Does leaning on a pool table cause it crack?

So after nearly ten years my dad FINALLY put new slate on our pool table and my dad tells me and my siblings that we cannot lean on the table because that would cause the slate to crack :dubious: so we have to use the bridge to make shots that could be made by putting the stick behind our back or put some sort of pressure on the table.

I find this to be a load of bull sh*t. I have seen in countless movies and tv shows people lean on the table and even SIT on pool tables. To me it makes no sense that if leaning on a pool table causes damage to the slate that directors would allow their actors to do this (i may be wrong about the director part but i think you know what i mean) if it would cause damage to the table.

I have tried searching for anything on this and have found nada. I even tried to look up and see if professional pool players do this, again found nothing to confirm or deny this (I tried asking Cecil and got an email saying I should post the question here).

Now I know this may seem a bit ridiculous because the easy solution would be to just suck it up and use the bridge. But I would like to be able to play without a bridge in the event I play somewhere else besides my house.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

(Also the table has three pieces of slate (Italian I think)).

Your dad is *mostly *full of shit. There’s always the risk of the slate breaking, since the thing isn’t indestructible. But the odds are really low, as it would have to the be perfect storm of events. However, what your dad is really worried about is people acting foolishly around the table, and telling them to “not lean on it or it will break” will make them paranoid enough to not cross the line so far as to include things like “leave food and drinks on the railing”, “use the pool table like any other table in the house” and “get near the pool table for any reason other than ‘playing pool’”.

And having three slabs of slate makes it even less likely anything is going to happen to it - it’s long stretches of one-piece slabs that are susceptible.

In my pool hall days I always heard the problem was sitting on the edge of the table could cause the rails to get out of whack. That strikes me as unlikely as well, but not as unlikely as cracking the slab.

The story we were told was that leaning on it could cause one of the slabs to shift slightly, which would mean it wasn’t level and flat any more, which really crimps your play style. And, getting it re-leveled costs money.

I’ve never seen a pool table crack. Leaned on plenty of them. The thought never even occurred to me.

Thank you everyone. Maybe my dad will listen. Maybe.

My parents have had their pool table dismantled twice to move it so they could recarpet the room. It’s 3 pieces of (matched) slate and FAR too heavy to lift or move without taking it apart. The last time they moved it I saw the slate tipped up against something in another room. I tried, but could hardly stand it up it was so heavy. I don’t think I could have cracked it with a hammer without putting some real effort into it.

What kind of surface does the slate lay on? Is it laying flat on wood in that sitting or that leaning on it would only create pressure where your hand is or is it ‘propped’ up on something that you could potentially ‘fold’ it (if that makes sense)?

Either way, I can’t imagine you could possible break the table by leaning on it. But look at it this way. He’s the one that probably just spent several thousand dollars having it done…are you going to pony up the cash if you’re wrong?

A high quality pool table, as noted, uses three pieces of slate. (I don’t know if there are
tournament tables that use a single slab. It’s probably not necessary.) The three slabs are leveled and then melted beeswax is used to make the surface seem seamless. I would suppose that under extreme circumstances, like an earthquake, the seam could get stressed and flex the table at the wax seams. Otherwise, the frame of the table keeps it pretty solid.

Your Dad’s concern is not an impossibility but is highly unlikely. Leaning or sitting on the table is more likely to affect the level of the entire table, not crack the slate.

I’ve been watching the 2012 World Snooker Championship and those guys are pretty much lying on the table some of the time. Some images here

Another thing. More and more people are getting slate counter tops*. A counter top has large holes cut in it and is only supported at a few points along it’s length and you don’t hear about those breaking very often and people certainly put a lot of weight on them.

Why did your dad decide to replace the slate on your table? Did something happen to it?
*which I’m just assuming is the same slate used for a pool table.