A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Dismantling the Pool Table

One of the things the PO left behind was the pool table in the basement (I think every homeowner tries to leave behind their pool table rather than moving it!). We used it from time-to-time in the early years, but it became a rarity after a couple years. Practically the only time it has been used in recent years is by the nephews on Thanksgiving Day.

It takes up way too much space for something that’s used once a year, so it went on the hit list during my Purge Splurge.

Last summer I tried to find a new home for it. I called a couple places that refurbish and resell old pool tables, but this one is nothing special: fake wood formica veneer over plywood, plastic for the pockets, etc. One guy seemed interested in taking it to fix up and donate to a community center, but when I called him back a few months later he said ‘no, thanks’.



I didn’t want to deal with trying to get rid of it on Craigslist. It’s a bitch to move and it really wasn’t worth anything, especially my time to list it, arrange times to show potential buyers, etc. Instead I started researching what to do with a pool table, especially ideas on repurposing it.

slate-farmhouse-sinkThat’s when I found some posts on using pool slate for countertops, like herehere, here and here in addition to the image at right.

Hmmmm! Having some type of solid surface countertop in the kitchen is pretty high on my wish list (but SO out of our budget!). I’ve changed my mind about what type of stone over the years: at first I wanted soapstone, then a recycled glass/cement counter, later quartz. I would totally love slate though, especially if it’s free!

I read that the slate is usually in three parts, so I figured out approximately how big the pieces would be and if they would work with our kitchen counter space. Lo and behold, I believe it will (we’ll probably keep the butcher block in the corner so that will help)!

This YouTube video was a helpful tutorial for breaking it down. Not all of it applied since we wouldn’t be putting it back together elsewhere but it has some good tips. In no time at all we removed the rails, took it apart and left the metal out for the scrappers.


Removing the felt was next. There were a zillion staples to remove but they came out pretty easily for the most part.


And here are the 3 pieces!



The seams were filled with plaster or joint compound, but not very well. They easily came apart. There are screws in each corner to secure the slate to the base and they were also filled with the plaster/joint compound that we had to chisel out to remove the screws. Not too difficult though.


The opposite side of the slate looks nicer than this side, and of course each piece of slate was super heavy to move! Right now we have them propped up against the bar. I forgot to take a shot of the good side so that will have to wait.

Finally, it was down to the legs and all the scrap lumber.


It was a pretty simple construction all-in-all. The slate is definitely the most valuable part of the table and will be put to much better use in this house! Now to get rid of that pool table light…

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