Forum for Building a Pool Table?

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You need a tablesaw at a minimum for any decent woodworking. To build a table you’ll probably also need a router table, jointer, planer, maybe a shaper if you want a custom rail shape, on and on.

Look on Craigslist for Rockwell or delta unisaw. New they are 2k. But they’ve been making them for 50 years. You can find an old one for 300.

You’ll be working with big pieces so you will want a 50” fence, outfeed tabke, the works.
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You need a tablesaw at a minimum for any decent woodworking. To build a table you’ll probably also need a router table, jointer, planer, maybe a shaper if you want a custom rail shape, on and on.

Look on Craigslist for Rockwell or delta unisaw. New they are 2k. But they’ve been making them for 50 years. You can find an old one for 300.

You’ll be working with big pieces so you will want a 50” fence, outfeed tabke, the works.

The old debate of table saw vs radial arm may rage on forever. I'm on the radial arm side. The only times I've "needed" a table saw is when I've needed to cut wide strips of plywood. I sufficed with a hand-held circular saw. The table router, jointer and planer aren't necessary. There are other ways to do that stuff if it needs to be done. The shaper would be very,very nice to have, but not necessary. I have been thinking about the rails. I could go with flat rails, or I could do some degree of shaping with the radial arm saw and/or hand-held router, or I could buy rails. I'll decide about that later.

Thanks for the input.
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The subject does not need a forum it only needs a thread....

Considering that there aren't very many people who want to build their own, I can see that you are correct. I guess my thoughts of having a special forum for it were a bit grandiose, perhaps inspired by enthusiasm.

Cheers.
 

Type79

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The old debate of table saw vs radial arm may rage on forever. I'm on the radial arm side. The only times I've "needed" a table saw is when I've needed to cut wide strips of plywood. I sufficed with a hand-held circular saw. The table router, jointer and planer aren't necessary. There are other ways to do that stuff if it needs to be done. The shaper would be very,very nice to have, but not necessary. I have been thinking about the rails. I could go with flat rails, or I could do some degree of shaping with the radial arm saw and/or hand-held router, or I could buy rails. I'll decide about that later.

Thanks for the input.

What exactly do you presently have for tools and how do you envision completing the tasks normally performed on a jointer and planer? Technically you could have a specialty shop dimension your wood, but I didn't get the impression from your comments that is part of your plan.
 
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Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What tools I have is hard to answer, 'cuz I have so many. My main tool is the radial arm saw. I'll most likely have to buy more and better clamps than I have, but that's no problem.

I don't know what tasks you are thinking of for the need of a planer. I can't think of anything in the construction that I would need it for. Would dado blades suffice for what you have in mind? I also can't think of a need for a jointer that a saw or router wouldn't work for.

I would like to buy or make something to handle the slate with, but I could get somebody to help me with that.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Would it be worthwhile to add a forum to AZB about pool table construction?
Would it get enough traffic?
Are there builders here who could answer questions about all aspects of it - everything from accurate saw adjustment to finishing techniques/materials, and everything in between? (Also recommendations on asking price, how to market, etc.)

I have a great, detailed book that I paid about $70 for, but sometimes unexpected stuff comes up, and it would also be nice to have second opinions on some things.

Well the book was $70.00, then you got the Tool, and Materians to build a Pool Table. We recently sold off some Gold Crown for $250.00 that I thought was STUPID, so the Community room got Diamonds.

Honeslty I would have love a Gold Crown for $2500 v/s buy tools, and materials to build a table.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A joiner is the first tool you use after rough cutting lumber to size. It makes one surface flat, and one edge perpendicular to that surface. Other then using a router sled, or a hand plane if you want to go back to 1800, I can't think of another way to flatten a board.

Once the board is flat on the face and has one edge perpendicular to that face, you then make the second face parallel to the first on a planer. Then you cut the second edge parallel to the first edge on a tablesaw.

This is woodworking 101 when working with solid wood. Apologies if you already know that. If you don't, then you are probably coming from more of a carpentry side, instead of a cabinetmaking/woodworker side.

Making rails would be a prime candidate for the above process.
Making support beams would be a prime candidate for the above process.

<== Never built a pool table, but build cabinets and basic furniture from literally 11 years old. I wouldn't attempt to build a pool table if you paid me 5k, and paid for all the material. But to each his own:)
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Honeslty I would have love a Gold Crown for $2500 v/s buy tools, and materials to build a table.

Yeah, understand that, but this isn't ONLY about having a table; it's also about the pleasure and pride in building my own. Frustrations and problems are, unfortunately, a part of it, but if I can pull it off, it will be worth it. If I give up on the idea of building it, I definitely will buy one.
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The book does specify ordering some of the boards with "one true edge", and it has a list of places where the lumber and all other parts can be purchased.

I'm not coming from as far away as the carpentry side, and I have build desks and such, but I have never attempted anything that requires the degree of precision that this does. I know it will be a challenge, and that I'd be risking time and money and disappointment, but I just "gotta" try it!

If something goes wrong, I'm sure I can fix it with duct tape and baling wire. LOL
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Have fun on your build. Please share progress pics if you end up doing it.

Is there any chance you can share a picture of the table in the book to see what the table would look like? I'm just curious. Or is the book general ideas, not one specific table plan?
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My question to you is: Am I doing something wrong, or is it simply that this saw is not suitable for precision work?

People have built astounding things with very little in the tool arsenal.
To answer your specific Q, it is a combination.

I don't know the Sears model and wouldn't take the time to cross reference it if you told me: they sold some moderately good saws as well as a lot of trash. However, a competent craftsperson might still be able to eke good results out of a poor machine by understanding and accommodating it's limitations. Meaning your saw can probably do the work if you can, but by your description it will not be a fast and efficient process. You will probably need to enhance your percentages by buying a pretty good thin rim blade with appropriate tooth geometry for each task. Rip style for tip cuts, cross cut for cross cut, e.g. Then get your indicators and really precisely align the saw for every specific configuration change and task.

What i hear is that the saw can do the tasks but won't stay aligned if you are not completely, absurdly gentle with it. So you can adapt to it, enhance its weak points, & go slow. You might still have enough blunders to ruin some good expensive material.

Iusedtoberich really covered the other points.
I don't see 5K materials in a high end construction with simple detailing.
You're looking at maybe 250 bd ft of hardwood lumber. this includes almost 50% waste so you can choose out the higher grade materials for use where most appropriate. So if the mix is oak and traditional poplar structural parts maybe $500 - $800 in 8/4 FAS/SEL KD RWL Rgh lumber? I don't know your build, so it is possible you would start with 10/4 or 12/4 poplar or African mahogany for framing, rather than gluing up, which could add some cost. But the cubic amount of raw material will be similar either way. Alternately, maybe you'r choose to start with 4/4 and glue up (laminate) all the thick pieces, which starts with cheaper raw materials.

You'll need a bandsaw to resaw the lesser grade 8 - 10 - 12/4 into the thinner components, a large jointer to make all the lumber flat, and to straighten it; and a planer to surface the other side and edge parallel. A table saw is more convenient than a radial arm saw for many of the tasks but you could get by with either. The radial has some advantages for angles in larger boards, unless you get an industrial table saw. But even a Delta (p)unisaw is more rigid for ripping than most radials, even the 16" or 20" DeWalts. Another reason for the jointer is that all your glue joints require it. As Iusedtoberich notes, woodworking 101. But there is a guy on OWWM who sometimes does all those tasks with handtools for fun, and makes very high end furniture mostly in mahogany at a relatively rapid pace.

Fundamentally, much of the high end, heavy equipment in a wood shop is dedicated just to making rough material flat, straight, parallel, square, and to thickness & width. Absent that capacity, you can still do it the hard way by hand, (people do, at a very high level) or you can pay 5x material costs for pre-prepared poorer options of sub-optimal lumber in dimensions that might not be ideal for making something rigorous like a pool table.

smt
 
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Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is there any chance you can share a picture of the table in the book to see what the table would look like? I'm just curious. Or is the book general ideas, not one specific table plan?

I tried it once in the test section, and it made the thread too big. I tried it again and it came out OK, but I'm afraid to try it here. Here's a link to the pics in the test area.
https://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=513814

The spiral binders on the book wouldn't let the scanner close with the book all the way in, so edges are cut off of the pics.

There is no photo of a completed table in the book; only illustrations.
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ssonerai:

I was kinda hoping you'd say, "All ya gotta do is (blah blah) and that saw will be locked in tight & perfect!"
Oh, well.
Much of the rest of what you said confirms that I will have to maintain the utmost due diligence (above & beyond typical projects) with every cut I make. That will be an inconvenience, but not a killer.

Because of the available sizes of stock and the needed lengths, and because of the ways skirt parts can be cut from the stock, the waste will be quite a bit less than 50% (I think).

As for the cost, did you factor in the cost of store-bought legs, pockets, cloth (Simonis), cushions (I would get molded, rather than extruded), hardware, 1" (true thickness) slate?

I appreciate the input!
 
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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I tried it once in the test section, and it made the thread too big. I tried it again and it came out OK, but I'm afraid to try it here. Here's a link to the pics in the test area.
https://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=513814

The spiral binders on the book wouldn't let the scanner close with the book all the way in, so edges are cut off of the pics.

There is no photo of a completed table in the book; only illustrations.
The authors had a website called pooltableplans.com that seems to have disappeared in December of 2017. The contact info listed at that time was:

PoolTablePlans@aol.com
(615) 685-4336

They encouraged possible table builders to contact them.

The site is archived on archive.org. Here is the table of contents of the book from the website:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160530222033/http://www.pooltableplans.com/V-Table of Contents.htm

You can find these other pages there as well:

Table Anatomy page 7
Personalizing Your Table page 14
Leg Cut List and Layout page 24
Rail Anatomy page 69
Rail Wrapping page 96​
 
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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The authors also wrote a book for a specific design, an Arts and Crafts Mission Style table shown on the cover of the book:

Scan20200619_0002.jpg

... and a couple of other books about building tables and repairs.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Unless it is something you will get satisfaction from doing, it's cheaper easier and will be better playing to just go buy a 300 dollar table, if you do build one , build it around a good set of slates and rails , you can't reproduce those to the right standards cheaply and by the time you get those , some pockets and etc. you might as well have bought one.
 

Mr. Dogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great Find! Thanks!
I have a different edition from the same people, "Design & Build Your Dream Pool Table. It's good for 4 sizes.
https://web.archive.org/web/20160513073146/http://www.pooltableplans.com/V-Frame.htm

The costs shown are low, but the book is 18 years old. I think the cost I had projected may still be too high. Sometimes it feels good to be wrong! :)

The "Dream Table" seems to have some structural improvement over the "Mission Table." From the text of the Dream book:
"In addition, we have engineered rigid Beam-lock ( Leg-to-body) interfaces to ensure rigidity. This table will never sag or bow. Each leg uses two 5/16" hanger bolts instead of the usual one to ensure the legs never twist; it can be built with either 4 or 6 legs."

That photo you posted: Wow, man!! Those LIGHTS!!! :love:
 
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iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for posting a picture of the book. It looks like the authors put in a lot of detail. I wonder how many of the people who bought their book actually built a table. I'm going to guess 2%. Its probably like diet books:)

Did you search YouTube as well?

I found 3 upon a quick search.

High level from a woodworker (and took him 10 years...)(search his older videos from 10 years ago to find the rest of his series on the build):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf5rZ-ydic4

Construction level:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJo7Kc2i2N0

Construction level:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkU470gn_TE
 
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