Introduction: Small Folding Table [UPDATED]

Picture of Small Folding Table [UPDATED]

Although this is not an original project I assume there is some reader which doesn't know this great table design.
I made a small table/large stool, but of course you can modify the project to obtain a real table.

Step 1: Design and Material

Picture of Design and Material

I drew the side views of the table in a small scale so to determine proportions and size.
In the image I modeled in 3D for this instructable you can see proportions and some dimensions, although they're not exactly the ones I used, but you can keep same proportions and change size.

Measure the boards, cut them and make holes at the right height.

Step 2: Boards Position

Picture of Boards Position

To choose the right position for the platform boards the best way is to place everything on a flat table, centre each piece and glue all pieces with right coupling.
Use some spacers where you will place some washers between rods.

Step 3: Dowels

Picture of Dowels

To reinforce the table we will insert wood dowels on every connection we already had glued.
In my other projects I tried to hide dowels inside the boards and rods but in this case I suppose they will be nice, and undoubtedly this way is much more fast and simple.
Just drill holes of the right size (8mm diameter and 3-4cm length in my case) on the axis of the rods from above the boards.
You can wait to insert dowels and glue until every board is in place.

Step 4: Cut Feet and Insert Nuts

Picture of Cut Feet and Insert Nuts

Now you have to proceed with some details. Drill not too deep holes where to insert nuts. Then cut the feet in diagonal with the right angle. The best way to determine the angle is to place assembled table on a surface and use a goniometer.

Step 5: Last Boards

Picture of Last Boards

I decided to place the lower boards directly against the floor. This way makes the table much more stable.
So you have to pay attention that the lower edge of the boards makes contact with the floor surface before gluing them.
Use clamps to keep everything compressed until glue is dried.

Step 6: Glue Dowels

Picture of Glue Dowels

Time to drip glue into the holes, insert the dowels, and cut with a Japanese saw the protruding pieces.

Step 7: Assembling

Picture of Assembling

Assembling the pieces is very simple,. I used a pair of long nuts for the inside connections, so to insert a bamboo cylinder to act as an handle to transport the piece of furniture.
To avoid the bolts to unscrew you can add cyanoacrylic glue or some special product.

Step 8: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Complete your work with some finishing painting. I added shellac and wax, to obtain a nice appearance.

Step 9: Test and Enjoy

Picture of Test and Enjoy

The table/stood is ready! You can test it or ask friends to do that ;-)

Step 10: Improved Handle

Picture of Improved Handle

I added a rope around the handle to improve grip and appearance. just place a layer of glue on the cylinder surface and wrap it with the rope.


kavi_arasan (author)2017-01-29


dscarter92931415 (author)2017-01-06

How tall does this stand once it's completed?

mato01 made it! (author)2016-10-27

I managed this.


AlbertoC72 (author)2016-05-01

de marabilla, sus publicaciones son de gran ayuda, son algo asi como sonidos de paz y progreso y Presencia de Dios (sin religion)

bhttnzr made it! (author)2015-10-01

wooden tea spoon

AlessandraT1 (author)bhttnzr2016-01-10

It`s lovely!

bhttnzr (author)AlessandraT12016-01-15

thank you.

Yonatan24 (author)bhttnzr2015-11-14

Now that is Tiny!

magdyfarrag (author)2015-09-28

i like it

alchemist77 (author)2015-09-20

I was looking for something like this. Think I'll use pallets, rethink the design for a 22inch stool and 36 inch table. Thanks for posting this.

andrea biffi (author)alchemist772015-09-27

great, then post a picture ;)

cshepard (author)2015-09-18

I've been making and selling something very similar for years. The major difference is that they are made from PT deck boards, stainless deck screws, and finished with deck be used as patio furniture. I have also made them from TREX composite deck boards.....heavy, but totally weatherproof.

andrea biffi (author)cshepard2015-09-18

cool! do you have a picture or a link of the product? thanks!

Wood Chuck (author)2015-09-17

There are plans available for a similar folding table and folding stool available at the links below. Or

andrea biffi (author)Wood Chuck2015-09-18

Thanks for the info!

AikkuL (author)2015-09-18

This is nice, thanks for sharing. :)

jerry.ericsson2 (author)2015-09-17

I used this pattern to make my wife a small step stool, she has used it for years, it is very strong, owing to use of oak lumber in the project. It easily held my 270 pound frame (before I lost 50 pounds) so the pattern is very strong and easy to make. Thanks for posting it once again, as I had lost my plans. I need to modify to make a folding coffee table for our motor home.

yup, my next project is a folding table too

FN64 (author)2015-09-17

Nice!! I've been looking for some dimensional plans for these for some time.

I made one a year or so back but it was a bit off & I never took the time to figure out where I went wrong..

Bookmarked this one for the woodshop 'puter... Thanx

andrea biffi (author)FN642015-09-17

that's nice!

tandjbartels (author)2015-09-17

I been making the same project as a chair for years. But my design uses just wood. Even so they have lasted for years and I wiegh over 400 lbs. Very good design, for a very good chair. And it's easy to make.

kenahoo (author)tandjbartels2015-09-17

@tandjbartels - do you have a picture or schematic of that, showing how the wood connections are made?

yes it's very easy, sturdy and stable!

avalonbear (author)2015-09-17

Nice drawing, yet you need to add a parts list and thickness of the boards used. and how did you affix the the pivot joints. a closer up photo of that would be helpful.

andrea biffi (author)avalonbear2015-09-17

you are right, I'll work on that:)

kurtwhite (author)andrea biffi2015-09-17

cool table! I notice that on your drawing you only have two boards and in the photo you have three. Also the top boards look like they are made out of 1 x 4 and are the legs also made out of 1 inch boards also & how wide are the legs.

andrea biffi (author)kurtwhite2015-09-17

legs of my table are about 21x45mm section, I forgot to indicate the dimension of legs in the drawing, I will update it asap

jerry.ericsson2 (author)2015-09-17

carpenternov (author)2015-09-14

Отличная работа для урока труда в школе. !!!

sdzucev (author)carpenternov2015-09-17

Интересно, ты запятую намеренно не поставил?

kadopaulo (author)2015-09-17

Hello, Could you post the photos of the project design?

andrea biffi (author)kadopaulo2015-09-17

you can see photo in step 1, where is also a drawing with dimensions :)

avalonbear made it! (author)2015-09-17

I made this one back 15 years ago , They are very popular with collage students and people who do historical reenactments/living history.

andrea biffi (author)avalonbear2015-09-17

nice! that is interesting to know!

avalonbear (author)andrea biffi2015-09-17

I took a larger table and cut a hole in the center, so that a stainless steal mixing bowl would fit in it, the lip on the bowl keeps it from falling threw. This is used as a portable sink / was basin. adding a free standing mirror and one can shave while out camping.

mtorb made it! (author)2015-09-14


I have made the different one .

andrea biffi (author)mtorb2015-09-17

WOW that is very nice!!

Gilo (author)2015-09-17

Yes. That is a good, useful table design you can take anywhere. I used a couple of these for more than thirty years flying model RC planes in the Philippines. Very sturdy design.

vsampaio (author)2015-09-14


andrea biffi (author)vsampaio2015-09-16

sicuro! ;)

KiraKazantsev (author)2015-09-16


MoTinkerGNome (author)2015-09-15

nice. I was actually thinking of one of these the other day. I used to have a stool like this when I was a small child and I was thinking how to recreate one for my children. They are great reading stools for little ones.

vashikaranmantra (author)2015-09-15

very intresting..

Tommunbeig (author)2015-09-14

A superb project for a school woodwork class for the not quite so brilliant pupil, that is, about my level, although I was teaching at the time. The double diameter dowel gave an opportunity to do some wood turning on a metalwork lathe, and the end result was a sliding/folding stool that was easy to stow away while being an excellent emergency seat in the invariably crowded 1700 hrs Edinburgh Train from Glasgow Queen Street.on a Friday evening.

CJStephens (author)2015-09-13

looks great! i love the way you made it fold up.

chrisjlionel (author)2015-09-13


BCDesign (author)2015-09-13

nice work!!

andrea biffi (author)BCDesign2015-09-13

thanks! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, and I'm teaching physics in Waldorf schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and ... More »
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