly smooth when running your hand across the seam.Now very important! Vacuum and brush several times before installing your old cloth.It is a lot of work, but if your handy with tools it's not to bad.Don't rush it, take your time.Oh when installing the rails,use a long straight edge,across the side pockets to align both rails.Then you can take a ball and slide it along the rail to check the rail alignment.Well I'm tired now after all the work ha-ha. good luck!

06-18-2003, 09:10 AM

Here you can get some ideas on pool table maintenance, filling slate seams, etc.

There are probably many methods for leveling, but here's a nutshell description from my experience. You shim the slates to get them roughly level, using quarters and a string running down each side of the table. With a quarter at each end of the table under the string, shim until there is just a quarter's-width between the string and slate along the whole length of the table. In the process, get the slate seams as smooth as possible (try running a heavy utility knife razor blade along the seam to check for smoothness). Shim underneath the legs (or adjust the legs since you have a GC) to get the final level. You can use a carpenters level, but they are far from exact. A machinist's level is the best bet. Once pretty much leveled, melt bees wax over the seam and use a razor scraper to remove the excess while it's hot (don't let it cool -- it gets very hard!).

As far as the cloth, you can probably reuse it but I'm not sure.

06-18-2003, 10:26 AM
There are a few ways to straighten the slate. The easiest way is with an 8 ft straight edge. Set the straight edge on the table and try to slide a playing card under it. If you can, then you need to shim that area. If to cards will fit, then you use 2 cards to shim that area. Depending on how level you make the frame, you may need to use quite a few cards in areas to make the slate straight. I have been working on tables for quite some time and have always used playing cards to shim tables. They are easy to use, you can put a screw through them if needed, and you can be more accurate with them than with wood shims. Once you have the slate straight, you can level it by turning the legs out. You can check your level with a machinists level, or carpenter level. i would also recommend slowly rolling a ball from the head of the table to the foot of the table. If you roll it slow enough can notice any changes in direction. I would also recommend doing your seems with Beeswax. its easy to work with, and has very little setup time (5 minutes and its back to being really hard). If you have questions you can email me and i will try to help. gipsonw <at> svtogden.com

06-18-2003, 10:40 AM
On a GC you level the frame by shimming in between the legs and the frame. There are big bolts that attach the frame to the base or legs through L-shaped iron brackets. Put the shim in between the bracket and the leg. BTW, if the table is going on top of carpet let the table, with the slate resting on top, sit for a week or two to settle in.

Once the frame has been leveled, you can level the slate using wood shims or wedges. One thing I have heard is that the wood will compress over time so some people use playing cards for shims. Just keep slipping a card in until the slate is level.

The table mechanics where I live use water putty. You can get it at Home Depot and it has a picture of a strong man on the container. Mix it up, spread it on thin, wait for it to dry and then sand lightly until perfectly smooth.

As far as re-using the cloth, I don't know. You probably could but you will end up stretching the cloth more than it was stretched originally and the cuts for the pockets may not line up.

If you replace the cloth you will have to do the rails too. That can be a little tricky, but not impossible. If you look hard enough you can get Simonis on the web for around $185. Try Ozone Park Billiards. Get new pocket facings while you are at it.