a custom steel and wood pool table
well, there is a little ‘fine woodworking’ in this project, but it’s not all wood. it has beautiful curly claro walnut rails, but the base and blinds are all made of metal. this was a new concept for us, and the interior designer we were working with had us thinking ‘outside the box’. she had ordered a steel and wood pool table from a company that actually went out of buisiness while she was waiting to take delivery. since we were working on a 12′ claro walnut dining table for the same room, and she knew we made pool tables, (15 so far), she asked what we could come up with. we made some sketches, and then we made the little two option scale model you see in the second picture there. 1/8th” to the foot i believe it was. from that model, we created a cad drawing incorporating 4″ and 3″ square steel tuning with 2.5″ x 1/4″ angle iron ‘stretchers’, which my son sam fabricated in our metal shop. the steel was roughly polished and we added the bronzy ‘rainbow’ patina using a chemical we get from sur-fin chemical in los angeles. the table leaves tomorrow for chicago and will be set up there by a local pool table mechanic. there is also a wood and steel custom cue rack in the same palette that goes with it. more photos and process comments on our dorset custom furniture blog post. using the information in that post and the article by paul bowman from fine woodworking #75, and a bit of patience, you too can make your own pool table. this is the second one we’ve made this year, and there is another one in the works, (‘post and beam style’) and in the shop now. more on that one as we finish it up.
4and a half by nine foot custom pool table. claro walnut rails, figured mother of pearl sights, rainbow finish steel base, three piece slate and simonis cloth.
mdf scale model, one side
mdf scale model, option 2
fabricating the steel base
the claro walnut cushions and rails
setting up the raw base
assembled in the shop
the steel faced blinds that go horizontally under the rails to cover the edges of the slate. the steel is 1/8th 'veneer' installed with double stick table and nails through to the pine substrate.
drilling the ends of the rails for the pockets by elevating the drill press
fabricating the custom cue rack
the cue rack, with its cardboard mounting template