Portable Multipurpose Table





Introduction: Portable Multipurpose Table

About: Just an ordinary person who loves #thinking and #tinkering

At first, I want to build a coffee table. A small one. When finish building it, I think of so many ways to use this table. It can be kid's writing table. It can be notebook table when you are sitting on the floor. It can be foot rest when you are sitting on a chair. My favorite will be mentioned at the last section, so just keep on reading ;)

Is it rigid enough as a table? Yes. The construction is unique. The table top is split into two equal boards. When you press down the table top, both boards will push in so they will not split while you are writing or using it as a foot rest. And the legs will push out so the table will not fold unintentionally into port-mode.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials :
  1. Two pieces of Plywood approximately 45 cm x 15 cm.
  2. Two pieces of Laminating (same size as above). I was about using that grey laminating for fancy coffee table, but then I changed my mind. I have reason to use that white face plywood.
  3. Five pieces of 20 cm x 5 cm x 1 cm (approximately) wood.
  4. Six pieces of 30 cm x 5 cm x 1 cm (approximately) wood.
  5. Plywood glue.
  6. Six sets of bolt and nut (length and size depends).
  7. Eight pieces of wood screw (length and size depends).

You can see that I am no fancy carpenter. I make furniture out of waste-wood. So here in this project you can use better wood, or varnish or you can use router to clean or round the edges to get a fancy table (^_^ )

Tools needed are :

  1. Drill with appropriate drill bits.
  2. Hammer.
  3. Saw.
  4. Ruler.
  5. Pencil/Pen.
  6. Few nails or shoe tacks.

Step 2: Legs Construction

The legs construction is shown in the photo above. The wood pieces are shown at their sides (the thickness of wood side, the 1-cm side in my case, for better understanding take a good look at the whole photos) Align all the wood pieces -- five 20 cm and four 30 cm -- as above. Join the swivel parts with bolts and nuts. Join the carrying handle with screws but this part will be explained on the next step.

Looking at the left legs, well, I will call the wood by its length, namely from the left 20-30-30-20. The first (20) and the second (30) are joined at the upper side. In my calculation, if you are using a 5-cm-wide wood, then the position of the hole is 1.25 cm from top. That is a quarter of the width. Drill a hole through both woods. Then drill half way deep with a larger drill bit to sink the bolt's head and the nut.

The second (30) and the third (30) are joined in the middle (center vertically and horizontally). The third (30) and the fourth (20) are joined at the upper side. The result will be like photo number four. Remember to make them swivel-able (one turn before tight). Do the same for the right legs.

Step 3: The Carrying Handle

Use the last 20 cm wood to join the legs we built before. Here I use two screws at each side because we have bolt at the middle, don't let the screws hit the bolts/nuts in the legs.

Step 4: Table Top

Put your table top pieces about 10 cm from the carrying handle. Now put some nails on the 20s.

Here are the rules to make this swivel construction works:

  1. One side of the table top is nailed on the fourth-of-the-left and first-of-the-right.
  2. The other side is nailed on the first-of-the-left and the fourth-of-the-right.
  3. Only nail on the 20s, as you can see in my photos above, it is 5 cm from the right where I may not nail because the 20 ends before that.

Step 5: The Supports

You have two pieces of 30s left, haven't you? Well, actually we don't need this no more, but we can use it to support the left and right legs for more rigid. In my case I only have little space left from the bottom, so I split the 30 lengthwise.

These supports are screwed on the 30s. Again, the rules are:

  1. If the table top is nailed on the inner 20s (fourth-of-the-left and first-of-the-right) then screw the support on inner 30s (third-of-the-left and second-of-the-right).
  2. If the table top is nailed on the outer 20s (first-of-the-left and fourth-of the-right) then screw the support on the outer 30s (second-of-the-left and third-of-the-right).

Step 6: Flatten the Feet

Lift up both table-tops, then join the center of the table. Here is our portable table showing its shape (^_^ )

You see that it is standing on the corner of its feet. Let's flatten the feet. Draw lines from one corner to the other corner of the feet. See the photos above. Cut them off.

Step 7: Finishing

For finishing, I use white surface plywood on the table top. As I promise from the beginning, this is my favorite use of this table, I can draw on it using whiteboard marker. I can be a "championship manager", or sketching my next projects on it :D

Fold it and carry it home. My kids are very happy that they can draw on it. Another happy ending.

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    21 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I wonder how heavy this would be if I made a larger table (dining room) for my very small combo living/dining area. I am sure that I would have to choose my materials wisely as I need to fold this table up when not in use. Great design.

    1 reply

    It depends on the wood you are going to use. For dining table size, heavy wood will be hard to flip because you need to flip table tops at both size before putting it down on the legs. So, again, size and weight of the wood do matters with this kind of design :)

    Would you happen to have english measurements for the wood pieces that you used? Just wondering what cuts of wood to buy to build this project with

    1 reply

    I don't know any standard size. You can build any size you want or according to the wood you have as long as you follow the design. If you want to make a portable one, then I suggest you to choose a light weight wood :)

    This would also be wonderful to make larger, for outdoors, then it just folds so we can easily store it out of the weather. Thanks for sharing your clever plan.

    1 reply

    Then mine will be the prototype of your large outdoor table :D

    Heavy depends on the wood you use. Mine is just below 2 kilograms ^^

    Function and form merge to a useable and actually beautiful table. It would be great for any sized home. Thank you for your detailed walkthru. I love that you use reclaimed wood. I hope to give this a try!

    1 reply

    Thank you ^^
    Go ahead, make one and you'll love it even more ;)

    Sometimes the best designs are the simple ones and this one is fantastic!! I build camp chairs of a similar design made from reclaimed 1"x1.75" pine. So far I have been able to put four grown men on them with no breaks or cracks in the chair. This looks to be very strong also! Good job,keep it up!!

    Thanks for sharing! ,Mick

    1 reply

    Thank you. Yes, I love it too. I saw similar construction once (forgot where). I try to remember and build it. Now I am sharing it to all of you ^^