[2008-11-19] FPF flip-top game table for CNC manufacture

SketchUp model of the FPF flip-top game table in plywood.

Flat-Pack Fastenerless (FPF) furniture is a longstanding fascination of mine. My old site includes timeworn articles describing my designs for a task chair and a low dining table in the FPF style.

This 24" high game table is intended to be cut from a 2x4' panel of 3/4" stock material such as plywood or MDF. The legs slot together and the top is secured between tabs at their upper corners. The reversible top might be painted with, say a chessboard on one side and a backgammon board on the other. It's also possible to have a CNC mill engrave features on either side of the table-top, which may be a more durable method than painting, and is certainly less work. Also, certain games, like chinese checkers and the jumping puzzle called "solitaire," often incorporate divots in the playing surface to retain the pieces, which are usually spheres or pegs.

Other useful modifications might include adding handhold cutouts at the edges of the top-slotted leg component to make the assembled table easy to pick up and move. Also, there's no particular reason why the table top has to be round. Some other four-fold symmetric profile might provide more playing surface or improved aesthetics.

This .dxf file contains ideal part profiles, which is to say that these ARE NOT tool paths, because they do not account for the kerf of your cutting tool. I assume you have the capacity to make appropriate corrections for your mill. Certain profiles, such as the bottoms of the legs and the edge of the table top, are shared between multiple parts to minimize materials wastage and other factors. It is impossible to correct these profiles for kerf, but error here will affect only the tightness of fit of the table-top. The distances between the tabs that restrain the top could be reduced to compensate for any "rattle" that might result from a wide kerf.An .svg version of the plans is also available, as is a SketchUp model of the assembled table. This design has been posted to Thingiverse.

last modified 2008-11-19