Any ideas for an easy diy open top dining table/ desk ?

Can anyone point me in the right direction?  I'm looking for an easy to make open top table (like ikea's Vika Veine) for each member of my family.  If i could get 4 or 6 spaces put together, that would be GREAT!  We could use it for work and school (open) and then just close it when we are ready to eat. 
I'm a novice and would love to get some instructions on building this...would it be possible to do with ikea's LACK tables...using 8 and then adding legs and some hardware?


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hudsoncs (author) 6 years ago
thanks! Fabulous tip!
caitlinsdad6 years ago
I guess you must have a big playgroup of kids since the Lack table is a small side table close to the ground.

1. A tool I would invest in $100 is a kreg jig or pocket hole tool.  It allows you to drill a hole at an angle into the side of the wood so that you can fasten pieces together.  There are $30 jigs for pocket hole joinery too but they are not as easy to use.  Fasten things with screws and a power drill/driver.  Glue will not be strong enough to bond to laminate or glossy painted surfaces.  You will also need hinges, a pair of door hinges will work but a piano hinge that goes the length of the joint works better.  A chest door support/lift/safety drop for each would turn out pricey so you might just want it propped open with a stick or rod just like a car hood.

2.  Ring the top of the table sides and back with 1x4 or 1x3 so you form a U shaped fence on top.

3. cut a piece of wood that fits the opening left in the front.

4.  Cut a piece of thin plywood or MDF 3/8 or 1/2 thick  to fit the top of the wood frame.

4a. Attach that front piece of wood to the cover piece so it is an L shaped cover lip.

5.  You can also fit a strip of wood along the back, laying the 1x4 flat to create a little shelf part in the back top. Cut the cover panel to fit the reduced opening.

6. Attach the hinges. Paint, cover with felt or corkboard, use chalkboard paint, etc.

7.  Attach a chain or rope or rod to keep the cover from flipping over too much.

It's not really too hard to make once you get started.  And try to copy the functionality of the original worktop.   Good luck.



hudsoncs (author)  caitlinsdad6 years ago
Wow thanks so much for simplyfying this for me! I really appreciate your time!!!

I actually want an adult heigth table (your instructions would work well!) but because of my lack of skills, I was wondering of I could put buy 8 or 12 lack tables so that i could use the table top as the desk and table areas (2 lacks for each desk) and then I could use the legs on their sides for the "wood fence"

We're in temporary housing which is tiny so this would be a spacesaver for us! We also homeschool so to clear our dining table/school room for each meal is getting crazy!

Another question....we have a large number of hollow DOORS accessible for $2.50 each...could I have these cut and use the wood or would I need a stronger wood?

Again, thank you SO much!
The LACK tables are pretty thick so to use that as raw material for the sides and the top flap, you would lose a lot of work/storage space. Also, since they are made of compressed wood with a thin "foil" covering, unless you have the right fasteners or technique, fastening it together will not be sturdy enough.

A home center can cut a piece of plywood and 8-foot lengths of 1x4 to use as your top flap and sides and it will be just as strong, less bulky, and cost as much as buying a spare Lack table. 

Maybe apply the same sides and top to a TV snack table tray with fold up legs.  It seems you are making a couple of individual workstations.

You could use a hollow doors but you have to be aware that they are two veneer faces that sandwich an outer frame or rim with thin sticks of wood.  The rest of the inside is a paper web like corrugated cardboard.  You can cut your door chunk to size, scrape out the paper web a little and jam in a correct size piece of wood to bolster up the edge again. A little glue and you have a mini panel from a bigger door.

There's a lot of ways to make this.  Use what you can.



hudsoncs (author)  caitlinsdad6 years ago
Thanks again! I think the door seems like a SUPER affordable option for us! Thanks for the details and patience! I know that giving the details to someone who knows NOTHING about building/woodworking can be more difficult that explaining it expert! Thanks again!
and put a strip of masking tape on your cut line to minimize the splinters when cutting thin veneer doors. Have fun.