Looking for more elbow room in your home? Try this project on for size! Put aside a weekend to knock together a dining table you can fold into a stylishly compact console or desk. Clever design and well-placed hinges is all it takes to turn this piece of furniture into a slim surprise!
Gather your supplies
- Uprights 700 x 42 x 42mm dressed pine (4)
- Leg ends 370 x 42 x 42mm dressed pine (8)
- Cross rail 500 x 42 x 42mm dressed pine
- Table tops 1500 x 405 x 18mm laminated pine panel (2)
- Stopping blocks 100 x 42 x 10mm dressed pine (4)
You’ll also need
Combination square; power saw; clamps; sharp chisel; hammer; PVA glue; cordless drill; 12mm drill bit; 42 x 12.5mm dia. Tasmanian oak dowels (12); sander; 200mm strap hinges (2); 50mm brass hinges (4); 50mm and 25mm wood screws; paintbrush; Cabot's Cabothane Clear Satin (clear interior varnish)
STEP 1 To set out legs for halved joints, use combination square to mark a notch 42mm long and 21mm deep on 1 end of upright.
STEP 2 Set power saw to cut 21mm deep. Cut along line at bottom of rebate, ensuring you cut on side of line closest to end of upright. Make more cuts across rebate moving towards end.
STEP 3 Clamp upright to work surface. To ensure rebates are cut so halved joints are tight, place sharp chisel on lines at end and sides of rebate. Give it a sharp tap with hammer to break timber cleanly along these lines.
STEP 4 Knock out waste timber with hammer, then smooth bottom of rebate with chisel. Tip Hold chisel flat with bevel side up and work inwards from edges of rebate. You’ll be less likely to dig into the timber and take out too much.
STEP 5 Repeat Steps 1–4 for a second rebate on same face at other end of upright. Create 3 more uprights.
STEP 6 On leg ends, repeat Steps 1–4 to cut rebate on each end. These rebates are on different faces of the timber. On 4 leg ends, the rebate at 1 end is cut out of face on right side of rebate at other end. On other 4 leg ends, the rebate is on left face of rebate at other end.
STEP 7 With PVA glue on rebates, place leg end over end of upright so rebates meet. Clamp joints tight and check for square using combination square.
STEP 8 Drill a 12mm hole through centre of joint. Squirt PVA glue into hole, then tap in 12.5mm Tasmanian oak dowel until flush with timber. Leave to set.
STEP 9 Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to attach leg end to other end of upright, and to create a second upright/leg end assembly. On second assembly, use leg ends that have rebates on opposite side (see Step 6) to those on first assembly.
STEP 10 Bring leg assemblies together so rebates on leg ends overlap. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to join.
STEP 11 Repeat Steps 7–10 to build and join a second pair of leg assemblies.
STEP 12 Use sander on all halved joints to make smooth and remove excess glue.
STEP 13 Attach 200mm strap hinge to side of cross rail at each end. Butt into leg assembly and screw hinge to side of leg end. Repeat to attach hinge to other leg assembly.
STEP 14 On edge of table top, mark out a rebate for leaf of 50mm brass hinges. Place a hinge 50mm from each end and 2 more evenly spaced between these. Repeat for second table top piece.
STEP 15 Use sharp chisel around edges of hinge to score timber. Remove waste timber for hinge. Make depth of rebate the same as thickness of hinge leaf. Repeat for all hinge positions.
STEP 16 Join the 2 pieces of table top with hinges.
STEP 17 Glue and place cross rail and leg assembly on underside of table parallel with hinged edge and 10mm from it. Centre assembly along this edge. Predrill and attach cross rail to table using 50mm wood screws. Drive screws slightly into cross rail to increase bite into table top.
STEP 18 Swing legs until leg ends are 45° to edge of table. Place stopping block against leg end and screw into table with 25mm wood screws. Also attach stopping block to table for when legs are in closed position. Repeat for other set of legs.
STEP 19 Use paintbrush to apply 2 coats of clear interior varnish to table, allowing to dry after each coat.