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Hardware recommendations for a sliding tabletop

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Forum topic by Ryan Sandler posted 04-14-2022 01:22 PM 321 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ryan Sandler

56 posts in 1949 days


04-14-2022 01:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drawer slide hardware coffee table hidden compartment slides

I’m building a coffee table where I want sections of the top to slide out, revealing a hidden compartment underneath. Same idea as this project, but the idea is to have the top in three sections, with the middle fixed in place, and the two ends each sliding out. However, I’m having trouble finding good options for drawer slides. Everything I can find is too wide, too thick, or has side brackets that wouldn’t work under a table-top section.

All the undermount and center-mount drawer slides I can find are around 1.5” wide. At least in my current plans, the apron would be just 3/4”-1” thick. The project at the link uses similarly wide, heavy duty undermount (center-mount?) drawer slides, but it can support that because the apron consists of pretty thick stock.

I’m wondering if I can get away with using side-mount slides in this context. I know that’s not ideal and wouldn’t handle as much weight as the slides are nominally rated for, but the top-panels for this table will be roughly 16” x 22” walnut, which based on one wood calculator I found ought to weigh in at around 8 lbs. I guess if they were slid out with stuff on the table it could put significantly more weight on it.

Alternately, if anyone knows of a thin, low profile undermount drawer slide to recommend, or has another idea for how to mount a slide-out top, I’d be interested in suggestions.


4 replies so far

View Robert's profile

Robert

5010 posts in 2975 days


#1 posted 04-14-2022 01:46 PM

What about something akin to a standard dining table mechanism? The slides can be mounted toward the ends for less obstruction to compartment.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9782 posts in 2881 days


#2 posted 04-14-2022 02:47 PM

Thinking out loud, perhaps you could mount the standard draw glides on the inside of the apron instead of the top. Mount a board on the other side of the glide that attaches to the bottom of the table top sections. If you use wood instead of plywood, mdf or particle board, you will need to make sure that the attachment allows for side to side wood movement. Another thing to think about is whether the underside of the top will also rest on and slide on the apron so that there isn’t a gap and so that people leaning on it doesn’t make it sag. I think that I would have it resting on the aprons and you may want some UHMW strips between the top and the apron to make it slide more easily but still be in contact.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Ryan Sandler's profile

Ryan Sandler

56 posts in 1949 days


#3 posted 04-14-2022 08:53 PM



What about something akin to a standard dining table mechanism? The slides can be mounted toward the ends for less obstruction to compartment.

- Robert


I did a search for these, but all of them seem to be too big for the purpose, typically 700mm minimum.


Thinking out loud, perhaps you could mount the standard draw glides on the inside of the apron instead of the top. Mount a board on the other side of the glide that attaches to the bottom of the table top sections. If you use wood instead of plywood, mdf or particle board, you will need to make sure that the attachment allows for side to side wood movement. Another thing to think about is whether the underside of the top will also rest on and slide on the apron so that there isn t a gap and so that people leaning on it doesn t make it sag. I think that I would have it resting on the aprons and you may want some UHMW strips between the top and the apron to make it slide more easily but still be in contact.

- Lazyman

Hmm, I like this idea in concept, but it seems like the glide and board on the inside would hit inside of the apron on the end. I guess I could cut a notch in the apron for the wood to go through, though that feels like it would be complicated to get right. Or maybe I’m not understanding the suggestion?

View Ryan Sandler's profile

Ryan Sandler

56 posts in 1949 days


#4 posted 05-28-2022 03:10 AM

Following up on this, I ended up having to improvise after I went back to check my notes and SketchUp plans, and realized that I had not 16 inches to work with, but less than 10. 16 inches was what I’d written down for my rough cut measurement, and I planned to cut a radius so that although the widest part would be about 14 inches wide, the part nearest the legs would be only about 11 inches, supported by about 10 inches of apron and leg. The internal width of the compartment is only about 8 inches. They don’t make drawer slides that short!

Ultimately I settled on having shop-made sliding dovetail rails out of quartersawn red oak, not unlike Robert’s suggestion. These are screwed to the top of the apron, and the screw holes are enlarged to slots to allow for wood movement. I’ll post the whole project when it’s done (soon, I’m hoping—just need to wrap up applying finish to the tops).

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