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Simple knock-down cardboard end table (flat pack)

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Picture of Simple knock-down cardboard end table (flat pack)
2-box.jpg
This is a relatively easy to make, knock-down (flatpack) end table made from one cardboard box (it could also be made from multiple boxes or pieces as well). There are four pieces held together with slots, as well as simple mortise and tenon type holes.

I am posting this as I could not find any other cardboard tables on Instructables that can be taken apart (for storage or transporting). I made this one temporarily for my  kids to use prior to a recent move, and it has now been repurposed as a smaller end table for a spare bedroom.
*I have uploaded a Sketchup 3D file used for the diagrams.

Materials used
- One large 3-ply cardboard box (80W x 64H x 23D cm)
- Wood glue (any normal glue should suffice)

Tools used
- Pencil
- Straight edge (solid metal ruler)
- Utility knife (boxcutter with breakable blades)
- Cutting mat (I used the self-healing type)
 
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Step 1: Fitting the layout onto the cardboard box

I used just one large box ((80W x 64H x 23D cm), but this table could also of course be made from multiple boxes or pieces of cardboard.
This particular box was made from 3-ply cardboard which is quite heavy duty (7.5 mm thick). Doubled up it was 1.5 cm thick.
If you are using thinner cardboard (e.g. single layer type), I would recommend using at least 3 layers so it has some strength.
*For the legs, make sure the corrugated "flutes" are vertical (if they are horizontal it can collapse easily).

In the first illustration (front of the box) you can see two tabs at the bottom of both leg pieces.
The tabs will fit into holes in the bottom of the table top, like a mortise and tenon system (see the second illustration, shows the table top, with holes for the tabs). *I did not cut out the holes for the tabs until immediately before assembling.
The horizontal support piece slots into both legs.
You can adjust the length and width of pieces to accommodate the box or cardboard pieces you have available.

how much weight can this hold?

It depends on the thickness of the cardboard, and the size. I used triple-ply cardboard which is quite strong, and folded it over so it's six layers in total. It could probably hold 10 - 15 lbs (4 - 7 kg) I suppose.

rnola3 months ago
Nice
effiesque1 year ago
Absolutely epic. So many ways you can use this....
22tpring2 years ago
EXCELLENT project and I love the additional picture of the crayon holder added by another. LOVE cardboard furniture (is it a disease?)
Very nice. I love doing simple things like this with cardboard.
canuckinjapan (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks. I try to recycle whenever possible.
Here is another example of a cardboard box that got new life as a pencil crayon holder for my daughter's 500 piece set.
pencil-box.jpg
Cool.
EarningH2 years ago
Great!
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