First of just a quick note, I'm struggling to explain exactly what I'm looking for, so I made a quick image of what I mean.

enter image description here

A new project I'm looking to undertake has me a bit stumped; I want to create a coffee table that has flaps on the shorter of the vertical sides, that fold up and extends the table creating a longer, yet still flat, table.

Now the problem is that I don't want to use just a regular hinge or piano hinge because when the flaps are folded down, there would be a gap between the top and flaps. So of course I tried looking for a solution. At first I thought of European hinges, but when its folded open it doesn't pull back to eliminate the gap between the flaps and table but leaves a gap. So I continued looking for an answer online and found something way better:


Note how when the legs are folded in the table top lies on the flaps/sides. How does one achieve this? Is there a way to have the flaps sides next to the table top instead of under (like in my original idea)? What are the hinges called?


  • "Flip-top-table-hinge" might be a start: hardwaresource.com/hinges/furniture-hinges/…. The terms "restaurant table hinge" and "drop leaf table hinge" also look promising.
    – scanny
    Feb 3 '17 at 21:00
  • I presume you know the traditional way this is done (as on any older drop-leaf table) and don't want to do it that way because the edges aren't flat?
    – Graphus
    Feb 3 '17 at 23:15
  • @Graphus Exactly correct. At first I was going to just live with the weird edges, but then I decided to start exploring in how I can remove it, which led me here.
    – Dewan
    Feb 4 '17 at 8:05

This seems to do what you are thinking:


The installation does look rather tricky, though.

Pivot Hinge

  • Thank you this is exactly the hinge I'm looking for. Probably not going to be able to find it where I live though... I'm in South Africa if anyone knows of a good shop that will stock this.
    – Dewan
    Feb 4 '17 at 8:07

I was thinking of something like what @Graphus suggests, but I am assuming that you wish to keep the square profile as depicted in your drawing. enter image description here

Any chance you could affix the flap with a piano hinge, and fabricate a removable fill strip with the same finish as the top and flap (or contrasting finish, if you wish) that rides in the open corner that appears when the flap is down? You could secure it with a couple dowels in the bottom of the strip that insert into matching holes in the flap edge, or probably better, into holes in the end of the table edge. This design adds a seam to the top of the table for each flap, but preserves the desired profile and makes the design pretty simple to implement - no contraption-y, expensive hinges needed.

  • This might be something to consider. It can add to the design if I use a darker wood, and it would be a lot simpler and more inexpensive.
    – Dewan
    Feb 4 '17 at 8:08

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