Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Comments

author
Macnrayna (author)2017-07-06

Hi,
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

author
RubsonC (author)2016-10-15

Parabéns, ficou lindo demais, fron Brazil

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

Made with recycled wooden pallets

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

great work. Looks nice .

Reinforcements look great too.

Glad you liked my design.

author
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.

output_fivp0l.giftable.skp
author
jose.f.branco made it! (author)jose.f.branco2016-09-06

Finished :D

This is all done with recycled pallets

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author
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.

author
buck2217 (author)2016-08-09

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

author
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

author
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 splaty_23@yahoo.com , tnx

author
buck2217 (author)RemusR12016-08-22

Have sent a copy from my work email (@nzdf.mil.nz) hope they are clear enough

author
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!!!

author
jordi D (author)zeroaxe2016-08-09

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

author
zeroaxe (author)jordi D2016-08-11

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

author
jordi D (author)zeroaxe2016-08-16

I added the technical drawings I hope they will be useful

author
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 ?

Thx

author
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 splaty_23@yahoo.com ,tnx

author
JoshT54 (author)2016-08-18

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

author
jordi D (author)JoshT542016-08-18

They should all be in mm

author
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: www.inklaptafel.nl. 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.

author
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.

author
JohnG220 (author)jordi D2016-08-14

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

author
JohnG220 (author)2016-08-14

Cool design and build!

author
Lovetra (author)2016-08-11

AWESOME NOW ALL i HAVE TO DO IS CLEAR ABOUT FOUR OTHER PROJECTS AND A BACK YARD SO i CAN BOTH BUILD AND USE THIS!

author
icandyb (author)2016-08-10

AWESOME! I love this!

author
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

author
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.

author
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!!)

page4.JPGPage3.JPGPage2.JPGpage1.JPG
author
zeroaxe (author)buck22172016-08-09

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

author
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?

author
jordi D (author)supernoodle20142016-08-09

Thanks I definitly will.

http://9gag.com/gag/a97YvNK

author
kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

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

author
kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

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

author
kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

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

author
kigwen1 (author)2016-08-09

Superb! Really great !

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

author
elrothian (author)2016-08-09

very nicely done.

author
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.

author
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.

author
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.

author
ColinB5 (author)2016-08-09

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

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smithdvs (author)2016-08-09

Dimensions and a parts list would be nice.

author
trstark66 (author)2016-08-09

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

author
MaryBethN (author)2016-08-09

You did a great job, looks beautiful

author
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!)

author
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.

author
jordi D (author)texdanl2016-08-08

Thanks

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

author
WayneF24 (author)2016-08-08

Absolutely beautiful

author
elnino2783 (author)2016-08-07

It looks nice, but the wood selection looks a little thin. Is it very sturdy at those thicknesses? It looks like if it took too much side loading that it could buckle. Nice look and finish, though

author
jordi D (author)elnino27832016-08-07

the wood I used was 30 mm thick and the length is around 1 meter 40 This was sturdy enough but it bended too much so on the bottom of each seat board I added a strip of 30X30 mm which gives it double the strength. For the sideways strength there is a reinforcement on the fixed seat which makes is strong enough for side loading.

The next time I'm going to make one I will use thicker boards

author
elnino2783 (author)jordi D2016-08-07

Do you think the table top is thick enough? I actually like how the top looks being that thin. I'd probably only be worried about warping, but that might be independent of thickness.

About This Instructable

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