Information about Choosing and Installing a Table Extension Slide

Osborne Table Slides

Osborne Wood Products, Inc. offers a wide variety of wooden table slides. Our table slides can accommodate tables up to 140" long. View our entire selection here. Continue to read this page for useful information concerning your table slides.

Install Your Slides Symmetrically

installing wood table slides Upon opening your box you should find a set of 2 table slides. One slide will be marked "Left" and the other "Right." This marking is to make sure that you have one of each side slide you need. When installing, you may choose which side of your table to consider "Left" and which to consider "Right". As long as the slides are parallel to each other they will function properly.

When opening a table where the slides are mounted symmetrically, the sections of the table slide cannot be separated, because the two slides create counteracting pressure, which causes the sections to tighten closely against one another. For example, the possibility of section separation of the right slide is canceled by the tightening which occurs in the sections of the left side. This virtually eliminates any room for significant lateral movement.

Symmetrical mounting of the table slides is beneficial whether using an equalizer table slide or a slide without equalizers. In the case of an equalizer slide, symmetrical mounting eliminates the possibility of desynchronization of the equalizers, because the counteracting pressure allows the teeth to stay fully engaged in the rack. For slides that utilize sliding blocks, the pressure on the blocks is reduced, maximizing the life of the table slides by minimizing wear.

Symmetrically mounted slides also allow a table to close with nearly perfect alignment between the dowels and the corresponding holes, which enables the table to close in a smooth motion.

Guidelines for Choosing the Best Slide for your project

Which type of table slide would work best for my table?

  • If the base of the table is fixed and does not move when the table opens up the best type of table slide for your table would be an equalizer slide.
  • If the base of the table splits apart when the table opens up, such as a four-legged table, the best type of table slide for your table would be a standard table slide.
  • It is important to note that our table slides have a camber to them to compensate for the natural sag of the table. Choosing the incorrect type of slide for your table may accentuate the natural sag of the table.

What length table slide would support my table?

  • To calculate the best length of the table slide for your table, you first need to know how long the table is when it is fully closed, without the leaves. You will want the table slide to be no shorter than half the length of the table when it is fully closed.

Guidelines to Obtain Maximum Service of Your Table Slides

  • Store in a dry area; excess humidity can affect the slides, particularly before it is installed.
  • Make sure you have the right type of slides: four-legged table or pedestal table slide. A four-legged slide develops a camber to compensate for sagging of the center of the table. A pedestal slide develops a camber to compensate for the sagging ends of the table. Using the wrong type of slide will accentuate the sagging of the table, instead of compensating for it.
  • Under each table, install a right and a left slide (right side is stamped in blue, left side in red). Even if there is no right or left side to a table, it is important to have a right and left slide (a pair) to minimize the wobbling movement of the table when the pulling action is triggered. When one slide is weakened by an outward movement; the other side is counteracting by pressing one section against the other, stabilizing the movement and giving the result of a smooth and efficient sliding (opening).
  • Use #10 round-headed screws, 1 ½" long and threaded on 2/3 of the body. Do not strip the screw.
  • When installing the slide, 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 the room 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 ensure 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 would prevent them from opening adequately.
  • For a pedestal table, pre-drill the holes in the center section of the slide before you fix it to your center pedestal or batten board. 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.
  • An adequate selection of models is to support at least a few inches more than half of your tabletop.

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