Introduction: Collapsible Low Table

This little table was made for my Mother-in-Law to get her Christmas tree off the ground. This dictated the following requirements:

  • 24" Diameter
  • 12" Clearance underneath
  • Removable legs for convenient storage

I decided to also devise a way where the legs can be kept with the table top by using rare earth magnets and it proved a perfect way to keep everything in one tight package.

Materials needed:

  • 1/2" plywood (or whatever thickness you desire)
  • (4) leg brackets (found at big box hardware stores)
  • (4) wooden legs with matching bolts for the brackets (found at big box hardware stores)

Tools needed:

  • CNC or router or jigsaw to band-saw to cut the top
  • Drill press (preferred) or hand drill
  • Screw driver
  • Angle template tool
  • (16) 3/8" wood screws (replaces the screws that came with the brackets as they were too long)

Step 1: Table Top

Where I live, I have access to a CNC router and was able to get it cut
easily. Another option would be to use a router and the below video shows you how:

Once you have the top cut to the proper diameter, the next step is to layout the location for the brackets on the underside.

The first thing to do is find the center and for that, there are several ways to do that. I used this method right here on Instructables - https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-find-the-c...

Once you find the center, draw two perpendicular lines running through the center. Measure out from the center on all four radial lines to the point you want your legs. Take the brackets and trace the four screw holes at the same position on each radial line.

Drill small pilot holes at each location via the drill press or hand-held drill to ensure a clean installation. Mount the brackets with the wood screws so the angle is pointing outward.

Next - the legs.

Step 2: The Legs

This part requires some forethought. The angle the brackets set the legs at is used to make the legs level when you cut them to length. This is where the T-Bevel Guage comes in.

Screw one of the legs in and use the gauge to measure the angle of the leg to the underside of the top on the outside face of the leg. While you're there, measure up from the bottom of the top to the desired clearance and make a mark on the leg. This will serve as the basis for all four cuts.

Take the gauge of the miter saw and set the blade angle with the gauge. Add a stop-block so the blade lines up with the line you just made.

Screw in all of the other legs and ensure that each can rotate into the proper position. If you find one that's not aligning up, try it in a different bracket. Once you have all of them tight and lining up properly, label them 1 - 4. Also, add an alignment mark on the inside face of each leg where the leg meets the bracket to assist in assembly.

Take the legs to the miter saw and make the cuts. Then soften the edges with some sandpaper. Reassemble and check the table sits level on the floor.

Next, layout a center line on the outside face of each leg and then another three marks every 3/4" from the end with the bolt.

Measure the diameter of the magnets and drill a hole at each mark exactly the depth of the magnet on all legs. Either put a bit of epoxy in each hole before inserting the magnets or cover the magnets with scotch tape after inserting.

Next - leg storage.

Step 3: Leg Storage

As you can see in the picture, there is a three-sided area outlined in some small stock with metal strips that have been glued down with epoxy. The stock gives the legs a snug boundary and helps limit lateral movement and the metal strips provide an anchor for the magnets.

One thing I did is rip the inside edge of the middle piece of boundary stock at a 12 degree angle to help hold the bottom of the legs in place. This probably isn't needed since the magnets are likely strong enough to hold the legs in place.

Finally, you'll also see a separate piece of stock at the top of the picture that acts as a handle. This piece as well as the three boundary pieces of stock are just glued in place with wood glue.

Give the glue and epoxy time to dry and then test everything out.

Comments

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-11-16

Great looking table. It being collapsible makes it a lot easier to move and store.

author

Thanks - my version only weighs a few pounds and can easily slide under a bed when collapsed. Easy to travel too if you need a quick stool or low stand.

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