Hemnes Lift-top Coffee Table

Materials: Hemnes Table, lift-top hinge

Description: Lift-top functionality allows your coffee table to raise up and move closer to you, which is useful for eating on your coffee table. I wanted to add this to my new Hemnes.

I ordered a set of lift-top hinges from AliExpress for about $30 shipped from China (~3 weeks to arrive). Similar hinges are available in the US from woodworking suppliers, but they are very expensive for some reason.

The hinges are about 4″ tall when closed, so I had to add some supports to provide an adequate mounting location for the bottom portion of the hinges. I made the supports from 1×5″ board, cut with a jigsaw. To hide them from sight, I cut the supports 45 degrees at one end and ~30 degrees on the other. They are asymmetrical because I wanted to attach the hinge to the center of the tabletop, which required the bottom part of the hinge to mount closer to the edge of the table.

The 1×5 boards were attached to lengths of 3/4″ square dowel, and the whole assembly was screwed into the top rail of the Hemnes. I doubled up the 1×5’s because of the small 3/4″ mounting area – probably overkill, but there was enough wood in a single board to do it.

The lift-top mechanism is surprisingly stable and smooth – the supplied springs make it almost effortless to lift as you pull towards you. It raises about 5.5″ and comes toward you about 8″. I had been concerned that the size of the tabletop would be an issue, but it seems fine so far.

The supports don’t interfere much with the use of the bottom shelf of the Hemnes. You could also add a bottom to make a shelf or hidden storage area out of the supports. While I had the drill out, I also added some screws to stabilize the wobbly lower shelf of the Hemnes.

Total cost is just under $150 – I got the Hemnes on sale for $100.

~ Adam Berson, Hoboken NJ