Convertible Coffee Table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-29-2010, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Convertible Coffee Table

I am trying to make a coffee table that can also convert to a dining table for my college dorm room. I was going to try to replicate the flip table (http://www.flipfurniture.com/the_flip_table.html) as they will not ship to the us purchasing it is out of the question. Although the design is straightforward I cannot tell how the sliding/folding mechanism on the legs works. If anyone could help me out that would be great! Also if you know of an easier design for a convertible coffee table that would be great. Thanks all!
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-30-2010, 03:14 PM
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I can't speak for how they did it, but I'd try to find some sort of sliding hinges, like the ones for doors on entertainment centers, if I wanted to do something like that. The design looks like it doesn't actually require the hinges to bear much weight, so they don't need to be too strong.

I like the design, though -- it could turn out quite interesting.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-30-2010, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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First off thanx for the reply. This was my initial reaction/idea as well, as the motion seems to be the same as their design. The only difficulty I would run into, and it seems minor, is that when it is in the table position and about to be converted to the coffee table, as the legs slide out the hinge would only support the innermost edge of the leg (the only thing holding the outer part of the legs to the table would be gravity). This seems like a minor problem to me but in their design it did not seem to be an issue and I was wondering if there were a way to remedy it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-30-2010, 09:21 PM
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How about a keyhole slot or two? If you put a pair of the sliding hinges on each leg, you could cut a keyhole slot (or just put some T track in the bottom of the table!) and attach a pin to the leg to fit into it. If the slot opens out at the end of the table, that would give you some protection against the leg folding when you didn't want it to. You'd probably want to find a way to either remove the pin or have it slide into the leg when it was in coffee-table mode, though, or it would stick out visibly against the floor.

Edit to add: I just looked more closely at the images on the website. Image 4 seems to actually show some sort of track between two tracked hinges, so I may be fairly close to what they're doing.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-31-2010, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I agree you seem to be on the right track. So today I went to the hardware store to browse around and search for inspiration. I think you are correct that the two sliding hinges would be the easiest way to do it, but I was curious because in image 3 the two hinges do not seem to be mounted on the inside of the wood, I was wondering if they used a different cleaner mechanism? I also love your idea for the T track as a sort-of locking mechanism to hold it in place but could there be a more subtle way to use it than a pin on the leg? Again thanks for the help I am looking to put a more concrete design together today and maybe start building either tomorrow or next weekend!
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-31-2010, 08:01 PM
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Yeah... I was puzzled by the fact that the track was just surface mounted, rather than set into the wood. That may be a requirement for the hinges they used. I'm pretty much just thinking aloud in these posts, so assume anything I say will need some improvement. 8-)

If I could, I'd route out channels for the hinges, since I think it would look better. You might be able to put the pin in the table, rather than the leg -- make a piece that folds up into the t-track, but can fold down to brace the leg when necessary? I dunno... that's the piece that confuses me about what I saw there. I'm not sure they really even had a pin....
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-14-2010, 10:37 PM
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Did it work?

I found the flip table online and was also thinking about making it...were you successful? If so, how did you do it?
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-15-2010, 04:43 AM
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I'm guessing that it's done with sliding dovetails and hinges to move the panel, and leaf hinges (or barrel type) for the folding panels.










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post #9 of 10 Old 12-15-2010, 08:35 AM
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Turn the 1"or better thick table over........take your router and mill out a 12X12X1/2" deep(or whatever size suits)recess.......cover the recess with an aluminum plate which can be screwed at intervals around perimeter.

That plate can have slots milled in to recieve and trap the pins which get bolted to your hinge.

Whatever "pattern" you choose for slots is up to you.You conceivably could have a pr of S curves?But what ever shape;you need an escape for pin and leg removal.IOWs a little "sidetrack" that has a keyhole large enough for head of the pins your using.BW
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-15-2010, 09:04 AM
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Why do the legs have to slide?

If you've ever sat on the end of a dining room table with folks on your right and left sitting on the side...there is no room.
Just hinge the legs at a point where they are spaced a little in from the end when used as a dining room table or at the very end for a more contemporary look, no sliding feature. JMO bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-15-2010 at 09:07 AM.
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coffee table, design, dining table, project, table leg joints

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