Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 5 – 8 hours
The perfect complement to the daytripper chair plan, this table folds nearly flat for easy storage or transport. The gentle curves and use of pivot and lock dowels give this project an air of elegant craftsmanship that belies its simplicity in construction.
You might want to make templates for the legs and stretchers, because once your friends see this table in action, they'll want you to build them one – or more!
Cut the legs (A) and stretchers (B) to length according to the cut list. Lay out the curves and mark the center points for all holes to be drilled (see special instructions “How to lay out curves”). For the ½" radius corners on the stretchers (B), simply trace the outline of a 25-cent piece. The radius on the legs (A) must be at least 1" to allow the legs to fold easily into one another. You can use a compass to get the exact measurement you want, or simply trace the bottom of a glue bottle or any other round object that measures more than 2" in diameter. Cut the curves, drill the holes and make the slots in all pieces. You can clamp 2 pieces together and cut them at the same time, or make a hardboard template to keep and use for future projects.
Rip your remaining 1 x 6 stock to 1 ¾" wide and cut 11 slats (C) 16 ½" long. Place one slat on top of the stretchers (B) at the end with the slot (not the hole) and attach with glue and screws. Leave ½" overhang on the front edge and 1" on either end.
Cut all dowels to length, turn the stretchers/one slat assembly over and slip one table dowel (E) through the outer legs and stretchers at the end opposite the attached slat. Make sure the dowel ends are flush with the outside face of the stretchers and attach with glue and 6d finish nail (drill a 1/16" pilot hole through the edge of the stretcher and into the dowel, then drive the nail below edge surface of the stretcher with a nail set).
Attach remaining slats (C) with glue and screws, making sure the slats are square to the stretchers and the edges line up. Use ¼" spacer blocks to keep gaps consistent.
Turn the assembly over and attach the inner legs by setting them between the outer legs and sliding the pivot dowel (D) through the center dowel holes in all 4 legs. Attach remaining table dowel (E) by inserting it through the dowel holes in the inner legs. Pin dowel (E) to the inner legs and the pivot dowel (D) to the outer legs with glue and galvanized finish nails.
Install lock dowels (F) through the pivot dowel (D). Place a piece of folded paper between the legs on either side to leave enough space for easy movement during opening and closing, then drill ¼" holes through the pivot dowel. Coat the lock dowels with glue, insert them into the ¼" holes and pin them in place with finish nails.
Sand all edges and surfaces, and apply a
waterproof finish according to manufacturer
specifications. Your table is ready to set on your
deck or be folded away for transport and easy
This is one of those projects that may be more easily sanded and finished without all the pieces connected. If you choose this method, do an initial assembly without glue to make sure all pilot holes and edges line up and appear to your liking. Then disassemble, sand smooth, and reassemble with glue and screws.