Solution to Coffee-time Challenge

The solution to the May 2007 challenge to stabilise outdoor café tables comes from Japanese company Sugatsune Kogyo

It exists in the form of a table leg foot, which incorporates a small piston resting on a pad of gel. It is thus slightly, but not greatly, compliant. The piston is made of plastic, moulded round a steel bolt head whose shank can be screwed into, or bolted onto, the end of a table leg or flat table base. According to the UK operation director, Ryosuke Obinata, a table weighing 18-36kg requires six pads; one weighing 15 to 30kg, five pads; and one weighing 12 to 24kg, four pads. He said the solution works fine within UK temperature ranges and that the price in Japan works out at 80-90p, translating to a likely UK price of around £2.

Tom Shelley

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