Introduction: 8x4=2 (2 Tables From 1 Sheet of Plywood)

Picture of 8x4=2 (2 Tables From 1 Sheet of Plywood)

Use a simple template to create 2 tables from a single sheet of 24mm ply or 1 table from a single sheet of 12mm ply.

We use an early version of this table as work benches in our studio. We had them laser cut out of oriented strand board, sometimes known as stirling board.

In retrospect we realised that water jet cutting would have been a better option - the 'burned' edges from the laser cutting look quite cool but tends to leave you with black marks on your hands.

Step 1: Download the Cutting Template

Picture of Download the Cutting Template

If you want to cut the table by hand then download the 1:10 scale pdf drawing

or the dimensioned 1:10 scale pdf drawing

Alternatively you can use the dxf cutting template and have the timber CNC cut, laser cut or water jet cut.

I will add some links to waterjet cutting people here soon.

Step 2: Cut the Ply

Picture of Cut the Ply

If you are brave enough to cut this by hand you will need to mark up the upper face of a 1220mmx2440mm sheet using the downloaded drawing.

The design is fairly tolerant of inaccuracy in the jigsaw cutting but you will need to cut the slotted holes in the lid to provide a tolerant holes for the tabs on the leg frames.

If you are using 12mm ply you will need to glue and clamp the pairs of table tops and legs to eachother. PVA glue will do the trick. You should clamp the leg frames on their tabs and about 10cm from the end of each leg. The table top needs clamping over the slotted holes.

Step 3: Admire Your New Table

Picture of Admire Your New Table

If you want to add additional rigidity the table top can be screwed through to the edge ply of the leg frames. Use the lotted holes as a guide for where the legs are beneath and drill a small diameter locating hole through from above before countersinking a posi-head woodscrew.

If you like this table you might like other things I do....

barnaby gunning architects


dmartin42 (author)2017-12-02

the links to the PDFs don't work anymore!!!!

Tomasricardo (author)2015-10-21

What about dooing it with a Router, will one have to wor a lot changing messurements in the joinst?

Kuuran (author)2015-07-13

Nice design. Just got to some thinking and, if using a 24mm board to build two tables, you may get symetrical legs just by changing the way they are curved. The two tables will look slightly different from one another, though.

richardsan (author)2012-03-23

you could cut into the tabs with a very slender v and cut wedges to fit those slots, tap them in from the top. that will tighten up the leg support. and i think i'd dress up the 'toes' on the bottom of the legs, they will need protection. there's all the weight right down there on the floor plane. maybe soak in some epoxy or cap them.

Emiliano Valencia (author)2011-12-17

it's cause you got ur units wrong, it's 8 ft. times 2 ft. equals 2 tables.

techfix1 (author)2010-12-07

This is one nice looking table and practical!

M4industries (author)2010-11-23

I wouldn't do this with a laser. Plywood is too thick for the Zing 24.

macrumpton (author)2009-02-17

Great tables. The only thing I would change would be to instead of both leg sets having one leg tilting in and the other tilting out I would have both legs tilt in on one set and both tilting out one the other, and then I would swap one set of legs with the other table so one table has all the legs tilting in and the other table legs tilting out. Did that make sense?

GeeDeeKay (author)macrumpton2009-04-11

There is one more element that needs to be changed with this idea. Make sure that the opposing set of legs has the notch swapped where the pairs are joined in the center, so one set of matching legs has a notch on top and one has a notch on the bottom.

That would be pretty cool too.

trialex (author)2009-04-07

You should enter this project in the "Going With The Grain"

( )

competition. Entries close June 2nd, 2009

russ veinot (author)2009-02-09

If you were to drill a hole down through the center of the cross over of the legs , add a bolt (1/4" ) and use a plastic knob you should increase rigidity to the legs when you tighten the knob. You could even drill all the way though the top (for the bolt) to add even more rigidity.

static (author)2008-03-25

Nice instructable. Thanks for making the drawings available. Any chance you will be making the drawings available for the round table available or does the slight bend in the parts make it unfeasible for the home shop?

barnabygunning (author)static2008-03-26

I have yet to build a prototype of the round table but I will post it to instructables when I have. :-)

gosub (author)2008-03-24

Not easy to cut by hand but excellent design for building a cheap table. The cuts needs to be painted or something.

static (author)gosub2008-03-25

Hand tools power or otherwise, or a combination there of, should be sufficient to build this project. IMO the contrast of the unfinished edges on the black table look great, but no so much on the white table. Anyway one can finish to their own taste, to state the obvious. :)

teaching with joy (author)2008-03-21

I'm enamored with the design, but lack the skills, tools, work area, etc. to create them. :( Questions! I have questions! Could I find the specialized cutting tools you mention in Raleigh, NC? Is it expensive to hire someone cut these for you?

Try here to get it prefabed -

Gonazar (author)Gonazar2008-03-21

My bad, they only make things up to 31x15 inches

kosmicslop (author)2008-03-21

I love these tables. However, before reading and just looking at the pictures, I thought they would be perfect for someone like myself who moves around a lot. It would be a lot easier to pack tables that could break down like that. Any suggested mods to make that a more real possibility?

GTecb (author)2008-03-20

Very good idea! Thank you and good luck!

DesBourgeois (author)2008-03-20

OOO you should post this design on's gallery! Neato!!!

toekneebullard (author)2008-03-20

These look awesome. I would totally make this is I knew someone who had a laser or water jet cutter. This would be great for a kids room, cheap materials, but sturdy, so they could do whatever they wanted to it, and you wouldn't have to worry.

Mr. Rig It (author)2008-03-19

I like your thinking, these are my kind of projects. i'll be looking for more from you. Good job. you get a +.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-18

That's so awesome, and great job! Did you take the pictures?

they are, I am afraid to say just renders done in Modo. I should really post some snaps of the prototype versions

kharmsengine (author)2008-03-18

I'd suggest using birch iron-on edgebanding.

ausable (author)2008-03-18

Great design!

darkmuskrat (author)2008-03-18

Cool, if u can turn a 4x8 into "2" tables, I figure that would help a lot of people.

jdege (author)2008-03-18

Ply isn't generally dimensionally accurate in its thickness. A sheet with a nominal thickness of 24mm might be 24mm thick, or it might a bit thicker or a bit thinner. (Usually, it's thinner). The stiffness of this table depends heavily on the fit of the joints - particularly of the half-joint in the legs - and this fit is dependent on the thickness of of the cuts matching the thickness of the material. So I'd suggest that you either adjust the cutting plan to match the measured thickness of the material you're using, or carefully select the material to match the thickness of the cuts you're making. Don't assume that a 24mm piece of ply will fit tightly in a 24.5mm slot, just because the label on the ply says 24mm.

barnabygunning (author)jdege2008-03-18

valid point. I am sitting at a version made in 18mm oriented strand board which varies very considerably in thickness (+/- 1mm on either face). When we laser cut the timber we found the connection to be a little too tight in several points requiring us to sand the leg tabs a little. The stiffness of the table does not appear to be that reliant on the snugness of the connection through the top, but we did screw the tops through to the legs. On one table because the sheet was not quite as flat as it should be.

gmjhowe (author)2008-03-18

wow, this table is very cool. great for any kind of workshop, cos it can easily be put to one side. infact i would be tempted to add like a clip to hold the legs in place after cutting. Instructable is done well also!

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