In the beginning it was simple, like this tilt-top table/bench contraption:


The simple tilt-top table.


Looks simple.

It’s a convertible table/bench. The top pivots around the rear pins and is locked in down position by the front pins. It should be symmetrical and the top should be able to hinge around the front pins.

Typically, there is storage in the base.

Let’s make it more complicated.


No pins in the rear, hinges.


No indication there ever were any pins in the rear of the table/bench. This is the design and not a repair.

The hinges look seriously undersized yet it exists.

Now let’s engineer it and make it more complicated and harder to produce.


Same basic idea but the folding top sits lower.


The table top pivots and tracks about a bolt and slots in the battens.


The table is locked in the down position by the engagement of another slot in the batten around a pin.

This base also has storage.

Another difference is that this unit has 2X4 legs and not sides made from boards.

The only advantage of this construction I can see is that the table top sits lower in the bench position. This could be useful if you need the wall space for your art collection:


Margaret Keane’s classic No Dogs Allowed. Art like no other.

Finally, the Arts & Crafts/Mission variation of this idea:


Everything’s better in oak.

Here, the top pivots around bolts with vertical movement provided by slots on the supports. For added stability, the “feet” on the supports rest in cups on the seat.

Many ways to achieve the same goal.