Folding Coffee Table




Don't we all love coffee tables?
In this tutorial I'll show you how to make a coffee table that's foldable so that you can easily hide or move it.
This started out as a project for school in which we had to execute an instructable and then try to improve it by own design. The instructable I based my design on is the Folding Low Table by wholman .

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Step 1: Tabletop Frame

First we start by making the frame that supports the tabletop directly.

Take 2 pieces of pine wood, 1" x 2", 48" long each.

Cut out a 1" x 1" piece on the side in the middle of each piece of wood so these can fit into each other forming an X.

Then drill a hole 2 inch on each side from the centre of your wood, these will carry the supports.

Step 2: Drilling the Slots

On each of four ends of your x-frame you need to drill a slot 3/4" wide, 15" long, starting 2" from the end.

After drilling these slots drill a hole at the center side of each slot, towards the tabletop side (see pic). In these holes the supports will rest when your table is in use.

Step 3: Large Supports

Cut 8 pieces of wood, each 2" x 1", 23" long.

Drill a hole in the middle, 1" from the end of your wood and round this end up as showed in the picture.

The other end of the support will rest on the floor, so you will have to cut those ends at an angle of 35 degrees, matching the floor.

Step 4: Small Supports

Now we will make the small supports that wil slide between the tabletop x-frame, connected to the large supports.

Again 8 pieces of wood, 2" x 1", now 11" long. Drill holes in the center, 1" from each end.

Connect 2 pieces by 1 piece of 1/2" round wood, 3" long, and fit in the slots on x-frame.

Step 5: Connecting the Supports

Connect all supports as shown in the pictures with large bolts.

Have the round ends of the large supports connected at the centre of the x-frame, fitted within the small sliding supports.

Step 6: Assembly

Cut a 36" x 36" piece of multiplex or hardboard as a tabletop.

All pieces assembled this is what the table will look like. To make it more solid you can add some parts between the supports, enhancing stability.

Step 7: Finishing Touch

Finally, you can paint your coffee table in colours you like, I chose black and teak.

Step 8: Fold It

This is what it looks like folded.

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    22 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I like it. If you were to make it taller It lookes like stability would be an issue since the legs would move closer to the center as it goes up. You could fix that by switching the sliding pivot to the center so that way the base stays towards the outside. You might have to tweak the dimensions of the leg pieces though.

    my only question for your current design, how sturdy is it? It looks like overall it might have some flex to it.


    8 years ago on Step 8

    if you made a not too deep hole in the floor of your kitchen, you can pull a rope or something and a table comes out of the floor, and when fold it back it looks like just some rope in the floor


    8 years ago on Introduction

    great color choices - this product is ready for a dwell photo shoot!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool table! Was this for an industrial design course? If you add a few extra notches or maybe a screw thread, you could have multiple heights.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Love it! Only would add/change a few things:

    ~Add "nubs" in the guild track along the top to give it height "settings",
    ~Round off the legs so that way when you adjust the height the footing isn't compromised.


    8 years ago on Step 8

    Great looking table - nice for a patio or anywhere outdoors so it can be stored off-season. I wonder about it's weight?

    2 replies

    I'm not sure, but it isn't that heavy because I can easily hold it with one arm stretched. It's still at school and we don't have a scale that i know of.. I think it's just heavy/light enough based on solidity/portability.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 8

    The weight would really depend on what materials you used. For instance, if you used birch for a top instead of MDF, or pressure treated exterior two by fours as opposed to the regular interior two by fours. Basically you can decide the weight when you build it.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i think that i will make one for my design project. i will use aluminum instead which will be lighter


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice piece, like the slot'n lock mechanism. I have a lift-up table project that can be adapted to.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Make it a little taller and it'd be a pretty sweet base for a poker table.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Wonder if this could be converted into a dining table?