Instructables

Make a collapsable table for concerts in the park!

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Picture of Make a collapsable table for concerts in the park!
We saw this table, currently offered by Crate & Barrel, at concert in the park. We couldn't resist cloning it.
UPDATE! I've written another Instructable for a carry bag for this table here.
 
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Step 1: Bill of materials

1 ea. 48" x 7/8" wooden dowel
3 ea. 2" x 1/4" x 8' hardwood lattice
1 ea. 1" x 1/4" x 8' hardwood lattice
4 ea. 1/4-20 x 1" Carriage bolts
4 ea. 1/4-20 brass threaded insert nuts
4' x 1" nylon web belt
1/4" staples

Step 2: Cut the dowel

Picture of Cut the dowel
Begin by cutting the dowel into four equal length pieces. Notice that I didn't say 12" pieces. This is because I have not seen a 48" dowel that was actually 48" long in recent years.

Step 3: Cut the lattice

Picture of Cut the lattice
Cut the 2" lattice into 24" pieces. You'll need ten of them. I suggest trimming the whole stack at once to make sure they are all of equal length. Be very careful doing this. I used a chop saw and clamped the whole stack to the fence to keep it from shifting.
You'll need two 24" pieces of the 1" lattice too.

Step 4: Sand the ends

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Sand the ends of the dowels and planks.

Step 5: Burn the nylon belt

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Cut two 24" pieces of nylon web belt and burn the ends with a lighter to keep it from fraying. This is a handy tip when working with nylon cloth too.

Step 6: Line up the planks

Picture of Line up the planks
Line up the planks using a scrap of the lattice as a spacer to make sure they are spaced evenly. If one side is nicer than the other, place the nicer side down at this point because we are looking at the bottom.

Step 7: Staple the belt to the planks

Picture of Staple the belt to the planks
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Make sure the staples are shorter than the thickness of the wood and staple. My stapler isn't very strong so I had to assist it a little...with a hammer. Also pay attention to the surface you are working on because when I tapped the staples with the hammer it marred the other side a little.

Step 8: Continue installing planks

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Continue installing planks making sure to move your spacers and keep the web belting pulled snug.
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bschless1 year ago
Lovely! Thank you!
shazni2 years ago
can this be made bigger...like a 8' by 3' table with say 6 legs? only i'm wondering about the surpport slats...how long can they be made?
Marsh (author)  shazni2 years ago
My friend mad one 3' x 6' out of aluminum slats. It tuned out pretty nice. Sorry, no pix.
shazni Marsh2 years ago
Thanks...so would it be able to carry weight if i use 2x2 say 4 feet for legs? and say 1/2" thick wood for slats?...would love to make a easy table as this so i can set it up and lay my food when i have a party.
JimQPublic3 years ago
Great description! Once I figure out how to support longer legs I may make a few for camping. Our car is too small for most folding tables.
Woody713 years ago
Love this 'ible!

I'd like to make the legs a bit longer to use as a taller side table. Any suggestions on how to stabilize the legs to minimize wobble?

Thanks!! :-)
san391533 years ago
This is great! I had the idea to build one of these after I went on a week long canoe trip down the Mississippi river with a professional guide. Then I found these great instructions! Way more economical than what I was originally considering (http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2717).


I did find one very helpful improvement to the original instructions. I believe the object in this picture is called a locking blind T-nut. It is much easier to install than threaded inserts and will definitely go on straight. They can be found at Lowes in the Hardwear > Furniture Parts section. Less than $1 each. Pre-drill a hole in each leg, put a few drops of gorilla glue around the pre-drilled hole, then hammer one of these nuts on top your hole (gently, so your leg doesn't split).


The only thing to double check is that the size of your dowel leg is big enough to hold the T-nut, because the locking teeth on the nut need some extra room to bite down.


Good luck and happy tinkering!
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cullenroy3 years ago
this agreat table for many uses. A short piece of webbing looped and stapled to the bottom of an end slat makes for a fine handle.
cool idea. a friend gave me the roll up top to a camp table he broke the legs on. i'm half way done!! lol
magpie214 years ago
 I've been wanting to get one of those collapsable camping tables to use when I'm out with my telescope. Instead of buying one, I'll just modify the dimensions a little on this one.
static5 years ago
Nice project. Scrounge up some fancy turned or tapered legs, and you maybe permitted to make camp in the upscale, uppity section of the park. :)
oakspoor static4 years ago
Stair balusters can be picked up at Lowe's or HD for a reasonable price;

http://www.lowes.com/pd_118-746-CH5016_0_?productId=3050091&Ntt=baluster&Ntk=i_products&pl=1&currentURL=/pl__0__s?Ntk=i_products$rpp=30$No=90$Ntt=baluster$identifier=

These can be trimmed to length and stained to make a very snooty leg.
I loved this Instructable and decided to build a table of my own.  I made a couple of changes to the original design.  Instead of using metal hardware, I turned the legs into "bolts" using a wood threader and made nuts to keep them in place.  Each leg has two nuts, one below the table's surface and bottom bar and another above it. The table is pretty stable and can be leveled at each corner, making it pretty adjustable.

Instead of using plain nylon strapping, I used some inexpensive car tie-downs.  The strap's buckle hangs about 1/2" off the edge of the table.  The rest of the strap is left long at the opposite edge.  Doing it this way, lets me roll up the table's surface, legs and bottom bars into a secure, self contained package.

For good measure, I also added some rubber tips to prevent the dowels from picking up moisture or dirt.

Thanks for the inspiration, Marsh.  My wife and I love this thing!
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That is gorgeous!  Love the threaded wood.
PAWZ4 years ago
Only yesterday I saw this aluminium one advertised to be on sale soon in Lidl, £29.99, and thought it was a great idea, and today I see yours!
www.lidl.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/lidl_uk/hs.xsl/index_10993.htm
It wont be there long so I'll add the pics too.

As I read this I cant help notice that next to me is a dismantled shelving unit, that has been lying in wait for me to make use of, and is already made up of lattice planks, perfect for this job, which means I'm already half done :-D Hooray!
Great instructable :-)
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jlwaf1234 years ago
Looking for hardwood lattice? I just bought 1/4" poplar at Home Depot and then treated with exterior grade poly spray.
Can you please say where you found the hardwood lattice? Everything else seems pretty straightforward. Thanks for a nice Instructable.
Marsh (author)  Ricardo Furioso5 years ago
And cheaper.
Marsh (author)  Ricardo Furioso5 years ago
I got it at Lowe's and it was kinda' pricey. Later, we ran a workshop where we ripped down Kiln Dried Doug Fir for the lattice. Those were actually quite a bit stronger.
kidproquo5 years ago
You should really use mineral oil. Olive oil will rot and stink. The mineral oil is also edible so you don't have to worry about eating off of the table.
rveinot5 years ago
If you use a metal cross dowel instead of the brass insert, they are a whole lot easier to put in. Just be sure to epoxy the cross dowel in place to stay put, or maybe wrap the leg with a piece of the nylon strap to hold it in the cross hole. Cross dowels are slightly strong, too.
browncar5 years ago
Love the project .These brass fittings are great. Where did you find them ? Are they easily available?
Marsh (author)  browncar5 years ago
They were at Lowes. I've since found aluminum units at Home Depot that are less expensive and screw in with an allen wrench for easier alignment.
bettbee5 years ago
Wow. This is a DAMN fine instructable! Your table looks every bit as nice as the one on Crate and Barrel's website and I plan to make several for plein art work. Thanks!
twinbrook5 years ago
you could actually use slats off of pallets for your lattice pieces.
jlwaf1235 years ago
Great project! Thanks very much. To make mine more like the Crate & Barrel original I used hanger bolts in the legs (easier to install than threaded inserts) and connector bolts on the top (using expoxy). The other advantage is there's no loose hardware (carriage bolts) to keep track of. I also put rubber feet on the bottom of the legs.
Great Idea, I need a couple of these for camping in a couple weeks!! THANKS
nolte9195 years ago
Crossdowels could possibly be used to attach the legs. I've never used them but I've heard they're really strong and might be easier than your threaded inserts.

I might have to make a table like this for camping.
agg5 years ago
Put the proper size nut onto one carriage bolt, and run it up to about 1/2" up from the bottom end. Screw the bolt into a threaded insert until the nut bottoms out on the top of the insert. Using the appropriate wrench on the nut, this is your tool for installing the insert. I do this all of the time except that I use hex head bolts so that I can use a box end wrench.
srilyk5 years ago
An easy way to add strength to this (and you could do it with your existing one) is add two slats at 90 degrees to the two long support slats, so the edge is supporting the weight. If you wanted them removable you could probably hinge them and just have a few pins to keep it sturdy. I'm really looking forward to getting into a house so I can start building all these fun things!
Marsh (author)  srilyk5 years ago
Don't let the lack of a house keep you from small projects like this. All the wood could have been cut in the lumber isle at home depot with their miter box and saw. Also, I'm diggin' the hinged leg idea some folks have proposed which would eliminate the need for a vice.
bmorse145 years ago
An easier way to thread these in is to nut and a bolt with the same thread size as the inside of the insert. Thread the nut onto the bolt first, then thread the bolt into the insert so it does not stick out the bottom. Tighten the nut up to the insert, now you can turn the bolt and it will drive the insert. If the nut slips, use two nuts jammed together up against the insert.
schmoopie5 years ago
Definately a must do!
jwpq495 years ago
What great instructions. I think I'll have to build one this weekend. I think it'll be perfect for all those times I'm at the beach, park, camping, etc and wish i had a table... Thanks!
I have seen these tables before & thought they were a great idea. Seeing how easy they are to construct, I think I've found my 1st "Constructable-Instructable". Thanx!!
Scubabubba5 years ago
The easiest way I've figured out to install those inserts is to use the appropriate size hex-head bolt, like so: 1) put a nut on the bolt and run the nut up close to the head. 2) run the bolt/nut combo into the insert until the bolt is just shy of protruding from the back side of the insert 3) snug up the nut on the face of the insert. Hand-tight is all you need. This locks everything down. 4) use the protruding hex head to run the insert into the wood. 5) put a wrench on the nut and another on the bolt and back the nut off the insert 6) remove the bolt/nut combo from the insert. If the nut spins when you try to install the insert, you might try a star lock washer between the nut & the insert.
Beat me to it. You are exactly correct. They shouldn't even put the slit in those things. They don't put self destruct buttons on other hardware, why do it to these? ;-)
Marsh (author)  Scubabubba5 years ago
Thanks for the tip. I like the deep socket idea.
If you've got a deep socket, you can use that to grab both the bolt head & nut at the same time and you won't have to fool with tightening it or using the star washer. Don't try it with just a bolt, if it jams it'll pull the insert out when you try to back it out.
I forgot to say what a great project that is! I've got a bunch of recycled futon slats that I'm going to try it with.
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