Gluing the Felt Playing Surface

- Sep 12, 2017-

1. Use specialized spray adhesive if the table cannot be stapled. If your table has no wooden or particle board backing underneath the slate surface, you'll need to find a specialized adhesive to glue the felt to the slate instead. If you do see that backing, follow the instructions for stapling the felt instead.

  • 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive is a popular option.

2. Cover the sides of the table with newspaper. Protect the edges of the table from spilled glue with a layer of newspaper, overhanging the edge.[10] Remove newspaper from each edge just before you lower the glued felt.

3. Cut the felt according to the manufacturer's instructions. Felt usually comes in one large pieces, along with instructions for cutting off strips for each railing. Follow these instructions to ensure you end up with pieces of the correct size.

4. Identify the playing surface and place the felt over the table. If the "face up" surface is not labeled, try to identify it by feel or consult a professional. Your felt playing surface may be smooth, or it may have a "nap" in one direction, depending on the type; you may need to have an expert identify the face-up side if you are not familiar with the material. Arrange the felt over the table, leaving only a couple inches (a few centimeters) of overhand on the short head end. Make sure each overhang is as parallel to the table edge as possible.

5. Fold the head end of the felt up and apply glue. Fold the head end of the felt over onto the table, exposing the underside that will hang over the vertical side of the slate. Spray that portion of the underside heavily with the adhesive, and spray the slate where it will be attached as well.[11] Let this sit until it becomes tacky, according to the adhesive manufacturer's instructions.

6. Carefully attach the felt to the table. Starting at one end, align the glued felt carefully with the slate, press down, then move along the glued end, pulling tightly as you attach it to the table. You may need an assistant to ensure the material is taut, especially at the beginning of the process.

  • The felt should be tight enough to prevent all wrinkles, but an ultra-tight surface is not necessary unless you want to practice for professional tournaments.[12] Most importantly, you should pull the felt with the same pressure throughout this installation.

7. Repeat the process with the far end and the long sides. The gluing process is identical for each of the remaining three sides. Wait at least a couple minutes between each side, or however long the adhesive manufacturer recommends to create a strong initial bond. Carefully pull each side taut before you apply glue, making sure there are no wrinkles on the cloth and you are pulling with the same force on every side.

8. Trim the felt, and use the excess to line the pockets. Trim the excess felt overhang on each side. One one side, cut a one inch (2.5 cm) wide strip of material for use as pocket liner. Cut off the material stretched over the pockets, then cut this strip into smaller pieces, gluing them over the vertical, circular surface of the slate to protect it from the pool balls.