We love camping, but one of the things we've never had was a small camp table. Like many things you take camping, it needs to be easy to pack and often times, small enough as well. We came up with this design, on the fly, that makes a sturdy, yet easy-to-store table that anyone can make. Now, while it's most likely been done before or at least a similar version may have been made, we want to show you how we made ours.
What you'll need
- 2 x 6 Dimensional Lumber (1 - 8' board will do, in fact, we used two short scraps)
- Nuts and Bolts (size depends on what you'd like)
- Tools & Other (nails, glue, clamps, saw, drill, drill bits, countersink bit)
Make sure you check out the video, it shows a bit more of each step than the images do. Please enjoy and if you make it or something like it, we'd love to see it. Share it with us on here or on Facebook, Google+, etc.
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Step 1: Making the Table Top
We started by ripping down strips from the 2 x 6 with a width of 1". How many you need will depend on how wide of a table you'd like.
Next, we cut small blocks off of the ends of each strip. These can be any size, but you'll need to keep them because they will be used as spacers for the top. Make sure to account for these off-cuts when figuring the length of your top.
We then marked a small angled line on both ends of each of the strips. These were then cut off over on the bandsaw.
Each strip was then smoothed out with a card scraper and ultimately some sandpaper.
As far as the off-cut blocks. Each one of them was given a slight round-over on the sander and smoothed as well.
To assemble the top, the strips were laid out in a pattern. Two blocks went in between each strip and then they were glued and tacked together with brad nails. Once everything was assembled, we also clamped the top together and waited for the glue to dry. Once the glue has dried, we released the clamps and the top was finished.
Step 2: Making the Hinged Legs
To make the legs of the table, we cut a few more 1" strips on the table saw. Then we figured out where we wanted the hinge point to be and drilled a hole that was slightly smaller than the bolts we had purchased. To figure out the hinge point, we just eyeballed it while the table top was laying flat and decided on what looked best. Obviously, the widest spread you can get with the legs will give you the most stability.
Once the holes were drilled we threaded a bolt through and fastened it with a nut. Now would be a good time to add washers if you have them. It's probably a good idea to use them, but we didn't have any that were the correct size so we just went without.
Once both legs were assembled, we rounded over the ends that would be nearest the table top.
Step 3: Attaching the Legs
Two blocks were made that are the same size as the original blocks that were made for the spacers. These blocks will be used as a bracket for mounting the legs to the top. This also serves as another hinging point; the one that will allow the whole contraption to close.
These are attached to the underside of the top with two screws each. Then a hole is drilled through, just like the other hinge point, but this time only through one of the legs. This would be the leg closest to the outside of the table. It gets attached with another bolt and nut.
Now is when you'll want to fine-tune the legs and make sure it pivots well on the hinge point. If it doesn't, you can adjust it by rounding over the curved part of the leg a bit more. We had a problem with one of the legs and a little tweaking got it set just fine.
Step 4: Finishing Up
There are a few more things that need to be done before the table is completely ready for use.
First, you'll need to brace the inner legs where they meet at the top. We did this by placing a block between them and then gluing and screwing them together.
The next thing to make is a stopper block. This is a strip of wood that the hinging set of legs will rest upon. This block gets glued and screwed to the underneath side of all the strips except the two outermost. The position of the block will depend on how wide you set the legs to open.
Once you have the stop block in place, you can level the legs. We did this by laying a scrap piece of wood flat on the table and then drawing a line across the leg. This gave us the correct angle that we needed. We cut off the excess piece with a small handsaw.
Adding a brace to the outer legs is the last thing you'll need to do, besides finish. Again, this is just another strip of wood and it runs from the outer edge of one outer leg to the other and is screwed in place. Now, the table is completely assembled.
Step 5: All Done!
The only other thing that needed done was to add some kind of finish. We hit the table with a few coats of polyurethane. We sprayed it on with air, but brushing it on would work as well.
This is a pretty primitive and simple design, but the function, thus far, is perfect. We'll be heading out camping soon, so it will get plenty of abuse and then we'll really be able to tell how well we designed it. I know we'd love to see other variations of this design or ones similar to it. If you've made one or something like it, make sure you share it with us.
We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks for checking out this Instructable.
Participated in the
Outdoor Structures Contest