Replacing Pool Table Pockets: Comprehensive Instructions

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Last updatedLast updated: April 21, 2021
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Even if you have a high-quality pool table, it is bound to show its age eventually. After all, you did buy it to use and enjoy it! One thing that might fail over time is the pockets on your pool table. Since these pockets are usually made of leather, they tend to crack over time. This will cause the balls to fall to the floor, which is obviously, less than ideal.

While you could attempt to repair these pockets, it is a better idea to just replace them. By replacing the pool table pockets, you can breathe new life into your table and make it a much more enjoyable experience. After all, who can enjoy themselves when they are constantly trying to catch billiard balls as they fall to the floor? Read on to find out to replace these pockets correctly so that you can once again enjoy your pool table.

1.   Prepare your toolsReplacing Pool Table Pockets: Comprehensive Instructions

The very first thing that you will want to do is to gather the necessary tools for the job. You are going to need a screwdriver or drill, as well as a socket wrench. It is also a good idea to enlist an assistant since it is much easier with two people rather than one. You will also need to make sure that you have good quality replacement leather pockets that will last a good long time. These ones from East Eagle are a decent option, according to reviewers.

2.   Unscrew the pocketsReplacing Pool Table Pockets: Comprehensive Instructions

On the underside of the leather pockets, there should be a set of screws. These screws are through the pocket iron and are what attach them to the rail of the table. You might need to feel underneath the table since these screws are designed to stay hidden. Use your drill or screwdriver to remove them.

3.   Remove the bolts

Next, you will need to remove the rails from the side of the table. There are 12 different bolts that hold these rails underneath the table. Use your socket wrench to loosen and remove all of them from the table.

4.   Lift off the rails

With the help of your assistant, lift off the rails that are holding the pockets in place. Be careful, though, as these rails can be quite heavy, especially if you are dealing with an older table. Set the rails on the interior of the table in the same position so that you don’t get them mixed up when it is time to reassemble them.

5.   Remove the metal/wooden tab

Each pocket has a metal or wooden tab called a collar. This needs to be pried out of place so that you can put it in the new pockets. Use a screwdriver or something else flat to lift these tabs out of position.

6.   Replace the old pockets

Once the old pockets are out of place, simply slip in your new ones. You just need to make sure that the collars are snugly inserted into the cavities of the old ones. This will help to ensure a tight fit when you are done putting it all back together.

7.   Reinstall the rails

With the help of your assistant, lift the rails back into place. Be careful to make sure that you do not get any of the new pockets stuck underneath the rails since this could create a gap. Using your socket wrench, tighten the bolts to secure the rails to the table.

8.   Screw in the new pockets

Using the same holes from before, use your drill or screwdriver to replace the screws. This will finish up the install and keep your pockets from slipping and sliding or creating any gaps that would allow balls to fall to the floor. Gaps would also take your table outside of the regulations for a game, which is also something that you want to avoid.

Final thoughts

Even the very best pool tables will need some repairs every now and then. While it might seem a bit intimidating at first, replacing the pockets on your pool table isn’t all that tough of a job. All it will take is a bit of time, patience, the right tools, and a helper to get the job done right.

You first need to remove the old pockets. This can be done by removing screws holding them in place and also taking the rails off of the table. The old pockets can then be removed and replaced by new ones. From there, all you have to do is return the rails and put the screws back in, and the job of replacing pool table pockets will be complete.

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