DIY: Outdoor Pool Table

By Daniel Kazel
Average table size is 9 feet by 4 feet 6 inches

Hustling a game of pool under the open sky, moonlit night or canopy of stars is a whole new experience. There are a variety of designs for making an exterior billiards table, but the most important factor in designing a pool table outside is that it needs to withstand drastic changes in temperature and humidity. Whether you want to play on a deck, patio, screened-in porch or poolside, first locate the place to put your table.

Determine the location and materials

Leave 5 feet clearance around table

Accommodate for the maximum length of a cue stick (average length is 57 inches) and add 8 inches for comfortable strokes from all angles. Find a secure base foundation for a level playing field. Sand, grass, gravel and dirt can shift and move over time. A table made of recycled wood-plastic composite requires a solid foundation. Recycled wood-plastic composite material costs approximately $2 per linear foot.

Find a design plan for a table

Pick out your slate first. Pre-drilled pocket holes save time, but if you don't go that route, measure and drill out holes and pockets. Measure the slate to be four inches smaller than the length of the table and two inches smaller than the width. Measure your wood and mark lengths. Cut your top baseboard and lay it flat. Underneath the table, connect the legs on the inside edges of the table's pocket holes. Screw in bolts to attach the legs and glue them together. Attach the baseboard between the two legs for more support.

Average pool table legs are 30 inches long

Center the slat slab on the table. Glue the back side of the slate to wood-plastic surface. Take wood-plastic composite lumber boards and line them up with the ends of the table. Drill these boards into the two-inch gap of wood next to the slate (these are your rails). Trim the rails around the pocket holes to fit snug and firm. Use the miter saw for correct angles. Drill the end pieces together and sand the edges for smoothness.

Felt it up

Add 10-12 inches on both ends of the weatherproof cloth to allow for cutting errors. Stretch and size the acrylic UV- and water-resistant fiber cloth (table felt) across the table with your hands. Pull it tight and staple it at the end of the table. Continue to pull the cloth around the table and staple it until secure. Cut six slits for the pockets and trim excess fabric with the knife. Alongside the four inside rails, glue a thick strip of vulcanized rubber. Cover the rubber with fiber cloth and staple tightly. Screw rails down to the table edges.

Balance your table and cover for extra protection

Attach weatherproof netting to the pocket hole areas. Use your level on each rail and in the center of the table to balance your table. Add adjustable, precision built-in leg levelers for true ball balance. Cover with pool table UV- and water- resistant cover.

Things Needed

  • Circular saw
  • Jig saw
  • Miter saw
  • Router
  • Staple gun
  • Exterior table fiber cloth and cover
  • Power drill
  • Wrench
  • Recycled wood-plastic composite lumber
  • Wood glue
  • 8-10 Clamps
  • Slate backing
  • Vulcanized rubber
  • Pocket nets
  • Hammer

Tip

Slate is very heavy and building this table requires more than one person to lift, carry and hold material.

Warning

Wear safety goggles when cutting. Wear ventilation mask while painting.

About the Author

Daniel Kazel has been writing since 1994, and wrote for Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, TV News Channel 12, (Ohio). He has done camera work for CBS, published a text book "Intro to Film Study," shot and wrote for TV3 comedy show and is a travel magazine writer for 'The Insider' and 'Vilnius Now," Lithuania. He received his Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting,