Poker nights are a great way to bond with friends and family. Having a poker table with the right kind of cloth makes playing even more exciting and fun. In this post, we've done our research to guide you on properly installing a speed cloth and making poker nights fun for all!
Installing speed cloth on your poker table involves four important processes.
- Laying the Speed Cloth on the table
- Adhesive application
- Staple it up
- Trim excess fabric
With that said, installing speed cloth on your poker table looks pretty easy. However, you have to be quick and thorough while executing each step. Head over to the rest of the article as we dive deep into the procedure to provide you with a better understanding. Read on.
An In-Depth On The Steps
Installing speed cloth on any table takes time and patience. At some point during the installation, you will inevitably mess up and start centering the cloth again. This is pretty normal. Even the professionals in this trade make this error all the time.
The only secret to achieving a near-perfect installation is good quality speed cloth, patience, and a clear understanding of the procedures.
Apart from that, you will also need the help of some essential items to finish the job.
- 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive - This is the tried and tested spray adhesive used by professionals to get the job done. It provides a high initial grab with sufficient room for adjustments. It also works with a wide array of furniture materials and all kinds of cloth and fabric.
- Tacker Staple Gun - The staple gun will be the one to hold the speed cloth permanently on the table. A strong and reliable staple gun is key to how long the cloth will stay neat and tight after multiple uses.
- Utility Knife/Cutter - In theory, scissors will also do. However, the adhesive can cause the scissors to clog up and make trimming difficult. A utility knife is also better at keeping a cut close to the table's edge. This gives you a cleaner cut and an easier time tucking the extra fabric left after trimming.
Steps and Processes
Installing speed cloth on your poker table involves four important processes that should be done with care to achieve the desired effect.
Laying The Speed Cloth
- Lay down the entire roll of speed cloth on top of the bare poker table.
The speed cloth on your bare poker table is the first part of the installation process. "Why is it important?" you might ask. Setting the cloth properly makes the rest of the installation process straightforward.
- Align and measure each side of the cloth, so it is centered properly.
Then the next key part of setting the cloth on the table is the measuring part. Measure, measure, and measure. Ensure that every corner of the cloth is where it is supposed to be. This is especially true for speed cloth with a pattern or a designated area for each player.
- On the halfway point of the table, staple the cloth on the ends to fix it in place.
- Fold over one side of the cloth and spray a thin layer of adhesive on the table and the underside of the cloth in contact with the table.
For this step of the process. You will want to apply adhesive at just the right amount. Too much, and you won't be able to make adjustments when needed. Too little, and your cloth won't stick on the table, making everything baggy and uneven.
When spraying the adhesive, ensure not to inhale any of it as it is toxic to your health. You could also use a respirator mask when executing this procedure. After spraying and laying one side of the cloth, center the cloth on the table again, making adjustments wherever necessary.
- Lay back the cloth carefully (making sure the cloth is still centered). Tug at the cloth to make adjustments.
When you've ensured everything is centered, sweep the cloth with your bare hands to remove wrinkles or any air bubbles on the cloth. Your hands are the best tools for this job, as they can feel any bumps or irregularities while sweeping the fabric. This is key in making the surface as flat as possible when the next step (stapling) comes in.
- Repeat the step on the other side of the table (make sure everything is neat and centered).
Staple It Up
- Once the adhesive has set and the cloth is already centered, staple all the edges.
Once the adhesive has set, and the cloth is free of any wrinkles and air bubbles, the next thing to do is to staple it to the table. If your table does not have some framing or railing at the edges, it is best to staple on the underside of the table to hide the staples. If you attach a frame or railing at the edges, you can staple it on top, as the staple marks will be hidden under the frame or railing.
When you staple, tug at the cloth to keep some tension on the fabric, keeping it nice and tight. Staple all around the table, and ensure that the distance from each staple is less than half an inch to keep a secure hold.
Trimming The Excess Fabric
- The last step is to trim all the excess fabric and reinstall the railing of your poker table.
You're almost done. Just a little bit of trimming, and you will then be able to have the poker table ready for game night.
When trimming, make sure to cut as neatly as possible. You can pull the cloth while trimming to keep some tension and keep the cut close to where the edge of the table is or the staple (depending on the kind of table you have).
On the round edges, slit the cloth perpendicular to the edge and overlap the fabric. You can also staple the overlapping fabric to tuck it better.
What Is Speed Cloth, And Why Is It Better Than Regular Felt?
Speed cloth is the fabric used by professional card players because of the ease of dealing cards, even on a long table. This fabric is made of polyester, which makes the cards slide easier along a table.
Regular felt is made primarily of wool fibers compressed together. Regular felt is known for having a smooth but uneven surface. The wool fibers often provide friction and make cards or pool balls travel shorter, also known as being "sticky." Whereas a speed cloth made of polyester provides less sliding friction which in turn makes cards and pool balls travel farther distances. This is called "slick."
Another advantage of speed cloth over regular felt cloth is its water resistance. Card players, on average, will have a drink with them whenever they play. Any spillage on the cloth will give you more time to remedy it and mitigate any permanent damage to your table.
However, it is worth noting that this material also has some downsides. For one, it is prone to wrinkling, especially if it is not stapled into the table. The wrinkling makes for an uneven gaming area which can be pretty annoying. Speed cloth will also require more post-care maintenance than regular felt.
How Do I Clean Installed Speed Cloth?
Accidents happen. Sometimes, your drink spills on the poker table and leaves a stain on the fabric. Other times, your food crumbs might fall on the fabric, and because of the railings of the table, it may be hard to completely clean the table by only using your hand.
Spills And Stains
Spills should be immediately dabbed with a dry cloth to minimize the effects. Do not press the dry cloth too hard, as it may only make the spilled liquid spread into the fabric even more. When there are stains left behind, use a water-vinegar solution.
For the solution, add three tablespoons of vinegar to a vessel of cold water. Do not use hot water, as it can affect the color of the cloth and make it fade. Soak and wring a dry towel on the solution and dab it at the stain. Please do not use excessive force as it can make the cloth wet and the stain worse by soaking the fabric.
Once the stain has been dealt with, dry the fabric properly and inspect for any residue. If there are leftover stains, repeat the process until the stain has been completely removed.
Dust And Crumbs
Dry particles like food crumbs or built-up dust and dirt can be swept up with a vacuum. A vacuum, paired with a toothbrush for especially pesky areas, is an effective method for cleaning up a poker table with accumulated dirt.
First, vacuum the whole table to eliminate the easy-to-remove and visible dirt. Once done, use a toothbrush to scrub areas where the dirt might have wedged (railing edges). Do not scrub too hard, as you might damage the fabric during the process. Once scrubbing is complete, do another pass with the vacuum to remove all the dirt on the table.
To Wrap It Up
Installing speed cloth on your poker table can be challenging, especially if you're new to it. However, the reward of installing it correctly and the fun of poker nights make up for it.
Make sure to understand and follow each step diligently, and you will have a poker table that will last for a long time. Play responsibly!
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