Inspired by the elegant, beautifully realized work of Shigeru Ban (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Ban
), I put this table together out of cardboard tubes and corrugated plastic. The frame is triangulated out of the tubes that come at the center of rolls of paper for architectural plotters. Each tube is an inch and a half in diameter and three feet long. They are incredibly strong, if loaded linearly, straight down their length -- each can support the weight of an adult with no problem. However, if laid flat between two supports and loaded in the middle, the tubes will buckle and fail.
The trick, then, is to find a structure that takes advantage of that strength while retaining some visual delicacy. Mr. Ban has experimented with several ways of joining his tubes, and, following his research, I chose to bolt through with quarter-inch bolts, which is simple, straightforward, and strong. The top is made from PolyGal, a corrugated industrial plastic used in architectural applications, such as greenhouses.
I salvaged all the tubes for free, as well as the plastic for the top; I spent maybe fifteen dollars on hardware, nuts, washers, etc. The table was built with simple hand tools -- drill, hacksaw, wrench, and screwdriver. It took about ten to fifteen hours to make. It is strong enough to stand on, yet light enough to lift with one hand, and one hundred percent recyclable at the end of its life.