Asked on Aug 04, 2015


Marie Fyfe
by Marie Fyfe
I have a wood DR table that gets stuck in open position. We add leaves to make table larger. When we remove the leaves it's almost impossible to close the table and we have to leave two leaves in in order to close all the way. I don't want my table open that large when we don't need it -- I'm at a loss as to how to get table to close. It closes part of the way and then will not budge. It doesn't seem to be hitting up against anything so just don't know what to do.
  32 answers
  • Dr.Julittle Dr.Julittle on Aug 04, 2015
    It depends on what's sticking, but try rubbing some wax paper on the guide-rails. There's probably a better, more long-term solution, depending on what part is sticking.
    • Marie Fyfe Marie Fyfe on Aug 04, 2015
      @Dr.Julittle Thank you -- but wax doesn't seem to do anything -- I've called a furniture repair man to see if he can fix -- it seems to be jamming somewhere -- or the guide rails are warped ... Thanks for reply.
  • Carol Carol on Aug 04, 2015
    Hopefully the furniture repair person can figure out what is wrong. Please let us know the outcome, curious.
  • Enjb Enjb on Aug 04, 2015
    I have always used soap on the rails. Be careful to push at the center and equally on both sides of the table end. I have a really old table that does the same thing; probably from wear over the years on the rails.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 04, 2015
    I had trouble with my oak table for years, until one year I took a really good look at how it opens and closes - there's little gears that turn on a track for lack of a better description - they looked dark with build up on them. So I got out my trusty orange oil spray, sprayed the gears and the track, wiped them down and then "oiled" them as we worked it closed. The next time we opened it up, I almost fell over (literally) it opened so much easier. So now, every time we open or close it, I spray, wipe and then spray again. It is now super easy to open and close. Hope this helps!
  • Jud1016678 Jud1016678 on Aug 05, 2015
    Rub soap on the rails!
    • Marie Fyfe Marie Fyfe on Aug 05, 2015
      @Judysbolick thank you. Tried that also -- nothing works -- I believe the wood might be warped.
  • Emi Harr Emi Harr on Aug 05, 2015
    Check from underneath to see where it is sticking.... there is probably some little blurb in the metal rails... maybe someone twisted it while trying to close it. If that is the case, you should be able to straighten it out with pliers. And a good spray with WD40 might loosen up everything, as well as what others have mentioned: wax, or soap.
    • See 1 previous
    • Emi Harr Emi Harr on Aug 05, 2015
      @Marie Fyfe When you reach the spot where it sticks... maybe if someone stays under the table, and then you open it slightly, it may show you a slight imperfection at which point you could liberally apply wax, or soap.
  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 05, 2015
    I would try rubbing a bar of paraffine (sp) wax. I live in a rental where they have painted the windows, and opening them where a pain, until I read to try the wax it has helped alot. Good Luck.
  • Sylena Love Ross Sylena Love Ross on Aug 05, 2015
    try rubbing all moving pieces with a candle. It may take a few times but it works for us on dresser drawers and sliding doors. We living in Mississippi and deal with the "extra" humidity . Also there is tube of loose mica or grit u can get to us on metal pieces .it is messy but helps smooth out metal pieces that might have a burr or nick on them .any home improvement store will have it.hope this helps.
  • Winnie Conners Winnie Conners on Aug 05, 2015
    I would try lightly sanding the areas that slide together. You'll have to get all that paraffin off first.
  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on Aug 05, 2015
    I, too would try beeswax or paraffin wax.. You may have to turn the table upside down to apply, and I have used a lit candle to drip into tight spots. Hope this helps.. R
  • K Jones K Jones on Aug 05, 2015
    My grandparents used a bar of soap and rubbed over the surface. It always worked.
  • Julie Yeary Julie Yeary on Aug 05, 2015
    Graphite, it's sold to lubricate fishing poles or WD 40.
  • Shari P Shari P on Aug 05, 2015
    Hi rub a wax candle of the area and it will slide more easily.
  • Jordan Le Bouton Jordan Le Bouton on Aug 05, 2015
    Please don't laugh but spray the can you use for spraying cake pans on the runners. They will glide. Out odf desperation I used this and holy cow it worked. I have an1910 house with some old door handles that fall off all the time. Last thing I am worried about but a pain never the less. I took the handle off, pulled the spindle with the other handle on it, sprayed, put back in it's holes and pushed the one handle on. A month ago and no falling off handle to the bathroom. Give it a try, it can't hurt.
  • LD LD on Aug 05, 2015
    Marie, it sounds as though the wood has a lot of dust and grime on the wood rails and the dowels. Wood will swell when the humidity is to high in your home. The proper humidity level should between 40-50%. I would recommend that you lightly sand with very fine sandpaper the rails and dowels in order to remove excess dirt, wax, etc. Once you have done this then take good old fashion furniture wax and apply it to the rails and dowels. Here is a link to Layman's:
  • Marie Fyfe Marie Fyfe on Aug 05, 2015
    Thank you everyone -- I did have a furniture repairman come in. He just looked under the table and said that the railings needed to be replaced! and that I should not be using 4 leaves! Really -- it came it four leaves. He didn't even try to open or close the table. A new railing for 3 leaves would cost $350. AND IF I WANTED ONE FOR 4 LEAVES IT WOULD COST $750 -- if not more because it would have to be custom made. My girl friend was here so we opened the table and took out the two leaves in it -- we extended the table full length and wiped the railings with cooking oil! I did it a little but not when table was at full length -- we made sure they were wiped good and made sure there was no dust -- then I put one leaf in and we both closed it -- it closed quickly and smoothly! Problem solved with cooking oil! LOL
  • Tommy Spencer Tommy Spencer on Aug 05, 2015
    Rub the slides that the table slides on with wax candles
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Aug 05, 2015
    Baby powder works,too.Just rub on the areas where the leaves come together.
  • 153091 153091 on Aug 05, 2015
    The comments ideas are all useable and worth trying, but also look at the "pegs/dowels" OOOOPS!!!! Linda up above had the same thought I did!!!!
  • Rebecca Ruge Rebecca Ruge on Aug 05, 2015
    Maybe a tube of graphite lubricant? The package I have says..."finest lubricant for metal, wood, plastic and rubber." Got mine at WalMart where they duplicate keys.
  • Tara Kotry Tara Kotry on Aug 05, 2015
    Take the table apart and wax the table runners. The pieces of wood that get stuck. The wax helps to let it slide. I use it on my kitchen drawers in my century home that has all the original cabinetry.
  • Angle Nefolyn Angle Nefolyn on Aug 05, 2015
    Spray white lithium grease and work it in slowly. the spray will get in to the places that need the lube the most
  • Heidi Geores Heidi Geores on Aug 05, 2015
    Run bar soap along the part that slides back and forth.
  • Bev Deardurff Bev Deardurff on Aug 05, 2015
    I live in a old house, almost 100 yrs. old. It has AC, but my husband is always determined to put/jank up the windows. Many times I'd have to go around and glue the trim that he broke while openning the windows. I spray furniture polish on the slides. The windows are so old they still have the weights for lifting. This old house needs a lot of work. I've heard that he moves into a house and doesn't up keep on it. The work he has done on it is of poor quality. He blames me for tearing up the carpet saying that I made the house depreciate in value. This old house has some neat features if you like old architecture.
  • Linda Erdmann Brown Linda Erdmann Brown on Aug 06, 2015
    Try wd 40 with dollar store shower curtain underneath the table. I'd sit under it to do the spraying with paper towels to try and catch drips. Also can use silicone spray.
  • Lori T Lori T on Aug 06, 2015
    Have you tried using a bar of soap along the edges that move?
  • Jacki Nino Jacki Nino on Aug 06, 2015
    Old tables will collect a lot dirt in the track's ,I suggest using a putty knife and scrape the inside of the track,if you need to,use a little sand paper to get it real clean.
  • Melissa Thompson Melissa Thompson on Aug 06, 2015
    I suggest saddle soap instead of bar soap. saddle soap is for leather, but works well for that purpose. it will absorb into the wood to keep it smooth and "unstuck". I think bar soap will eventually dry up or wear off. or, you could rub some murphys oil soap on it. murphys oil soap is made for wood; leaves my wood floor shiny & slippery. lol! good luck. :O)
  • Huntington Henry Huntington Henry on Aug 08, 2015
    There are some metal strips with teeth and two wheels under the table take a look at them as someone tries to close the table I would guess the hardware in moving and binding. might have to tighten some screws.
  • Carla Carla on Aug 13, 2015
  • Michelle Broihier Weaver Michelle Broihier Weaver on Nov 24, 2019

    Sand the track or slide until very smooth. Clean with Orange spray degreaser and cleaner. Continue until all is moving freely. Then take a white wax taper candle and rub heavily on all parts. Open an shut table and reapply wax.

  • Pennie Cooper Pennie Cooper on Sep 20, 2022

    I'm having a problem closing my table as well. There isn't any metal that it slides on. There are three pieces of wood on each side with groves. When I take the leaf out it slides real easy across the groves then stops. I can't figure out what is making it stop.