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How Pool Tables Are Made

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

The game of pool, which is also known as pocket billiards, has been around for centuries. While the exact origin of the game is unknown, people of all ages and backgrounds have enjoyed strategizing and socializing with others while playing a round of pool.

While the game first became popular in France and England, its popularity quickly spread to the United States. During this time period, pool tables could be found in all kinds of different shapes and sizes.

Then, the Industrial Revolution brought many changes to both the pool table and equipment. Previously, there were no set table dimensions, but in the 18th century, the two-to-one ratio of length to width became the standard measurement for pool tables.

Design of the Pool Table

Today, the Billiards Congress of America (BCA) dictates the specifications and designs of pool tables. These rules include everything from the pocket size and shape requirements to the material used for the cloth covering.

Overall, though, no matter the dimension ratio, most pool tables continue to feature a blend of two types of wood, a short rail around the perimeter and a rubber cushion to help the balls rebound.

How Are Pool Tables Made?

how are pool tables made? Modern pool table in a room

Pool tables are most commonly constructed out of natural slate. This material, which is sanctioned by the BCA, offers the benefit of being both dense, stable and smooth, creating an ideal playing surface for pocket billiards. Due to its weight, natural slate is often separated into three pieces and then ground and polished to make it flat.

The wooden table is often made out of hardwood, such as poplar. To create a durable frame that's also aesthetically pleasing, sometimes a second wood, like mahogany or oak, is used as well.

Similarly, two types of wood are typically used to create the pool table's rails. A hardwood adds durability while a softwood adds an attractive and functional finish. Then, Grade-A vulcanized rubber is used to create the triangular rail cushions.

The cloth, which covers the slate and rails, is mostly made out of wool or a wool/nylon blend. While the percentage of wool can range anywhere from 40-100%, the material helps create the signature textured playing surface.

Engage in Some Friendly Competition With Your Friends and Family

Modern grey pool table in a room

Here at HB Home, our entire collection of heirloom home pool tables are all BCA tournament-approved. Whether your style is more traditional or contemporary, we have a pool table that will complement your style and add hours of entertainment for you and your friends and family.

No matter which option you choose, you'll be able to take advantage of free shipping and free professional installation. Now that you know how pool tables are made, apply your knowledge and shop our collection of pool tables today!

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