A piano hinge is a hinge which is long and rectangular and has screw holes all along each side. Its original purpose was for a piano lid. The purpose of a piano hinge is to hold objects together which need to be held along the entire edge rather than in several spots, such as top and bottom as you see on a common door. They can be used for anything from hanging cabinet doors to making a table. Below you will learn how to build a folding table using piano hinges with step-by-step directions. This article will deal mainly with the application of the hinge only and not with other parts of the table.
You may have some instability with this type of table because all of the legs are on one side. Use the table accordingly and be mindful of the wood you choose. You may consider adding an additional removable leg on the folded side to add stability.
Step 1 - Lay Out Table Top
The legs will go onto the opposite side as the hinge. The hinge is mounted on the top/finished side.
Lay out the pieces of table top with the top side up. Be sure you line up the table precisely—making sure the ends are square. Leave a small gap between the two halves in the center. You want only enough room for the rounded part of the hinge to fit. Lay out the hinge over the two pieces, allowing the rounded end to sit in the gap. Mark the center of the top and bottom holes on both pieces of wood.
Step 2 - Drill Guide Holes
Remove the hinge and drill four guide holes in the wood. Use a drill bit smaller than the screws and do not drill very deeply. This will just help to guide you to the right place when installing the hinge.
Step 3 - Insert Screws
Complete one piece of wood and then attach the other. Begin with your top guide hole and, laying the hinge back in place, screw a screw in and tighten loosely. Use light pressure on a drill with a screwdriver bit or use a hand held screwdriver.
Replace all the screws, tightening down firmly but not too hard. Be sure not to over-screw them and strip the hole. It is best to tighten with a hand screwdriver. Do the same with the last hole. Once the hinge is affixed top to bottom, you can use a drill and, again with light pressure, screw all the screws in snugly. You can now tighten the initial two screws tightly.
Put the hinge on the other piece of wood and do the same, screwing in all of the screws.
Your tabletop should now open and close and close smoothly. Attach your legs according to manufacturer’s instructions and you have finished your new folding table.