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How to stabilise a folding table?

jennyxn
Budding Contributor

How to stabilise a folding table?

Hi guys, I'm trying to make a folding table but am finding that it is not very stable and tends to way to collapse inwards with the standard hinges.  Just wondering if there are any inconspicuous supports I can use whilst also keeping the aesthetics minimalistic.  Thank you 

 

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StevieB
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: How to stabilise a folding table

Welcome @jennyxn and thanks for sharing this project with us.

 

It looks like you've done a fantastic job so far and we'd love to hear more about the build. Do you have any extra images to share?

 

Let me tag @TedBear, @JoeAzza and @EricL for their thoughts.

 

What's the plan for this folding table – puzzles, picnics? Or is it just to save space? Look forward to following along with your project.

 

Stevie

 

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JoeAzza
Super Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

Hi @jennyxn 

Re folding table, you could install card table folding stays. Another easy option is to cut the top of the leg horizontal support at approx 5 to 10 degree angle, this would allow the table legs to open out a bit further than the width of the table, you could do this by using a hand plane. (see sketch below)

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https://www.bunnings.com.au/prestige-240mm-zinc-plated-steel-card-table-stay_p4016320

JoeAzza_0-1633045524188.png

 

Bunnings stock various type of stays and gas struts, that might be suitable.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

Hello @jennyxn

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop Community. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your question about your folding table.

 

It's great that you've received fantastic advice from @JoeAzza. What an excellently assembled table. I can see what you were trying to do with your folding system. You're just missing two crucial parts and your table will be complete. I've placed a drawing at the bottom for you to look at. It should explain what you need to do to keep your table steady.

 

In a nutshell, you need to add two more pieces of timber at the bottom of your table to act as stoppers. When you fold these wing stoppers upwards you will be able to fold your legs away. Make sure that when you cut this panel it sits snugly between the legs to prevent your table from wobbling. Please have a look at the drawings and tell me what you think.

 

Let me tag our experienced members @TedBear and @woodenwookie for their recommendations.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know. 

 

Eric

 

 

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TedBear
Valued Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

Hi @jennyxn , I see that you have 3 suggestions, all of which will work.

However, given your criteria contains the words inconspicuous and minimalistic, I think you then don't have much choice but to use @JoeAzza 's first suggestion to reshape the top of the leg cross-pieces from their current square top to a slight angle, such that the legs over-extend a little beyond the upright position. They will then tend to spread outwards (they can't go far, just a few degrees) instead of falling back inwards. (Their weight hanging on the outside of the hinge pin is naturally swinging them inward).

I recommend that you also plane the bottom of the legs parallel with the new top angle so the bottoms will sit flat on the floor when in position and therefore be even more stable.

jennyxn
Budding Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table

Hi Stevie!

 

Thanks for the reply.  All the answers have been super useful!  Just planning to use it as a outdoor picnic table.  

jennyxn
Budding Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

hi @JoeAzza, thanks for the great ideas! I think cutting the top would be the best option for me as I don't really nice to add anything more to it.

jennyxn
Budding Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

Wow @EricL, fantastic diagrams!!  I do think the design here looks a bit more complete compared my current one.  I'm just using scrap wood that I have at home and unfortunately have run out of wood to make the stoppers. But I will definitely keep this in mind for my next project. 

jennyxn
Budding Contributor

Re: How to stabilise a folding table?

Hi @TedBear, thanks for the tip! I will try to plane both top and bottom

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