How to Choose & Install Table Slides

Table Slides

Osborne Wood Products has a wide variety of table slides available for you to choose from! Our selection is separated into three main categories: Standard, Equalizer, and Standard Equalizer slides. But how do you know which slide to choose for your project? Follow the Q&A below to determine the right table slide for you! Once you have determined the right slides for your build, check out the instructions at the bottom of the page for how to install them.

What type of slide should I choose?

When the table opens does the table top split in the middle to move apart?

  • YES – Continue to the next question
  • NO – Review the base design to see if our slides would work for this specific design

When the table opens does the base stay fixed in place and only the top moves?

When the table opens does the base move apart with the two halves of the table top?

  • YES – Continue to the next question
  • NO – Review the base design to see if our slides would work for this specific design

Will the table have four legs in the four corners and a center support?


How do I choose the correct length of slide?

Standard table slides

Measurements needed:

  • Overall length of the table top when fully closed (no leaves added)
  • Desired opening or total measurement of leaves
  • Maximum length inside the apron boards underneath the table

Steps:

  1. Divide the overall fully closed length of the table top in half. This is the minimum length for slides in order to provide adequate support.
  2. Ensure the slides are not too long to fit inside the apron boards underneath the table.
  3. Choose slides with an opening at least 1” bigger than the desired opening or length of leaves. The extra inch gives room for alignment pins.

When may extra support be needed?

  • The general rule of thumb for extension tables is to have extra support about every 60”
  • If a table top is very heavy extra additional support may be needed

Extra accessories to consider:

Installation Tips:

Please note: You should have one slide section marked LEFT, and one slide section marked RIGHT. It is not important to align these sections on a specific side of the table top. It is only important that you have a left and a right section, as they work together to function properly.

Table slides must be installed parallel to each other and perpendicular to the opening of the table top. A non-parallel installation of the slide will prevent them from opening properly.

How to Install Standard Table Slides (Four-Legged Table)

Things you will need:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit set

Instructions:

  1. Turn the tabletop over on a flat surface with the underside facing up.
  2. The two slides should be installed an equal distance in from the edge. Mark the underside of the tabletop at this spot and repeat on the opposite side of the tabletop.
  3. Slide the tabletop apart just enough to open on of the seams a few inches. Lay a lipped-edge carpenter’s square on the tabletop with the lip of the square snug against the edge of the open seam. Align the 90-degree corner of the square with either of the marks that you made in step 2. Trace the leg of the square that is perpendicular to the direction of the seam with a pencil, making a straight reference line on the underside of the tabletop. Repeat to make another straight line straight out form the other mark.
  4. Push the tabletop back together.
  5. Push the slide together as if you are closing them, but leave them open approximately ¼ inch. Leaving the slides open a small amount helps give them plenty of room to operate properly once they are installed. If sliders are fully closed when they are installed, humidity can cause them to expand, preventing you from closing the tabletop completely.
  6. Place one slide on the tabletop and align a long edge of the slide with one of the measured straight lines. Drill pilot holes through the screw openings in the center of the slide and into the center section of the tabletop with a power drill and a drill bit that is the same size or slightly smaller than the screws to be used. Do not drill all the way through the tabletop.
  7. Insert screws through the pre-drilled holes on the outside sections of the slides and into the tabletop with a power drill and a Phillips screwdriver bit. Align and mount the other slide along the other measured line the same way. If your slides did not come with screws use wood screws that are long enough to fit through the slide and fasten it to the tabletop, but short enough not to pierce the top of the table. Measure the thickness of the tabletop and the section of the slide where the screws fit to determine how long the screw should be.
  8. Insert screws through the remaining holes in the slides and into the tabletop.

How to Install Equalizer Table Slides (Pedestal Table)

Things you will need:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit set

Instructions - Attaching the Slides to the Table Top:

  1. Place your table top on a flat surface. This is crucial as the slides will not be aligned properly if the table top doesn’t sit flat.
    1. Note: Your table top should NOT be mounted to your pedestal. If it is, remove the screws in the mounting hardware and set your pedestal aside.
  2. Be sure to install your slides so that they are set an equal distance in from the long edges of the table top. Additionally, be sure to place them to where they won’t contact the pedestal, and where the pedestal mounting plate will overlap the center board of the slide. (The slide will be attached to the mounting plate after being installed on the table top.
    1. Note: Equalizer slides have either 3 or 5 boards in each half of the pair, so the center board will have an equal number of boards on each side of it.
  3. On one side of the table top, use a tape measure or carpenter’s square and a pencil to make a mark far enough from the edge of the table for the slide’s center board to overlap the mounting plate but not contact the pedestal. Repeat this procedure on the opposite side and on the other half of the table top. Then push the table top back together.
  4. Push the slide together as if you are closing it, but leave it open approximately ¼ inch.
    1. Note: Leaving the slide open a small amount provides plenty of room for the slide to operate properly once installed. If slides are fully closed when they’re installed, you may be prevented from closing the tabletop completely if humidity causes the table top to shrink.
  5. Make sure that the two halves of the table top are perfectly aligned next to each other along the seam, with the reverence lines on each half lining up to form a continuous line. Place one of the partially opened slide sections with the gears facing down and the large, round screw holes facing up. Align the center board of the slide with one of the reference lines marked during step 4. Using a power drill and a drill bit that is either the same size or slightly smaller than the screws you’ll use, drill pilot holes through the large, round screw openings and into the table top. Do not drill all the way through the table top.
  6. Using a power drill and a Phillips screwdriver bit, insert screws through each of the large, round, pre-drilled holes and screw them into the table top, taking care that the screw doesn’t pierce the table top. Align and mount the other slide along the measured line the same way. Carefully close and open the table top to make sure the slide opens and closes easily.
    1. Note: Mounting screws are not provided. We suggest you use wood screws that are long enough to fit through the slide and fasten approximately halfway through the table top, but are short enough not to pierce the top of the table. Measure the thickness of your table top and the length of the neck in the large screw hole to determine how long the screw should be.

Instructions - Attaching the Slides to the Mounting Plate of the Pedestal:

  1. Position the mounting plate on the bottom of the table slides so that it is perfectly centered over the pair of slides. It is critical to find where the exact center of the center board in each slide lines up with the mounting plate. Mark a corresponding pencil line on the mounting plate for each slide section. Double check everything to ensure accuracy.
  2. With the lines drawn on the mounting plate perfectly positioned above the center of the center board of the slide, pre-drill at least 3 pilot holes through the mounting plate and into the slide board below.
    1. Note: The number of holes you drill will depend on how long your mounting plate is. A good rule of thumb is one hole every 6 inches. Additionally, the holes should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the screws you’re using. Carefully measure the thickness of the mounting plate and the height of the slide board. The holes should extend through the plate and approximately halfway into the center portion of the center board of the slide, avoiding the tracks on either side of the center board. Be careful not to drill deep enough to go all the way through the slide board, or to interfere with the metal equalizing gear in the center of the board.
  3. After drilling the pilot holes, open the slide to determine if any part of the tracks on the sides of the center board were pierced. If so, the slide will not properly open and close when the slide is mounted with the screws. You may need to re-position the placement of the holes and re-drill.
  4. Screw each of the screws into the pre-drilled holes you created Step 2. Use screws that are long enough to extend through the mounting plate and at least halfway through the center board of the slide. Take care not to use screws that are long enough to reach the equalizing gear in the center of the board.
  5. Open the table assembly about a foot, then turn it over and position the bolts extending from the top of the pedestal through the corresponding holes of the mounting plate. Attach the nuts over the bolts and tighten completely.

How to Install Standard Equalizer Slides (Five-Legged Table)

Things you will need:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit set

Instructions - Attaching the Slides to the Table Top:

  1. Turn the table top over on a flat surface with the underside facing up.
  2. The two slide halves should be installed an equal distance in from the edge of the table. Mark the underside of the table top at this spot and repeat on the opposite side of the table top.
  3. Slide the table top apart just enough to open the seam a few inches. Lay a carpenter’s square on the table top with one edge snug along the edge of the open seam. Align the 90 degree corner of the square with either of the marks that were made in Step 2. Trace the leg of the square that is perpendicular to the direction of the seam with a pencil, making a straight reference line on the underside of the table top.
  4. Repeat to make another straight line on the other side of the table.
  5. Push the tabletop back together snugly, with no gap, and make sure it is aligned properly on the sides.
  6. Push the slide together as if you are closing it, but leave it open approximately ¼”. Leaving the slide open a small amount helps give plenty of room to operate properly once it is installed. If sliders are fully closed when installed, humidity can cause them to expand, preventing you from closing the table top completely.
  7. Place one slide section on the table top and align a long edge of the slide with one of the measured straight lines. Make sure that the equalizing gears are placed against the bottom of the table top, so that when the top opens for normal use, you can see the gears. Drill pilot holes through the screw openings in the center of the slide and into the center section of the table top with a power drill, using a drill bit that is the same size or slightly smaller than the screw to be used. Do not drill all the way through the table top.
  8. Insert screws through the pre-drilled holes on the outside sections of the slides and into the table top with a power drill and a Phillips screwdriver bit. Align and mount the other half of the slide along the other measured line in the same way. If your slides did not come with screws, use wood screws that are long enough to fit through the slide and fasten to the table top, but short enough not to pierce the top of the table. Measure the thickness of the table top and the section of the slide where the screws fit to determine how long the screw should be.

Instructions - Attaching the Fifth Leg to the Slide Sections:

  1. Use a board at least 1 x 6 that is long enough to span the distance between the center boards of each half of the slide.
  2. In order to provide proper support, you may need to trim the height of the 5th leg. Carefully measure the total height of the following pieces to make sure they equal the height of the 4 legs on the tables: Height of the 5th leg + thickness of the board + height of the table slide boards
  3. Attach the 5th leg to the board by drilling through the board into the top of the leg with at least 2 screws that are long enough to pierce the leg by at least 1 inch.
  4. Mark a spot on the center board of each slide, at the halfway point of each slide section. For example, on a 40” long table slide, mark a spot that is 20” from the end of the slide. Do this for each slide section.
  5. Drill a pilot hole where you placed your mark that is slightly smaller than the screw you will use to attach the 5th leg apparatus to the slide. Screw the ends of the board (with the 5th leg attached to it) into the pilot hole. Use a screw that pierces the slide approximately 1”. Be careful that the screw is installed straight, and does not angle into the other boards of the slide, or it will interfere with the slide movement.
  6. Turn the table upright and make sure that the table is level. You may need to trim the 5th leg to allow for variation in the height of the floor.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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