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Ideas for coffee table/dining table?

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  • Ideas for coffee table/dining table?

    I have a client who is looking for a coffee table (18" tall) that she can raise to 30" tall. It will have metal legs and frame, the top will be 3/4" MDF with hammered 20 ga. sheet that has a faux copper finish. Any ideas for this? I've thought sq. tubing (drilled) within sq. tubing with a stop and some pin for holding it tight. Is there some sort of "elbow joint" out there, etc? Thx for any input. Cat

  • #2
    Table design?

    Okay just a couple of quick questions before I get to involved in yoru design..

    How will it raise & lower? Does your client want it to swing out as it goes up? Does the top when it is down have to the top when it is up? Do you want 100% steel or are you willing to use additional materials?

    Okay than gets me started.. .



    • #3
      I told my client that it will take 2 people to raise and lower and that was fine. The top will be 52" by 34" and fairly heavy with the MDF. The top will lift straight up. I was planing to stay with just steel but I am open to other ideas if I can work with it. I am heading to some places today to check out the square tubing that telescopes with the holes drilled in it but I'm not sure that is the look that I want. I was wondering if there is an "elbow" that locks in position but not sure where I would find that. Hubby gets back from a business trip tomorrow so I will pick his brain also (we're both engineers). Thx if you have any ideas/suggestions. Cat


      • #4
        Forgot - yes, the top is the same up and down. Cat


        • #5
          why not just build a scissor lift center ?? similar to a ironing board or work lift ??


          • #6
            scissors lift??

            James, I'm not sure if she want's that "ironing board" effect. At the top of its height, legs would be fine, but as the client lowers them, Ithink the legs would stick out too far, may get in the way...good thought though!
            All I can think of right now, is having one tube inside of another, the bottom tube of course being the bigger of the two, smaller one telescopes out and drill pins in both every 6 inches...


            • #7
              How About This .. ?

              Take a look at this on Rockler's website



              • #8
                the ironing board was just an example of the mechanism. you could have a stationary base that would not change as it rose and lowered with every thing on tracks within the frame. she is not talking about a large lift distance and it could easily be done and hidden behind a screen below the top.
                you could use a patterned fabric screen or some wood with a pattern or almost anything to hide the workings of the table.
                the drawing is out of per-portion, but you should be able to get the idea.
                i guess it would matter what the table is being used for. dose it need to be nice looking as its going to be in the living room, or it dose not matter as its a shop work table ?????
                aether way, its just an idea, may or may not be on the right line of thought. thats cat's call. I'm just throwing out some idea's.
                check out the pic.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by fun4now; 09-29-2007, 11:04 AM. Reason: forgot the pic. :p


                • #9
                  James, WOW, never thought of it being made that way!
                  Very cool!!!
                  thanks for the pics, worth a 1,000 words


                  • #10
                    N.P. glad to help clarify. some times we think more than we type, so it doesn't come across the right way. i should have put in a pic the first time.


                    • #11

                      the next question much is she willing to spend...LOL...cuz if ya let me play with lots of money there are more options than we could count...LOL


                      assuming that budget is reasonable yet not might consider a version of what James tried to show you but with a scissor lift on furniture you have to have fixed points somewhere both ends top and bottom can not both move..

                      if you have access to a machine shop or a friend ... you can create what you need to make a nice clean mechanism for a modified scissor lift.

                      Also for about $500 or so...less? more...depending.. you could put a ball transfer/linear actuator to move it electrically.

                      the slower and lighter the less it will cost to move. The problem is you usually end up at a mechanical disadvantage when trying ot keep things clean to you have to provide more force than the weight you are actually trying to lift.

                      hope this helps...any questions or more specifics..just ask

                      Sorry if this is too general...I hate when people try to solve my problems as opposed to trying to help me work through and still get where I wanted to be so I am being intentionally vague...don't want to influence the artistic process too much...


                      • #12
                        You might be able to weld some mounts for low pressure cylinders inside two or 4 of the legs. They're used on car hoods and hatches, etc, probably come in any size and lifting pressure.

                        You could have the pressure balanced against the weight of the table, where one finger (OK that may be pushing it) could raise and lower the thing.

                        Another unrelated idea is for locking the top into place: You might do something like bicycles have for the quick release on their seats and wheels. I think it's called a cam-lock. It would be cleaner looking and easier than a pin, IMO.

                        You could do a McMaster-Carr search (I love their site) and find probably a million fasteners/ latches and misc. hardware to do a good quality and unique job.

                        Good luck. I'd like to see the finished project.



                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas. I've still been pondering and a lot of your ideas helped me think outside the box but so far, I still think that the telescoping legs with some locking pins might be the best. This is a very fussy client who likes clean lines/looks so the scissor-lift wouldn't work. By the way, thanks for the McMaster-Carr website - I'd never heard of it and I am in love! I'll be drooling over that for quite a while! While just quickly looking thru some of their stuff, they actually had scissor-lift mechanisms (12" base lifting 12" - perfect) - however, it warns not to activate it with the weight on top. Too bad.
                          Anyways, I am going to check out the suggestion for the cam-lock vs. a pin. I'll let you know what I end up doing - want to get a price quote together in the next few days.
                          Again, thanks for all the input.
                          P.S. Hubby is pondering also and has suggested two rectangular leg frames (one on each end of the table) that are 18" by 30". When it is a coffee table, use the 18" side as the legs, when it is a dining table, remove the top, flip the frames over so the 30" sides are the legs. The only problem is having to completely remove the top and set it somewhere.......but I'm thinking about it.


                          • #14
                            This thread is 3 years old.


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