After many, many moons of waiting, hinting, and hoping, I am extremely pleased to report that my basement now features a custom-modified and -repaired billiards table, complete with cues, pool balls, chalk, &c. I am very excited to say that the basement WILL be finished further over the course of June and July (drywall, actual ceilings, redoing the heat ducts), but for now we have essentially reached critical mass.
As some of you may want to know, there is a story behind this now-glorious billiards delight-engine:
The Situation as it came unto us
As this blog has previously chronicled, I have put a great deal of work into my current house to improve it and repair it, which is a pastime I enjoy. The landlord, Whitney, was so pleased A few weeks ago, I walked downstairs to check out the dehumidifier we run constantly; lo and behold, as Whitney had generally mentioned but never gave a specific date for, there was a pool table leaning against the back wall of the basement. As we had examined it more closely, we realized that 1) there were no legs attached; and 2) the places where legs WERE once attached were actually rather damaged. As a matter of fact, there was a noticeable drought of billiards table legs in the whole of our basement. We were a bit baffled, but figured there was some sort of story, and were simply excited to have the pool table in the house!
Catching up with Whitney later, I found out that the pool table was at his folks place, and they told the moving guys “oh, we’re not taking this with us” meaning to imply “so put it upstairs but off to the side.” Unfortunately, the moving guys took that to mean “the pool table is trash” and so instead of checking to see if the pool table had easily-detachable legs (which it did), they tore the legs right off and put the table out in the yard. Thankfully, they didn’t scratch the felt or anything. At first, Whitney was extremely mad when it looked like they junked it entirely; luckily, it was still in a repairable condition.
Planning and effecting repairs
Thusly armed with a billiards table of high levels of joy-production but dangerously low levels of legs and usability, I had to figure out how to go about making legs. My initial plan was to do simple 4×4 wooden posts as legs, with a crossbeam between each pair. Each crossbeam would then be braced with an angled piece up to the middle of the bottom of the table itself. Ryan’s dad visited last week, and he had an excellent idea – it would be a lot easier, if not more expensive slightly, to try and buy replacement metal folding legs for a table and attach them to the table. This would also have the benefit of allowing us to store the table out of the way when we needed more basement space!
We bought the parts we would need for the plan (we thought), and then put the project aside until last night. At that point, I started measuring components and quickly realized a couple of vital details: the initial plan hadn’t figured on the offset nature of the folding legs (so we didn’t have enough 2×4’s); the particle board table that was damaged by the prior leg-removal needed a lot more shoring-up than we initially realized; and the screws initially purchased wouldn’t be the right length to account for the additional structural bracing I would put together. As such, we made a second run to Loews, and got the parts we needed. Basically, the new legs were atop 1) small blocks shoring up the particle board; into which 2) we screwed the two long 2×4’s which run the length of the table; these provided the support for 3) the 4 2×4’s that would be the bases for the metal folding legs; and 5) the metal folding legs themselves went on last.
Come on by and shoot some pool, folks. I almost forgot how much I love playing.
The written story is through; enjoy the brief photo gallery, compliments of Ryan’s phone: