Folding Project Table




Introduction: Folding Project Table

This is an instructable for a simple folding project table. It kinda works like a giant TV tray, it gives stability and room to work but when not in use, it can be folded up and placed out of the way. The materials and build are all very simple and costs around $50. I also added a painted logo on to mine as well as a general base coat to protect the wood.

Step 1: Materials & Drawings

  • 4'x4' piece of 1/2" plywood (top, mine was cut in half to 2'x4' in order to fit in the car).
  • 6 x 2"x4" studs - (for Legs & Frame).
  • 2 x 5 1/2" Bolts, Washers, Wing Nuts (For the Legs Middle Support).
  • 4 x 4" Bolts, Washers, Standard Nuts (For joining the legs to the frame and providing the rotation/folding of the Legs)
  • 8 x Concrete Tie - The joint for our table legs (, mine had the large hole for the bolt/joint and 4 tiny holes for mounting to the underside of the table top.
  • 32 x #4 3/4" bolts and nuts (for attaching the joints to the underneath side of the table top).
  • 8 x 3/4" Wood Screws (for attaching the table top to the frame).

Step 2: Frame & Top

First the frame:

  • The frame is two 2"x4"s which will support the legs.
  • Cut two 2'x4's down to 42" (which leaves 3" of space between the edge of the frame and the edge of the top)
  • Measure out the spacing for the frame at a 1-foot and the 3-foot interval.
  • Drill the holes and screw the wood screws in to the table top and frame, make sure to sink the screws slightly below the surface (plywood is relatively soft so don't use too much force and sink it too deep).
  • Sand down the top.

Now for the joints/pivots:

  • Measure 8" from edge for the where the pivot joint will sit.
  • The spacing will be two 2"x4", one leg will sit on the inside, and one on the outside of the frame.
  • Drill the small holes in the table top to attach the joint with bolts, washers and nuts.
  • Drill a large hole for each leg joint in the frame, measured 8" from the edge of the table top.

Step 3: Folding Legs

Measure and cut 1"x1" at one edge to give room for the leg to rotate when in the joint.

Use a Belt sander to then round the edges.

Drill Holes for the bolts. Depending on how high up the joint is from the table top you may need more clearance room to rotate, you can also drill the holes off center from the middle of the 2x4" to allow the leg to rotate easily without hitting the table top.

Attach, test full legs full range of rotation, sand if more rotational clearance is needed.

Measure the location of the cross bolt. The cross bolt will sit halfway down the two legs in the intersection point. You can use geometry to get the right location, it'll be roughly a 45° triangle (depending on the height you want it at) with side being the frame & height, and the hypotenuse being the leg, you'll want the cross bolt to be halfway down that hypotenuse, the drawing on Step 1 puts mine at 24.1" with a table height of 3'.

On the legs, one is positioned outside and one is inside the frame, so you end up with roughly ~2" of empty space in between, I used a small cut piece of PVC pipe to fill that space and provide a snug fit when the bolts are tightened.

Step 4: Logo & Painting (Optional)

I poster-printed my logo, measured to find the center of the table and then taped it down.

First, I placed clear packing tape over the design (and give the paper a little extra strength) then I used a x-acto knife to cut away the inside white parts and I painted those first, just a couple of coats.

Then I cut away the black lines and painted the outlines having to be very careful not to get any paint on the freshly painted white parts.

Once complete, I gave it two quick coats of polyurethane to protect it from wear and tear.

Originally, I made a 1" grid on half the table and stained my table, but then decided that was not going to work for my purposes, so I painted over it with a protective gray primer and sealer


Step 5: Extras & Final Product

I added a handle on the underneath of one side to make moving the table easier.

Also on one side, between the legs, I added another crossbeam as a foot rest about 6" off the ground for my tall chair.

With the wing nuts it's easy to remove the crossbeam supports, fold up the table, and place it out of the way.

Even with the 4'x4' space I can fit a lot of items on the table and manage to fill it up!

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago

    This is great, I plan on making one for my sewing/craft room.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is so great! I love making fully functional projects that can be folded up to make room for more projects! :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I have a relatively small garage (and already mostly packed full) so any space is a valuable resource!