First of all I am from South Africa and beer pong isn't big here, or should I say it isn't big yet. I decided to build my own table because you simply cant buy tables here and if you want to import, it will cost you an arm and a leg. Why portable? Why not, I take it with to party's and people love it. Lets get started!!!
Step 1: Getting Started: Tabletop
Starting with the size: 240 cm x 60 cm (full table)
To make the folding table I just made it a 2 panel table with 1 fold and legs that fold inwards.
So you are going to need 2 panels of pine: 120 cm x 60 cm
Then pine planks: 4 x (120 cm x 10 cm) and 8 x (56 cm x 10 cm) .
*note: The planks and panels are 2 cm thick hence the 8 planks being 56 cm- they fit inside
So you build 2 separate boxes 120 cm long, 60 cm wide and 12 cm high.
Add the plank on the inside where the legs are going to be.
Use wood glue and screws, it will last longer than nails.
Step 2: Legs
Make the legs separate with wood that fit inside the 10 cm box, take 2 legs and put them together with a 56 cm plank. Repeat with the other legs.
Now attach the legs on the inside where they can fold inwards, put the legs upright where they will be and place the hinge with the long end on the leg and insert screws.
I drilled holes through the side of the table and the legs (In the standing position) to be able to lock the legs. It makes the table more sturdy and easier to set up.
I added another leg that folds the other way on 1 side for extra support in the middle.
Step 3: Painting Detail and Sealing
This is the fun part!!! It is easier to paint before joining the 2 halves. Decide on what you want to do, I went with this because it is simple and you can still see allot of the wood and this gives a lovely effect. This step is all up to you and i can only give a couple of tips.
Remember to mask properly!! You don't want to mess up the table at this point. I used a stencil method and spray paint where i did the white first and then the red separate and lastly the blue. I cut the stencils out of blank sticker but i think its best to do it with an old x-ray.
Now the table has to be sealed because liquids WILL be spilled. So paint it with varnish, I used clear gloss varnish and did 3 coats but it depends on the wood. I would say to do at least 2 coats.
Leave it to dry properly then give the whole table a once over with fine steel wool, concentrating on any bubbles or bumps. Do this between all coats
Step 4: Finish the Job
Join the 2 pieces. I used a simple piano hinge on the bottom of the 2 halves.
Just make sure that those planks are sturdy and remember to be gentle when you open the table so the hinge doesn't break loose of the wood.
You can add any handles, I used an old belt that I attached with steel and screws. Just make sure you find the balancing point. I had to reattach it 3 times before i found the correct position.
Some people add holes for wash cups but I prefer just to keep a bucket of water under the table. You can also put a screw or hook on each side to hang a cloth to dry the ball.