Maintaining your shuffleboard table and its pucks is important to prolong its life, even after many years of repeated use. The shuffleboard table’s surface, if properly taken care of, should be as smooth and slick as ice. Over time, things like dust and dirt can coat the surface of both the board and the pucks, resulting in potentially harmful scratches and denting without proper care.
Shuffleboard table and puck maintenance are relatively simple. Regularly wiping down the play surface and pucks with a clean cloth is one of the easiest methods of upkeep. But you should also consider using a silicone spray and waxing the table surface for the best results.
Why is Shuffleboard Table Maintenance Important?
Shuffleboard table maintenance is important because failure to keep the surface and pucks clean can affect how well you play the game. If there are any rough or sticky spots on the surface, pucks may not slide as well and will not offer players as much control when throwing. Making sure that the table’s surface is smooth and polished will ensure that puck momentum remains consistent game after game.
Shuffleboard Table Location
Before you dive further into exactly what types of waxing and spray products you should use on your shuffleboard table, there is actually a very simple and easy first step that you can take to maintain the life of your board.
Is your shuffleboard located outdoors? Or do you have your shuffleboard placed somewhere inside? The location of your shuffleboard will ultimately determine the method and how often you’ll need to service it.
It’s highly recommended that you keep your shuffleboard table away from direct sunlight. Excessive heating and cooling can warp the table’s surface, resulting in inconsistencies. This being said, place your shuffleboard in an area away from large windows and where the general climate is consistent.
If you’ve placed your shuffleboard table in an outdoor area, invest in a table cover to protect from wind, rain, sunlight, and other external debris when not in use. Table covers can range in price between $40 to $95 on average, and depend entirely on the size and length of your table. It also doesn’t hurt to have a table cover for shuffleboard tables housed indoors to protect from dust when not in use.
What is Silicone Spray? How Do I Use It?
Silicone spray should actually be used before the waxing process even begins. Silicone spray is designed to wax tracks that can form after repeated contact with shuffle pucks. Be sure to spray from at least a foot and a half away from the surface of the shuffleboard table, motioning back and forth to coat evenly. With a dry, clean cloth, gently dab off any excess.
Some would argue that silicone spray is an optional step, but it does prolong the life of the wax that you apply afterward and results in a smoother play surface. Be sure to buy silicone spray that is intended for use on shuffleboard tables, as they are specially formulated, so they don’t damage the table.
Get a Shuffleboard Table Brush
To make excess wax removal easier, consider buying and using a shuffleboard brush (also known as a board sweep). The felt-like base can help gather up extra wax with one or two simple passes over the board. The fact that they are relatively inexpensive, usually listed between $20 to $25, is an added bonus!
What Type of Wax Should I Use?
The type of wax that you use depends entirely on the type and length of shuffleboard table you’ve purchased. Before you wax, be sure to wipe down the surface and push any excess wax off the board. Too much build up can result in an uneven playing surface. Always do your best to wipe down the surface between each game played to keep your board in excellent condition.
After selecting the type of wax you think is appropriate for your shuffleboard table, sprinkle the wax over the playing surface to apply an even layer. There’s no need to work or polish it into the surface the same way you would on floors. A light dusting of the wax is all you need, and your table will be good to go for the next round of games!
Brown & Yellow Wax
Shuffleboard wax comes in two colors. Brown wax is made from crushed nut shells. It’s extremely effective at what it does and doesn’t wear down as quickly as yellow wax does. Yellow wax is made from a cornmeal base. If you or anyone in your family has an allergy to nuts, you should choose yellow wax by default to avoid allergic reactions. Not only are there different colored waxes, but waxes also offer different puck throwing speeds.
If you’re having a difficult time keeping your pucks on the board because they fly right off and into the gutter, consider using a slower speed wax. It could very well be that the wax speed you have chosen is too fast for your length of the board. The opposite can be said if you find your pucks are being much too slow. Consider using a higher speed wax that allows your pucks to travel a further distance.
- It’s recommended that for tables between 9 – 12 ft should choose a speed 4 wax – A slower wax for a shorter table will mean more control
- For tables between 12 – 14 feet, choose a speed 3 wax
- Speed 3 wax is widely considered the standard for all players.
- For tables between 14 – 18 feet, a speed 2 wax will result in faster play over a longer distance
- And finally, for tables between 18 – 22 feet long, it’s recommended that you use a speed 1 wax, which is used by professional players at tournament-level games
Types of Shuffleboard Table Boards
Not only does the length of your shuffleboard determine what type of wax to use, but the type of finish that your play surface has can also determine the type of cleaning procedure you should be following. Not all tables are made with the same material or finish, and this can greatly impact your maintenance routine.
If your shuffleboard was made in a traditional style and has a wood-finish, it’s a good idea to wipe down the playing surface with a blend of water mixed with ¼ cup of vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. Some waxes and silicone sprays will only cause an excessive amount of build-up on wood-finished boards, making them feel uncharacteristically sticky.
For shuffleboards with a polymer-finished play surface, you can use a multi-purpose cleaner before you wax and spray with a silicone layer. Even a regular glass cleaner will suffice! Simply spray the solution and wipe down with a clean cloth or paper towel. This process should be done at least twice a month depending on how often you play.
Lacquer-finished boards must be maintained by using a silicone spray-wax combination. Do not use the same cleaning solutions that you would for a wood-finished or polymer-finished board, as this can seriously damage the lacquer. If you’re finding that there are rougher areas of wax build up, we recommend that you buff the area first before polishing again.
How Do I Take Care of My Shuffleboard Table Pucks?
If you’ve waxed your play surface, but notice that your pucks just aren’t zipping down the table like they used to, you may need to show your pucks some additional tender loving care. Just like the table surface, residue build-up can result in your pucks traveling slower down the length of the table when thrown.
After each game, it’s a good idea to wipe down your pucks with a clean cloth, paying special attention to the bottom surface that makes contact with the table. Storing them in a safe place after games are over is also highly recommended. This way, you won’t accidentally lose any pucks and have an incomplete set.
Unfortunately, pucks don’t usually come in individual packages. If you lose one, you may have to replace the entire set to have all the game pieces required to play. Whole sets tend to go from anywhere between $125 to $200. Needless to say, making sure that you have put away all of the pieces before you call it a day can save your wallet the hassle!