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How to Install Equalizer Slides for Pedestal Tables
Table Slides support the leaves and hold the tabletop together when it is extended, and equalizer slides are made with extra support for pedestal tables. They develop a camber as they are opened to compensate for sagging at the ends of the table. Balanced installation is important. If slides are crooked, the table will not open properly. If they are too close to the pedestal, they can’t provide adequate support for the leaves.
Things you will need
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter’s square
- Power Drill
- Drill bit set
- Phillips screwdriver bit
- Pedestal table equalizer slides are different from standard table slides. Be sure you have the correct slides before installing them on the table.
- Pedestal tables often slide apart on both sides of the pedestal, which allows the pedestal to mount under the center of the tabletop. You can measure and mark the table for slide installation along any seams on the tabletop. As long as there are two straight pencil lines for the slide alignment that run perpendicular to the direction of the tabletop seams, you can install equalizer slides straight.
- The tabletop must sit on a flat surface for installation of the slides. If the tabletop doesn’t sit flat, the slides will likely be crooked.
- Turn the tabletop over on a flat surface with the underside facing up. The tabletop should not be mounted on the pedestal. If it is, remove the screws in the mounting hardware and set the pedestal aside.
- The two slides should be installed an equal distance in from the edge and placed where they will not contact the pedestal. Mark the underside of the tabletop at this spot and repeat on the opposite side of the tabletop.
- 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.
- Push the tabletop back together.
- Push the slider 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.
- 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.
- Insert screws through the pre-drilled holes in the center section of the slides and into the center section of 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.
- Insert screws through the remaining holes in the slides and into the tabletop.
- Attach the pedestal to the underside of the tabletop and turn the table upright.