Introduction: Convertible Bench/table

Picture of Convertible Bench/table

I made this as a wedding gift for my sister. She was looking for a table that didn't consume a lot of space in her backyard. When the table is not used it can be folded and used as a bench which doesn't need a lot of space. I found some examples with a similar design and adapted those to my needs.

This is my first project and I worked on it for about 2 weeks.

I didn't properly document mys steps but I will later add more information.

Step 1: Material

Picture of Material

the tools that I used for the construction were pretty basic. I only required a table saw, a router a jig saw and a sander.

For this design I bought boards 30X180 -3500 mm. Two board I cut in half through the width and two in 3 equal parts.

The thinnest boards were used in the the legs and the middle part of the table top.

The half width is used in for the seats and the side of the table top.

For the hinges I used bolts with a washer between the wood.

I'll add cut list later.

Step 2: The Design

Picture of The Design

Most of the designs I found were with tabletops made of boards placed next to each other which I didn't like. Those designs all had a table top of 50-60 cm wide. This is not a comfortable width to eat on so I definitely wanted a broader tabletop .

I used solid works to design and I designed it for 3 people. This gives it a length of around 1.50 m.

I changed the width of the tabletop to 70 cm which is still smaller then a normal table but has is a decent dimension and it wasn't possible to make the top wider.

You can find the dimensions in the PDF files.

Step 3: The Table Top

Picture of The Table Top

I made the tabletop by making grooves at the end of the boards and for the end boards a groove in the side. During the gluing spacers were put in between the boards.

After the top was made i used a rope and pencil to draw the ends and a jig saw to cut it round.

the edges are rounded by using a router.

Step 4: The Bench

Picture of The Bench

The bench exists of 3 parts. A part with fixed seats, a part with the table top and a part with movable seats.

I wanted flat pieces so I used a router to make slots. These slots were half the thickness of the pieces and connect in each other.

I first mounted the fixed seat and measured the length for the movable seat.

The table top was mounted on the part by using plugs.

Arm rests are added later below the table top to keep it level when the table is folded out.

Step 5: Finish

Picture of Finish

To finish the it and give it a nice shine I used 3 coats of boat varnish.

Because it was my first build I didn't document every step as well as I wanted.


buck2217 (author)2016-08-09

I can email the scan if you want a clearer copy, just need your email address

KiraY1 (author)buck22172017-10-27

There is my mail s'endormir the scan please

KiraY1 (author)KiraY12017-10-27

There is my mail send me the scan please

KiraY1 (author)KiraY12017-10-27

There is my mail send me the scan please

buck2217 (author)KiraY12017-10-29

Have sent from my work account (

RemusR1 (author)buck22172016-08-26

thank you verry much,i receive you e-mail with the plans for the picnic table-bench,soon i will star to make my own one...HAVE A GOOD DAY

RemusR1 (author)buck22172016-08-22

hello buck2217,i wounder if i can get a copy of your plans to make a picnic table bench? my e-mail is , tnx

buck2217 (author)RemusR12016-08-22

Have sent a copy from my work email ( hope they are clear enough

Macnrayna (author)2017-07-06

I am in the process of building two of these. Thus far I have cut all of the wood to length, but I am having a bit of difficulty determining the angles for the legs, etc. Is there a way to contact you with a few questions please?

Michael, Canada

RubsonC (author)2016-10-15

Parabéns, ficou lindo demais, fron Brazil

jose.f.branco made it! (author)2016-09-06

Made with recycled wooden pallets

jordi D (author)jose.f.branco2016-09-06

great work. Looks nice .

Reinforcements look great too.

Glad you liked my design.

jose.f.branco (author)2016-08-17

Definitely its the best one i ever seen and it will be my next project.

I sketchup it to ajust measures and testing it.

jose.f.branco made it! (author)jose.f.branco2016-09-06

Finished :D

This is all done with recycled pallets

jordi D (author)jose.f.branco2016-08-17

looks good. Be careful that the gravity center is not to far the the back so it doesn't fall over.

If you need more info let me know.

zeroaxe (author)2016-08-09

Jordi D,

i would really appreciate it if you can make some plans available. My girlfriend just about freaked out when she saw it. She loves it!!!

jordi D (author)zeroaxe2016-08-09

I'll make the plans available but for the moment my PC is in repair.

zeroaxe (author)jordi D2016-08-11

Thank you sir, I shall wait while you get your stuff sorted out.

jordi D (author)zeroaxe2016-08-16

I added the technical drawings I hope they will be useful

Baptiste 49 (author)jordi D2016-08-23

Firstly amazing work!!

I saw that you made the table drawings on solidworks... so can you please send me the solidworks files ?


RemusR1 (author)2016-08-22

hello jordi D ,it is posible for you to send me on my e-mail the list of materials and mesurment's in mm or cm? my e-mail adress is ,tnx

JoshT54 (author)2016-08-18

Are all of the dimensions in the cut list mm or cm?

jordi D (author)JoshT542016-08-18

They should all be in mm

GeroldM (author)2016-08-09

Doesn't look like there is much area to rest your behind on when it is in table mode, but I do love the look of your tabletop. Several years ago I bought one unassembled from this site: Bit of best of both worlds: I didn't have the tools (or room for those) and it was cheap enough at the time. Assembling gave me the fun hands-on experience, so I didn't feel left out there.
Mine has 3 bars of wood on each side when in table mode. Much more assuring. But it doesn't have your nice tabletop. So it looks like there is new project coming soon for me... hahaha.

jordi D (author)GeroldM2016-08-11

the seats are indeed a bit small. they are still comfortable to sit on though. they are about 22 cm wide.

I also looked to use 3 bars of wood but it didn't work out in this design.

JohnG220 (author)jordi D2016-08-14

Children in particular would not have any issue with the seat width.

JohnG220 (author)2016-08-14

Cool design and build!

Lovetra (author)2016-08-11


icandyb (author)2016-08-10

AWESOME! I love this!

villager (author)2016-08-08

I love it! Very impressive build, specially for being your first one, but I have a question. Where or what are the measurements for this project and or cutting list? You explained how the table top came together but what happen to the measurements? What are the measurements for the 3 part consisting bench area? At what measurement Did you mount the affixed bench/and arm rest? You said you measured but did not provide the measurements yet again. How was the arm rest secured to the project and at what measurement? OK, OK, so it was more than one question and I know measurements will vary depending on individual needs and I know only I can prevent forest fires; but on an Instructable this nice. A little more instruct would be very helpful and greatly appreciated. At least by this fan of your build. Did I mention I love it

jordi D (author)villager2016-08-09

Those are indeed a lot of questions.

I will add all the measurements and cutting list later. Hopefully I can do it next week.

buck2217 (author)2016-08-09

These images may be a bit small and fuzzy but hopefully you can read them and use them as a basis for building (sorry they are a snip of a scan of a photocopy!!)

zeroaxe (author)buck22172016-08-09

Perfect! Thanks. You are a star! Now the fun can begin!

supernoodle2014 (author)2016-08-09

This is awesome, keep on building. Could you make a video of how to change it from a bench to a table?

jordi D (author)supernoodle20142016-08-09

Thanks I definitly will.

kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

Can you add a video that shows us how to turn this table bench?

kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

Can you add a video that shows us how to turn this table bench?

kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

Can you add a video that shows us how to turn this table bench?

kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

Can you add a video that shows us how to turn this table bench?

elrothian (author)2016-08-09

very nicely done.

Corvidae (author)2016-08-09

I've looked at a lot of plans for convertible bench/tables and this is the nicest looking one I've seen. Might have to make one for my porch.

weismonger4 (author)2016-08-08

I don't see how it works. Does it has hinges? A close up of the hinges and mechanims would have been helpful.

chrwei (author)weismonger42016-08-09

the photos in step2 you can see black spots at some of the joints, those are bolts that act as hinges. I agree some more detailed photos and instructions would be helpful.

ColinB5 (author)2016-08-09

Are the two planks on each side really wide enough for adults to sit comfortable at the table?

smithdvs (author)2016-08-09

Dimensions and a parts list would be nice.

trstark66 (author)2016-08-09

Well done! Very inspirational. Might give it a go this winter.

MaryBethN (author)2016-08-09

You did a great job, looks beautiful

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-08-08

A-plus! We had three like this that were sold commercially 10+ years ago -- and still have two of them. Just on the look-see yours is better in every respect. They have been moved all over our yard and put in bench and table positions with relative ease. (I say relative because there is a point at which osteoarthritis has a comment to make on every activity, even the easiest!) (One tad fancier and it would go in the dining room!)

texdanl (author)2016-08-08

VERRY nice!! I will have to make one. It will have to be a little heavier made but the design is flawless. In my family at 6' 2" and 240 I'm considered a light weight But made out of 2X6 boards it will work great. I understand that in other places and families that one made exactly as described will be plenty.

jordi D (author)texdanl2016-08-08


I also reinforced the seat with a 1X1 strip of the same wood on the bottom and it was no problem to sit on it with 6 people.

If you are planning on making the table top with the same boards be careful that the table top won't be to heavy and that the bench won't fall over

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a mechanical engineer and as a hobby I like to design and work with wood
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