I've been a bit of a nomad for a couple of years now, drifting from state to state in search of opportunities to make my work and meet great people. Given my frequent moving and tight budget, my apartments have been small, filled with a lot of roommates, or both. Whenever a social occasion presented itself, and people came over, it seemed the coffee table tended to monopolize scant floor space. However, a folding coffee table could be broken down and stashed behind the couch or even hung on the wall to clear out some real estate for socializing or dancing. It could also be used with pillows to have a low-down meal, or even thrown in the back of your car for a picnic.
This table uses an old road sign for the top, but you could use a lot of things for the surface -- laminated wood, plywood, an old piece of countertop, butcher block, or whatever else you can scavenge that's about 30" square. The advantage of the road sign is its relative light weight and high strength, making this table truly transient. All the wood was scavenged pine, cut-offs from tongue-and-groove flooring, along with two pieces of cedar.
I built it in about a day. It cost somewhere around thirty dollars to make, as I had to buy hinges, bolts, nuts, some copper fittings, and super-strong neodymium magnets to hold the legs in the folded position.
It is currently for sale at the Grace Aberdean Gallery in Tuscaloosa, AL: http://graceaberdean.wordpress.com/
Thanks to Ramell Ross for the first five pictures. http://www.ramellross.com
You will need these materials:
Approx. 20 running feet of wood ripped down to 3/4" or 1" square
Approx. 6 running feet of wood ripped down to 1-1/2" x 2"
Suitable table-top material 30"-36" square (old sign, laminated wood, 3/4" plywood, etc.)
4 small triangle strap hinges
16 3/8" dia. neodymium magnets
8 1/4" x 2-1/2" machine bolts
24 1/4" cut washers
8 1/4" nuts
a handful of pan-head screws
You will need these tools:
Impact driver (optional)