One of the humble coffee table’s most common uses is holding laptops while we tap away on them. But since the coffee table wasn’t exactly intended for that purpose, it doesn’t hold laptops at just the right height whether you sit on the sofa or the floor. Instructables user Lofgren encountered just this problem and decided to take the bold step of modding his existing coffee table to his own purposes.

The project is reasonably easy to follow if you’ve got basic carpentry skills, and it doesn’t require anything you can’t find in a decent hardware store. It involves removing the top of the table and attaching some new arms that lift the tabletop up and to the side, letting you use the table as a handy laptop stand that’s usable while you sit on the sofa.

All told, the finished table looks a lot like the table that the modder started with. When it is extended it looks like a super-geeky laptop station that’s perfect for long gaming sessions. But when the top is lowered it looks just like a regular (but rather stylish) piece of living room furniture. And the creative guy behind the project managed to do it using his existing coffee table, spending much less than it would have cost to buy a brand new transforming coffee table.