Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Projects Handicap accessible table

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #553629

    A friend of mine has a very young handicapped child. The child is in a strap-in walker that is currently 23 inches high. As she grows, walker height will change.

    He would like to build her a table that will allow the walker to slide underneath and allow her comfortable access to the top. I think a trestle style table would be a good choice, as the legs would be less in the way. As far as height, I’m looking for a solution that may allow the table to grow with her.

    My idea: Build a two piece adjustable leg assembly, with a bottom tenon, and a top mortise, and through pegs that can be knocked out to allow adjustment. This would work in much the same way as those folding tables with metal legs you see at parties or conferences. I would probably use multiple pegs on each side to help distribute the weight. Would this work, and should it be safe? Is there a better solution?


    He came back and told me they need the table to be 20″ high when she is sitting, not the previous 23.

    Here is a commercial example of what I’m looking to do. But, where the commercial tables tend to use a cable system, I want to use the mortise/tenon legs with pegs.

    If I go with the pegs, using 3/4″ or 1″ pegs, what might the sheer strength of red oak dowels be? Would they be strong enough to hold the weight of the table, and any appropriate added weight? Multiple pegs may be used per leg for added strength.


    FWIW, I searched though our library and found this which may apply to the kind of loading you have in mind.

    “Load capacity and deflection characteristics of large wooden dowels loaded in double shear”
    Forest Products Journal, vol 57 p. 60-64 (2007).

    The paper may not be accessible online but the authors have a pdf at their site:

    The study data doesn’t cover dowel sizes < 1.5″ but you could probably extrapolate based on the scaling they find (see conclusions).




    Thank you @selva. I read it. Didn’t understand all of it … but I did read it. I’ll need to study up a bit more.

    Does anyone have an example of an adjustable wood table? More ideas are appreciated.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.