How to Build a Snooker Table

By Chris Moore

Building a snooker table is very similar to making a pool or any other billiards table. The biggest differences are the corners and the cloth "playing surface." The corners are rounded instead of sharp, which affects how the pockets accept the balls. The surface has distinct markings that apply to the rules of the game.

Decide on the size of the table. A snooker table is twice as long as it is wide. The standard size is 12 by 6 feet, but smaller versions are possible. The standard height is 34 inches with about 1/2 inch leeway.

Drill the six pocket holes into the table surface. Make one in each corner and one on each long side in the middle. The holes should be 3 1/2 inches in diameter and positioned so the hole center is about 2 inches from the table edge. Use the proper drill bits to make holes of this size.

Attach the legs to the table. You can affix them to the underside with wood glue first, but still use nails or screws to keep them in place. Attaching boards or side panels between the legs will give them more support. Make sure you place the legs inside the pocket holes.

Attach a slate board to the table's surface. It must be centered on the table and should be 11 feet, 8 1/2 inches long and 5 feet. 10 inches wide (for a standard 12-by-6 inch table). Use a glue or sealant that will affix the slate to wood. You will need to cut pieces off of the slate where they overlap the pocket holes.

Cover the slate in billiard cloth for the playing surface. This cloth is made of green wool or a wool and nylon blend and is measured in ounces (19 oz. is among the cheapest while 24 oz. is expensive). Stretch the cloth over the slate and glue or nail it to the outer edges.

Attach the "rails" to the ends of the table. These wood boards should cover the entire surface not covered by the slate and measure about 1 1/2 inches high from the slate surface (1 and 7/16 incches is precise). Cut pieces in the rails to open the pocket holes. Attach vulcanized rubber to the inside rail edges for the "cushions."

Paint the markings on the playing surface. Paint a white line (the baulk line) 29 inches away from one wide end (the bottom end) of the table. Add a semicircle 11 1/2 inches in diameter in the middle of the line pointing toward the end. Put a brown spot in the center of the line. Put a blue spot on the table's very center, a pink spot between the blue spot and the top end and a black spot 12 1/2 inches from the top end.

Connect netting to the underside of the pocket holes. Leather netting will look best. Round off the sharp corners of the table's surface with a belt sander or power saw.

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