From the beginning I wanted to make something useful and aesthetically appealing. I am taking this opportunity to make a coffee table for myself that will stand at different heights and can be compressed to be put away.
Originally, I wanted the coffee table to have four individual legs that bent inward. The table would be sleek and the body of the main piece of wood was to resemble the shape of a snowboard. The four individual legs were to be made of copper and the table would only be used as a standard, low coffee table.
Since this concept did not feel sufficiently interesting, other than the fun-shaped surface and the copper legs, I wanted to develop my idea into a height varying coffee table. The concept of ironing boards is the best way to explain it because their height is adjustable and they can be flattened completely for storage.
Also, given that the pairs of legs will now have to cross each other, I chose to change the shape of the top from the snowboard body back to an oval. It will keep the table from looking too busy with an oddly shaped top and it will still have a steam punk classic look with the copper legs.
There are two ways for me to implement a folding mechanism. The first way is to place one T-shaped leg on one side that goes in between two legs on the opposite side like in figure . The main difference in my design is my use of pipes rather than wood, allowing me to put a pin that locks at the intersection of the three tubes, allowing me to set the table to differing heights. The second way, like in figure , I can create four legs that go along the edge of the table and locks with its pair. I can loosen the legs to adjust them and lock the legs at the desired height. Both mechanisms are good but I would have to see which one works best for me given the amount of copper pipes.
To purchase the copper pipes, hinges, and pieces of wood, I plan to visit hardware stores, lumber yards, and saw mills. For now, depending on the types and sizes of wood available, I would like to purchase either a darker piece of wood like redwood or among the lighter soft woods, a piece of birch, pine, or fir. Hardwoods tend to be more expensive so my chances are higher purchasing pine. My main goal in my search is to avoid pieces with too many knots, spirals, and interlocked or irregular grains as they can make it difficult to work. [4}
With luck, I will be able to execute my dimensions of 48” x 24” with a low height of 19”. Meaning that the legs will each have to be about 48” to 46” long. Since I don’t want the legs to be flushed with the end of the oval table top, I may scoot them about 2” inward at the top. Depending on my ambition, I would like to bend the legs so that they are rounded at the bottom as opposed to straight pieces of metal. The video below by Bart Kerswell shows how this can be done .
 VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lu6Y_goG80