I join to the APA leagues in my area, really enjoy pool, a few months back got into a divorce, I knew have to get my mind busy in something, at home don't have much space to allocate a real size pool table so when I was looking on the net for DIY projects found the Instructable "Golf Ballz Pool Table
". I really think was a great idea, how to improve it and make it work for a real pool rack. This Instructables will show how I got inspired by the other instructables and get me going in this really cool project, I enjoy working on it, it was not about the time but to the results, I look the project as a hobbie and get my mind busy, I finally complete the project, and most importantly help me go through this difficult time in my life.
Step 1: Get All Your Materials
The scope of this project is to build a very inexpensive mini pool table.
1.- 8 foot x 3 foot door tipically around [$18 USD]
2.- White Board [$15 USD]
3.- 6x [1x3x8] for the rails [$18 USD]
4.- 3x [1x6x8] rails support [$10 USD]
5.- cheap engine brake rubber and sling shot rubber for the rails [ This was kind of hard to figure it out about $20 USD both]
6.- Fiber Glass mosquito net and black duck tape [$15 USD Both]
7.- Green Felt [ $15 USD]
8.- Glue Spray Can [ $9 USD]
9.- Wood Glue + Screws [ $15 USD both ]
10.- Brown Gloss Spray Pain for the hand rails [ $5 USD]
Step 2: Cut the Whiteboard and Glue It to the Door
In another instructable found how cheap can the whiteboard be used to convert a full wall into an dry erase board, When I start this project, I knew my mini pool table should be able to move but did not want to get into using a slate which make it really heavy, I decide to use this whiteboard to improve the resistance of the door when running the pool balls.
Cut the Whiteboard to fit your door then apply some carpenters glue and let it dry overnight.
Step 3: Work With Your Rails
Its time to make the first cuts for your rails, the angles that I use was 40 degrees on the corners and 70 degrees on the side pockets.
Make sure your leave some space for the future holes and center your rails, If you have a cut machine this can be a lot faster, I went to the hard way, but really enjoy every step of the process.
Step 4: Make the Holes for Your Pockets
Make the holes for your pool table, on the side pockets I choose not to make all the holes and leave as close to a pool table as possible, I know it would never be the same due to the dimmensions, however I really like to make it as close as possible.
Use some dand paper to smooth your work.
Step 5: Start Building Your Rails
using the rails you just cut its time to build the rails, make sure the rail is about 3/4 of the size of a pool ball otherwhise you will see when many times somebody hits the ball reall hard the ball just jumps out of the table and that is because the rail is not the appropiate height.
In this I use some of the house molding to have my base for the bumper, ideally will use something like old tire or rubber, but that is the best I came up with.
I glue and nail the molding, later nail on the corners the brake hose and glue it leave it dry overnight, something that I learn is the more you expand a rubber, the more you loos the bouncing capabilities. so make sure when you build it don't try to extend just let it sit nice & happy.
Step 6: Working With the Felt
Its time to put the felt into the door. using the spray can of glue put your felt and be careful to put it even over all the table, looking it back I probably will roll it that will be easier to apply, I guess I did it the hard way, but use one of the tables to guide me.
The glue dries really quick make sure you apply and move as you go once you start is better to finish it.
Step 7: Working With the Rubber for the Rails
when I glue my rails, I test it and noticed the bouncing is not as I expected, a real pool table is made of rubber and let you do work with all kinds of shots, in this case my rail hold all the energy and never bounce the ball back. that is a problem, I decided to fix it with some sling host rubber, I have to cut the rubber in half and put it as add on on the rail, It worked a lot better this time, not perfect but good enough for the scope of this project.
Step 8: Working With Felt in the Rails
Once the rails have the appropiate rubbe on place, use the spray can to glue the felt into the rails. this will make your pool table start comming to live.
Step 9: Woorking With the Borders
Is time to put a little icing to the cake, join your rails with the corners and make some adjustment for the side pocket since is not the same size of the corner pocket will need some extra space.
Use some of the 6x1x8 with similar cuts of your rails and this will be secure from the table and to the pockets as showing in the pictures.
Step 10: Working With the Hand Rails
This step will be finish some of the finishing touches putting felt in the inside pockets and cutting the hand rails, the project is finally coming to live.
Us the brown spray paint to paint the hand rails an let it try, when I cut the hand rails, I put it on place and secure it with screws, once I knew all my angles fit perfect, the I pull it off and paint it.
Step 11: Working With the Pockets
I wasn't sure what to use here, found on the Instructable some other project where they build some chain from cable, I need something strong enough to hold the weight but also flexible to put the pool table in the garage without use many space.
I use some kind of fiberglass mosquito net with some black duck tape, I think worked pretty good.
Step 12: Finishing the Project
Finally, I complete this project, I'm thinking pass the pool table to another coat of paint to make it look uniform in one color from the side, also I'm thinking to improve the pockets because my hands are kind of to big for the pocket, I guess that will improve my game but need to figure it out an easier and faster way to retrieve the balls from the pockets.
The most important thing about this project is not the money involved in the project, neither the time, it was about keep myself busy after my recent divorce, I'm feeling really productive, the last part of the project, make me think the remaining material could be use to build me a rear sunshade for my car, but I can't figure it out how to make the retractable mechanism, but that will be another instructable LOL
Anyhow here are the latest pictures of the project, to complete the project I got me a set of saw horses to be the base of my table, I should said the table turn a little bit taller than a standard pool table, but since I'm almost 6", I think is going to be ok don't bend to much for a quick practice every now and then, perhaps I need to check the instructables and see how to implement some lets to this table to still keep it portable but very steady, but that would be another instructable also.
I hope you enjoy my instructable as much as I enjoy some many of the projects posted in this site. Thanks to Instructables to build this amazing website and thanks for all the community who contribute and share your ideas.
Best Regards Dinooz.