These days more people than ever live in small apartments, so with space at a
premium we thought we’d design a multi-use piece of furniture that’s also very
cheap and easy to make.
The principle is simple: a box with a lid – but we have pivoted it on four arms,
so that it stays level as it lifts.
Step 1: Build the box structure. We
used 12mm particleboard, and glued and screwed the corners. Dress the box up
as you like. Monte used pine-lining boards, but you could paint it, laminate
it or whatever takes your fancy. The lining boards slot together (tongue and
groove) and are screwed to the box from the inside.
Step 2: The top can also be anything you
like, but we used 18mm particleboard with solid timber edges, mitred on the
corners and biscuit joined to the particleboard. Then we glued plastic
laminate to the top and moulded the edges with a router. On the underside of
the top, glue and screw 30 x 19 timber that matches the inside dimensions of
your box opening. Cut out the four pivot arms using a jigsaw, and bore the
Step 3: Lay the top on the floor
(protect it from scratching), and then set the box in position on top of it.
Screw or bolt the arms into position and test to make sure the lid works as
Step 4: Screw 19 x 19mm cleats to the
inside of the box so that when the bottom is fixed, the castors will
protrude by 10mm (or more if you have thick carpet). Screw the castors in
each corner, making sure the wheels can swivel without fouling anywhere.
Step 5: Load it up! Simply pull the lid
forward and it rises for use as a desk or for dining.
To get the best durability
from the pivot arms, bolt them to the box rather than using screws.
A plan and parts list is available for download from
Please note: you will need
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