Cabin Table With Folding Legs

John Biermacher
by John Biermacher
2 Materials
15 Hours
My tax accountant learned I was a woodworker and asked me if I could make a table for their cabin in Northern Michigan . The aesthetics were not as important as much as they wanted it: 1) to be counter height (36"); and 2) foldable (so they could store it away when not in use). They have a kitchen bar they usually eat at.
The bases will be used in other table.
The top was leftover from a a previous project (see It had some large holes that needed to be plugged, but the size, thickness, and character was appropriate for this table. 
For the legs and base I used some hickory. It was the first time I have ever worked with it. It is extremely hard and strong. It is subject to “tear out” but that wasn’t a big concern with this table and tear out could be reduced ifI was better about keeping my tools and blades sharp. 
This is the short leg side.
The engineering of the legs was a little tricky. I wanted them bigger,  but didn’t want any additional weight, hence the gap in the center.  One set of legs needed to be hinged higher so they can fold past each other. 
The short legs fold over the longer legs.
The stretcher keeps the legs from folding in  when in use, but didn’t completely eliminate the wobble.  I moved it to the upper part of the legs and added some cross bracing. The stretcher and the cross braces need to be removed to fold the table,. This requires loosing four wing nuts and reassembly must be done in a particular order, but they really add stability to the table. An apron hides the leg hinges. 
Stretcher before relocation
Dark ebony stain on the base and cherry stain on the top were top coated with urethane varnish.  The hickory looked very similar to natural walnut after staining with the ebony stain.
Finished  table: Like all my projects, it seemed to take longer than expected, but all-in-all I think it turned out well.  Thanks for looking. 
Suggested materials:
  • Stain
  • Hickory
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Frank Frank on Feb 17, 2018
    to hinge one set of legs higher, does this meant the sets are different lengths ?

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4 of 10 comments
  • V Smith V Smith on Feb 23, 2018
    This is a very functional design, if it is yours you should look into acquiring a patent or selling the plans. Everybody loves a folding table.

    • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Feb 23, 2018

      Thank you. I am flattered that you like it. Doubt that I will pursue a patent. I could draw up a plan for this table, but would prefer others would modify it to fit their needs and use something they have or can afford. Will continue to coach others on Hometalk. I am in the process of becoming "a creator" for Hometalk. It is a new program that allows people to contract with me for individualized advice.

  • Kaye Kaye on Apr 24, 2018

    Really lovely. Love the craftsmanship.

    • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Apr 24, 2018

      Thank you. One of those projects that just evolved following a discussion with our accountant.