How to Maintain a Shuffleboard Table

Updated: 03/05/21 •  5 min read
Kip head image

Kip Lohner, Shuffleboard Savant

Between playing shuffleboard and running a carpentry business, Mr. Lohner shares his experience on shuffleboard strategies and game table maintenance

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Shuffleboard tables are nice little bits of furniture, but they’re surprisingly finicky. They take a bit of effort to keep in good shape. The most annoying thing about it is it takes a lot of specialized products.

Still, once you have the hang of things, it’s pretty easy to keep your table in great shape, and a little bit of annoying cost and maintenance will prevent you from having to do a lot of work or pay a ton of money to fix a warped table top.

Table Surface Maintenance

One thing you always want to keep in mind when maintaining your shuffleboard table, is to only use products that are stated to be made for or used with a shuffleboard table.

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The primary thing I’m talking about here is shuffleboard wax and silicone spray. Not just any wax or silicone works, and the wrong kind could actually damage your tabletop, or at least provide a temporarily unsuitable surface for play, where it will need to be removed before you can play on it.

Assuming you’ve played on your table before, it’s already been waxed and played on a bit. If not, you can just wax your table and pretty much just be ready to play.

However, every month or so you’ll need to do a full deep cleaning on your table. This means you’ll need to remove all of the wax from the board. This is where having a Glaze/Cleaner comes in handy. This stuff will help remove all the old wax (mostly the powdered wax) from the board and clean up any incidental grime and dust from the surface. It also provides a smooth surface.

Next, apply your liquid wax to the table. Wait about 30 minutes and then try throwing a few pucks across the board to test it. You want to ensure an even coat with no gaps or “dead spots” that can throw off your playing. If there are, reapply wax more thoroughly and test again. If you consistently have this issue, there may be a dent in your board in that spot, which is a more serious problem.

You’ll want to reapply wax about once a week, regardless of other maintenance.

Apply powdered wax of your choice once a week or after each game. Remember not to add too much.

Overall Table Maintenance

You’ll want to regularly check your tabletop for signs of warping. Take note that even best shuffleboard table in the market needs to be checked for warping. First and foremost. If it is warped, you’ll need to take steps to correct it, which we’ve gone over the process of in detail elsewhere.

The big thing about wood furniture maintenance is making sure it never warps in the first place, which is where constant monitoring comes in.

This is easier than it sounds. Take a level, and put it on the tabletop across the width of the table. Then, slide a piece of copy paper underneath the table. It should slide smoothly, with little effort. If it doesn’t, then you have an issue.

If the paper sticks at the far ends of the level, it means you have a dip. If it sticks in the middle, then you have a hump. Take steps to correct this as usual.

To help prevent warping over time, keep your table out of both moisture and sunlight. Same with any hardwood furniture, the wood can absorb moisture and expand, then slowly start to warp and crack.

But sunlight is the more insidious killer causing tons of micro-expansions and contractions over time. You probably won’t even notice it happening, like you might with moisture damage.

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Sunlight can also cause your table to bleach out wiping out the wording, and can also prematurely dry out your wax, costing you a ton of money in needing to frequently reapply it.

To prevent this, keep your table in a cool, dry place and make sure to put a cover over it. This can either be a specific shuffleboard table cover (which will fit a bit more snugly) or something like a sheet or blanket; the goal is to keep out sunlight more than anything since your table is likely an indoor model.

Finishing Touches

Finally, on a regular basis make sure to do a walk around of your table. Before you’re ready to play, you’ll need to check and feel for loose screws (though be careful not to fiddle with the bolts under the table) and the like which need to be tightened. Having a wobbly table can be a problem.

All these can be a hassle to do, but the logic here is even though you have excellent strategies to win in shuffleboard it would be useless if the tabletop is uneven. Also, how can you practice and improve your shooting if there are dead spots on the surface?

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A less common issue can be fading on the paint, which will potentially need to be reapplied especially on old tables. Once done, you should should noticeably see the improvement of the table appearance so that you can go back into playing shuffleboard in peace.

Tom Erickson