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Have you ever seen a pool table and while you were playing you noticed that the table did not seem level? Maybe it is only randomly that you notice that the ball appears to go a little more one way than the other. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about a pool table and how to tell if it is level or not.
So how do you tell if a pool table is level or not?
There are many different ways to tell if a pool table is level. One of the most popular ways is to use a carpenter’s level to see if the table is level. Most professionals use a digital carpenters level so they can ensure it is perfect. You can also use a pool ball to see if it rolls straight.
If you want to know more about pool tables and how to tell if they are level as well as how to fix one that is not level, you will want to keep reading. You can also watch this video to learn how to level a pool table properly.
Is a level pool table that important?
The quality of play is determined by numerous factors ranging from player expertise to pool table characteristics. A level playing surface is a primary requirement for precise ball control and avoids any bias. A pool player should, therefore, be able to tell whether a table is slanted or not before the beginning of the game to promote fair play. Below, we discuss some of the ways of determining a pool table’s orientation.
- Using a carpenter’s leveling tool
When you realize that your pool balls are always rolling towards one side of the table, you should check out for the table level. One of the most accurate ways is to use a carpenter’s level, which can either be digital or analog. The analog carpenter level has a liquid column with bubbles. When placed on a level surface, the bubbles orient between two lines in the middle of the equipment but skew to one side when the surface is not level. The carpenter’s tool indicates the degree and direction of imbalance. Follow the procedure below to obtain the best results:
First, you will need to measure the longer table midline. With the carpenter’s level parallel to the table lengths, place it in the middle of the pool table. Check for the bubbles within the tool to determine whether the table is accurately leveled or not. When the bubbles remain within the borders of the two middles on the glass tube, then it is okay. Any skew will require you to raise or lower one of the ends of the pool table.
Next, you will need to check the shorter midline. The procedure is similar to measuring the longer midline, but the carpenter’s tool is now oriented along the table width (across the table). This is important in determining the side-to-side level of the pool table. Again you will need to make the adjustments depending on your table.
The third step is setting the level along all the four sides of the table. Most often, the problem is a single table that may be shorter or longer than the others. This may not be easily detected with the first two steps. This is why you will need to check each side of the table for any imbalance by placing the level along the edges of the playing surface. Determine the lean for each corner and make the necessary adjustments starting with the worst affected side.
When using a carpenter’s level, you must watch out for any slanting of the floor, which can be a source of error. Such a defect complicates the situation if the pool table is also slanted. It will require more skills to balance the billiard table properly if the table and the floor is not level. The floor you use to put the pool table on should always be level to optimize ball control.
What if I do not have a level?
In case you don’t have access to a carpenter’s level, you can download one of the apps with level-functions from the play store and use it on your phone. After installing the app, launch it, then place your phone on all the play surfaces and measure each side in the same manner as the level. Most Iphone now come with a level in the measurement app already downloaded.
- Using a pool ball to check the level
When the slant is obvious, cue balls on the table will move towards the lower end. However, in some cases, it might be inconspicuous and may take time before being noticed. To measure level using a cue ball, you roll it slowly in a straight line on a given area of the table playing surface. Observe the trajectory of the ball as it moves. If the ball curves off the straight line in a particular direction, this would be an indicator of imbalance. Repeat the procedure on various points that you may be suspecting before concluding.
This method is less accurate, and the findings should be confirmed with a carpenter’s level before making interventions.
- Using a piece of glass and marble
Another method of determining the pool table level involves the use of a flat piece of glass that is placed in the middle of the table. A marble is then placed at the center of the glass. Check whether the marble remains at the glass center or rolls off in a particular direction. The procedure should also be carried along the sides of the table at an interval of 2-3 inches. If the ball remains in place, then the table is level, but any movements shows imbalance.
How do you level a pool table?
After measuring the degree and direction of lean, you need to make the necessary adjustments to have a perfect game.
Manufacturers are designing adjustable billiard tables to enable fit on any floor. The specifications on adjustment techniques are usually contained in the user’s manual. You should, therefore, read the manual to determine whether your table has removable metal plates that can be manipulated to obtain balance or adjustable legs that can be screwed in a particular direction to change table height.
If your table does not have any adjusting legs, these work perfect and never require relifting the pool table off the floor. Even if the ground becomes unlevel, you can simply adjust these to relevel the pool table very easily.
- Tightening all the screws
The loosening of attachment screws is also a common cause of pool table imbalance. Prolonged use of the table without maintenance exercises may cause the bolts and screws to begin losing grip. The result is loose joints that finally cause slanting. Sometimes, tightening of the screws levels the table without the need to adjust the height. The bolts and screws used to assemble pool tables vary in size. This is why you should have all the needed dimensions of screwdrivers to achieve good results.
When fixing any error, you need to check if the table is level after every action. For example, when the legs of the pool table are adjustable, you should raise the lowest leg by a small amount and then recheck for any slant using the carpenter’s level. If you raise it too much, you will simply need to lower it back down a little more. Shims are the best fit for making changes less than one degree. The process of getting a level play surface can be quite cumbersome since it is trial and error.
A level pool table is essential for precise control of cue balls during play. Sometimes, though, an uneven floor or loose screw may interfere with the playing surface orientation. As a player, you should be able to determine if the table is level using a carpenter’s level, cue ball, or a piece of flat glass and a marble. Now that your pool table is 100% level, you can once again play and hone your pool skills to perfection!