After finding the folding metal gurney at a flea market I removed the caster wheels (which were super cool but made the table too high) and had Walnut plywood cut to serve as the table top and the lower shelf. After applying a few coats of polyurethane and screwing in the top it was good to go. It's sturdy, collapsible, and best of all you can put your feet up.
I wasted a good hour Googling vintage gurneys with no luck, so it remains undetermined what the base was actually used for. If anyone has seen something similar let me know! (Well, maybe not if it was used in a morgue. That might be knowledge I could do without)