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Subject: Requesting input on Coffee Table Design rss

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Hammock Backpacker
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I'm handy in the woodshop and have made several pieces of furniture in our house (pencil post desk, hope chest, queen-sized bed, night stands, huntboard, bathroom cabinet, etc.). I've got plenty of cherry waiting to me made into something (hundreds of board feet) and I'm looking to make a coffee table.

But I want to make something that fits our "style" (mostly shaker/mission-ish) but I also want something that is unique and could potentially work as a small gaming area for my wife and I while sitting on the couch.

My initial thought is to build a relatively standard shaker/mission base but put the same kind of top on it that my dining room table has on it.

Table Closed:







Table Open (doubles its available space):



Mechanism:



The top of the table is double thickness and the entire top rotates/pivots on a point that allows it to rotate so that it sits on the far end of the four legs (the hinges that exist along the long side of the table are now above the four legs). In this position, you simply flip open the top "layer" of the table covering the exposed legs and voila...giant table twice as big.

The donut shaped item above represents the pivot point. The double thickness top is bolted into this donut and represents the only place where the table is physically connected to the legs and skirt. The gray rectangle above represents the rotating double thickness top.

Anybody have any cool designs they've seen or are willing to share?
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I've already covered this topic, here.

(Actually not exactly what you've requested. But you may find some inspiration there.)
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Andrew Brannan
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My in-laws have a coffee table that pulls apart (like a table would the has a leaf) to reveal a secondary surface underneath it. When it's "open" it has about 1.75x the surface area of the table closed, but it is at two different heights. I'm sure someone out there has rigged up a system that pushes up the center section when the table is fully extended, though.

The lift-top style coffee tables, where the top lifts flat so that it is proper height when sitting at the sofa, are also some of my faves.
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Brian A
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You may have seen this clip already, but I just saw it for the first time a week or so back...



Maybe an idea for the next coffee table?
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Kelsey Rinella
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Geek Chic has some options that seem plausible as sources for inspiration--my favorite of theirs is the Rift.



I probably wouldn't go for the (very cool) expanding tabletop, reserving the coffee table for more intimate game experiences, unless you also wanted to raise the height somehow. While I love the tabletops of the Rift, I'd probably try to use the space under it more effectively for game storage. As it is, they require that you take everything off the bottom shelf in order to open it--I'd rather put in a simple shelf with bins or something accessible from the side.

I'm strongly considering working on a similar project, which is why this has been on my mind recently.
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Hammock Backpacker
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rinelk wrote:
Geek Chic has some options that seem plausible as sources for inspiration--my favorite of theirs is the Rift.



I probably wouldn't go for the (very cool) expanding tabletop, reserving the coffee table for more intimate game experiences, unless you also wanted to raise the height somehow. While I love the tabletops of the Rift, I'd probably try to use the space under it more effectively for game storage. As it is, they require that you take everything off the bottom shelf in order to open it--I'd rather put in a simple shelf with bins or something accessible from the side.

I'm strongly considering working on a similar project, which is why this has been on my mind recently.


Nice! Thanks for some inspiration. Agreed about the space under it and the more effective use. I'm not sure I could get used to playing "in a hole" though given the height of a standard coffee table.

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Kelsey Rinella
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matthew.marquand wrote:
rinelk wrote:
Geek Chic has some options that seem plausible as sources for inspiration--my favorite of theirs is the Rift.



I probably wouldn't go for the (very cool) expanding tabletop, reserving the coffee table for more intimate game experiences, unless you also wanted to raise the height somehow. While I love the tabletops of the Rift, I'd probably try to use the space under it more effectively for game storage. As it is, they require that you take everything off the bottom shelf in order to open it--I'd rather put in a simple shelf with bins or something accessible from the side.

I'm strongly considering working on a similar project, which is why this has been on my mind recently.


Nice! Thanks for some inspiration. Agreed about the space under it and the more effective use. I'm not sure I could get used to playing "in a hole" though given the height of a standard coffee table.


Hmm...I should think about that. Maybe it'd be worth mocking it up with cardboard boxes stacked to an appropriate height, and trying to play a game on a larger box set above them, most of which had been cut away (leaving just the flat surface and the rim). My intuition is that, so long as I'm not leaning over the whole time, it would be okay, but I'm not sure. Though, come to think of it, since I'd be approaching the board from a higher relative vantage point, the rim would probably be less in the way than it would be on a dining- or bistro-height table. So it would really just be a question of whether it's possible to have a coffee table which isn't too tall when the top is on, yet still not too short when it's off. That might depend to some extent on how short a rim you think you can deal with--if you have tall game pieces you'd like to leave in place, it would have to be kind of tall, otherwise it could be relatively short.

One other suggestion would be to build in card holders. I find that a 15˚ cut of perhaps a quarter inch depth is adequate--you might be able to simply cut that permanently into your edge (though I suppose, if you did, I've no idea how you'd clean it--I've only made trays this way so far).

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Josh Jennings
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I played on some recessed tables at BGG.CON last year (not sure if they were Rift) and the lip was not very noticeable at all. It did not affect the gameplay. As you've said, it probably matters even less with a coffee table as the angle-of-attack is higher. The recessed play area is great if you often take extended breaks from your games, but what kind of games are you going to be playing on a coffee table? I don't think you're going to be busting out huge 4-hour+ monsters, so the need for a recessed table is greatly decreased.
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