Hackers Help table

Published on January 29th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Hacker help: How do I hack a table like this?

Description: Hi! I’d like to realize a hack from Ikea product to obtain a table like that in the photo. Someone has to give me tips to make it happen?


~ Tiziana

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

33 Responses to Hacker help: How do I hack a table like this?

  1. Peter Saumur says:

    Anyone try to build something similar that uses one or two pneumatic chair bases (basic IKEA counter/table top + rolling office chair) ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The pop up table top mechanisms are manufactured in China for about $10.00 each. A little reasearch will find you one for a reasonable price under $100.00. Try ALibaba.com.

  3. free standing closet says:

    It seems like a mechanism similar to an adjustable pool chair or a drafting table.

  4. Anonymous says:

    they have a similar pop up table at Target!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nice, nice ideas, but… these all are glorifed TV-trays. I need an actual dining room table – not a huge one, but usable on ALL sides.

  6. nsj0806 says:

    I made a coffee table from scratch this summer with a lift-top similar to the $200 mechanism from rockler, only I made all the hardware myself… I’m not sure that Ikea makes anything that will function, but I’ll work on uploading some pictures and detailing how I did it ASAP.

  7. Anonymous says:

    who makes the original?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The mechanism looks similar to kitchen cabinet mechanism.

    Take a look at last picture on

    These mechanisms also include breaks/stoppers for smooth movement.

  9. anthony says:

    very wonderful and good idea .

    Usmle Step 1

  10. aerialsoul says:

    I have had a lift top coffee table for 10-12 yrs and LOVE them. Mine also has a heavy steel bar on the outside edge to prevent the table from tipping over when it’s in the up position and there is ‘stuff’ on it (computers, plates, etc).

    For my last one, I cannibalized the hardware from our old table, purchased a table frame from Room&Board (just the frame), and built the table ‘box’ and top. You could try to find a used lift top coffee table just for the hardware.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could springs or pneumatics be used to achieve this?

  12. andjules says:

    While there are a bunch of popup mechanisms in the $150-200 range, you should note that all the ones I’ve seen – including the rockler.com and leevalley.com ones linked to above – have lateral travel, NOT like the pic in the original post. In other words, while they bring the surface of (sa) a coffee table up to eating height, they also bring it towards one side, like an airplane seat tray – making it only usable from one side of the table.

  13. rccalyn says:

    Isn’t that how the Malm storage container opens? It’s a storage bench-type thing for at the foot of a bed, not sure if they still make it though. Hack the bottom of the storage container, keep the top opening, and there ya go!

    • Zulaya says:

      As far as I can tell (we don’t even have an ikea for 400 miles, but looking online) the malm storage bench slides, but does not elevate or pop up.

  14. Hans says:

    it looks very similar to an opening mechanism for the hood or boot on an old car…so maybe the scrapyard?


  15. Zulaya says:

    Cool link, thanks James! I’ve never seen anything like this table, and thought it was cool, but figured the hinge would be crazy expensive (same thing that keeps me from trying to make a Murphy bed). That link is wonderful!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the strategy in this hack could be used?

    • G.V.M. says:

      Hi, I entered that Pallbo hack. I suppose it could be technically done, but keep in mind that to switch heights you have to lift the top off, turn it 90 degrees, en place back on. So I guess it would only work for a rectangular table, with a honeycomb top, a massive top would be too heavy. I think the instructables tip from james seems much more practical and do-able for this particular problem.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Check out this older IKEA Hackers posting about an adjustable height coffee table, maybe the idea can be adapted.


  18. James says:

    Dont know about you guys, but there is no way Im paying $200 for a hinge. This guy used a few pieces of wood to create the hinge action… think it turned out great… Have to figure out which Ikea tables would be best to use with his hinge concept and we are golden.


  19. Colin Young says:

    You want to search for “pop up table mechanism”. They retail for $180-200USD in North America.

  20. Unknown says:

    you can get the pop-up table mechanism from Lee Valley Tools…link:


    they have canada and u.s. stores, and i see they have an international link on the home page (leevalley.com) It must be screwed into solid wood however, so pretty much anything from ikea you’d have to reinforce with plywood or solid lumber.

  21. Anonymous says:

    look at the post above this for ‘standing desk’, and adapt it. It will work, and all the instructions are there for the most part. You’ll need the hinge mechanism you show in your pix or something similar. Good luck.

  22. Anonymous says:

    It seems like a mechanism similar to an adjustable pool chair or a drafting table.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Will be watching this post very very closely, really like it but way too expensive in France and also pretty ugly in white.

    The problem isn’t so much finding the furniture to hack but how to get that cool mechanism that doesn’t slam down …

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