Woodworking Plans – Flip Up Table

Woodworking Plans – Flip Up Table

ben drolet wall bench wood working plansI’ve been spending a lot of time in my workshop building my kitchen table over the past few weeks.  One thing that I am noticing is that I need more table space for working on long pieces.  Also, I have two folding tables that I use for projects and they are not nearly as sturdy as I would like for some of the projects that I work on.

I have a large 15+ foot section of wall in the shop that has nothing near it or in front of it.  This space would be ideal for a long thin table, but I also park cars in here when I am not working on a project.  I don’t want to have another folding table either, so I designed this flip up table for the space.

The idea is that this self contained, sturdy tabletop would be mounted to the wall and lay nearly flat against it (only 2.5″ deep) but be easily raised and supported for quick or extended use.  I have seen some plans online that all have legs that extend to the floor and are usually made of 2×4’s.  Usually, they also fold upward so the unsightly bottom of the thick table is visible when in the closed position.  With my plan, I could cover the top of the table with a cool diamond plate or steel surface, then allow that surface and all of its beat up character to show when stowed.

I also have two power outlets that I use frequently on that wall – these will need to be accessible for quick plugins when the table is stowed.  This design utilizes two cutouts that allow the outlets to be seen and used whether the table is stowed or open.

Finally, the swing out table supports are mounted via a hinge to the bottom of the tabletop itself, not the wall, so the unit is self contained.  The swing supports will be locked to the bottom of the tabletop with a magnet and the wall side surfaces will be covered with felt pads to protect the wall from scratching while the support arms are swung down into place.

I was building this table entirely from extra parts and scrap wood that I had laying around from other projects.  The only exception is the diamond plate that I bought on sale from a small local hardware store – it was only $20 for a 2′ x 4′ sheet and I couldn’t pass that up.  Once I did the measurements in the garage, I realized it was not practical to do the cutouts for the power outlets.  All of the scrap wood that I had was 8′ and the outlets were exactly 8′ on center, so I could either make it a 10′ table and deal with all the structural problems or I could just forget the cutouts and call it a day.

Here are some work in progress pictures.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here is the initial frame for the table, built out of left over 2″x2″s that I had in the shop

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here is the frame with some 45 degree supports and the plywood tabletop glued in place to dry.

 

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Topside of the table just before I set the top in place.

 

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Bottom side of the table showing the first two of four diagonal supports to be used. I waited until the design was completely worked out before I attached the last two.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

I used small door hinges for the flip up legs, two per side mounted with drywall screws. I had 8 of these laying around from a previous project that I decided not to use them for.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here is the almost final base ready for the first coat of paint. I am using the same regent metallic paint that I used for the wall behind the table so the legs disappear.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here is the bottom painted view of the flip up leg with the leg in the closed position. The cutout section is where the hinge will be mounted.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here is the bottom painted view of the flip up leg with the leg in the open position. The cutout section is where the hinge will be mounted.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

A closeup of the side of the table, this edge will be the top edge when the table is in the closed position. I am obviously a huge patriots fan, but I think the logo tape was a bit much on this project, I will probably redo it using the reflective caution tape when I adjust it later.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

The diamond plate work surface is beautiful. It was attached to the plywood using construction adhesive rolled out with a rolling pin covered with tin foil, then weighted down with 200+ lbs of freeweights for about 24 hours.

Here are a few pics of the finished (or near finished) flip up table:

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Here you can see the magnet mechanism holding the drop down leg in the stowed position.

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Here is the simple cabinet magnet that I got at home depot for a few dollars, there is one on each side.

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Here you can see a metal plate screwed onto the swing up leg, this plate strikes a magnet installed under the base to hold the leg in the stowed position to make opening/closing easier.

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woodworking plans ben drolet table

Here you can see a metal plate screwed onto the swing up leg, this plate strikes a magnet installed under the base to hold the leg in the stowed position to make opening/closing easier.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

I finished the aluminum front rail with steel screws about every 12″.

woodworking plans ben drolet table

There is a little play in the leg when the table is stowed, this is because the hinges push the whole thing out about 3/8″ from the wall.

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Overall, I am pleased with the final product.  It really looks gorgeous and the work surface is very solid.  I ended up only using 4 of the 6 studs for hinges, and each of those hinges has at least 2 solid 4″ deck screws holding them to the wall, but I still worry about strength.  I like to try and over build things like this so they can take extreme loads, but this table is only meant for lighter loads, probably less than 300 lbs.  Eventually, I will build a 2’x4′ frame around the table, then attach it to the frame using door hinges – but this will work nicely for now.

The drop down legs work perfectly when opening the table.  I used felt strips for the wall facing part of the legs so they don’t scratch the wall too much.  When you lift the table, a light tug on the front of the leg and it comes loose and swings down into place, stopping with a bounce at 90 degrees.  I just do the left leg, which holds the whole table up, then I walk to the other side and drop the right leg down into place.  Closing it is just as easy, just in the opposite order.  I do want to put a drawer pull handle on the front center of the table for grabbing as well as removing the patriots tape strip on the  outside, unfortunately it makes it look cheesy.

  1. RonRon04-07-2013

    How much weight does it hold? I don’t suppose you’ve stress tested until it broke, but how much have you successfully placed on it?

  2. ben@drolet.comben@drolet.com04-10-2013

    Ron,

    So far I’ve had about 200lbs on it without any real signs of bending or over stressing. If I needed it to hold more than that then I would install a third leg and a third set of hinges, this would probably have no problem holding over 1,000 lbs if needed – I just use if for light work, plus its at a perfect height for my scroll saw and my band saw.

  3. KimKim05-02-2013

    Wow! I’ve been trying to figure out how to fashion a flip-up breakfast bar in my camper to do away with making up and taking down the dinette and this will work perfectly!! Thanks so much for your great explanations and photos…it’ll be done by the weekend! 🙂

  4. tobyntobyn08-05-2013

    Just out of curiosity, now that its been a while since you made the table, are you still happy with it? How is it holding up? Has the wood split in any places?

  5. georgegeorge08-06-2013

    How is it even possible that I nave never seen this before. You should sell those because i would buy one

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