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I currently do projects for other college students and organizations in order to make some easy spending money.

I am building a folding 2ft by 8ft table. The overall plans of the table is that I made two frames (both 2ft by 4ft) out of 2x3s topped with 1/2" maple plywood (also 2ft by 4ft.) I then replaced that plywood with a thicker 3/4" maple plywood. Both halves are connected by a 24" long continuous hinge from the underneath (where the 2x3s are.)

I attempted to put folding banquet legs but then kept running into the issue that the table would not stay flat and would cave down in the middle. I assumed at first that it was the position of the table legs and placed them closer to the center of the table. However, I ran into the same issue.

What advice can you give me in order to keep the table up in a locked and sturdy position? I would not mind even using 2x4s as the legs if I had too. Any information is gratefully taken. Thank you

  • A picture or sketch would be helpful, especially showing the location of the hinge. Assuming that the table fold "in" with the table top on the outside, and the frames on the inside, that would mean that the hinge would be attached to the 2x3s at their bottom. This would force the 3" surface of the wood together when unfolded, and I'd think that should prevent collapse. Perhaps a picture would help... :) – FreeMan May 10 '16 at 12:49
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    A large part of thge reason for thge "apron" under a tabletop is to brace it against flexing... – keshlam May 10 '16 at 16:26
  • I gather that the legs are not collapsing. Is the table actually caving or is merely sagging. I'm guessing the latter. A picture would help. – Ast Pace May 11 '16 at 0:53
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I suspect that the middle is sagging because it is not adequately braced. Most of the folding tables that my parents own (that we use for family reunions as eating tables) are similar to the one below. You will see a diagonal brace that runs towards the middle of the table to help with sag.

brace
(source)

Now, you still wouldn't want to sit in the middle of this table, but it helps hold up the stuff you normally put on a table top.

Note that these types of legs work best when the feet are grippy. If they are just allowed to slide, then you still have a problem with sag since the feet will try to kick out.


If you're using table legs like those below, they are more suited for solid-top tables with no hinge at the middle. This is because there is no bracing like I described above.

legs #2
(source)

  • One could make a diagonal brace for that type of leg by notching the "leg end" of the brace to fit the horizontal piece of the leg, then attaching the other end near the fold. When opening the legs, the brace would drop in place and the notch would sit over the round steel leg. – FreeMan May 10 '16 at 15:41

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