Since slate is so brittle, your pool table is made from three pieces of slate. One large slab would be too brittle, making it likely for your pool table to break. The table is constructed from three slate pieces that are brought together with hot beeswax. This creates a flat and smooth finish.
Whenever you need to take apart a pool table, you will need to remove the beeswax, which can be difficult. Beeswax is the ideal binding agent for pool tables because it penetrates the seams and cools in very little time, creating a glue-like bond that is smooth and strong.
With the right tools, though, dissolving beeswax is rather easy. Here is how to remove beeswax from a pool table slate, as well as how to reseal it.
Removing Beeswax from Your Pool Table Slate
Removing beeswax from your pool table slate is relatively easy. Here, we have detailed two of the most popular methods of about the same level of difficulty. Select which method you prefer based on the supplies you have at hand or can find at the store.
Pure gum turpentine is made from pine sap. It is able to dissolve beeswax safely and efficiently. Similar to pure gum turpentine is turpentine oil. This dissolves beeswax, but it is generally considered less safe than pure gum.
To remove beeswax from a pool table slate, you can select either option, but be sure to use the turpentine oil in a well-ventilated area.
We recommend using pure gum turpentine like this one to quickly and easily dissolve beeswax. Turpentine is the preferred choice by many and with good reason
All you need to do is gather turpentine, rags, and a scrubber. Liberally apply the turpentine to rags and scrub out the beeswax. Use the scrubber to ensure that you are thoroughly removing all beeswax from the slates. Once again, be sure that you are removing the beeswax in a well-ventilated area.
Similarly, you can use a lacquer thinner to remove the beeswax. Lacquer thinner is a mixture of solvents that can dissolve many materials. Do not use lacquer thinner on wood or other surfaces with beeswax. It is suitable to use on slates, however.
We recommend using only high quality lacquer thinner like this by Klean Strip. Using a quality thinner will make all the difference in the time it takes to dissolve the beeswax.
With this method, grab a lacquer thinner and clean absorbent cloths. Just like with the turpentine method, you absolutely must dissolve beeswax with lacquer thinner in a well-ventilated area. Lacquer thinner needs more ventilation than turpentine.
Simply apply the thinner to the clean, absorbent cloth, and wipe down the slate. Flip the cloth frequently. You may need to use multiple cloths to dissolve the beeswax adequately.
Resealing Your Pool Table Slate
Whenever you want to use your pool table again, you will need to reseal the slates. To reseal it like a professional, you will want to select beeswax like before. Beeswax is rather easy to get ahold of and use, meaning that anyone can reseal pool table slates with the material.
Using a high quality beeswax like this one, by DB Entertainment Company, will make resealing your pool table slate an easy task. It can even be used to fill various cracks or chips in the slate.
Melting the Beeswax
To begin, you must melt the beeswax. The double broiler method is best for melting beeswax. Grab two pots, with one being larger than the other. You want the smaller pot to have a lip so that you can prop it on the rim of the larger pot, ensuring the bottom of the smaller pot doesn’t touch the inside of the larger one.
Add water to the larger pot. Boil the water. As you are waiting for it to come to a boil, cut your beeswax into smaller chunks, and place them into the smaller bowl. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and place the smaller bowl inside the larger one.
The simmering water from the larger pot will cause the beeswax to melt. Once the beeswax is completely melted, you’re free to go onto the next step, preparing the slate and applying the beeswax.
Heating up the Slate
Make sure your slate is room temperature or warmer. The wax will not properly adhere to the material if it is cold. You should even use a propane hand torch on the seam to preheat it before application. With the seam preheated, drip the melted wax onto it. Spread it evenly.
Spreading the Wax
Most people recommend spreading the wax about one to two inches on each side of the line. Allow the wax to cool for around 30 seconds. Scrape any excess wax off using a paint scraper. Do not wait more than 30 seconds because the beeswax will harden, making it difficult to remove.
Finally, run your finger along the seam line. This will help you feel for any inconsistencies. Fix any that you find right away. The final product should result in a seam that disappears.
Beeswax is the ideal solution for filling the seams of a 3 piece slate pool table. Whether you want to move your pool table, or refelt it, removing the beeswax is the only way to take it apart.
Removing beeswax from a pool table slate isn’t that difficult with the right materials. Use turpentine or lacquer thinner to dissolve the beeswax thoroughly.
To use the table again, you will need to reseal the slate. Melt the beeswax, heat up the slate, and spread the wax evenly between the seams while removing the excess.