Summary: Extra storage and a top that raises up to meet you - and your needs!

What's the job of a coffee table these days?
Rest your drinks on?
A stable surface for the odd TV dinner?
Rest your feet on?
How about storage?
What about laptops? Ever bent over your coffee table to use your laptop? How about sitting on the floor and trying it?

Several years ago, we bought a coffee table that was pretty much what we wanted.
It was large, rustic-looking and solidly built.. but a bit high!

We'd find that we'd sit back on the couch at the end of the day and put our feet up, only to find the coffee table was so much higher than the seat of the couch that it would soon be biting into our achilles tendons.

It was last day of my holidays and I found myself sitting back, watching "Hot Fuzz". After shuffling my legs about on the table trying to get comfortable I thought it was about time to put a long held plan into action.....

So, I checked with the boss and she liked the sound of my idea - mod the coffee table or get a new one!

-Lower the coffee table
-Add storage area/s
-Add some kind of funky lid to get to the storage areas

Step 1: What you'll need..

Tools I used..
Screw drivers (electric driver/drill makes this more fun)
Pinch/wrecker bar or something similarly thin and strong to prevent you bending your screw driver.
Old blanket to catch splintered wood, screws, scraps and keep the boss happy ;)
Oh, and ear protection (hammering the pinch bar and smacking at the wood from the underside of the table generated a fair bit of noise and caused my ears to ring before I grabbed the 'muffs)

Parts required to make something similar at your place..
A similar table to start with ;) - Something with a fairly heavy base if you are going to make it open up..
Nyloc nuts
Hardwood for the cantilever hinge
Any extra wood required for shelves etc.
Replacement wood for any bits you damage
(I had to sacrifice the top routed edging as it was nailed and glued to the table and the table top)
<p>Very Nice job</p>
<p>Love it!</p>
<p>Hey man, REALLY diggin' this project. Planning to do one for myself. But I have a question, how do I go about creating the hinges so they'll move the table-top to a specified height &amp; distance out from the original table, so it works perfectly with the seat height of my couch?</p>
<p>oh,,correction to the previous comment; cut the notches so that they work on the screws/bolts on the lower control arm thats mounted on the table box inside wall. </p>
<p>for the adjustable height thing, id go with notching small slots into the lift arms along their length every so often.. like 2-3 inches apart and doing both arms at the same time to ensure exact placement of the holes and notches in the same places for uniformity of lift and closure.</p>
<p>if you want to lower the working height of the tabletop, just take the operating arms and from the holes centerpoint , drill new holes an inch or two further up the arm and then cut the arms correspondingly so they fit</p>
<p>Hey, just saw your instructions for sale on listia. This guy grabbed one of my instructables and sold it without permission as well.</p><p>http://www.listia.com/auction/18625350-diy-coffee-table-advanced</p>
<p>You would be able to lower the table top by re fixing the lift mechanism lower on the base.</p>
Hmm. Thanks.
<p>Brilliant. Virtually you brought a new Avatar to a old coffee table. Thanks for sharing. </p>
<p>Genius. I'd buy that</p>
<p>Iam going to give it a try. My wife and i have wanted a table like that for awhile , but could not fine one we liked. I guess Ill make my own. Thanks for the idea. wish me luck, Ill get back to ya</p>
Simple ideas are always the best. You truly are a God! This is a fabulous idea beautifully executed! Well done!
<p>A friend of mine has one very similar that she payed out the wazoo for...oh and:</p><p>&quot;For the greater good?&quot;</p><p>&quot;Yarp.&quot;</p>
<p>Nicely done!</p>
<p>I think this could be a very useful piece of furniture in an RV</p>
<p>Excellent project. </p><p>Thanks for posting this.</p>
<p>Great idea! :) </p>
<p>Quite a brilliant idea, also to make coffee tables more user-friendly when drinking coffee and having cakes or whatever. The next step is to make it so that it can have different height-settings, and also allow seating all around. But a very good start!<br>Cheers!</p>
<p>question: The hinges are wonderful, but I want something a little controlled to move it slowly up and down. </p><p>Do you think the pressurized door hinges, like the ones you get for hatch backs on cars doors might do the trick?</p>
<p>Wow!! </p><p>I get so impressed with renos like this!</p><p>Wonderful job. </p>
Love this so much I'm only a DIY L Plater lol but I'm going to give it a try also Thank sucks that some low life is selling your plans for this I hope you are able to stop them and High five ? to solobo for letting you know Keep the awesome ideas coming Cheers ?
<p>Decided to make one from scratch! Turned out beautiful! Still leaving the option of adding trim at the bottom but for now I love it! Thanks for posting! </p>
<p>LOVE IT! Make me one. Lol</p>
Great job! Looks awesome!
Fantastic! I'm amazed I've never seen them for sale!
<p>They are for sale and they are quite expensive!</p>
<p>I bought a lift top coffee table which I love except that it hinges up way too high to comfortably use my laptop. Anyone have an idea for modifying the height?</p>
where did you find the wood for the hinges where can I find that at
This coffee table is amazing! It is by far my favorite design/idea.
Really nice. I've been thinking about converting my coffee table to a big chest (I live in a really small apartment at the moment and need all the storage I can find). It would be neat to make the lid cantilevered.
Wow! I'm making one of these! How much weight can you put on the open top before the base starts to tip over? And why am I looking at this i'ble in the Thanksgiving food section?
That couch looks familiar
Great idea using the cantilever hinges! What did you use for a stop? Does the front part of the hinge just rest against the inside of the box, or did you add a metal stop or something?
making one.
Is there a way you could attach a door piston so that it would close slowly? That would avoid slamming and possible damage. Really great idea and instructable!
Thanks for the guide! Looks great and I'm definitely going to try and make one of my own. <br> <br>One question I had though. How do you stop the hinges from continuing to swing? It's a little hard to tell but do they just stop because they resting up against the box of the coffee table when it is open? <br> <br>
Correct, just rests against the side. You could put a rubber buffer there but it isn't necessary.
I love tables like this. I was given a table that does the same thing &amp; I love it. I have trouble standing for very long &amp; so this helps so much. We eat at it every night (now that the kids are grown &amp; gone) while watching tv.<br>I find I also do alot of prep work for cooking at my coffee table now as well. I take my cutting board &amp; bowls &amp; go to work while watching tv. I especially love it when I have to make huge batches of potato salad &amp; I sit there &amp; take care of all the prep work there. It works wonderful for me. My 2 yr old grandson came to visit &amp; I had put lunch on the table &amp; had planned for him to sit beside me, but he sat on the other side of the table where the top lifted up from &amp; he enjoyed his lunch at the right height for him. (Just don't leave it unattended with a child around while it is up). We had no problems, but it is just a thought to be safe.
Just spotted this, this is awesome... well done... I would love one<br><br>High Five for you
I understand how the hinges are made, b7ut how and where are they attached into the coffee table.<br><br>What are they attached to?
I'd hope you've worked it out by now, but if not, check out the photos in Step 4 and the last photo in Step 7 :)
I love this projects, but I'm still stuck on this point to. I understand where the hinges go, but how are they attached to the table top and sides? nails, screw, glue, dowels, biscuits? Maybe I just missed it somewhere.
Hey thanks for posting this. I&nbsp;especially appreciate your DIY hinges, since the setup most people use (from Lee Valley)&nbsp;costs $160! I&nbsp;do have one question about the hinges. Okay, maybe two.<br /> <br /> 1. So the hinges butting up against the table is basically how you determine how far the table comes towards you, right?<br /> 2. Have you seen any wear and tear on your hinges as they keep banging up against the table top?&nbsp;Are they getting dented up? I&nbsp;suppose you could file away the inside of the table top right where the hinge meets the table, so it meets a flat surface instead of a corner.<br /> <br /> Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts!
If you are worried about wear and tear you could always attach a wedge-shaped block of wood just in front of where the lever connects to the bottom support rail, where the angle of the wedge is the exact angle of the lever arms just before they hit the edge of the box.&nbsp; This will catch and support the rails instead of the front edge of the table.<br> <br> You just have to be sure it isn't taller than the two rails when closed, and that it won't get in the path of the top rail as it is coming down.&nbsp; As a bonus if you put four of these in (one for each rail) and you measured everything just right it would add a lot of stability to the top when opened.<br>
1 - I&nbsp;think you are confirming that the inner edge of the table becomes the stopper and the extent of the table-top's travel?<br /> <br /> There are a few variables that determine how far the table extends towards you, as well as the height of the extended table.<br /> These include: <br /> -the length of the arms<br /> -the height at which they attach to the inside of the table<br /> -the distance they attach/pivot from the inside edge that is closest to you<br /> -the distance from the edge that they attach to the table top itself<br /> If I&nbsp;remembered maths from school there is probably a simple equation that would explain it - personally I&nbsp;just used a couple of bits of scrap wood and laid them out in the shape of the hinge to work out the travel :) <br /> <br /> You will also find in testing that these lengths and distances will be limited to what will actually fit inside the table.<br /> <br /> 2 - Nope, haven't noticed any wear and tear. But we don't extend the table every time we use it. One of my goals for this project was to lower the table as well so that we could put our feet up on on it ;)<br /> The wood I&nbsp;used for the hinge is hardwood and the inner edge of the box that forms the table is pine, so any wear is likely to be seen there.<br /> If it was a worry, you could sand the angle of the edge as suggested and or include some kind of rubber to form a stopper.<br />
I love this. it is uber geeky i must say, but folds away into presentable decor. brilliant.<br>
Wow...great man. EXCELLENT job you do..

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