"Fat Cat" pool table dis-assembly?


We're moving and have a Fat Cat 8x4 ft pool table in the basement that I would like to move. First, anybody know how to contact them? Internet searching has been fruitless. I'm trying to find instructions on how to disassemble it. The mover's opinion is that you have to tear off the felt to get to the bolts holding the slate top in place. That just doesn't seem right. Anyone have experience taking a pool table apart? I can't find Fat Cat's web site but that is their manufacture name and they've been around for years. Assembled weight is over 800lbs. Thanks
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Find a local rep and ask them? Can you find the telephone number for FC's corporate office? Not every answer is on the web (grin).
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and name it after the IRS.
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Joe J wrote the following:

Fat Cat is the model line. GLD Products is the manufacturer http://www.gldproducts.com/about_gld.asp
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I moved mine, almost by myself except for the pieces of slate.
First, do you just want to move it, or while you have it apart to recover it?
This is the way I did it on MY table. Yours may be different.
Look under the edges for the bolts that hold on the rails. You will have to take those off first. DO NOT take the bolts off all the way, just loosen them. Then, you might have to pull the staples off the leather pockets if you have leather pockets. Or there may be something holding in the plastic pockets if you have plastic.
NUMBER EVERYTHING with two numbers on each place, one on the piece, one on the slate or frame so that when it goes back together, it goes back in the same place. DO NOT number where it can be seen.
Once the rails are off, CAREFULLY pull the staples with the proper tool, or just a lot of care so you can reuse the felt. Mark it in some way, as you will be surprised on assembly how easy it is to lose reference and wonder if you are putting it back on as you took it off.
YES, YOU DO HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE FELT TO GET TO THE SCREWS THAT HOLD THE SLATE TO THE FRAME. There are countersunk holes in the slate where there are #3 mondo Phillips screws. Take an ice pick and carefully clean out the putty so you can get to them. Take one piece of slate loose at a time, cleaning the holes and the putty along the seams while you have it sitting there. Again, MARK THE PIECES OF SLATE. I just used a single line, two lines, three lines, etc that went over the joint making it simple to put back in the same order.
I have operated a forklift for years. I do not believe that a really good pool table with slate could be moved IN ONE PIECE, even with a forklift or a lot of guys. It's going to flex a tiny bit, and that will be enough to break the seams, or chip the slate. Sorry.
MARK THE END OF THE SLATE AND THE END OF THE TABLE so on assembly, it goes back the same way.
If you only take off the table top felt, when you put it back on, start in the middle, at the side pockets. One staple on the side at the pocket. Then, opposite, stretch it to desired tension, see if it is even, and install second staple. Go to the end, and do one end in the center, then the other. It helps to have two people to hold tension on the fabric evenly while stapling. Then work your way out from center, moving in a diamond pattern out from center, doing one staple at a time as you draw it evenly across the table, and evenly towards the corner. If you ever get out of whack, stop, pull the staples, and go back to where you screwed up.
WATCH THE HOLES IN THE FELT WHERE THE BOLTS GO. These will tell you if you are putting it back on like it came off, and are your best guides.
Reinstall your rails in a circular motion, rail, pocket, rail, pocket, leaving them loose. Once you get them all on there, use a stagger pattern to tighten them, and just come down slowly on the bolts, making sure that it's straight.
Bounce a ball off the rail to listen for loose rails. Retighten after a few hours of play, and keep an eye on them for a few weeks.
It's time consuming. It is tedious, particularly if someone has used a pneumatic stapler and too many staples.
JUST MARK EVERYTHING, WORK SLOW, AND KEEP AN EYE ON THE REFERENCE POINTS (CENTERS OF POCKETS, BOLT HOLES, OLD STAPLE HOLES, ETC) AND PUT IT BACK ON JUST LIKE IT CAME OFF UNLESS YOU WANT A LITTLE MORE TENSION.
Recovering the table is another thing.
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Thanks to all for the answers. I've got to ponder this. Maybe I'll just include it in the home sale. But thanks again for taking the time to reply, especially you Steve B for the comprehensive instructions!!!
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Lot of people do that. Unfortunately they don't resale all that well either. I have an olhausen that we paid a couple grand for. Not sure what we're going to do with it, our next house doesn't have a place for it.
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On 9/20/2010 12:01 PM, Joe J wrote:

I have seen a few assembled and the slate is in multiple pieces which need to be shimmed and the joints need to be filled before the felt is installed so it makes perfect sense that the felt must be removed to break it down.
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Two of the most important things I found to use were a 4' Metabo level, and an aluminum extrusion that was about six feet, and S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T! Makes the seam lines so they don't bump the ball, and are invisible under the felt.
It was a little difficult, but just think ahead. Shimming was no problem. Once you have the slate shimmed flat to the table, you can lift under the table carriage for level. There IS a difference between flat and level, so you have to be thinking on two planes when you're doing it. Start at the high point and bring everything up.
I even made a special 4 x 4 and a 2 x 6 to use with my two ton bottle jack to fine tune the level once in a while. Cut some round shims out of sheet metal that fit under the bottom of the legs so they would not show, about 2.5" in diameter.
It is an interesting challenge for a DIY'er.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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I get a couple friedns to lift the low corner and I shim with thin cardboard scraps. A little simpler don't you think?
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Pretty sure that the slate is not bolted down, but there are bolts under the slate that hold the two halves of the table together.

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On most of them there are a number of screw holes in the slate and it is screwed to the frame below it. The holes are then filled before the felt is put on. I watched them put mine together and the fat cat manual link I posted shows the same thing for his table. I'm pretty sure that is farily universal.
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Yep, on most there is screws holding the pieces of slate down. You have to remove the bumpers and the felt. Most people choose to refelt when they move. I know on mine you have to dig the white filler they use out of the screw holes to get at the screws.
http://www.gldproducts.com/pdf/shot_king_guide.pdf
Any reputable local pool table store will move your table. Doesn't matter what brand.
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Follow Steve B's instructions. They are correct for 99% of the pool tables.
Hank
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I'm trying to find instructions on how to

Move it whole. 5-6 guys can do the job. I bought mine from a guy in a third floor apartment.
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They really were not designed to be moved whole. That's not to say you can't do it but there is a risk that you will subject it to twisting along lines that it was not engineered for. If it is not a 1 inch slate bed then it's not much of an issue. If you can get it out in a reasonably straight shot and stand in a truck on it's feet then it's worth considering. Otherwise I'd disassemble.
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I'm trying to find instructions on how to

Move it whole. 5-6 guys can do the job. I bought mine from a guy in a third floor apartment.
reply: Maybe for some light flimsy cheap table you can do that. Not so on a slate bed.
Steve
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Slate and it was a nine footer to boot. Maybe my 5-6 guys were bigger.
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I can see it being possible. Mine's 9' 1" slate in three pieces. One person can lift a corner so 5 or 6 guys ought to be able to move it. It's the tilting it on it's side to get it out the door that would be the big hassle. And if it gets dropped it's probably going to trash it.
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Slate and it was a nine footer to boot. Maybe my 5-6 guys were bigger.
Or you got lucky. A lot of pool tables are not in a position, as in a basement, where they can be moved in a totally flat position. For those, it may be possible to move them in one piece, if done carefully. But if you have to go up or down stairs, or stand it on its side, chances are something's going to give.
And, if you never take the felt off, how do you know the joints are still intact, and that there is a straight (notice I did not say level) playing surface.
Unless your style and quality of pool does not require a proper table.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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