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Moving a pool table is tricky business

By: Cindy Wojdyla Cain 

The Herald News - Joliet (IL)
September 4, 2011

Twenty-three years ago, my husband decided the big wide open space in our newly purchased home’s basement was crying out for a pool table.

Not just any pool table. But a regulation, reconditioned, bar-size pool table in all of its mossy green glory. A few years into our ownership, I realized no one ever actually played pool on the beast. When my sons reached a certain age, I purchased a Ping-Pong table top to set on the pool table. And for years, my boys and their friends held many a Ping-Pong tournament in the below ground area to which they were banished.

Recently, two powerful natural forces conspired against the beast: A torrential rain storm and a woman’s desire to remodel. When our basement flooded earlier this summer, I decided it was time to replace the carpeting in the basement living area.

Years earlier, when we replaced the green plaid indoor-outdoor carpeting that came with the home, we hired the people who sold us the pool table to tip it on its side and roll it into an adjoining room. Piece of cake.

But this time, I wanted the table totally removed.

My husband found someone who would buy the table and get it out of the basement before the new carpeting arrived.

When that deal fell through, I called the amusement company that sold us the pool table and asked if they could move it to our garage so we could sell it later. But the company has had many layoffs. There were only two men left, and this was a four-man job because our pool table had a one-piece slate top, I was told.

So I took to the Internet. All of the moving companies, pool table stores and amusement companies I contacted wouldn’t do it. Some never called back. One pool table guy, who advertises in the Chicago area, said he would charge me $600 to remove the table. He suggested I chop it apart.

Finally, I found Kevin Weidemiller of Windy City Billiards in Plainfield (www.pooltablekev.com). He’s been in the business more than 25 years.

He said moving pool tables can be a tricky business if you don’t know what you’re doing.

“Somebody could get hurt,” he said. “It’s all about weight and knowing how to move it.”

Three-piece slate tables are difficult because the slate pieces can shift during a move. One-piece tavern tables like the one in my basement aren’t made to move very far at all, he added.

“They’re made to go one step up into a bar,” he said.

Some people buy pool tables and later remodel around them, so drastic measures must be taken to move them, he added.

“I’ve taken tables and cut them in half and bolted them back together,” he said.

As it turns out, I had added a wooden railing and a storm door to my home that made the removal of the beast, which Weidemiller disassembled before he and three strong guys lifted it, more difficult. But it’s done.

My walls have a few bumps and bruises. My marriage, too. But the table is gone. The carpeting is in. And I’m ready to celebrate the weekend with my sons who have traveled home for the holiday.

One thing is for sure, on this Labor Day, I have a new appreciation for heavy labor and all those who perform it.