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Crank table mechanism

The Crank Table Guide Materials, Assembly, & Maintenance


Crank tables have grown in popularity in recent years. To us, it's no surprise why. Crank tables combine our two favorite design styles - industrial modern and rustic. While originally designed for the dining room, the ability to adjust the table height allows these crank tables to be used as desks, gathering tables, bar tables, and more.

This article covers everything you need to know about our crank tables - from materials and construction to styles and maintenance.

Our tables are constructed of two main materials: iron and solid wood. Iron is used to form a base that can withstand immense pressure, while solid wood is employed to create beautifully rustic table tops.


We use reclaimed iron for all of our crank table bases. The use of iron not only brings in industrial elements, but also ensures that the base is sturdy, the gears remain functioning, and the table is tip-resistant. There are two main categories of iron: cast iron and forged iron.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is a more cost-effective option used more commonly with pieces that undergo less stress, such as chairs. While not quite as strong as forged iron, cast iron is still rated to last a lifetime with proper care. It is also generally preferred for more complex pieces, as it is much easier to pour iron into a cast than it is to forge it into shape.

Close up of crank for crank table

Forged Iron

Forged iron, is used for pieces that need both strength and durability, while handling a lot of stress. Forged iron can retain its shape, while withstanding immense pressure. Since the process is more involved, forged iron products tend to also be more expensive.

Solid Wood

Solid wood is a quintessential material for any high quality rustic piece. We opt to use several different species of wood for our table tops: Acacia, Mango, and Teak.


Acacia wood, is found growing in forests throughout the world. The species we use, Babul Acacia, has a variety of uses, from medicinal ingredients to carpentry material.

Acacia wood is an incredibly durable hardwood. With a Janka hardness rating of 2,300 pounds, Acacia wood is incredibly well suited for daily use and is naturally water and rot resistant.

Wright, Frank L. Falling Water. 1935.

Industrial Loft 62" Adjustable Drafting Desk Walnut

  French Vintage 24" Adjustable Side Table Weathered GrayFrench Vintage 24" Adjustable Side Table
Weathered Gray


An age-old favorite, Teak wood has been used in many different capacities throughout history.

Although aged, old-growth Teak trees are extremely rare and protected, all of the Teak wood we use for our furniture comes from old builings and ships.

The "Gold Standard" for decay resistance, Teak's naturally high oil content protects it from insects and wood rot. It also has the unique characteristic of being lightweight, yet durable due to this.


Crank Functionality

The key feature of any crank table is, of course, the hand crank. The overall functionality of the piece is powered by the hand crank, just like the machines of old.

In order to preserve the functionality of the crank, it is important to consider these notes:

wingnuts for crank table

To crank the table top and down does require some force in order to move the piece, it should not require substantial effort.

If you find yourself applying a lot of pressure to adjust the height, look for wingnuts along the shaft. These are tightened to hold the table in place at its current height.

Altering the table's height while these nuts are tightened will cause the threading on the table's shaft(s) to be off-set, causing a tilted table top. If this occurs, then the table will need to be taken apart and the shaft(s) would need to be reset.


Please note that each crank piece is intended to have rustic elements incorporated into it. This includes a rough, textured table top, which better represents the natural characteristics of the wood. While this is intended and not considered a defect, the natural surface can become an issue for those who need to write on a smooth surface. We recommend placing a hard surface on top of the table for a smooth writing experience.

Industrial Loft 82" Adjustable Dining Table

Known Problems and Quick Fixes

As mentioned earlier, be sure to loosen the wingnuts located on the shaft of the piece before using the crank. Failure to do so may cause major issues with the piece that will require disassembly and reassembly.

Some crank tables, such as those in the Industrial Loft collection, come with a handle to for easier operation. These handles ship in a reverse position for protection.

In order to reverse the positioning of the crank handle for use, do the following:

  • Take off the retaining bolt
  • Slide the hand crank off, turn it around, and slide it back on
  • Put the retaining bolt back on

Many of our crank side tables feature a tripod base. Sometimes, the legs on the base have holes that do not perfectly align during assembly.
To resolve:

  • Disassemble the legs by removing any screws in the leg holes
  • Reassemble the legs and partially insert the screws into all leg holes
  • Tighten the screws

The Grandby Mid Century Modern Coffee Table and Side Table


Our tables are built to last generations. A little care along the way will help them get there. Here's some useful tips that ensures your crank table will stand the test of time.

  • When cleaning spills, use a lint-free cloth dampened with warm soapy water. Do not use harsh chemicals on the table as this will remove the finish

Old Mill 35" Adjustable Office Desk


  • Avoid exposing the wood to alcohol, deodorants, perfumes, nail varnishes and similar liquids

  • If spillage occurs, wipe immediately with a dry cloth. These liquids will pull moisture from wood when left, causing cracking. Alcohol such as red wine could also leave a permanent stain

  • If the crank mechanism squeaks, lubricate the shaft using a small amount of grease. Do not use WD-40 or silicone lubricant.

  • WD-40 is typically used to remove rust on metal. While this can lubricate a piece for a short time, WD-40's solvent base will cause it to evaporate relatively quickly, which will cause the crank to squeak once more

  • Silicone lubricant has not been tested on our products. While there are no known problems that result from using silicone lubricant on our crank bases, we still do not recommend using these products with our furniture