American Heritage Broken Down

Sun Damage and Attached Slate Liner Problems


We recently dismantled an 8′ American Heritage Britton pool table in Orange, California to be moved to a new location. The room that housed the pool table had gorgeous windows above, letting sunlight stream down at all angles. Unfortunately, the sunshine did the pool table no favors. As we pulled off the rails, it was evident the true cloth color was Camel as opposed to the Khaki color first thought.

We have delved into issues with American Heritage cushions before (see here and here and here). In this particular case, the sun only sped up the inevitable rubber deterioration on this pool table. The bumpers will have to be replaced along with the cloth, pushing the completion date out a couple of weeks.


We would also like to bring up a couple of other issues we had with this particular model. This manufacturer uses an attached slate liner, meaning instead of wood on the back of the slate it is on top of the frame. Olhausen uses a similar concept. This mission-style frame is considerably small in relation to the liner. This causes the slate to hang off the edges twice as much as usual for an American Heritage. It is almost as if the frame were for a 7′ but supporting an 8′ slate and rail system. Lack of support becomes evident when looking at how much the slates needed to be shimmed considerably to compensate for the bowing.

A look underneath the pool table shows just how much the slate hangs over. You can also see that the slate is screwed into this 3/4″ board as opposed to being screwed into the frame directly (like a Connelly).

Please remember: Just because a pool table looks nice on the outside, doesn’t necessarily mean that its construction is top notch. Not even on an expensive pool table.We will breathe new life into this billiard table with new cushions and Tour Edition professional grade cloth, but we cannot change the construction. The setup process will be an uphill battle trying to get the slate leveled on this table. Stay tuned for part two of this 8′ pool table move.


5 thoughts on “American Heritage Broken Down”

  1. The slate on an American Heritage pool table cannot be reliably leveled by shimming between the slate pad and the edges of the slate. The slate pad is a composite material and the overhang cannot support the load of the slate sections without eventually sagging. Simple physics.

    • Yep. It totally sucks, for this model in particular. We do our very best to get it playing perfectly, but over time balls will eventually start drifting to the outside perimeter. Shimming the slate is only part of a setup. The leveling process doesn’t typically show well in photos. Photographing this table made it easy to show how badly this was out of whack.

    • Hello Ted, that’s not exactly true. An (un)-American Heritage pool table can be made to be leveled halfway decent by ditching the original slate screws and using machine threaded screws, washers and nuts to fasten the slated to the mdf slate liner/base frame. I’d also recommend using flat cardstock shims instead of wedges. Wedges can be used underneath the frame to support the centers of the slates. Best wishes, Dave.

  2. I have britton american heritage pool table. I put all parts together except the table top and slate. My question regarding to legs and side frames that are attached together. Its a bit hard to explain without showing a picture. When I insert the frames into the legs to b attached theres cap space on top.i dont know if I should leave the way it is or lift the frames to even it up with legs.

    • That’s the way those Britton tables go together. The slate liner piece will cover it.

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