Introduction: Couch Pong

Picture of Couch Pong
The basic idea of this project was to work with a preexisting futon/small couch that my Grandfather had given me and turn it into more than just a couch. Living in a dorm room is naturally pretty cramped so when designing this project space was the biggest determining factor. The couch can be used as a normal couch for 2-3 people, it can unfold and turn into a small bed suitable for one, or it can also turn into a full size pong table.

The table is made up of three sections, the two outside sections fold out out from the middle section to form the full size table. The table doubles as part of the bed. The bed and the table share the same pair of legs, the legs are stood up tall for the table and when put on its side they act as the bed legs. If only the couch is wanted then the wood is folded up into the couch, and the legs are slid underneath the couch. The cushions then just fold up for the regular couch size.

This Instructable will show you exactly how I did my Couch Pong Bed but of course your measurements will be off as the couches will be different, but the same basic idea will apply for the project.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

Materials:
Preexisting Small Couch / Futon
Plywood:
1/8" 4' x 2'
3/8" 8' x 4'

2" x 3" x 90" (2)
2" Screws
1 1/4" Screws
Staples
Industrial Velcro
Iron on Velcro 10'
1/2" PVC Tube ~ 6'
3/4" 45 Degree PVC Connector
3/4" PVC Cap
3" x 3/8" Bolts with Washers and Wing Nuts (8)
Cable Ties
3" Hinges (3)
1" Hinges (4)
3' Small chain link
Small Nail Tacks
Wood Filler
Electrical Tape
Large Binder Clips (2)
Primer
Paint
Polycrylic Sealer
Spray Shellac
Painters Tape
Foam Board / Stencils
Liquid Nails
Photo Paper
Spray Adhesive
Queen Foam Mattress Topper (2)
Twin Foam Mattress Topper (1)
Full Size Sheet Set (2)
Non-Slide Mat

Tools:

Utility Knife
Circular Saw
Metal Angle Grinder
Screwdrivers
Hammer
Drill with 1/8", 3/8", 1/4", and 11/16" Bits
Compressed Air Cutoff Tool (optional)
Sander: 60 and 150 grit paper
Chop Saw
Tape Measure
Sharpie
Staple Gun
Sewing Machine
PVC Cutter
Jig Saw
Paint Supplies
Ink Jet Printer
Scissors
Iron

Step 2: Cut the Table/Bed

Picture of Cut the Table/Bed

Cut the thin plywood to match the size of the interior of the couch, tack this onto the frame to give added support for when the bed is being used.

Cut the plywood that you want for the table top to the size of the interior of the couch. I cut mine so there was a 1 inch overhang, in order to make mounting the hinges easier.

The dimensions of my table are 88" x 22". The middle section of the table is 58" long and the two outer sections are 15" each in length. The table is held together by 1" hinges. There are 4 hinges on each side, 2 on the left and 2 on the right. This allows for the table to fold up when it is folded back into the couch.

Step 3: Modify and Attach Hinges

Picture of Modify and Attach Hinges

Grind off the end of the 3" hinges so you can remove the pin from the hinges. Removal of the pin will allow so that the bed can be taken off to be used as the table.

Take the eye hooks and grind them down so they easily slide in and out of the pin hole. The pins that were supplied with the hinges are no longer needed.

Find strong points on the couch frame to attach one side of the 3" hinges, the matching side of the hinge will be mounted on the table.

Line up all the hinges and put the eye hooks through the pin slots to attach the plywood to the couch. Make sure it folds easily into the base of the bed.

Once the table folds into the bed, disconnect it by taking the pins out. Some of the screws for the hinges may have gone through the other side. Grind off all the extruding screws.

Attach the chain link to the eye hooks and tack the other end of the chain link to the couch so that the eye hooks do not go missing. Do this for all three eye hook pins.

Step 4: Make Legs for Bed and Table Use

Picture of Make Legs for Bed and Table Use

The legs are made so that they can act as the legs for the table as well as the bed. The legs should stand 30" tall and the width will change depending on the height of your couch from the seat to the ground.

The legs that I made are 30" tall and 13" wide. When standing tall they are the legs for the table and when it is on its side they are legs for the bed. The legs have non-slip matting stapled to all sides except the top side where the table rests on. This non stick matting helps the table and bed from sliding and falling over.

On the top of the legs where the table rests, apply the Velcro, apply pressure to ensure proper application. I added staples in the corners of the Velcro for extra security.

For both legs, find the middle of the base and fasten the 3/4" PVC plug in, place the 3/4" 45º PVC connector on the plug, this will be used for the support brace of the outer portions of the table.

Cut the 1/2" PVC tube so that it fits into the 3/4" connector and holds the end of the table so it is level with the middle portion of the table. Cut the end holding the table up at a 30º angle. Cut a strip of Velcro and place it over the 30º angle leaving an inch extra on each side of the PVC. Wrap electrical tape around the overhang to ensure adhesion. Add a strip of Velcro on the corresponding point of the table for the support brace to connect to. Repeat this process for the other leg and other side of the table.

Step 5: Support Braces

Picture of Support Braces

The center support brace determines how far the legs are spread apart, keep in mind that the legs have to be mounted within the center portion of the table.

Cut the center brace and use 4 3/8" x 3" to fasten it to the legs. Drill 3/8" holes through the support and the legs, 2 holes on each side. Slide the bolts through and fasten them with the wing nuts.

Use the length of the center support to cut two more supports for the sides. The sides only need 1 bolt on each side.
Drill the holes as you did with the center support brace. Insert bolts and fasten with the wing nuts.

Lay the table top on the legs, and add Velcro to the bottom side of the table so it matches up with the Velcro on the legs. 

Slide the PVC supports made in step 4 in the PVC angle on the bottom of the leg, it should be very loose, connect the end with the Velcro to the table edge with the corresponding Velcro patch.

Step 6: Mount Table to Legs

Picture of Mount Table to Legs

Now that the base is completed, the tabletop can be securely fastened to the legs. As of right now there is Velcro holding the table to the legs, bolts are going to be added for extra security.

Mark where the holes should be in accordance with the legs underneath, and drill a 11/16" countersink that is just deep enough so that the bolts are flush with the table top. Following the countersink, drill a 3/8" hole through the table and legs. Do this for both sides of the table, 2 holes on each side.

Slide the bolts through the holes and fasten with a washer and a wing nut.

The addition of the bolts will now make the table much more sturdy. The table top can now be painted.

Through out most of the pictures you will see numbers on the project, the numbers help so it is easier to assemble the table. Just match the 1's with the 1's and the 2's with the 2's.

Step 7: Sand, Paint, Detail

Picture of Sand, Paint, Detail

Use the angle grinder to clean up any extruding screws.

Sand all sides of the table first using low grit paper then fine grit. Sand the corners to a rounded edge to prevent ripping of the cushions while it is in the couch position.

Once sanded, prime the top of the table, then apply the color you want. I ended up doing 2 coats of the blue paint,
After the base color has dried you can make the logos and details.

I made the 'UNH' using foam board, trace the letters on the foam board and cut them out using a utility knife. Tape the board to the table and fill it in with your color. I did 3 coats of the white for the letters, let it all dry then remove the poster board and touch up the edges of the letters.

After the table is completely dry you can apply the decals. In order to make the decals, find the pictures you want on the internet, then print them out on high quality glossy photo paper, this has to be done using an inkjet printer. Let the printed pictures dry for 30 minutes. Once dry you can carefully cut out each decal using scissors, this will take a considerable amount of time.

Once cut, you can apply them to the table, take the liquid nails general purpose adhesive, and use gloves to rub the glue completely on the back side of the decal. Place it on the table, wipe down any excess that seeps out the sides, then apply pressure for several hours.

I recommend waiting 24 hours after the decals are applied to seal the table because the ink on the decal is still active and can bleed if the seal comes into contact with it to early.

Using a brush and Polycrylic Sealer cover the entire table top including the decals. Once this has sealed, go back and use a spray shellac to really seal the table. Do 2-3 coats of the shellac to ensure complete coverage.

Let the whole thing dry for a day or two.

Step 8: Cut and Sew the Cushions

Picture of Cut and Sew the Cushions

The cushions are made from two mattress toppers. They are of queen and twin sizes and are both 1.5" thick. Cut the foam to fit the size of the couch, I suggest adding an inch on the depth. I cut the queen mattress topper into 3 even sections which fit the couch fine. I then took the twin topper and cut it to the same size of the newly cut sections of the queen mattress topper.

When in the couch position the cushions add up to 6" of foam padding, which is very comfortable.

Using two sets of full size sheets encase the foam using the regular sheet. The stretch sheets and pillow cases will be used later.

Glue two of the foam sections together using spray adhesive. There should now be 3 sections total. Sew the two sheets together so that the foam can be slid in to each section but leave both ends open so the foam can be taken out when needed. The double foam section should be on the end. The sheets should be divided into 3 sections now.

Using an iron and iron fabric Velcro close the ends of the sheets.

The sections allow for the cushions to be folded/unfolded so that they can be used for the couch or the bed. Use the pillow cases for the king pillows and the extra sheets to just throw over the couch so it stays clean.

My Aunt Gee sewed the sheets for me, so thanks go to her.

Step 9: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion



There are a lot of different ways to do this project and the possibilities to make changes and improvements are endless. My main goal was to use the least amount of parts possible while finding a balance between remaining structurally sound and having it still be able to all fit within the couch parameters.

I added a mini ping pong set to the table that can be removed. I also found that when the table was folded up for a while the paint would start to stick so I just put a piece of cloth between the painted portions to prevent sticking. This project took some time but it is going to get a lot of use back at school.

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Bio: Studio Art Major at University of New Hampshire
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