The ins and outs of installing wood table slides
Table Slide Considerations
Keep table slides in a dry area, before and during installation, as excess humidity can affect the slides, particularly before they are installed.
Make sure you have the correct-type of table slides
- 4 leg tables, dividing base and dividing leg tables where both top and legs move jointly, use standard table slides. (camber, curved arc, compensates sagging in center of table)
- Solid pedestal and non-dividing base tables, where only the top extends and the base remains stationary, use equalizer gear table slides. (camber, curved arc, compensates sagging of table ends)
- Using the wrong type of slide will accentuate the sagging of the table instead of compensating for it.
Table Slides are handed: use a right and a left hand slide when installing.
- Install a right-slide (marked blue) and a left-slide (marked red).
- If slides are not marked, check to make sure you have a left and right slide.
- Using a pair of slides, benefits the overall efficiency of extending tables. When one slide is weakened by an outward movement, the opposite slide counter acts by pressing one section against the other, stabilizing the movement and giving the result of a smooth and efficient sliding (opening).
- In addition: using a pair, minimizes the wobbling movement of a table, when the pulling action is triggered.
- Use #10 round headed screws, 1-1/2" long and threaded on 2/3 of the body.
- Do not strip the screw.
- Carefully drill pilot holes, in the table top, with a depth stop collar to prevent drilling through table top.
- Measure screws carefully so that thread protruding from table slide will not go thru table top.
These are manufacturer guidelines only, individual applications may vary
- Slightly squeeze the parts together to eliminate looseness. The play between the sliding components of the slide prevents the slide from "sticking" when it absorbs a little humidity. Slightly squeezing the parts together at installation eliminates the looseness, but space remains to absorb the natural humidity variances in a home.
- To install the slide, close the table but keep the slide slightly open (about ¼"). This will insure that your table always completely closes before the slide does.
- Install your slides parallel to one another and parallel to your table. A non-parallel installation of the slide will prevent them from opening adequately.
- For solid pedestal and non-dividing base tables, pre-drill the holes in the center section of the slide before you fix it to your center leg. Make sure the holes do not pierce the dovetail part of the section as the screws would get in the way of the opening.
- For equalizing slides, make sure nothing gets in the way of the equalizer mechanism.
- Guidelines for overall size - closed length of table slide:
Closed length of slide should ideally be at least a few inches more than half of your table top.
For example, if your table top (without the extension leaves) measures 48" long, the slide should have at least a closed length of 26" (48"/2 + 2" = 26")