Stapling the Felt Playing Surface

- Sep 12, 2017-

1. Use this method if there is a wooden or particle board backing. Many tables have a wooden or particle board layer beneath the slate, allowing staples to be attached. You can check whether this is true of your table by examining the perimeter or vertical edge of your table. If there is only slate, use the instructions for gluing the felt instead.

  • Note: You will need a "hammer tacker" or manual stapler, or a staple gun.

2. Cut the felt into pieces for the table and railing. Typically, the felt comes in one large piece, and includes instructions for removing pieces to fit each railing. Follow these instructions carefully, or the cut pieces may not fit your table.

  • With some felt, you can make a one inch (2.5 cm) cut, then rip the felt by hand in a straight line.[6] Other felt may require cutting with a razor blade or box cutter.

3. Roll the felt out face up over table. Look for a sticker or other label that tells you which side is face up. If it is unlabeled, and you cannot easily tell which side is the playing surface, consult a professional. Different types of felt have a different feel, so it's best not to guess if you are not familiar with the feel of that type.

  • Hang more of the extra felt over the foot end, and not much on the head end where you will begin installation.

  • Check now for rips, scratches, or other defects that could require you to get a refund or replacement.

4. Stretch the felt across the head end and staple it on the vertical edge in several places. Use your hammer tacker or staple gun to attach the felt to the wooden or particle board lining of the table at one corner of the head end. Have an assistant help you stretch the felt across the head end until there are no wrinkles present, keeping the overhang parallel with the table edge. Staple about every 3 inches (7.5 cm) along this stretched edge, ending at the second corner.

  • Professionals play on a very tightly stretched surface, which allows for greater speed. This is not necessarily desirable for most players, however, who may enjoy playing on a slower table.[7] Always stretch at least tightly enough to remove all wrinkles, however.

5. Repeat the process on the left side. Move to one of the long sides of the table, and have an assistant help you pull the felt taut along its length. Staple at roughly 3 inch (7.5 cm) increments, but make sure to staple on either side of the side pocket.

  • Pulling the felt over each pocket when stapling on either side will give you extra material to work with when lining the pockets.

6.Staple on the foot end, then the right side. Pull the felt tight from the last unstapled corner. Pay special attention to this, as an inconsistent pull can cause wrinkles in your table. If the previous staples make it impossible to create a flat surface with this pull, with the overhang parallel with the table end, you may need to remove a couple staples with a staple puller and try again. Once this is pulled to a smooth surface with the desired tightness, staple the short foot end and remaining right sides along their lengths.[8][9]

  • Remember to staple on each side of the side pocket.

7.Trim the material at the pockets and staple it inside. Make three slits in the felt directly over each pocket, then fold the loose felt down into the pocket and staple it inside the pocket. Once this is done, use a pair of scissors or a razor blade to snip off the excess felt.