Shuffleboard is a fun and simple game that anyone can play. When you purchase a shuffleboard table for your game room or bar, you’ll create a stylish focal point that also serves to turn any space into a social and communal hub.
However, sometimes you’ll find that friends and family are losing out on points because your table’s playing surface isn’t aligned correctly. They’ll slide a puck along the right-hand side of the wooden board, and it will unexpectedly roll off the side or down into the center of the tabletop.
If this is the case, try following these 4 simple steps to check and adjust your table’s level so that everyone can enjoy a fair game.
What is Shuffleboard, and Why Should You Get a Table?
Table shuffleboard is a variation of deck or floor shuffleboard, and it’s a game in which you attempt to score points by sliding a weighted plastic puck from one end of the table to the other. You’re aiming to push your 4 weights in such a way that they finish in the highest possible scoring zones. You can only get points for a weight if it’s past your opponent’s pucks.
This game is simple to understand and exceptionally fun to play. You’ll love taking turns with your friends to knock their weighted pucks off the end of the playing surface and into the gutter that runs around the outside of the table. Whether you enjoy hosting games nights and social events at your house, or you run a licensed bar that welcomes rowdy and happy customers, you should invest in a high-quality shuffleboard table.
How to Check the Level of Your Table
You can’t play a good game of shuffleboard if the table isn’t aligned correctly. If your table isn’t level, the pucks won’t travel appropriately along the surface, and you’ll notice that the pucks drop off the sides of the table more often.
Here is a simple 4-step process for you to follow if you’re concerned about your shuffleboard table’s alignment.
1. Check the table’s surface
The first thing you need to do before you can check your table’s alignment is to look at the unit’s playing surface. If you have a cheaper table that comes with a rubberwood or poplar construction, you might find that parts of this playing surface have become warped or uneven. This will likely explain why your weighted discs keep falling off or unexpectedly changing direction on the tabletop.
For example, if you notice that there’s a small section of raised, rough wood along the left-hand side of the playing surface, this might explain why your puck keeps veering off to the right when you intend to push it along the left.
If you spot that your playing surface is damaged, you may need to refinish the entire board. Strip down the old finish, then use a sander to smooth out the untreated wood completely, before applying a high-quality finish like epoxy or polyurethane to this surface.
It’s also worth noting that most premium-quality shuffleboard tables are designed to be slightly concave, with a dip along the middle of the playing surface. This is so that pucks don’t fall off the edge of the table and are not signs that your unit has a damaged or warped playing surface.
2. Use a spirit level and sheet of paper to find ideal alignment
Once you’ve checked the table’s playing surface and you’re satisfied that there’s no sign of damaged or warped wood, you can move on to the next part of this process.
Lay a spirit level across the width of the table in the scoring zone. You should then get a piece of A4 paper and try to slide it under the middle of this spirit level. If your table is properly aligned as a premium-quality concave model, you’ll be able to push this paper right under the center of the level. However, you’ll find it more difficult to slide this paper under either side of the level, as the board’s edges are in direct contact with these parts of the level.
Repeat this process up and down the table: if you feel like there’s too much space between the center of the board and the spirit level, this means you’ll probably need to adjust the table so that it’s less concave. If you can’t slide your paper underneath the middle of the level, this indicates you’ll need to realign the table, so it’s more concave-looking.
3. Sort out the table’s level by turning the climatic adjusters
Now that you’ve figured out the issue with your table’s alignment, you can use the unit’s integrated climatic adjusters to set the unit back to its correct shape. You’ll typically find between 4-6 climatic adjusters underneath your shuffleboard table, and it’s possible you only need to adjust one of these rods if only one section of your playing surface is incorrectly aligned.
If you need to decrease your table’s concavity section, loosen the pair of bolts between the 2 supporting beams. Then, tighten the bolts on the outside of these beams, turning them around the threaded stud: you tighten them by twisting them in a clockwise motion. This decreases the space between the 2 beams, making your table less concave. Turn the bolts on either side until you’re satisfied with the table’s new alignment.
To increase your table’s concavity, loosen the pair of bolts on the outside of the support beams, then tighten those bolts on the inside. This increases the distance between the 2 beams, which produces a concave playing surface.
4. Maintain and look after your table
Now that you’re satisfied with your table’s alignment, it’s essential you remember to preserve and look after it going forward. If your table has a traditional wooden finish, clean the playing surface with a mix of water and distilled white vinegar, then spray it with silicone spray before spreading shuffleboard powder across the wood.
If your unit has a polymer finish, wipe down the playing surface with a standard window cleaner before spraying it with silicone spray and applying shuffleboard wax.
Whatever type of material your shuffleboard uses, you should try to clean the unit at least twice every month and wax it before every game.
Check the Level of Your Table By Following These Simple Steps
Buying a premium-grade shuffleboard table is a sound investment that will turn any room or licensed bar into a fun and vibrant social hub. However, you must make sure you are looking after your table so that your friends or patrons don’t feel cheated when they lose games due to an uneven playing surface. Follow these simple steps to monitor and restore the alignment of your shuffleboard table.