advice for a strong draw/counter pull


I am making a pull out counter top for a kitchen island ( the island will be moveable)
The frame of the island is made from 2"x2" angle iron and will be 52" x 32", what I want is a 12" x 50" (or about 50") pull out counter so you can sit at the island to eat or drink. I want a STRONG smooth slide. I was thinking of having 1" OD round rods inside the cabinet base that are hard mounted then having it outer sleeved with a 1" ++ ID tube that has a mounting point. What is a good clearance? What is a good material for the outer sleeve that will slide smooth on the steel rod? I could use bushings if needed. If there is such a beast out there that would be great.
Click here to see the progress
http://www.motherearthrecycling.net/kitchen/kitchen.htm
Needless to say this has cut into my metal working time, but the floating island will have more metal chips than wood J
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wayne mak wrote:

What about sandwiching the rod (front and back on each side) between two pieces of UMHW polyethylene? You could shape the inner sides of the two pieces to match the rod, and as it gradually wears over time you could tighten the two pieces together a bit.
Chris
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wayne mak wrote:

Anything that heavy is unlikely to slide without a lot of effort, no matter what material you use, I'd think. The other problem with your telescoping-rods idea is that you can only support the rods at the back of the case, not at the front, so the countertop will sag a lot. (Unless you also put wheels under the front, which might be enough to take the weight off it so it would slide ok too.)
I was taking apart an old typewriter recently, and came across a nice simple way of doing strong smooth slides that might work pretty well for this. The slides were made of a couple of pieces of angle iron (well, ok, it wasn't really angle iron, but that's the idea) with the insides machined smooth, facing each other to make a square with small gaps at two corners, and then it had a couple of loose ball bearings that rolled between them. The typewriter version was pretty tiny (about 3/16" bearings), but it should work just as well if you scale it up.
I'd also be tempted to suggest some sort of system where you've got a gear rolling on a rack at each end of the slide and an axle connecting the two gears, so that it's always going to go in and out perfectly straight. With something as wide and shallow as your shelf, I'd think it would be pretty easy to get it cocked sideways and then it'll start binding up good on the slides.
Though I haven't looked at it recently, I'd bet the McMaster-Carr online catalog (www.mcmaster.com) has some machine slide components in it that would be good for this sort of thing. They'll also have large ball bearings, if you go that route.
- Brooks
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